Is Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning gluten-free?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people choosing to avoid gluten for medical reasons or personal preferences. For those following a gluten-free diet, it can be challenging to determine which products and ingredients are safe to consume. One popular seasoning mix that often comes into question is Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms and health issues. People with these conditions need to strictly avoid all foods and products containing gluten.

Some other people choose to follow a gluten-free diet because they believe it is generally healthier, although there is limited scientific evidence to support this. Either way, it is important for anyone avoiding gluten to be diligent about checking labels and ingredients lists. Even small amounts of gluten can cause problems.

What is Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning?

Hidden Valley Ranch is one of the most popular brands of salad dressing and dip mixes in the United States. The original Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning mix first hit supermarket shelves back in the 1950s. It was created by plumbing company owner Steve Henson, who formulated the zesty blend of herbs, spices and seasonings to use at his dude ranch in California.

Over the decades, the Hidden Valley Ranch brand has expanded to include multiple seasoning mixes for dips, dressings and snacks. But the original dry seasoning mix remains one of the most beloved and top-selling items from Hidden Valley. The small packets are a pantry staple in many households.

The dry Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix is made up of common dried herbs and spices like parsley, garlic, onion, salt, black pepper and more. It does not contain some of the additional ingredients found in Hidden Valley’s refrigerated or bottled ranch dressings, like dairy products, vinegar and liquid oils.

Does Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning contain gluten?

After carefully reviewing the ingredients list printed on packets of Hidden Valley Original Ranch dry seasoning mix, there is no indication that the product contains any gluten-based ingredients. Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix ingredients include:

– Salt
– Monosodium glutamate
– Garlic powder
– Onion powder
– Buttermilk powder
– Dextrose
– Spices
– Parsley
– Dried lemon peel
– Natural flavorings
– Dried parsley
– Lactic acid

None of these listed ingredients are derived from gluten-containing grains. There are no wheat, barley, rye or malt ingredients that would introduce gluten into the mix. Based on the ingredient list alone, Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning appears to be gluten-free.

However, it is always important to check for additional warnings or labeling statements on the packaging when verifying gluten content. On Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning packets, there are no allergen warnings or statements indicating the presence of wheat, gluten or grain-based ingredients.

The packaging states the product is made in a facility that processes milk, soy and egg ingredients. But facilities that process multiple allergens will often list a disclaimer like “may contain trace amounts of wheat and soy”, if there is any risk of cross-contamination with gluten. The Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packets do not include such a warning.

What Hidden Valley Ranch says about gluten content

In addition to reviewing the dry seasoning’s ingredients list and packaging, the most reliable way to determine if a product contains gluten is to contact the manufacturer directly.

On Hidden Valley Ranch’s website, under their “Ranch Products and Gluten-Free FAQs” page, they provide the following helpful information about their dry seasoning mixes:

“Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® salad dressing & seasoning mix products are labeled gluten-free to indicate compliance with FDA regulations which define gluten-free foods as those foods containing less than 20 parts per million of gluten from all sources, including ingredients, processing aids, and cross-contact.”

Elsewhere on their FAQ page, in response to the question “Is Hidden Valley® Ranch® gluten-free?” they state:

“Yes, our Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® salad dressing & seasoning mixes are certified gluten-free to less than 20ppm.”

Hidden Valley Ranch clearly indicates that their original dry seasoning mix, along with some other products, are considered certified gluten-free per FDA standards and testing procedures. This verification comes directly from the manufacturer, providing reliable confirmation that the popular dry Hidden Valley Ranch packets do not contain any significant traces of gluten.

Certifications and testing

In addition to Hidden Valley Ranch’s assurances, independent gluten-free watchdog organizations have also verified the gluten-free status of the dry seasoning mix.

The Celiac Support Association includes Hidden Valley Original Ranch Mix on their list of approved gluten-free products that they have assessed and endorse.

The Celiac Sprue Association’s (CSA) Recognition Seal program also certifies that Hidden Valley Ranch Mix is gluten-free to less than 5 parts per million. For products to earn CSA certification, testing must confirm there is no gluten present within these strict limits of detection.

These respected certifications provide added assurance that independent testing and analysis has verified the absence of gluten in Hidden Valley original dry Ranch seasoning.

User experiences

In addition to official manufacturing and testing data, it can also be helpful to consider the experiences of consumers who have tried using the Hidden Valley Ranch dry mixes while following gluten-free diets:

– On Reddit’s r/Celiac forum, community members largely confirm that Hidden Valley dry mixes are safe and do not cause reactions. One user states “Hidden Valley Ranch packets are totally gluten free and don’t give me any trouble.”

– Reviews of the product on mostly report that Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packets are “safe for celiacs”.

– Various recipe sites and blogs focused on gluten-free cooking call for Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning as an ingredient without concerns or warnings about gluten content.

– On, the product has thousands of reviews and feedback indicating safe use by those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. “Perfect for my gluten free diet!” shared one customer.

While individual experiences can vary, there seems to be wide consensus among the gluten-free community that Hidden Valley original dry Ranch mixes can be safely consumed.

Risk of cross-contamination

Although the Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning mix itself does not contain any gluten ingredients, some who are highly sensitive may still wish to consider potential cross-contamination risks:

– The seasoning is produced on shared equipment alongside wheat-based products. However, thorough cleaning and batch testing is conducted.

– Packets could come into contact with gluten products during bottling, transportation or storage.

– Errors in packaging facilities or product substitutions in stores could lead to gluten exposure.

– People using the packets at home may introduce crumbs via utensils, containers, etc.

For the majority of gluten-free consumers, these potential scenarios pose minimal risk. But the most sensitive individuals may choose to take extra precautions, such as:

– Contacting Hidden Valley for detailed questions on manufacturing processes.

– Only purchasing the seasoning from stores with strong allergen controls.

– Keeping the packets in a separate marked container in the pantry.

– Using fresh utensils and clean bowls when preparing dressings or dips.

Being aware of cross-contamination risks is part of staying vigilant on a gluten-free diet, but these risks appear relatively low with this particular product.

Alternatives to Hidden Valley Ranch

Although the evidence indicates Hidden Valley’s original dry ranch seasoning mix is gluten-free and safe for most consumers, some may prefer to avoid it due to personal sensitivities, or just to be extra cautious. Luckily there are a number of alternatives, including:

Make your own ranch seasoning

Homemade ranch dressing and seasoning is easy to whip up with basic dried herbs like parsley, dill, chives, garlic powder, onion powder and savory salt-free seasonings. Getting creative with personalized seasonings can be fun too. Homemade allows full control over ingredients.

Use other brand name packet mixes

Some other dry ranch dressing and seasoning mixes from brands like McCormick, Clubhouse and Great Value have been verified as gluten-free. Always important to check labels and contact manufacturers to confirm.

Try ranch flavoring without packets

Bottles of liquid ranch dressings and shelf-stable ranch dip and dressing cups from brands like Ken’s Steakhouse provide ranch flavor without any seasoning packets required.

Use ranch powder alternatives

Brands like Edward & Son’s offer gluten-free vegan “ranch” flavored products made from alternate whole food ingredients like cassava flour, chickpea flour and nutritional yeast.

Make salad dressings from scratch

Fresh homemade salad dressing made with oil, vinegar, lemon juice or other acids provides flavor for salad greens without needing packet mixes. Get creative with unique ingredient combinations.

Use other gluten-free dressings and marinades

Explore the wide varieties of pre-made gluten-free salad dressings, marinades and sauce packets available from specialty brands. Use them straight or mix with yogurt or mayo for dips.

Use plain Greek yogurt

Plain nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with a little lemon juice, vinegar or gluten-free seasoning makes an easy creamy ranch-style dip without the seasoning packets. Sprinkle in fresh or dried herbs.

For most people avoiding gluten, Hidden Valley Original dry Ranch seasoning is considered a safe option based on manufacturer disclosures and certifications. But alternatives are readily available for those who wish to be extra careful or want more homemade, natural options. With some simple ingredient swaps and substitutions, it’s easy to achieve the zesty ranch flavor so many love in a gluten-free way.

Is Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning vegan?

In addition to being gluten-free, one other common question around Hidden Valley Original Ranch dry seasoning is whether or not the packets are vegan friendly. Here is a quick rundown on the vegan status:

– Contains milk-derived ingredients: The Ranch packets list buttermilk powder amongst the ingredients, which is a milk-based dairy product. This means the seasoning is not considered fully plant-based or vegan.

– May contain other animal products: Hidden Valley states their products could include other animal-derived ingredients like whey or egg. They advise vegans contact them for details.

– Not certified vegan: There is no vegan certification symbol or language on the packaging. Hidden Valley does not market the product as vegan.

– Considered vegetarian but not vegan: Some vegetarians who include dairy may still consume Ranch packets, but those following a vegan diet would need to avoid them.

– Has lactose: The buttermilk powder contains lactose, so those with lactose intolerance need to be aware.

– Not recommended for vegans: Due to the confirmed dairy content and potential presence of other animal ingredients, most dietary resources do not list standard Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packets as vegan friendly.

However, there are some easy swaps vegans can use to recreate the zesty Ranch flavor themselves:

– Make homemade ranch seasoning from scratch using only plant-based ingredients. Lots of homemade spice blend recipes can be found online.

– Use vegan ranch dressing or dip packets from brands like Sweet Earth Foods or Edward & Sons.

– Mix plain vegan mayo or yogurt with lemon juice and herbs or spices for ranch taste.

– Use followyourheart brand vegan Ranch dressing or Just Ranch sauce as substitutes.

So in summary, no – standard Hidden Valley Original Ranch dry seasoning mixes are not considered vegan due to containing milk-derived ingredients. But with some simple substitutions or homemade mixes, vegans can still enjoy the classic ranch flavor.

Nutrition facts for Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning

When checking the nutrition facts for Hidden Valley Original Ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix, here are some of the key points:

Serving size

– 1 tbsp (7g) of seasoning mix

Calories and macronutrients

Per 1 tablespoon (7g) serving:

– 25 calories
– 5g carbohydrates (2% DV)
– 0g protein
– 0g fat
– 290mg sodium (12% DV)


The Ranch packet seasoning contains small amounts of:

– Calcium: 2% DV
– Iron: 2% DV
– Potassium: <1% DV It does not contain significant amounts of any other vitamins or minerals.

Sugar and fiber

Per serving, the mix provides:

– 2g total sugars
– 0g fiber
– 0g added sugars
– 0g sugar alcohols

So the seasoning derives most of its carbohydrates from sugar rather than fiber or complex carbs.

Sodium content

With 290mg sodium per serving, the Ranch mix provides 12% of the daily recommended limit of 2300mg per day.

However, this is just considering the concentrated seasoning packet on its own. Once diluted into a full batch of dressing or dip, the sodium level becomes significantly reduced.

Fat, protein and nutrients

The Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning does not provide any significant amounts of protein, fat, vitamins or minerals. It’s mostly a source of sodium and herbs/spices for flavor.

Any nutritional value would come from whatever food items the seasoning is added to, like salad greens, vegetables, etc. Overall, the seasoning packets themselves are low in nutrients.


As discussed previously, while the Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning is gluten-free, it does contain milk ingredients and potentially other allergens:

– Contains milk: due to buttermilk powder

– May contain egg, soy and wheat: per manufacturing facility disclaimer

So those with allergies beyond just gluten should still exercise caution and contact the manufacturer for details.

Should you consume Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packets often?

While the Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning is gluten-free and generally safe for most people in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, some nutrition experts warn against overusing the popular packet mixes. Here are some drawbacks to watch out for:

High in sodium

With 290mg sodium per serving, the Ranch mix is relatively high in sodium if used regularly. This could potentially impact blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

Added sugars

The 2g of sugars per serving come entirely from added sugars rather than natural sources. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 24g per day for women and 36g for men. Frequent use of the seasoning packets could boost added sugar intake.

May encourage poor eating habits

Some dietitians argue that dumping ranch powder on veggies may promote unhealthy relationships with food and an over-reliance on flavor enhancers.

Limited nutrients

Aside from some herbs and spices, the Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning provides very minimal vitamins, minerals, protein or fiber. It is not delivering much nutritional value.

Better options available

Making homemade seasoning blends and dressings allows for more control over sodium content, sugar sources, flavor profiles and nutrients.

So while occasional use of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning is unlikely to cause harm for most people, nutrition pros advise using discretion rather than relying on the packets as an everyday cooking crutch.

The bottom line

After reviewing ingredients lists, manufacturer information, certifications, consumer experiences and nutritional data, the consensus is clear:

Yes – Hidden Valley Ranch’s original dry salad dressing and seasoning mix packets are gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. The product contains no wheat, barley or rye ingredients, and Hidden Valley clearly states the mix is gluten-free per FDA regulations. Independent lab testing has verified non-detectable levels of gluten.

However, the seasoning packets do contain milk ingredients and are processed on shared equipment with potential for cross-contact allergens. So universal precautions should still be taken by those with extreme sensitivities. While not certified vegan, substitute products or homemade recipes can provide the zesty Ranch taste for plant-based diets.

In terms of nutrition, the Ranch packet seasoning is low in calories, fat and carbs, but high in sodium if overused. Some dietitians recommend consuming only in moderation as part of an overall nutrient-dense diet, not relying on it as an everyday flavor booster.

For the majority following gluten-free diets, though, Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning packets can be considered a safe and convenient pantry staple for adding zing to salads, veggies, dips and more – as long as moderation and good mixing practices are kept in mind. With vigilance, care in the kitchen, and smart occasional use, most gluten-sensitive individuals can continue to enjoy this tasty, beloved and iconic American staple.

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