This Is The Best Store-Bought Ranch

Does ranch dressing make the world go 'round? Maybe not, but it does make a plate of wings, salad, or pizza infinitely better. Well, unless you pick up a subpar bottle of the stuff, that is.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that not all store-bought ranches are created equal. If you're more of a casual dipper than a ranch fanatic, picking from the dozens of options available at the grocery store can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, Mashed ranked 17 popular store-bought ranch dressings, and we can definitively tell you that Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch deserves a spot in your fridge. Our rankers poured over tons of online reviews to come to this conclusion, paying particular attention to how ranch lovers described the consistency and flavor of a brand — and found that Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch delivered on both.

"This is one of the best ranch flavors out there. So smooth and creamy and delicious. We love it," said one review on Hidden Valley's website. Others praised the condiment for tasting just like the homemade buttermilk ranch they grew up with. Another fan even deemed the brand's buttermilk ranch better than its original recipe, and we can't say we disagree. In our ranking, Hidden Valley's O.G. ranch ended up in fourth place simply due to not being quite as flavorful as the buttermilk variety.

Some argue the best store-bought ranch isn't in a bottle

There's no denying the convenience of keeping a bottle of ranch dressing in your refrigerator. However, many argue that the best variety doesn't come in a bottle but rather in a packet, which is what Reddit user u/floppydo suggested when a fellow Redditor inquired about the best store-bought ranch.

"Buy 16oz of sour cream. Buy a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch powder. Put the packet in the sour cream container, mix well with a fork, and refrigerate overnight. It'll be as good as any ranch you had in a restaurant and it took you 3 minutes to prepare," they said. This semi-homemade ranch will taste far brighter, fresher, and have an overall better flavor than the bottled stuff, thanks to the incorporation of sour cream; alternatively, you can use mayonnaise, buttermilk, or even cottage cheese. Plus, this is allegedly the same process that many restaurants use to concoct their versions of the beloved condiment. Given that restaurant ranch dressing always seems to taste better, the extra work certainly appears worth it.

Still, mixing up a batch of ranch from a powder packet has some disadvantages, including needing a minimum refrigeration period of, at least, 30 minutes to thicken and having a shorter shelf life. Therefore, it might still be smart to keep a bottle of store-bought ranch on hand, and for that, Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch is our favorite option.