Avocado Ranch Chopped Salad

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Our Dad’s side of the family had a big reunion in Las Vegas last summer. There were so many of us and mostly from out of town; so, all the food was catered. During the event, it was a circus of chasing after kids, catch-up conversations with cousins who live far away, and lots of photos being taken. Bottom line: nobody got to try all the amazing food. Late that night, once all the kids were in bed and it was just us 30-somethings drinking wine and gossiping quietly in the kitchen, we busted out some leftovers to snack on. This was the moment that blew my mind. Avocado ranch dip!! I don’t even know how the dip was meant to be eaten. We just devoured it with those weird, yet amazing Hint of Lime Tostitos Chips. OMG. I’ve never tasted anything so delicious in my life (I exaggerate for effect here!). Ha. But, seriously, we couldn’t stop eating it! I made it my personal goal to recreate this ethereal green thing by the end of the Summer. I can’t say I recreated it exactly, but I came pretty damn close, and I decided to make it a salad dressing instead.

This recipe is so easy. You’re not cooking much…only the quinoa. It’s really all about chopping, measuring, and mixing. Because of this, it’s something that kids can totally get behind. Plus, I think it’s nice to have a lettuce-less salad every now and again. Because the sauce is so delicious, you forget (or maybe you hope you’re kids will forget) that you’re eating a whole bowl of raw veggies. Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients. If you cook often, you’ll likely have almost all these basic spices already. Enjoy!


Have picky eaters?

    🍅Omit or swap veggies. If your kids don’t like some of the veggies (i.e. radishes), just omit them or swap some out for others (i.e. mushrooms). This is highly customizable, and you can go with what’s in season.

    🍅Set aside plain quinoa & chopped veggies. I highly recommend doing this, just in case your child is not amped about everything being mixed together. Why are kids so afraid of food combinations?! Lol.

    🍅The dressing can be a dip. You might find that your kids would prefer to dip the veggies into the avocado ranch dressing. The beauty of this dressing is that it’s versatile. It can be a salad dressing, veggie dip, chip dip, dressing for meat dishes (i.e. chicken strips, lamb chops), etc. If your kids won’t do salad, cut some of the veggies long-wise so they can dip them into the dressing.

    🍅Make fresh corn if you have extra time. If you happen to have more than 28 minutes, it makes all the difference to oven-roast fresh corn. Make it your first step to set oven to 450 and start water for the quinoa. Then immediately shuck the corn, rub some butter on it, season with salt & pepper, wrap the ears individually in foil, and cook on a baking sheet for 25 mins. Take the corn out of the tinfoil right away when done, so the corn can cool and will be ready to handle at the table. Making corn this way actually doesn’t add a whole lot of time to the recipe. You can put some of that corn in the salad or your kids can eat corn-on-the-cob alongside the salad. They’ll be guaranteed to eat more veggies this way, and also, fresh corn always tastes better than canned corn.

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Avocado Ranch Chopped Salad
Total Time
28 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 avocado (very ripe, peeled and pitted)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 T fresh chives (chopped)
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1/2 T salt
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t dill
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1/2 t mustard powder
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small zucchini (chopped)
  • 1 cup red grapes (halved)
  • 3 radishes (cut into half slices)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (canned, drained and rinsed)
  1. First, fill a pot with 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 t of the salt. Add the quinoa, bring heat to low and cover. Let cook for 12-15 minutes. Open lid and fluff with a fork. All liquid should be absorbed.

  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mash the avocado. Then, using a blender, Vitamix, or whatever you got, combine mashed avocado, sour cream, greek yogurt and all the spices. Blend until ingredients are evenly distributed and mixture thickens a bit, stopping to scrape the sides of the blender with a spatula.

  3. Combine veggies (bell peppers, zucchini, grapes, radishes, corn) and quinoa in a big bowl. Mix.

    {Note: if your kids wanna help with chopping, these Curious Chef knives are the best!}


Serve salad in bowls, allowing people to dress and toss their own salads. Salt, as needed. You can serve with bread on the side.

We recommend that all meals for children be served with milk.


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