Ahh, ranch! Such a versatile condiment. The iconic flavor pairs perfectly with salad and wonderfully with, dare we say it, pizza. Out there in the world of store-bought ranches, it is competitive. Each brand infuses its dressing with different flavors and textures. Without buying the grocery store out, how are we to know which is the best ranch dressing?
This is actually a very important question, especially if you are one of the average Americans who eat four salads a week. In a study, 62 percent say the dish is part of their regular diet. The primary reasons people eat salads are to get all their veggie servings in one meal (27%), are a healthy option (24%), and are convenient to make (15%). Nearly a third (31%) say salads are the perfect lunchtime meal for them.
The results reveal five daily servings of fruits and vegetables seem to be the perfect number for a longer life. Researchers did not find any added benefit to eating more than five servings in one day. Those adults eating slightly more vegetables (three servings) than fruits (two servings) had the longest lifespans. In comparison to people only eating two servings of fruits and vegetables each day, adults eating five servings lowered their overall risk of premature death by 13 percent. Green leafy vegetables pack a healthy punch in the daily diet. If you find it hard to incorporate these nutritious greens in your diet, drizzling some ranch on them makes the task much more enticing.
Whether you drench your salad in ranch or you use it as a dip for, everything, StudyFinds has done the research for you in finding the best ranch dressing. Find out below what brands 10 experts recommend. Our list is comprised of the products found most frequently across their reviews. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Ranch Dressings, According to Expert Reviews
Hidden Valley Ranch was in every top five, if not number one, list of best ranch dressings. The Spruce Eats explains why, “There’s a reason Hidden Valley is the face of ranch dressing since its beginnings nearly 70 years ago when the company created the condiment—it’s all about what’s inside each bottle. The thick, creamy, slightly tangy taste is what many associate with the taste of ranch. It was my first ranch dressing experience, and I am sure there are others like me out there, too.”
Hidden Ranch continues to be considered an undisputed favorite among ranch dressings. Many consider it nostalgic as it graced most childhood homes. “Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing is made with nonfat buttermilk and egg yolks, making it a bit less thick than some of its peers, yet still a delightful, creamy choice. You won’t be surprised to learn that in the ratings and reviews section of their Ranch listing on their website, 9,110 reviewers gave this product an overall score of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Even their powdered packets have been popular for a long time,” points out Restaurant Clicks.
The Takeout offers a different spin to the dressing. We know ranch is delicious on salad, but it doubles as an amazing dip option too. “Picture this: it’s 8:36 p.m. You were supposed to be at that housewarming party at 8:30. You don’t have time to make anything, but you’d better bring something to share. Speeding to the grocery store, you grab some baby carrots, broccoli, and wrinkled cherry tomatoes. You can slap ’em all on a plate and call it a veggie tray. But no veggie tray is complete without dip,” mentions The Takeout.
Some say that Ken’s is not a well-known brand, but we, along with other expert sites beg to differ. “Ken’s Steak House Ranch Dressing is actually pretty good, especially because it’s nothing fancy, nor expensive, and you can find it at just about every grocery store. One review described it as, “very thick and full of exciting, zesty and bold ranch flavors.” Another ranked it among their favorite ranch dressings out there. “One of the better ranch dressings,” they wrote. “Have tried many and there are just a few that are really good — this is one of them. The flavor is not too strong blue cheese or herby,” says Mashed.
Eat This, Not That gave Ken’s Steak House a little more credit hailing it as number two on their list. They tasted seven different dressings and this is what they had to say about Ken’s Ranch, “I loved everything about this dressing, from the texture to the flavor. It has a perfect consistency, and the flavor is rich and delicious. I’d recommend Ken’s Steakhouse to anyone looking for a tasty, affordable ranch dressing option.”
Sporked gives Ken’s Ranch even MORE credit. People really love their ranch, “I would pour this all over a salad or spread it onto bread for a sandwich. If you gave this to me in a ramekin at a restaurant, I’d think it was made in-house. It tastes so good I’d probably just drink it from the bottle if I didn’t think all that dairy would make me violently ill. That’s why it’s one of the best store-bought ranch salad dressings (and my personal favorite on this list).”
Kraft seems to be a surprising yet relevant top choice because it contains water as an ingredient. “Kraft certainly knows how to stretch the value of its food cost. Amongst the only two dressings in which water is the very first ingredient (Wish-Bone was the other), it remained one of the thickest, creamiest, slimiest of the lot. Garlic makes an appearance in its flavor, but any herbs and spices are indistinguishable from the general ‘tangy and savory’ background noise,” says Serious Eats.
Some ranch dressings are sweeter than others. According to My Recipes, Kraft Ranch Dressing is more on the sweeter side, but comparable to Hidden Valley. “Kraft has a bit more sweetness in its formula, but it essentially tastes like Hidden Valley. We know that’s probably a controversial statement for Hidden Valley lovers, but our tasters could barely tell the difference. Besides, while Hidden Valley isn’t exactly expensive, Kraft is notably cheaper. As long as you don’t have a particular brand allegiance, this ranch is a perfectly good pick,” adds My Recipes.
Kraft is a part of the Heinz family, so it’s clearly a well-loved brand. This is what Restaurant Clicks had to say about the brand, “Kraft’s Classic Ranch Dressing is sometimes almost sweet and reminds me of the Trader Joe’s option in its lack of tang. It’s still creamy and an excellent choice for dipping, though! The Kraft option also contains a mix of herbs and some eggs and buttermilk. It goes well with appetizers and sandwiches and adds texture to salads.”
Sporked irresistibly described Litehouse Ranch Dressing. It is easy to envision the consistency and taste while reading their review. “Texture is king when it comes to Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing & Dip. It is lusciously thick and creamy. There are pieces of herbs and small bits of dried onion that give the jar a lovely speckled look. The flavor is lightly zippy and delicately herby. It would pair with vegetables like a dream, making it perfect for a crudite platter or salad. Don’t let me oversell it as a health food, though. I took it home and dipped kettle-cooked BBQ potato chips into it and it was wonderful, too.”
“Compared to ranch dressings in bottles made for pouring right over salads, this one comes in a jar or tub. This makes scooping some out or dipping into it super easy—the wide mouths mean long, tall veggies like carrots and celery, or even wider things like broccoli, cauliflower, or chicken wings, dip without a mess. It also makes measuring simple. Small measuring spoons fit with lots of extra room if you are using the ranch for a savory sauce or another recipe. (It is available in a bottle if that is your preferred container, though.),” writes The Spruce Eats.
LiteHouse tastes close to Hidden Valley but contains slightly less tang. “You also get a similar quantity in LiteHouse bottles as you do when buying Hidden Valley. If you prefer refrigerated ranch to shelf-stable, then this might be your best option,” notes My Recipes.
Newman’s Own Ranch is another “middle of the road” dressing that makes the list of best ranch dressings. Whimsy and Spice speak highly of the dressing, but also offer the opposing opinion, “If you have ever tried Newman’s products (you probably have), and are a fan, then you will certainly love this ranch dressing. Heck, maybe you just want to try something new. If so, we recommend trying this dressing out for size. Just bear in mind that most people either love or hate it. There’s only one way to find out, and that is to try it yourself! The flavor profile of this dressing has been described as ‘tart’ and ‘sour‘ by some reviewers.”
Some ranch lovers are happy with just the “ranch” taste, others appreciate it when it has notes of additional mouth-watering seasonings. “This was one of the more flavorful dressings in the bunch. Garlic was the most prominent flavor, with notes of onion and lemon. There was a sort of cheesiness our tasters detected, which was a good thing … for some people. Overall, a solid dressing,” adds Delish.
You can enjoy Newman’s Own Ranch guilt-free knowing that after deducting all of their business expenses, they donate the remaining profits straight to charity. “Their Ranch, in particular, is a star. As Newman’ Own says on their website, it’s perfect for dippin’ or pourin’! This dressing is one of my personal favorites for its restaurant-like thickness and quality. Made with real buttermilk and eggs, it’s fluffy and smooth, just as a Ranch should be,” explains Restaurant Clicks.
You might also be interested in:
- The Spruce Eats
- Serious Eats
- Whimsy and Spice
- Restaurant Clicks
- Eat This, Not That
- The Takeout
- My Recipes
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.