Chain Restaurant Ranch Ranked Worst To Best

If you're a ranch connoisseur, you likely have your opinions about which ranch dressings are the worst and the best at chain restaurants. Some are just okay, while others have fans who would consume and purchase ranch by the gallon if that were an option. Interestingly, most restaurants with great ranch have similar recipes, calling for some combination of buttermilk, mayo, and a ranch dressing mix. However, changes often come in the proportion of ingredients, add-ins, and which ranch dressing mix it uses. Still, some chains use an entirely different recipe or use processed ranches, leaving fans clamoring for something similar to have at home. While we've found a few leaked recipes, you'll need to scale them down to make them yourself. One on our list is even available to buy in grocery stores.

Everyone has their own opinions on which ranch is best, but many ranch enthusiasts agree that the best that tops our list had no contest. So, keep reading for our countdown from the worst to the best ranches, ending with ones that are absolutely slurp-worthy.

16. Burger King

Burger King was once among the ranch kings in the fast food arena. However, in 2021, it made a change to its ranch that had some customers in near riot mode. The new version was supposed to be an improvement, but customers aren't convinced that the changes to the ranch dressing are good.

There are currently over 2,500 signatures on a petition at for Burger King to bring back its "blue ranch" and get rid of the new "green ranch." petitioner Tyler Benson said, "The old ranch was actually one of my few reason[s] for going to BK. It was good and nostalgic. The new ranch is not only different, it's bad." Some customers say the new ranch is sour and tastes more like tartar sauce than ranch. BK customers who had never used Reddit before made new accounts just to complain about the new ranch version and vent their outrage at the change. Some even resorted to all caps to express their intense dislike.

15. Denny's

Denny's ranch dressing was popular enough at one point to have its own Facebook fan site. Customers especially loved it for dipping their fries, onion rings, and chicken fingers. There was a rumor that it's made from Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix. However, a former Denny's employee, u/lllMONKEYlll, revealed on Reddit in 2016 that Denny's has their own brand of ranch mix. To make the dressing, simply mix "two bags of Denny's brand Ranch powder mix, one gallon mayo, [and] two gallon[s] of [taps] water (cold)."

Unfortunately, in May 2018, fans started going to the Denny's ranch dressing Facebook fan site to complain that it had changed in both flavor and texture. The beloved version was thinner and tastier. Denny's could have easily been a third-place contender at one point, but not anymore. Customers have also complained that they had to pay $0.89 extra for a tiny cup of lackluster ranch rather than a bowlful.

14. Culver's

If you're in the mood for chicken tenders and fries from the Midwest restaurant favorite Culver's, there are lots of dipping choices, but ranch is still a fave among people looking to salve their fried foods cravings. You can even use it for dipping your buttery, Wisconsin-style cheese curds. Dairy plus dairy always equals yummy. Culver's chipotle ranch is also a hit when available, but don't hold your breath looking for it on the menu. While not everyone thinks Culver's ranch is amazing, the large majority do.

Culver's says that its ranch dressing is a "cool and creamy blend of buttermilk and spices," but its ingredient list is highly processed. While many restaurants make their ranch on-site, Culver's uses a pre-made ranch, which leaves customers wondering if they might stumble upon something similar at a grocery store. However, your best bet for a taste-alike is to just order extra ranch to take home with you, especially if you have Culver's leftovers.

13. Dairy Queen

March 2020 might have marked the beginning of lockdown for many, but it also marked when Dairy Queen started making Hidden Valley Ranch dressing in-house rather than using a pre-made variety. Since Dairy Queen made its ranch source public rather than trying to keep its "secret" under wraps, it partnered with Hidden Valley to offer some ranch-themed items that fall to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown doldrums, such as ranch-themed puzzles, cornhole games, cross stitch kits, and paint-by-numbers.

If you like Dairy Queen's version of ranch better than some other restaurant versions that also use Hidden Valley Ranch mix, it's likely because there's a big difference in how the employees make it. Instead of mixing buttermilk and mayo together with the ranch, they mix equal amounts of milk and mayo with Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix. This recipe is certainly easy to replicate at home without buying buttermilk, but not everyone is a fan.

12. Domino's

Domino's ranch cups are ridiculously good for pre-packaged sauce. There's a good chance that adding MSG is what makes it so good. Redditor u/Lilshmok3 says, "Dominos ranch dipping cups might as well be crack, I want a keg of it." However, we're not a fan and find Domino's ranch to be too far on the vinegary side.

Domino's actually has three distinctive types of ranch. If you order a pizza that comes with ranch sauce (like the Cali Chicken Bacon Ranch), it comes with a garlic parm ranch sauce. If you order a sandwich that comes with ranch (like a Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich), you'll get a different type of ranch than the one that comes with appetizers. Some people have speculated that the ranch you can get for dipping at Domino's is actually Ken's Ranch dressing, which you can likely find at your local grocery store. However, others disagree, so you may have to keep looking for a taste-alike to buy in larger quantities.

11. Whataburger

Whataburger has a variety of ranches that it cycles through, including buttermilk ranch, peppercorn ranch, and jalapeño ranch. Whataburger also has a thick ranch that comes on the Buffalo Ranch Chicken Strip Sandwich (when it's on the menu). Some customers have had luck asking for a bit on the side for dipping other items like fries or onion rings.

Whataburger decided to embrace its customers' love of its sauces by releasing several into the wild in 2014. Suddenly, you could buy Whataburger sauces like its peppercorn ranch and jalapeño ranch by the bottle at your local grocery store. Even if you can't find Whataburger condiments locally on grocery store shelves or don't have a Whataburger restaurant nearby, you can visit the Whatastore online and buy a single 14.5-ounce bottle of jalapeño ranch for $4 or a 3-pack for $11.50. While it has excellent ratings, customers say it doesn't quite taste the same as the version in the restaurant.

10. Popeyes

Popeyes has two types of ranch that customers get excited about for dipping their chicken: buttermilk ranch sauce and blackened ranch sauce. However, the one with the most buzz is the blackened ranch. Customers were panicking in 2022 when blackened ranch sauce went out of stock in some locations, especially when employees weren't sure if it would return or not. Some people didn't even think it was worth going to Popeyes if the blackened ranch wasn't available. However, it only disappeared temporarily and is back on the menu again.

Copycat recipes for Popeyes' blackened ranch sauce start with mayo and buttermilk before adding in loads of ingredients, including parsley, onion, garlic, sweet and smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and fennel. Alternatively, you could purchase a pre-made blackened seasoning like Old Bay Blackened Seasoning to add to the mayo and buttermilk to simplify things. It's pretty close, but not exactly the same.

9. Jack in the Box

There's something special about Jack in the Box Buttermilk House Sauce a.k.a. Ranch that gets customers' love. Perhaps it's the MSG content and the vinegar that sets it apart from other pre-packaged brands. MSG makes everything craveable, and extra vinegar adds to the buttermilk tang. So, if you order chicken strips, nuggets, or stuffed jalapeños, or are in the mood for something other than ketchup for your fries or onion rings, ranch is your friend.

Jack in the Box customers have found that they can't get their beloved ranch dressing for dipping when they order through DoorDash, which has led to trying to find a taste-alike ranch dressing to keep at home. As Redditor u/Ok-Personality-6614 puts it, "The food just doesn't taste the same without that sweet, sweet nectar of the buttermilk gods." Customers have tried brands ranging from Marzetti's Ranch to Ken's Steakhouse Buttermilk Ranch, but they're just not quite the same.

8. Chuy's

Chuy's takes ordinary in-house ranch dressing and adds Mexican ingredients that take it to the next level. Redditor u/blue_dingo said, "I've shamefully filled up on baskets of chips thanks to that sauce." So, don't forget to order a side of creamy jalapeño dressing the next time you fill up your plate at the complimentary nacho bar.

A leaked copy of Chuy's creamy jalapeño dressing calls for 2 gallons of mayo, 1 gallon of buttermilk, 3 quarts of jalapeño slices, 3 quarts of tomatillo sauce, 2 cups of jalapeño juice, 6 packs of Hidden Valley Ranch mix, and 6 ounces of cilantro. Also, we do know that Chuy's tomatillo sauce contains tomatillos and green onions, while the deluxe tomatillo sauce contains sour cream. Thus, copycat Chuy's creamy jalapeño dip recipes call for mayo, buttermilk, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, pickled jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic powder. Although, adding tomatillos and jalapeño juice might get it closer to the original.

7. Chili's

If you get wings, a Mexican fusion dish, a salad, or something fried at Chili's, it begs for the chain's addictive ranch. When it comes to your choice of dipping sauces for appetizers, Chili's original ranch dressing, avocado-ranch dressing, or Buffalo ranch dressing often wins out over other options.

Redditor u/I_Want_My_Babyback worked as a chef for Chili's for several years in the early 2000s, and recalled the recipe for Chili's original ranch. "Basically we mixed up a giant bucket with mayo, powdered buttermilk, and a seasoning pack from the corporate kitchen. The trick is buttermilk just not [too] much." So, for those of you who wouldn't know what to do with a whole container of powdered buttermilk but want to try making restaurant-style ranch at home, maybe Chili's early version of its ranch is the one for you. 

These days, Chili's uses real buttermilk. Copycat recipes often just use Hidden Valley Ranch, and the taste is usually close if you add pepper. However, you'll want to use an immersion blender to get everything creamy and smooth.

6. LongHorn Steakhouse

LongHorn Steakhouse ranch is a delightful mystery blend that customers love. Redditor u/P8pped says, "I want to take it home with me by the gallon. I eat it with everything that I order from there, my steak, the salmon, fries, broccoli, steakhouse mac."

When customers rave about LongHorn's ranch dressing, they're raving about one of the most standard ranch recipes out there. However, you're not likely to be able to replicate it exactly. Redditor u/Same_Entertainment83 worked at LongHorn for seven years, and said the recipe was simply "2 Gallons mayo 2 Gallons Buttermilk 2 packets of their LH ranch seasoning." It's the LongHorn ranch seasoning that leaves us wondering exactly which herbs and spices are included. Some customers trying to remake it have just gone with Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning pack with added black pepper. However, others have tried making their own with onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper.

5. Outback Steakhouse

Besides steaks and Bloomin' Onions, one of Outback's draws is its ranch dressing. Redditor u/Krunchy_Granola said "I wish Outback would sell jars of their ranch in the store. It's really the only thing that keeps me coming back." Outback's Kookaburra Wings, chicken tenders, or Aussie fries all beg to be paired with some All-American ranch dressing.

Outback's ranch is so popular that you can find hundreds of copycat recipes for it online. Former employees have confirmed the chain's ranch recipe, and it's one of the few that doesn't contain some type of ranch seasoning packet. It does start with 2 gallons of mayo and a gallon of buttermilk. Then, it gets 3 tablespoons of salt, 2.25 tablespoons of pepper, 2.25 tablespoons of onion powder, 2.25 tablespoons of garlic powder, and 1.5 tablespoons of cayenne pepper. Of course, you'll likely want to scale that down unless you're feeding a ranch-loving army.

4. Red Robin

Red Robin customers likely first become acquainted with its ranch as a dipping sauce for appetizers like mozzarella twists, Towering Onions Rings, fried pickles, chicken bites, and wings. However, the ranch packs quite a calorie punch. Redditor u/mroinks reminds us that if you "combine their bottomless steak fries with that ranch ... you're in for a 5,000 calorie treat excluding the rest of your meal!" Still, blowing that many calories at once can be tempting when the ranch is so addictive. Redditor u/kwixmusic says, "Red Robin's ranch does things to me" and that it's "simply divine."

Former Red Robin employees and a leaked recipe indicate that Red Robin creates the ranch in huge quantities from 30 pounds of Sodexho-brand mayo and 3 gallons of Sodexho-brand buttermilk, along with one packet of Red Robin ranch seasoning, and blended together with an immersion blender. That's a lot of bottomless steak fries.

3. Wingstop

Ordering wings from Wingstop just isn't the same if you don't get a ranch for dipping. The tangy taste of ranch completes the flavor profile and experience of eating wings like no other sauce. Sure, Wingstop has great wings, but getting them with a side of yummy ranch takes them to the next level. And you know a chain has a good ranch when you can buy it in large quantities. A regular-sized ranch dipping sauce costs $1.29, while a larger pint goes for $3.79.

Luckily, Wingstop's ranch dressing is among the many restaurant ranches that use Hidden Valley Ranch mix as its not-so-secret ingredient, so you can make it at home when you scale down the recipe. Redditor u/zilozi says that the actual recipe (not a copycat) for Wingstop's ranch is a gallon "of heavy duty mayonnaise (similar to Duke's)" with 1 gallon "3.25% milkfat cultured buttermilk," and 9.6 ounces of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning. That's a more concentrated level of seasoning than usual. It's not a difficult recipe if you have access to super-sized condiments!

2. Hideaway Pizza

You may only be able to find Hideaway Pizza in Oklahoma and Arkansas, but its ranch dressing is still legendary, and each local restaurant plows through about 5 gallons a week. Just thinking about dipping Hideaway's famous fried mushrooms, fried mozzarella sticks, fried pickles, fried ravioli, or wings into the chain's yummy, thin ranch makes our mouths water. Even if you don't get an appetizer, you'll still want to order some ranch for dipping your Da Bomb, The Capone, or Pizza of the Gods crusts.

In 2021, Hideaway tweeted, "WE GIVE UP! After years of requests, we are publishing our official Hideaway Ranch Dressing Recipe so that you can make it at home. We'll leave this link up for 1 day only." We're not sure what was behind the now-broken link. However, an employee, u/daysann, had already revealed the recipe on Reddit a year earlier. It's a well-stirred "5 gallons of Buttermilk, 5 Hidden Valley Ranch Packets, & 3 gallons of Mayo." So, the trick is a 5:3 ratio of buttermilk to mayo. Another employee claimed in 2021 that the chain uses Ken's Mayonnaise (a commercial mayo brand). Now you know.

1. Mazzio's

If you ask anyone who has a Mazzio's in their city about who has the best ranch, there's absolutely no contest. Fans of Mazzio's ranch dressing often buy it by the tub, and would probably slurp it with a straw if that were socially acceptable. Although, if you're out of pizza bones to dredge up the leftovers, licking your plate when nobody is looking is a likely scenario. We've even driven through the drive-through to get Mazzio's ranch dressing to go without even ordering pizza. It's so good that each location makes up about 5 gallons of ranch per day, with the chain serving up 200,000 gallons of its famous ranch every year to customers who can't get enough of it. 

After constant requests to sell a bottled version, the chain has tried. However, Vice President of Marketing and Sales Stuart Myers told Tulsa World that "once the preservatives are added, it changes the flavor profile."

Plenty of people have tried to make copycat versions, but it's never the same. Former Mazzio's manager @Littleemtb said on The Recipe Link that the recipe for the dressing is "3.25 oz of Griffith Foods chuckwagon buttermilk ranch seasoning along with 64 oz of Mayo and 64 oz of buttermilk." Unfortunately, when we tried to track down the seasoning mix, we discovered that the company doesn't sell to the public. However, with Mazzio's now being in nine states, it's easier than ever to sample the best ranch.