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Jan 15, 2008 02:14 PM

best packaged or bottled ranch dressing? (not hidden valley!)

any reccomendations for a good bottled or dry mix ranch dressing? i hate hidden valley and wishbone.... i know penzey's has a mix, but i don't know anything about it. i do love their spices and some of their spice blends.... anyhow, thanks in advance for your reccomendations.

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  1. Why do you hate Hidden Valley? I'm OK with their dry packet (for buttermilk) even though it's a bit pricey.

    OTOH every bottled ranch dressing I've ever had has a nasty, nasty chemical aftertaste - YUCK!

    4 Replies
    1. re: DiveFan

      Dry package ... good seasons or hidden valley, that way I can add what I want. Not bad ... Have very pricey ones and honestly ... not any better. Trader Joes cost way more and not any better for me. Honestly I make my own, but I always keep a bottle of one I made with the dry good seasons. Keep it for carrots, celery, wings, anything, just for a quick dip when I have 15 minutes to eat. Kens is also ok, I have 4 or 5 of their dressing just on hand for quick fixes. I work guys and don't always have time and take short cuts. Fresh homemade salad with tomatoes, cucumber, olives, avacados but maybe bottled dressing. Sometimes I just have to ...But when I get time .. that is a different story.

      1. re: DiveFan

        I get the Kroegers brand dry packet Ranch dressing and toss in a couple of tablespoons of dry parsley, and a quarter teaspoon each of fresh ground pepper and garlic powder. Definite improvement over HV.

        1. re: NVJims

          I soup mine up a bit too. I make mine with Greek Yogurt and buttermilk, I add lemon juice, garlic, and lots of pepper. Yum.

        2. re: DiveFan

          I agree - if you don't like HVR dry packet buttermilk recipe then you just don't like ranch dressing. All the bottled ranch dressings are nasty.

            1. re: Carrie 218

              Agreed, the jar in the refrigerated salad/vegetable section. No chemical taste

            2. It's sooooo easy to make at home, and homemade ranch doesn't have all that unpronounceable crap in it.

              Buy a little carton of buttermilk. Pour it into a jar. Add about 1/2-3/4 cup of mayo. Add garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, a little paprika, salt and ground black pepper. Put the lid on and shake. Let sit for an hour (it will thicken) and then taste to adjust seasonings.

              It's not like it's *healthy"*, but it's a lot better for you than the bottled stuff.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mudster

                "Buy a little carton of buttermilk" was not too hard to do in Nashville, damn near impossible anywhere else, such as here in SoCal. Sure, AltaDena lists pint cartons in their inventory, but try finding one! Luckily I like buttermilk enough to just drink it, but buying a quart when I need a cup or two for cornbread just irks me.

              2. I don't mind Hidden Valley dry mix.

                Yes, I know it's great to make your own. but I like to have some in the fridge at work for the occasional salad run.

                But, what I HATE about most bottled ranch dressing is how sweet it tastes!!! Why sweet?! UGH.

                1 Reply
                1. re: stellamystar

                  I can't do sugary salad dressings either. Along with Hidden Valley, try Ken's Steakhouse ranch or Litehouse.ranch. If you like bleu cheese, for bottled, Litehouse is second to none. Maries is OK, but Litehouse is all kinds of delicious (for bottled.) Check the refrigerated section for Lithouse, Ken's is shelf stable.

                2. Try this copycat recipe. Similar to the tried-and-true Hidden Valley but with your own quality ingredients so you can make it fresh on demand. Dry buttermilk is in the baking section of most large supermarkets these days.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: MakingSense

                      thanks indeed, sounds like what i was looking for, basically. i love an excuse to buy dry buttermilk in those rad, retro looking tins. cheers.

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        Interesting, thx. I love to make it fresh for a nice dinner with friends and sometimes just make a whole bottle. I like the dry buttermilk, I bet it would hold up longer. Thx