The Quick Report

10 Weird Facts About Ranch Dressing

The blend of mayonnaise, buttermilk, herbs, and spices we call Ranch Dressing isn’t just for salads. It’s one of the most popular flavors in America. Here’s how the craze got started and 10 weird facts about Ranch Dressing.

10. Ranch Dressing Was Created by a Plumber


In 1945, Steve Henson worked as a contract plumber and began perfecting his buttermilk dressing recipe cooking for coworkers. In 1956, Henson and his wife bought a California property and renamed it Hidden Valley Ranch. By 1957, he sold packages of his dressing mix in stores. In 1972, they sold their name and recipe to Clorox for $8 million.

9. Ranch-Flavored Soda

homemade sodas

The flavor of ranch is so popular, it has spun off to foods other than dressings. There are ranch-flavored chips, taco shells, sunflower seeds, and even so many variations on the seasoning. But for the ultimate ranch-flavor junkie, Lester’s Fixins Soda has created “Ranch Dressing Soda.” Some people say while it tastes like a sugary soda, it smells like rancid blue cheese.

8. Ranch is America’s #1 Salad Dressing

homemade ranch

Ranch salad dressing is the most popular in America, receiving 40 percent of the vote in a poll by the Association for Dressings and Sauces. Italian dressing was second with a vote of 10 percent. Ranch has been the best-selling salad dressing in the US since 1992 when it overtook Italian.

7. Ranch-Hating Pizzeria Charges $1,000 for a Side of Ranch


Cane Rosso Deep Ellum Pizzeria in Texas hates it when customers want to dip a slice in ranch dressing. To discourage this abominable practice, the owner mounted a bottle of ranch on the wall with a sign that reads: “Side of Delicious Ranch Dressing $1,000.00.” While it might be a joke, the restaurant doesn’t offer Ranch to its diners.

6. There Have Been 70 Different Hidden Valley Ranch Flavors

bacon on a salad

The original flavor of ranch dressing remains the most popular. However, since acquiring Hidden Valley Ranch, Clorox has experimented with more than 70 different varieties of flavoring. You can find variations such as Avocado Ranch, Cucumber Ranch, and Bacon Ranch. There are also some crazy flavors like Pizza or Taco-flavored Ranch. There’s also a vegetarian version.

5. Thank Doritos for Ranch’s Popularity

Cool Ranch Doritos
Youtube | Tami Dunn

When Henson’s ranch was first sold in the 1950s, it was sold as a dressing mix in stores. Shelf-stable bottles of the creamy dressing weren’t introduced until 1983, a decade after he sold Hidden Valley Ranch dressing to Clorox. In 1986, Cool Ranch Doritos hit grocery shelves and the popularity of ranch dressing skyrocketed.

4. You Can Order a Ranch Dressing Fountain

woman holding bottles of milk on a farm

Chocolate fountains are a mainstay at weddings and other functions. So it only makes sense that Hidden Valley would create a ranch dressing fountain, ranch not included) people can obtain for their parties or weddings. Whether your guests want to dip their veggies or fill up their cup and gulp it straight, there’ll be plenty of Ranch to go around.


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3. Celebrities Love it and Have Been Known to Drink It

ranch in a glass

Some celebrities love Ranch so much, that they don’t need ranch-flavored soda – they drink it straight. Courtney Cox slurped down a bowl of Ranch on Anderson Cooper’s show. Melissa McCarthy chugged down a bowl too. Katy Perry includes Ranch in her backstage rider. Celebrities such as Olivia Wilde and Chrissy Teigen have posted about their love for Ranch.

2. One Restaurant Features Ranch in Every Dish

women at restaurant

The Twisted Ranch restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri, was created and based on an excessive love for ranch dressing. In every dish on the menu, ranch figures prominently. And for those who love ranch dressing, the restaurant has created more than 23 house-made varieties. Even the desserts have Ranch, such as its bread pudding with house ranch.

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1. Today’s Ranch Bears Little-to-No Resemblance to the Original

woman putting ranch on salad

The original ranch dressing invented by Steve Henson was a combination of mayonnaise, a little buttermilk, spices, and herbs. But Clorox and its competitors, seeking to create a shelf-stable formula, tweaked the ingredients by using soybean and canola oil-based alternatives. They’ve also added things like MSG, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, and calcium disodium EDTA among others.

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