We Tried More than a Dozen Bottles of Ranch Dressing — There Were 3 Clear Winners
Last summer, when the Kitchn staff embarked on an extremely comprehensive bottled salad dressing taste test, it wasn’t all that surprising that I ended up with ranch duty. I’m a self-professed ranch aficionado and was eager to see if my family’s ride-or-die brand took home top honors when matched up against other contenders on the market.
After a trip to the grocery store, I realized just how many brands have their own ranch rendition. There’s the classic brand Hidden Valley Ranch, with its many variations, plus at least one bottle from just about every other salad dressing producer.
How I Tested the Ranch Dressing
After returning home with my stash, I tasted each dressing on their own and with baby carrots. These are the bottles that stood out as the clear winners.
The Most Classic Ranch Dressing: Hidden Valley Ranch
Honestly, I was a little hopeful that we’d find a different ranch dressing to love. Only because this is the one that most people think of and I was hoping for some element of surprise. But no. There’s a reason this stuff is so popular. The flavor holds up against all the other bottled ranch dressings I tried. The best part is that it’s not too sweet. The flavor is buttermilk-forward with lots of (pleasant) tang. It’s also super creamy.
Buy: Hidden Valley Ranch, $4.29 for 16 ounces at Target
The Tangiest Ranch Dressing: Kraft Classic Ranch
As soon as we tried this, we knew it was a winner. It’s rich and creamy with a bright tang and the most classic ranch flavor. In fact, it tastes extremely similar to Cool Ranch Doritos, which, in my world, is a good thing.
Buy: Kraft Classic Ranch, $4.50 for 16 ounces
Best Refrigerated Ranch: Litehouse Homestyle Ranch
For those of you who prefer a salad dressing from the refrigerator section, this is your best bet. It’s super flavorful without much sweetness. It tastes super fresh and has a very herb-forward flavor and appearance. Dare I say, this tastes like everything you wish that homemade ranch would be.
Buy: Litehouse Homestyle Ranch, $3.19 for 12-ounces at Target
Do you have a favorite ranch dressing brand? Put it in the comments below!