Ranch, or commonly known as ranch dressing, is a beloved American condiment that is creamy and tangy, with hints of herbs, garlic, and onion. The use of ranch has evolved since its early days as a salad dressing. It is now creatively used as a dip for chicken wings and fries, drizzled over burgers and pizza, rubbed onto roasts, stirred into stews, and baked into casseroles. Whether you use it often or occasionally, you may be wondering if it goes bad and what is its shelf life. Well you came to the right place.
Ranch does go bad and will stay at best quality for 6 months in the pantry from the date of purchase, or 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator once it is opened. Freezing ranch is not recommended. Ranch may still maintain flavor 4 weeks past the best-by date on the bottle. After that, the vinegar flavor will become stronger.
In this article, we will go over whether ranch goes bad, as well as answer some frequently asked questions, and how to store it properly. We will then review some alternatives to ranch that are great options to keep in mind on your next grocery run. Let’s dip in!
- Does Ranch Go Bad Over Time?
- Does Ranch Need To Be Refrigerated?
- How Can You Tell If Ranch Has Gone Bad?
- How To Properly Store Ranch
- Does Ranch Go Bad After Opening?
- Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Ranch?
- Is Ranch Healthy?
- Alternatives To Ranch
- Yo Mama’s American Ranch Dressing & Dip
- Daiya Homestyle Plant-Based Ranch Dressing
- Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch with Avocado Oil
- Primal Kitchen Green Goddess Dressing & Marinade With Avocado Oil
- Naya’s Foods Babaganoush Dip
- Naya’s Foods Cauliflower Hummus – Lemon Garlic
- Brami Lupini Hummus – Garlic & Rosemary
- Related Questions
Does Ranch Go Bad Over Time?
Ranch does go bad over time, as the vinegar flavor will become stronger past the best-by date on the bottle. Ranch will still be safe to eat beyond that time if it was properly stored in the refrigerator after it was opened, but it may not taste the same.
Does Ranch Need To Be Refrigerated?
Ranch does need to be refrigerated if it is opened. It will last 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. If unopened, it can stay in the pantry for 6 months from the date of purchase.
How Can You Tell If Ranch Has Gone Bad?
The best way to tell if ranch has gone bad is to smell and look at the dressing. If you smell an off odor or see any changes in the color or appearance, it should be discarded.
Look for signs of mold on the mouth of the bottle or on the cap, as it will most likely appear there before it appears in the dressing itself. Even if mold is not in the dressing, but it is on the mouth of the bottle or on the cap, it should be discarded. Do not eat any type of food that has signs of mold.
Mold can take on a variety of colors such as green, white, black or grey. It also typically has a fuzzy or dusty texture.
How To Properly Store Ranch
- If you do not plan to open your ranch bottle, it can be safely stored in the pantry for 6 months from the date of purchase.
- If opened, always keep ranch tightly closed. It will be good 3-4 weeks after opening in the refrigerator.
- Freezing ranch is not recommended.
- Homemade ranch should be refrigerated at all times and consumed within 2 weeks.
Does Ranch Go Bad After Opening?
If opened, ranch will be safe to consume 4 weeks past the best-by date on the bottle if it was stored properly, the bottle is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage. Commercially produced ranch could have a “best-by” date, “best-if-used-by” date, “best-before” date, or “best-when-used-by” date. That is the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the ranch will remain at best quality.
Generally, ranch will be at best quality 3-4 weeks if opened and refrigerated. After that time, make sure to look for signs of spoilage before consuming.
Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Ranch?
If ranch was stored properly, and does not show signs of spoilage, it may still be safe to consume beyond the date on the bottle up to 4 weeks. If there are signs of spoilage, it could make you sick. Signs of food poisoning from eating moldy food include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes fever, body pain, and chills. If food poisoning symptoms do not resolve after 3 days or worsen, seek medical attention immediately.
Is Ranch Healthy?
Commercially produced ranch is not very healthy. Hidden Valley, one popular brand that produces ranch, has a long list of ingredients, which include artificial flavors, preservatives, and flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG). Some people may experience sensitivities to these ingredients.
It also contains high amounts of fat per serving size, as well as saturated fat. Two tablespoons of Hidden Valley original ranch contain 14 grams of fat, which is 17% daily value; and 2 grams saturated fat, which is 10% daily value.
The sodium content is also quite high for a 2-tablespoon serving providing 260 milligrams of sodium, which is 11% daily value. The American Heart Association recommends an ideal total limit of 1500 milligrams of sodium a day, and no more than 2300 milligrams.
Being the popular condiment that it is, ranch is very easy to over indulge in beyond the serving size quantity, leading to higher amounts of fat and sodium consumption.
To avoid some of the unhealthy ingredients from the leading brands of ranch, there are healthier alternatives available on the market. The following are some options you can try instead.
Alternatives To Ranch
Yo Mama’s American Ranch Dressing & Dip
A delicious Mama-approved dressing, Yo-Mama’s American Ranch Dressing & Dip is a much healthier alternative to regular ranch. It is made with real and recognizable ingredients with no gums, fillers, or preservatives. It is also lower in sodium and carbohydrates, and no sugar added. It is dairy-free and gluten-free.
Daiya Homestyle Plant-Based Ranch Dressing
If you’re looking for a plant-based ranch dressing, Daiya Homestyle Plant-Based Ranch Dressing is the way to go. Daiya is known for being a vegan-friendly brand that provides all the flavor of classic products without the animal-based ingredients.
This plant-based ranch is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, non-GMO, and low in sugar. This dressing goes well on top of salads, as a dip for veggies, and great with chips.
Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch with Avocado Oil
Made with wholesome ingredients, organic avocado oil, and nothing processed or artificial, Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch with Avocado Oil is another healthy vegan alternative to ranch. It was even voted as the #1 bestselling dressing in natural grocery in 2017. This ranch is packed with organic herbs and spices, and made without preservatives, artificial additives, natural flavors, industrial seed oils, or refined sugar.
It has all the creamy texture and delicious flavor of traditional ranch, but with premium plant-based ingredients. It is gluten-free, ketogenic, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, non-GMO, paleo, and organic. Use this dressing as you normally would as a dip, dressing, topping, or just about any other meal.
Primal Kitchen Green Goddess Dressing & Marinade With Avocado Oil
Made with organic herbs and spices, Primal Kitchen Green Goddess Dressing & Marinade with Avocado Oil is another tasty alternative to ranch. It is classic and creamy and features herbs and spices such as tarragon, black pepper, garlic, chives, and parsley.
It works great as a marinade as well. It is gluten-free, ketogenic, paleo, whole30 compatible, dairy-free, vegetarian, non-GMO, soy-free, cholesterol-free, low in sugar, and contains no dyes or color additives.
Naya’s Foods Babaganoush Dip
Full of eggplant, garlic, and onion flavors, Naya’s Foods Babaganoush Dip is a unique alternative to ranch. It is creamy, savory, smokey, and so much healthier than ranch. It is made with 7 simple ingredients, ketogenic, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, low in sugar, low in sodium, non-GMO, plant-based, and just plain delicious.
Naya’s Foods Cauliflower Hummus – Lemon Garlic
A low-carb dip with a vibrant lemon and garlic flavor, Naya’s Foods Cauliflower Hummus is another healthy Mediterranean alternative to ranch. The creamy texture of this cauliflower hummus mimics traditional chickpeas and is great on sandwiches, toast, and as a dip on veggie platters.
Each serving is only 30 calories with 1 gram net carbs. It is ketogenic, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, non-GMO, low in sugar, and low in sodium.
Brami Lupini Hummus – Garlic & Rosemary
Made with a nutritious legume from the Mediterranean, Brami Lupini Hummus – Garlic & Rosemary flavor is a delicious alternative to ranch. It is made with extra virgin olive oil and has 50% fewer carbohydrates than regular hummus.
It provides an addicting and unique flavor of garlic and rosemary, as well as plant protein and fiber. It is ketogenic, gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, non-GMO, soy-free, sugar-free, and contains no artificial ingredients.
Is ranch keto-friendly?
Yes, ranch is keto-friendly as it contains 2 grams carbohydrates and 1 gram sugar per serving size of 2 tablespoons. For healthier keto-friendly alternatives, there are some listed in this article above.
Is ranch gluten-free?
Yes, ranch is typically gluten-free, but to be safe, always read the labels and look for allergen information. Popular brands such as Hidden Valley, Kraft, and Ken’s are all gluten-free. If you want healthier gluten-free alternatives, there are some gluten-free options listed in this article above.
Is ranch vegan-friendly?
No, ranch is not vegan-friendly as it is typically made with milk and eggs. To avoid animal products in ranch, look for plant-based alternatives. There are some listed in this article above.