This creamy Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing is the perfect dressing if you love ranch but are looking for something new. It’s cheesy with a little spice and it’s lightened up with Greek yogurt and buttermilk. You’re going to love it!
When my mom comes over for a holiday dinner, she usually brings a salad because she’s a master salad maker. She makes the best salads! Always with homemade dressing. For Easter she did a springy salad with romaine, peas, asparagus, radishes, fresh herbs and a lemon basil vinaigrette (I have a similar lemon basil vinaigrette on my site!). It was so good and the perfect fresh addition to what can sometimes become a heavy meal. We had ham and roasted potatoes, green beans, cornmeal biscuits, and fresh fruit. For dessert, I made my no bake chocolate tart – it was a hit!
I honestly think the key to a good salad is a great homemade dressing. There are a few store-bought brands I love and I do keep a couple bottles in my fridge for a quick and easy salad, but mixing up a quick vinaigrette is so easy, too. My go-to is often my sweet and tangy honey mustard vinaigrette, but poppyseed dressing is another one of my favorites. Of course, sometimes you just can’t beat a homemade ranch dressing.
About this Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing
- Familiar: A dressing often found in the stores is Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing. I see Ken’s, Logan’s, Marzetti’s, and Carrabba’s are all favorites of the Google searchers of the world. I always loved the dressing at Carrabba’s too, so you’re not alone.
- Perfect on a green tossed salad: This dressing is best suited for a leafy green salad with tons of vegetables. It would be great with grilled chicken or sliced grilled steak to round it out into a full meal. It’s not a dressing I’d pair with fruit, but hey, if you want to try it, I’m not going to stop you. Homemade croutons are a must!
- Lightened up: I made this dressing a little lighter than what you might find bottled in the store by using a combination of Greek yogurt and buttermilk. Despite its deceptive name, buttermilk is actually quite low in fat. Per my non-RD calculations of the nutrition info, two tablespoons of this Parmesan Peppercorn dressing only adds 46 calories to your salad. For a creamy dressing, that’s a huge win. Yogurt always wins, doesn’t it?
- Great blue cheese alternative: If you don’t like blue cheese dressing (I’m raising my hand!), I think this dressing would be a perfect alternative where blue cheese dressing is often used, like for Cobb salad or for dipping wings.
Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Dressing
Looking to mimic Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Dressing? I’d use this recipe, but reduce the pepper to just a bit (1/4 teaspoon or so), increase the Parmesan (maybe even double it!) and up the garlic significantly, using a clove or two of fresh garlic would get you closest to the taste of Carrabba’s dressing.
- In a large measuring cup, bowl, or jar, mix all ingredients together until blended.
- As written, this recipe has a fair amount of heat from the pepper. If you use finely ground pepper (the pre-ground kind that you buy in the spice section), you'll want to cut down significantly on the pepper (1/2 to 1 teaspoon total). Freshly coarse ground pepper is larger and therefore adds less spice in a tablespoon than a fine-ground pepper would. If you're unsure, start with less and add more as desired.
- If you like it really spicy, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.