Is ranch OK on keto?

The keto diet has become one of the most popular diets for weight loss in recent years. This very low-carb, high-fat diet puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, which causes fat burning and weight loss. However, the keto diet also significantly limits carbs, so many staple foods like bread, pasta, rice, and sugar are off the table. This leaves keto dieters wondering what condiments and dressings are keto-friendly substitutes for their usual favorites. Ranch dressing is one such condiment that leaves people asking: is ranch OK on keto?

What is Ranch Dressing?

Ranch dressing has been a popular condiment in the United States since the 1950s. It has a creamy, tangy flavor from ingredients like buttermilk, mayonnaise, herbs, and spices. Traditional ranch dressing contains about 2 grams of carbohydrates per 2 tablespoon serving. The primary carb sources are sugar and skim milk added to the buttermilk. Ranch gets its tangy zip from distilled vinegar or lemon juice. Onion, garlic, salt, and pepper add seasoning and depth of flavor. Parsley, dill, chives, or other fresh herbs give it a cool, fresh finish.

Is Ranch Keto-Friendly?

The main consideration when choosing keto-friendly foods is the number of net carbs, which is determined by subtracting fiber from total carbs. The standard keto diet aims for around 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. Most types of ranch contain 2-3 grams of net carbs per serving, which fits easily into a daily low-carb keto eating plan. Even doubling the serving size to 2-4 tablespoons of ranch dressing on a salad keeps carbs at a reasonable 4-6 grams. Ranch dressing can therefore be included in moderation as part of a well-formulated ketogenic diet.

Comparing Carbs in Ranch Dressing

Type of Ranch Dressing Net Carbs per 2 Tbsp
Regular bottled ranch 2g
Lite ranch 2g
Homemade ranch with yogurt 3-4g
Homemade ranch with sour cream 1-2g
Keto “Hidden Valley” ranch 1g

As the table shows, most types of ranch are relatively low carb, with 2 grams or less of net carbs per serving. The lowest carb options are homemade ranch made with full-fat sour cream instead of buttermilk yogurt, and keto ranch recipes specifically formulated to minimize carbs. But even regular bottled ranch from the store can fit into a keto eating plan when consumed in moderation.

Tips for Making Ranch Keto-Friendly

While ranch dressing is certainly keto-approved, there are still ways to make it fit better into a ketogenic lifestyle:

Choose full-fat ranch

Going for full-fat ranch rather than low-fat or fat-free versions ensures the highest fat content. Fat should provide most daily calories on keto, so opt for full-fat dressing.

Read labels carefully

Check the nutrition labels closely and look at the carb count rather than just assuming ranch is fine for keto dieting. Lower carb options clock in at around 1 gram of carbs per serving.

Make homemade keto ranch dressing

Whip up a homemade keto ranch recipe that derives thicker texture from sour cream instead of buttermilk. Loading up on fresh parsley and dill adds flavor with zero carbs.

Use in moderation

Stick to about 2-4 tablespoons of ranch per main meal, limiting high-carb condiments in general.

Avoid added sugars

Some flavored or seasoned ranch varieties add extra sugars that can add up fast. Plain ranch has the least amount of carbs.

Pair with low-carb veggies

Dip low-carb veggies like cucumber, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, or celery in ranch for a keto-friendly snack.

Keto Ranch Dressing Recipes

One great way to keep carbs down while getting delicious ranch flavor is to prepare homemade keto ranch recipes. Here are some tasty keto ranch options:

Hidden Valley Ranch Copycat

This recipe mimics the tangy, creamy flavor of America’s favorite bottled ranch dressing while using keto-approved ingredients:

– 1 cup mayonnaise

– 1/2 cup sour cream

– 2 tablespoons white vinegar

– 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

– 1 teaspoon garlic powder

– 1 teaspoon onion powder

– 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

– 1/2 teaspoon dried dill

– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth and combined. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Creamy Avocado Ranch

For an ultra-rich and creamy keto ranch dressing, try this avocado ranch recipe:

– 1 ripe avocado

– 1/2 cup sour cream

– 2 tablespoons lime juice

– 1 tablespoon white vinegar

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 2 tablespoons minced onion

– 1 teaspoon dried dill

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days.

Easy Blender Ranch

Blend up this 5-minute keto ranch dressing in the blender:

– 1 cup mayonnaise

– 1/2 cup sour cream

– 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

– 1 tablespoon lemon juice

– 1 teaspoon onion powder

– 1 teaspoon garlic powder

– 1 teaspoon dried parsley

– 1 teaspoon dried dill

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Store refrigerated.

Potential Downsides of Ranch on Keto

While ranch dressing can certainly be part of a keto diet, there are a couple potential downsides to be aware of:

It’s easy to overdo portions

The creamy, flavorful taste of ranch makes it easy to dip forkful after forkful of veggies, slather large amounts onto a salad, or drink as a sauce over chicken wings. Sticking to about 2 tablespoons per meal takes conscious moderation.

Some flavors add more carbs

Ranch flavors like bacon, chipotle, or other seasonings often have extra sugars. plain varieties are best for limiting carbs.

It’s not as nutritious as alternatives

While delicious, ranch is relatively low in nutrients compared to options like lemon juice, olive oil, or avocado. Limiting ranch in favor of more vitamin- and antioxidant-rich dressings can improve the nutrition of keto meals.

Healthier Keto Ranch Alternatives

To get creamy texture and tangy flavor without all the refined oils, sodium, and preservatives found in bottled dressings, try these healthier keto ranch swaps:

Yogurt ranch

Make ranch with plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise and buttermilk. This lightens it up and boosts protein.

Avocado ranch

Substitute mashed avocado for about half the mayo or sour cream. Avocado provides key nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamins E and K.

Tofu ranch

Blended silken tofu can mimic the texture of buttermilk or mayo in ranch recipes. Use 1/4 cup per 1 cup of mayo.

Cashew ranch

For a nutty flavor, use soaked raw cashews instead of sour cream. Simply blend cashews with the seasoning ingredients.

Olive oil and vinegar

Drizzle salads with a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, and herbs for a lower-calorie tangy topping.

Shopping for Keto-Friendly Ranch

Check your local grocery store for these tasty keto ranch options:

Primal Kitchen Ranch

This brand uses avocado oil instead of soybean oil for a keto-approved ranch. The flavor comes from tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Just 1 gram of carbs per serving.

Paleo Ranch

Paleo-friendly brands like PRIMAL KITCHEN Ranch are ideal for low-carb keto diets too. No added sugars here.

Ken’s Steak House Lite Ranch

Ken’s light ranch cuts the fat and calories without adding extra carbs. Just 0.5 grams of carbs per tablespoon serving.

Marzetti Simply Dressed Ranch

Marzetti removes added sugars and uses canola oil for a keto-friendly bottled ranch with just 1 gram of carbs per serving.

Brianna’s Homestyle Ranch

With cultured whey protein and canola oil, Brianna’s Homestyle Ranch has just 1 gram of net carbs per tablespoon.

Is Homemade or Store-bought Ranch Better?

When trying to cut carbs on keto, homemade ranch dressing made with low-carb dairy tends to be lowest in carbs. However, there are some viable store-bought options as well. Here’s how the two compare:

Homemade Ranch


– Full control over ingredients

– Can sub lower-carb ingredients

– Avoid added sugars

– Fresher, less processed


– More time-consuming

– Ingredients may cost more

– Need right ingredients on hand

– Doesn’t last as long

Store-bought Ranch


– Widely available

– Convenient and fast

– Long shelf life

– Consistent flavor


– May have more added sugars

– Higher carb counts

– More processed ingredients

– Higher sodium

The best option depends on your goals, time considerations, and ingredient access. But homemade can be lower carb if carefully formulated. Check labels carefully if opting for pre-made.


Ranch dressing can be part of a healthy ketogenic diet when consumed in moderation. A serving of 2 tablespoons provides just 1-3 grams of carbs, so it fits easily into daily carb limits on keto. Opt for full-fat, sugar-free varieties or make your own keto ranch recipe to maximize nutrition. Pair ranch with low-carb vegetables rather than pouring over starchy foods. Limit portions to 2-4 tablespoons per meal, and curtail consumption if weight loss stalls. Ranch gives salads and veggies delicious keto-approved flavor, so enjoy sensibly as part of your customized low-carb eating plan for satisfying, sustainable weight loss.

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