I tried nine brands of ranch dressing from the grocery store to see which is best.
Marie's creamy ranch had the best packaging, but I thought the flavor fell short.
Ken's Steak House ranch surprised me with a perfectly balanced flavor, earning it the top spot.
Hidden Valley comes to mind first when I think about ranch, but I was shocked by how many different brands there were at the grocery store. The dressing complements many different foods — from vegetables to pizza — but which version is best?
I decided to buy nine different brands of ranch dressing and ranked them from worst to best, testing each product on its own with celery for a fair comparison.
9. Daiya homestyle ranch dressing
First Impression: I'm intrigued by this plant-based ranch dressing.
The bottle design looks more classic compared to the other vegan dressing I'm trying, and I'm excited to see what kind of flavor will follow.
I didn't care for this brand's dressing.
The very first taste was delicious, but a sweet flavor with a vinegar tang immediately followed.
I couldn't identify any spices beyond the unexpected sweetness, and I wasn't interested in taking more bites to do so.
8. Krasdale creamy ranch dressing
First Impression: My hopes are low for this one. I don't love the blue wrapping on the bottle — it looks like the kind of generic dressing you'd randomly dig out of your refrigerator.
The vinegar was too strong but everything else was too subtle.
I thought this ranch was too vinegary at first. But the vinegar taste was actually relatively weak, it just overpowered everything else because the flavors weren't robust.
It also wasn't as creamy or oniony as the top contenders.
7. Kraft classic ranch dressing
First Impression: This seems like a pretty basic bottle of ranch.
I didn't love the picture of the salad on the wrapper as if it's overly explaining, "Here's what you do with the ranch."
Nothing stood out about this dressing.
I was spot on with my first impression — this was a fine-tasting dressing, but it didn't stand out.
The mild vinegar flavor was OK, but I missed the smooth buttermilk of the other brands.
6. Marie's creamy ranch dressing and dip
First Impression: This bottle's design is perfect.
Ranch dressing is hearty and deserves such a formidable look — it wasn't made to be in a slender bottle, in my opinion.
This reminded me of more of a mayonnaise than a ranch.
This ranch had more of a mayonnaise taste and lacked a robust spice profile. I didn't care for it with celery alone, but I'd enjoy it on a sandwich or in a chicken salad.
It didn't have as much flavor as some of the others I tried.
5. Gotham Greens vegan ranch dressing and dip
First Impression: I'm not expecting much from this.
I don't like the bottle design, because the shape of the bottle makes me believe it would be hard to pour cleanly after the second use.
This wasn't bad, but it reminded me more of Caesar dressing.
This had more of a Caesar taste in my opinion, but it was well-spiced. It had a mysterious flavor — which I later found out was chickpeas when I read the ingredients — that I had mixed feelings about.
Although I didn't like this with just celery, I don't think I'd mind it in a complete dish.
4. Wishbone ranch dressing
First Impression: The bottle advertises a creamier taste, which is exciting to me.
The packaging also reminded me a little bit of Hidden Valley's.
The vinegar flavor was strong, and it wasn't as creamy as I'd hoped.
The dressing's texture could've been creamier, and it had a heavy vinegar taste.
I felt like this was a little caught between a vinegar-based dressing and the buttermilk flavor of Hidden Valley Ranch.
3. Hidden Valley ranch
First Impression: Hidden Valley's ranch may have gotten more competition over the years, but it's the original.
I know I'll like it because I've had it before, but I wonder where it'll rank overall.
The buttermilk flavor was perfect.
I don't know why or how this consistently tastes so unique. It wasn't vinegary to me at all, which stood out.
The buttermilk flavor was the strongest note — just how I like it. The texture was also light and fluffy.
2. Briannas classic buttermilk ranch dressing
First Impression: I love the look of this jar, and I suspect the taste will be super strong.
I think the spring-onion illustration on the front would be right at home in a hipster tattoo sop.
The texture was too thick, but the flavor definitely made up for it.
The dressing was so thick that I had a difficult time getting it out of the container. But I was right about it having a strong flavor. The buttermilk was also exceptionally creamy, giving it a unique and pleasing texture.
The onion flavor was potent and carried the dressing. I could see this pairing well with Parmesan-heavy dishes.
1. Ken's Steak House ranch
First Impression: A friend told me Ken's is fantastic, and it looks it.
The ornately decorated bottle is pleasing to the eye, and the pictures of the ingredients look fresh.
This ranch dressing was tasty and well-balanced.
This was a superb ranch. The vinegar flavor was potent but not overpowering, and I got hints of garlic, onion, and some of the spices.
It was difficult to describe the flavors individually because they went so well as a group. While I was tasting it, I pictured one person in a kitchen tinkering away until they found the perfect combination.
I was surprised that Ken's Steak House ranch was my favorite.
Ken's ranch offered an excellent medley of flavors, and it was the one I enjoyed the most on its own — I could've gotten a spoon and scooped it straight out of a bowl. I was surprised that it dethroned the classic ranch-dressing brands.
Brianna's ranch dressing was a close second, primarily because of the buttermilk and onion flavors. I can see myself finishing the bottle quickly.
Although I placed Hidden Valley at No. 3, it was still excellent. I'll never be disappointed to see it in the fridge.
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