Fast Food Ranch Ranked Worst To Best

Not only is ranch the most popular salad dressing in the United States, it has become much more than that. Today, Americans put ranch on everything — from chicken wings to slices of pizza. The fast food industry has taken notice and now just about every restaurant in the country has ranch available for whatever you wish to dip in it.

The history of ranch sauce dates back to California in the 1950s. At Hidden Valley Ranch near Santa Barbara, a man named Steve Henson had the bright idea to create a dressing with a buttermilk base. Since then, ranch has exploded from being a regional favorite to becoming a nationwide phenomenon. While it isn't exactly the healthiest sauce, that doesn't stop many people from putting it on their salads or using it as a dip.

While you can find ranch at virtually every fast food eatery, there is a huge disparity when it comes to taste. Some fast food ranch is enchanting, while other fast food ranch is downright disgusting. In this definitive list, we rank the ranch sauces from worst to best.

14. McDonald's Creamy Ranch Sauce

Once upon a time, McDonald's had one of the best ranch options in all of the fast food world. It was called Habanero Ranch and it was legitimately amazing. In fact, if it was still available today, it'd be near the top of this list — if not at the very top. Habanero Ranch was very spicy but then a strong ranch flavor gently cooled everything off. With the fire put out, you couldn't resist going in for another dip of the ranch. It was good with everything from their French fries to their chicken sandwiches.

Tragically, with Habanero Ranch out of the picture, the only ranch available at McDonald's is their Creamy Ranch Sauce. This stuff is as generic and as bland as ranch sauce can get. It is easily overpowered by any other flavor that it's mixed with. It's best to pretend McDonald's Creamy Ranch Sauce doesn't exist because if you order it, you'll be highly disappointed.

The loss of the Habanero Ranch didn't go unnoticed either, and an online petition calling for McDonald's to bring the sauce back got 500 supporters. Let's hope that one day those who control the golden arches bring back the legendary ranch that met a premature demise.

13. Wendy's Buttermilk Ranch

Wendy's Buttermilk Ranch is a step up from what McDonald's has to offer but it's still near the bottom when it comes to fast food ranch. The biggest issue with Wendy's offering is that it's too watery and it doesn't have enough substance to it. The flavor you're able to taste is pleasant but it's more like ranch-flavored water than genuine ranch sauce.

If you try to use this Buttermilk Ranch to dip Wendy's French fries in, you'll just end up with a bunch of soggy fries. If you pour it on one of Wendy's burgers, a river of watery ranch will come flowing out from beneath the bun. Considering that ruining a Baconator may be considered a federal fast food offense, this disappointing ranch is best avoided.

What makes Wendy's Buttermilk Ranch even worse, is the fact that this fast food joint has other great sauces you should be selecting instead. Their Creamy Sriracha sauce is one of the best sauces you can get from a drive-thru window. Side of S'Awesome is another Wendy's sauce that you owe it to yourself to try. The best way to describe it is that it's a combination of barbecue sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a hint of ranch.

12. Arby's Ranch Dipping Sauce

The Ranch Dipping Sauce available at Arby's is not lacking in taste at all. However, the issue is that the taste is closer to that of sour cream. If you love sour cream, you'll really enjoy Arby's Ranch Dipping Sauce. But if you were in the mood for real ranch, you'll be thoroughly saddened.

The best thing to dip into this Ranch Dipping Sauce is Arby's curly fries. The sour cream qualities of the sauce mix surprisingly well with the seasoning of the curly fries. If you want a break from ketchup, go ahead and give it a try.

Arby's has something called Red Ranch Sauce that they put on their Classic Beef 'n Cheddar. But, again, don't think this is anything like real ranch sauce, or else you'll be extremely disappointed. This stuff is sweet with an enjoyably tangy aftertaste. Despite what the name may suggest, Red Ranch Sauce from Arby's is somewhere between French dressing and Catalina dressing.

11. Taco Time Ranch Dressing

While you probably don't head to a taco restaurant when you're in search of the best ranch sauce, Taco Time does make their own ranch so they should be applauded for the effort. It's actually decent but there are two issues with Taco Time Ranch Dressing: It's excessively oily and it's lacking the herb flavoring found in the best ranch.

The oiliness becomes an even bigger problem when you're trying to eat on the run. Tacos are messy to begin with and if you dare to add some of this ranch, you're begging for trouble. Additionally, even if you avoid making a mess, the texture will relentlessly coat your mouth. You will need a large drink to help wash it down.

If you order the Ranch Dressing at Taco Time, you should also order their tater tots, which they call Mexi-Fries. Dipping the oily tater tots in the oily ranch sounds like a greasy overload — but it's actually quite a tasty combination.

10. KFC Buttermilk Ranch

No one can say KFC Buttermilk Ranch is bland. The problem is actually at the opposite side of the spectrum. This Buttermilk Ranch actually has a flavor that is too powerful. The first hint of its strength is its smell. Once you open a packet of this sauce, it will hit your nostrils with a ferocious punch that would make Mike Tyson proud.

Since KFC has such delicious chicken, there's really no need for their ranch sauce to be so overpowering. If, for example, you use this sauce on their popcorn chicken, you'll only be able to taste the ranch. That's unfortunate. Even if you love the taste of the Buttermilk Ranch, you went to KFC for their chicken, not the ranch.

In addition to ranch, KFC offers five other sauces: Creamy Buffalo, Honey Mustard, Sweet N' Tangy, Honey BBQ, and Finger Lickin' Good Sauce. While you might feel foolish ordering the Finger Lickin' Good Sauce due to its awkward name, you should taste it. It's a mix of ketchup, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire, and other goodness that is tasty yet subtle enough to allow the chicken to shine.

9. Chick-fil-A Garden Herb Ranch Sauce

A lot of people love the Garden Herb Ranch Sauce from Chick-fil-A. However, the truth is that this ranch sauce is overrated. It's a decent sauce but it's nothing more than a run of the mill ranch.

How has the Garden Herb Ranch Sauce gotten so overrated? It probably has to do with Chick-fil-A being voted as America's favorite restaurant for four years running. While there are a lot of reasons to love Chick-fil-A (most namely, their chicken), their ranch shouldn't be one of those reasons. It's not any better than the cheap ranch you can find at your local grocery store.

This Garden Herb Ranch Sauce has gotten so popular that you can even order it by the bottle or purchase an 8-ounce tub of it from their website. That said, you should save the money and purchase the most inexpensive ranch you can find. Trust us, you won't be able to taste a difference.

8. Burger King Ranch

While Burger King Ranch won't blow your mind, it's definitely an above average sauce. And considering that Burger King doesn't have a litany of great sauces, it's a safe choice to add to all of your orders. Skip their gross barbecue sauce and their boring ketchup and just go with their ranch when in doubt.

While this ranch isn't a good choice for Burger King's French fries due to the bland nature of their fries, it's a perfect choice for many of their other sides including their onion rings, jalapeno poppers, and cheesy tots. This sauce also works well with their cheap chicken nuggets and even as a dip for a Whopper. Burger King has a yummy Crispy Chicken Sandwich that can be made even yummier by substituting out the mayonnaise and putting ranch in its place.

If you happen to order a salad at Burger King (Does anyone actually order a salad at Burger King on purpose?), their ranch dressing is by far their best dressing.

7. Taco Cabana Salsa Ranch

If you head to the salsa bar at a Taco Cabana, their Salsa Ranch is sure to catch your eye. This unique offering will seduce you to try it. Once you do, you'll quickly be convinced that it's the best ranch you've ever tasted. Instead of being another boring ranch sauce, it has a spiciness to it that will excite your taste buds.

Unfortunately, your love affair with Salsa Ranch will be short-lived. While it's definitely something you should taste, you'll soon realize that it's a better idea to separate your salsa from your ranch. By doing so, you can adjust the heat of the salsa for each specific food you are eating. That's especially true at Taco Cabana, where you have a wide array of red salsas and brown salsas at your disposal.

If you're headed to Taco Cabana to try this Salsa Ranch, get a Cabana Bowl — with or without the shell, it doesn't matter. Then slather the bowl with Salsa Ranch and you'll quickly inhale everything on the plate.

6. Domino's Ranch

While just about every pizza place offers ranch, Domino's ranch stands at the head of the class. This white, creamy sauce is so good that you'll be tempted to drink it by the glass. It's perfectly tangy so it never gets boring. The aftertaste of herbs and black pepper makes it memorable on the way down.

Although ranch is a popular (and obvious) dipping sauce for Domino's wings, you should also be using this ranch to dip your pizza in. No matter the toppings on your pizza, it will only be enhanced by taking a bath in ranch before it hits your lips. While Domino's isn't known for having an amazing crust, you'll happily eat the crust as long as you have ranch at your side.

If repeatedly dipping is too labor-intensive, you can allow Domino's to do the heavy lifting by ordering the Cali Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza. With the ranch already on the pizza, all you need to do is put it in your mouth.

5. Jimmy John's Kickin' Ranch

While it's a relatively new addition to their menu, Jimmy John's has successfully caught the attention of those who love ranch by unveiling a sauce they call Kickin' Ranch. This sauce is made by hand at each of their locations. It combines fresh, real buttermilk with spicy cherry peppers and the result is spectacular.

The only downside to Jimmy John's Kickin' Ranch will be encountered by those who can't handle spicy foods. As long as you have brave and battle-tested taste buds, you're going to love this stuff. The freshness of it can't be rivaled by any of Jimmy John's competitors.

According to someone on Reddit who claims to be a past employee of Jimmy John's, you can make a replica of Kickin' Ranch by combining prepared ranch with pickled peppers, pickled pepper juice, and garlic powder. That said, you're better off just going to Jimmy John's and getting the real thing because there's just nothing quite like it available on the market.

4. Jack in the Box Buttermilk House Sauce

Don't let the name fool you, Buttermilk House Sauce at Jack in the Box is what every other fast food restaurant considers to be ranch. Not only that, this sauce is heavenly. If you want ranch sauce that tastes good with absolutely everything, stock up on packets of Buttermilk House Sauce from Jack in the Box. Even if you buy the most expensive ranch dressing at the supermarket, nothing you can find can compare to this sauce.

First, use Jack in the Box's ranch as a dip for their fries so that you can taste just how wonderful this sauce is. From there, you can get more daring. For example, get the surprisingly addictive two tacos combo and then dip your tacos in this Buttermilk House Sauce. It may sound odd but it's life-changing.

This ranch sauce is so good that it even has its own Facebook page. Try it and you too will be a fan.

3. Whataburger Jalapeno Ranch

On April Fools' Day of 2013, Whataburger released a Monterey Melt burger that featured grilled peppers, grilled onions, American cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and a Jalapeno Ranch sauce. While Whataburger no longer sells Monterey Melt burgers, the Jalapeno Ranch was such a big hit that it is still available to this day. In fact, you can buy bottles of this stuff.

While Kickin' Ranch by Jimmy John's might be too spicy for some people, that's not a problem with Whataburger's Jalapeno Ranch. Though it's spicy when it first hits your tongue, the ranch flavor is so deep and so rich that the spiciness dissipates almost instantly. The result is a sauce that is great on burgers, chicken sandwiches, and on top of salads.

Another somewhat similar sauce available at Whataburger you should also try is their Creamy Pepper Sauce. While it's not technically a ranch sauce, it's creaminess would be appreciated by ranch connoisseurs.

2. Popeyes Blackened Ranch

Blackened Ranch might not sound appetizing but this sauce available at Popeyes is unbelievably good. After you try it once, it'll be the only sauce at Popeyes you ever order.

Popeyes doesn't sell this ranch by the bottle and they don't publish a full list of ingredients. However, tasting it will tell you it probably has a myriad of ingredients including garlic, onion, parsley, paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and white pepper. It may sound overwhelming but this Blackened Ranch does just enough to catch your attention while being subtle enough to allow you to enjoy the food.

While this ranch is versatile, it really shines when you pair it with either the chicken tenders or the boneless wings available at Popeyes. Also, their crispy popcorn chicken can be taken to the next level with this godly sauce. Adding it to Popeyes' popular chicken sandwich is another very good idea, whether you replace the mayo or add it along with the mayo.

1. Wingstop Ranch

The best fast food ranch available anywhere is undoubtedly Wingstop Ranch. This sauce is legendary and everything about it is pure perfection. First of all, it's rich, thick, and sticks to your wings without fail. You will just need to dip each wing once and the ranch will stay in place as you devour the wing. Though a lot of fast food ranch is too liquidy, you won't find that problem at Wingstop.

While the ranch at Wingstop tastes good with all the wings they have to offer, it's especially mind-blowing when you eat it with their spiciest wings such as Atomic and Mango Habanero. The ranch manages to neutralize the spiciness of the wings in the most pleasant way possible.

Wingstop Ranch is so popular that customers apparently go to their restaurants and simply order the "ranch by the pound" and walk out of the restaurant without any wings. Although it'd be difficult to leave a Wingstop without some of their top of the line wings, this ranch is good enough that it's entirely understandable.