You either love or hate ranch. I’m personally a ranch fan, but I have friends that use ranch on EVERYTHING, not even exaggerating. While ranch may be a high-fat dressing, is it low in carbs or keto-friendly? Here’s what you need to know.
Ranch dressing is a low-carb condiment that may be used by those choosing to follow a keto diet. A single two-tablespoon serving (29g) of ranch dressing has only 1.2 grams of net carbohydrates, making it extremely low-carb for individuals using it as a salad dressing or a dip.
In this article, I’ll cover how many carbs are in popular ranch dressing brands, which brands are the most keto-friendly, ways to use it on keto, and an easy to make ranch dressing recipe or two.
Can You Eat Ranch Dressing On Keto?
Most ranch dressings are low-carb, making them acceptable to consume by those who follow a ketogenic diet. Your average ranch dressing has between 2 and 3 grams of net carbs per serving, making it a great choice to use as a salad dressing, for veggies, or however else you wish to use it.
Just be careful on which store-bought ranch salad dressing you choose; some can have as much as 15 grams of net carbs per serving. Always look at the back of the bottle for the nutrition facts label to ensure
Most people following a keto diet are restricted to between 20 and 50 grams of net carbs, which is the number of carbs that allows them to reach and maintain a metabolic state of ketosis. Ranch fits perfectly in that it is extremely low carb, especially compared to other salad dressings.
Is Ranch Dressing Bad For Weightloss?
As with almost anything on the keto or any other diet, you must still be mindful of your portion sizes. Overeating of ANY food, keto-friendly or not, can still negatively impact ketosis and your weight loss efforts.
As the saying goes, the poison is in the dose (quantity) you choose to consume. You can eat too much of any food, including vegetables, which will harm both ketosis and/or weight loss.
For keto, think of carbs as a budget that you get to spend each day. It’s best to spend your carbs wisely with such a limited budget, preferably on nutrient-dense high-volume foods like green leafy veggies.
These foods tend to not only provide the most nutrients but are more satiating. Ranch is still a high-calorie food, and calories still matter as far as weight loss is concerned. Two tablespoons of ranch, which isn’t much, will cost you 150 calories.
Just for reference, you’d have to eat over 20 cups of spinach to eat the same amount of calories.
How Many Carbs In Ranch Dressing
Depending on the store-bought brand you enjoy most, ranch dressing will generally be between 2 and 3 grams of net carbs for two tablespoons.
However, certain brands or variations of ranch dressing are higher in carbohydrates, as shown in the image below. These generally apply to many of the specialty flavored ranches or the fat-free and lighter variations, which have some added sugars in them.
Some flavored ranch dressing may still be low-carb, but it’s always best to read the ingredients label to see how many carbohydrates they have. If something has more than 5 or 6 grams of net carbohydrates per serving, I’d suggest skipping it, and even that's on the high side.
It’s not worth using your carbs on such a small amount of ranch, but only you can decide that one as it may be worth it once in a while to you.
What Is Ranch Dressing Made Of?
Many of the ranch condiments you’ll find or ranch recipes are made with some of the essential core ingredients, and those are:
Oil: Soybean oil, Canola oil
Specialty brands or recipes online will use healthier oils: Avocado oil, Olive Oil, and sometimes MCT oil.
Sometimes, the powdered packets you must reconstitute with water vary a bit on ingredients and have more carbohydrates than those typically found in bottles. Be cautious when getting ranch mix as they are higher in carbs and quickly put you over your daily quota.
The mixes may also have ingredients like monosodium glutamate (MSG), which specific individuals may be trying to avoid due to sensitivity.
What Brand Of Ranch Dressing Is Keto Friendly?
If you’re going to visit your local grocery store and pick up some ranch, it’s best to know a few ranch dressings that are easy to find and work well with a low carb keto diet. Here is a popular low carb ranch dressing or two that are ok to consume.
Is Hidden Ranch Valley Dressing Keto Friendly?
Hidden Valley ranch dressing may be used on salad, as a dip, or as a condiment while following a keto diet. Hidden Valley ranch dressing is low in carbohydrates with 2 grams of net carbs per two-tablespoon serving. The light version is lower in calories but has four carbs per serving.
Both the regular and light dressing is relatively low in carbohydrates, except you must be mindful of the light version even more since it has double the carbs.
Is Kraft Ranch Dressing Keto Friendly?
Kraft ranch dressing may be used on salads, as a veggie dip, or as a condiment while following a keto diet. Kraft ranch dressing is low in carbohydrates with 2 grams of net carbs per 2 tbsp serving. However, the fat-free (11 grams) and light (7 grams) contain more carbs per serving.
Relative to Hidden Valley’s light ranch, the Kraft version has significantly more carbs, especially for the fat-free version. It’s highly recommended to stick with the original Hidden Valley ranch as 7 or 11 grams for a meager 2 tablespoon serving is generally not worth it.
Is Wish-Bone Ranch Dressing Keto Friendly?
Wish-Bone ranch dressing may be used on salads, as a dip, or as a condiment while following a keto diet. Wish-Bone ranch dressing is low in carbohydrates with only 1 net carb per 2 tbsp serving. The light version is lower in calories but has four carbs per serving.
Compared to both Hidden Ranch Valley and Kraft, Wish-Bone will save you one gram of net carbs per serving. However, the light version has 4 grams per serving, similar to Hidden Valley Ranch, but less than Kraft’s version.
Is Trader Joes Ranch Dressing Keto Friendly?
Trader Joe’s organic ranch dressing may be used on salads, as a dip, or as a condiment while following a keto diet. Trader Joe’s ranch dressing is low in carbohydrates with only 3 grams of net carbs per 2 tbsp serving.
Out of the four different ranch dressing brands listed, Trader Joe’s brand has the most with 3 grams of net carbs per serving, and Wish-Bone has the least with only 1 gram. For those looking to reduce their carb intake, any one of these brands is generally ok to use.
Ways To Use Keto Ranch Dressing
If you’re looking for ways to use your keto ranch dressing, whether as a keto salad dressing, wings, or simply for flavor, here are some low carb ranch dressing ideas.
Whether you’re baking, frying, or visiting your local wings shop, ranch a great way to add some flavor, blue cheese works too.
Keto pizza topping
Is a low carb salad your thing? Use your favorite ranch dressing or homemade ranch recipe.
Use it as a marinade, whether for chicken, pork, or even beef.
Folded into scrambled eggs (not too much, though), makes them fluffy, like adding heavy whipping cream or yogurt to your eggs. If you’ve never tried either of those ideas, you’re missing out! Half and half works as a great mixin on keto as well.
Do you use your slow cooker or instapot often? Try tossing in some ranch seasoning packets for some tang.
Since ranch is a shelf-stable emulsion, the hours of slow cooking won’t cause any separation.
What Other Salad Dressing Is Low Carb?
You may be wondering, which salad dressings or brands have the least carbs?
Primal Kitchen makes a great ketogenic ranch dressing and sauce. Instead of your standard oil and buttermilk, Primal Kitchen uses avocado oil for fats and apple cider vinegar. The ingredients are definitely on the higher end than your average ranch dressing.
- Fat:13 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
You can also use dressings like an Italian vinaigrette, apple cider vinegar, or a little balsamic vinegar on keto, which can be used in the same manner as ranch dressing.
Homemade Keto Ranch Dressing Recipe
Prefer to make your own homemade ranch? Here are some low carb keto recipes to make your keto ranch dressing.
Homestyle Keto Ranch Sauce
- ½ cup mayo
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp – 2 tsp (1 tbsp if you like it sour) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Combined ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
- Store in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or serve immediately
Macros and nutrition information for a 2-tablespoon serving size:
- 84 calories
- Fats: 8 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
Recipe Notes and tips
If you prefer a dairy-free version, you can substitute coconut cream for the heavy cream and coconut milk for the sour cream. If you wanted a lower calorie version, you can substitute unsweetened Greek yogurt for the sour cream and use half and half in place of heavy cream, which makes it a lower fat version.
Also, just in case you were thinking, the half-cup mayonnaise contains no dairy.
If you prefer a thicker consistency for your ranch, you can use slightly fewer liquids or a thickener like a guar gum. Also, I prefer to use fresh herbs overpowers, but that’s just me.
This is a really good and simple recipe that requires very minimal prep time. The total time it takes for me to make this is usually around 5 minutes or less and is a staple for my keto lifestyle.
There is no added sugar, has a minimal-carb count, and the macros are good to go.
Easy Ranch Dressing
Here's also another simple recipe you can use below. To make it lower carb, simply substitute coconut milk, heavy cream, or half and half for the milk.
Whether choosing a ketogenic diet for health or weight loss, ranch dressing is very low in carbohydrates. Although, it’s always best to check the ingredients and nutritional label.
You can also find many easy recipes and tips by searching the top right-hand corner.
Click on one of these links below to find out more about keto-friendly foods!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is ranch made of eggs?
Eggs are an ingredient in ranch. Whether if it's as an egg yolk or if it's in the form of mayonnaise. However, there's no need to worry there are vegan and egg-free versions available as well.
Why is it called ranch?
Ranch sauce was created by Steve Henson and his wife. They bought a ranch above Santa Barbara and called it Hidden Valley Ranch. They opened up a steakhouse there that became very popular because of its salad dressing.
Is ranch sweet or salty?
It's pretty difficult for people to define the taste of ranch. However, the most accurate definition is a tangy sort of sweetness along with a very creamy texture.