Ranch Dressing ... Can someone explain to me the fascination with commercial Ranch Dressing?

At the risk of exaggerating a generality, what is the fascination some people have commercial Ranch Dressing (like the one below)?

I see people eat it with everything from raw vegetables to the ubiquitous chicken wings (nuggets, tenders, etc.) to pizza to burgers and hot dogs and even with things like noodles and pastas (think casserole).

Oh, and regular “salads” as well.

I guess, my question, is do you like Ranch Dressing as a nectar for things comestible? And, if so, what’s the exact appeal? No judgments, just curious.


(post deleted by author)

I use it on salads and raw veggies (and sometimes falafel when served with fresh veggies). I am reasonably certain I could make a better version, but shelf life would be much shorter, and I rarely if ever have buttermilk on hand.

Other than mayo, it is the only dressing I keep in the fridge… and I like the taste of it.


(Commercial) Ranch dressings are vile - people like the flavor of umami/MSG (like in the Hidden Valley one)

(post deleted by author)

Are you asking only about the bottled version, or also the powered version? I can’t remember ever having the bottled version, I don’t care for most bottled dressings, but I always have a jar of the powered version in my fridge. I like the buttermilk one and I only use it on salads. So obviously I like the taste.

there’s no rhyme or reason for it.
started (?) in the 60’s? my family never did anything like it - became popular in the ‘entertaining sections’
all the fast food places have ‘dipping sauces’ for everything - often see people who don’t need ‘do you want fries with that?’ but rather ‘do you want fries with your ketchup?’
the “wing generation” is very fond of eating some chicken with their dips.

we still often have what was known as a “relish tray” - raw vegetables, no dip - carrots, celery, scallion, radishes

I think that by now, most of us make a custom version with real ingredients. Also a hot NY chef made his recipe famous, and easily put together at home. No, most of us are probably not talking about Hidden Valley, and, worse, cheap clones.

I had it recently and hated it. It’s gloppy and bland, and tastes of presevatives. I much prefer my own version (buttermilk, mayo, apple cider vinegar, garlic & onion powder, herbs).

I’m not a fan of ranch dressing. If I want a creamy dressing it’s going to be blue cheese. Ranch seems to be a popular choice as a dipping sauce for buffalo wings, but I think blue cheese compliments the hot sauce much better.


I agree, although I prefer a blue cheese dip over dressing - the chonkier, the better :slight_smile:

As for salad dressings, I love both blue cheese & ranch, and make them frequently.

1 Like

I :heartpulse: :heartpulse: :heartpulse: HVR on wings and with crudités. Sometimes I use the bottled variety and sometimes I use the powder. When I don’t have any on hand I make it from scratch using sour cream, mayo and powdered buttermilk. Usually I add Gorgonzola to it which I always have on hand.


I’m not here to yuck anyone’s yum, but I’m not a fan of ranch. Or any heavy, creamy, mayo-like dressing. I personally think it masks the flavor of whatever I’m eating.
Now the FLAVOR of ranch is something else–on a Dorito it’s pretty good, and the spice/herbs that go into it are a nice combo (dill, garlic, chives etc.).

1 Like

Homemade ranch doesn’t have to be heavy, especially if you use buttermilk as a base. I love the flavor, too.

1 Like

Agreed on both counts. Ranch is inferior to blue cheese in every way. It also has NO PLACE near a Buffalo wing!

To answer the OP’s original question: I cannot explain the appeal of commercial Ranch dressing. I don’t dislike the herb profile, nor do I disdain commercial salad dressings entirely, but Ranch really doesn’t do it for me.

I like ranch dressing on a lot of things, but I’m picky about my ranch lol. I don’t like any of the bottled versions I’ve tried. I like to make my ranch from the hidden valley packet only. Certain restaurants have good ranch and others, not so good.

I don’t think the OP question is whether bottled or powder or BrandX is better or worse.
the question, to paraphrase a current TV commercial, is . . . .
“Why do they put that sh*t on EVERYTHING?”

this is for tonight’s dinner - ranch dressing will not be served…

1 Like

One night I was in a pinch as to what to make for dinner (the pantry was fairly empty). So I boiled some spaghetti, thinned out some ranch dressing with some of the starchy pasta water and used it as a sauce. I microwaved a couple pre-cooked meatballs, threw them on top and dinner was served.
It was OK, not my best effort… but it was a hot meal.

1 Like

When I first experienced Ranch dressing, almost 50 years ago!, some had drifted from my green salad to the turkey dressing/stuffing on my plate. Oh that was good! Turkey stuffing and Ranch from then on. Then many years later I found out that it came as a ‘side’ with deep fried mushrooms, zucchini and onion rings. Delishiouness! Great taste memories. Now I can’t eat any of those. The allure of Ranch dressing to me was all those flavors in a creamy base. Not too strong and very versatile.

1 Like

The hubs to this day puts Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing on top of his red sauced pasta meals. The son does that, too. To each, their own.