What kind of ranch can you eat on keto?

The ketogenic diet, commonly known as keto, is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares similarities with low carb diets like the Atkins diet. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. On keto, you typically restrict your carb intake to under 50 grams per day. This can result in weight loss and major improvements in certain health conditions. There are many different foods you can eat on keto, but you do have to be careful with condiments like salad dressings and sauces. Many popular dressings and sauces are high in sugar and can contain starch thickeners like cornstarch. This makes certain ranch dressings off-limits on keto. However, there are some keto-friendly ranch options available.

What is ranch dressing?

Ranch dressing is an American salad dressing made from buttermilk, mayonnaise, and herbs including dill, parsley, garlic, onion, mustard and pepper. It has a creamy texture and a tangy, seasoned flavor. Traditional ranch dressing contains around 2 grams of carbohydrates per 2 tablespoon (30ml) serving. The main carb sources are the small amounts of sugars and starches naturally found in buttermilk and mayonnaise. The herbs and spices used in ranch provide most of the flavor. While ranch dressing is not extremely high carb, many commercial brands add thickeners and sweeteners that can increase the carb count substantially. For this reason, traditional ranch dressings made with additional sugars, starches and vegetable oils should typically be avoided on a ketogenic diet. However, there are some keto-friendly ranch dressing options made with healthy fats and zero added sugars.

Why be cautious with ranch dressing on keto?

Here are a few reasons why you need to be cautious with ranch dressing on a ketogenic diet:

  • Added sugars: Many commercial brands add high-fructose corn syrup or other sugars to enhance the flavor. Even a few grams of added sugar can knock you out of ketosis.
  • Starch thickeners: Brands often use starch from corn, wheat or other grains to thicken ranch dressing. Starches raise blood sugar levels and can easily take you over your carb limit for the day.
  • Vegetable oils: Standard ranch dressings are made with inflammatory vegetable oils like soybean, canola and corn oil. These oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Low fat versions: Low fat ranch dressings replace the fat with more sugar and starches and provide little nutritional value.
  • Portion control: Ranch has a creamy, rich texture that makes it easy to consume more than you realize, leading to excess carb intake.

For these reasons, you need to read ingredient labels carefully and watch your portions if consuming store-bought ranch dressing on keto. Better yet, make your own healthy keto ranch dressing at home.

Keto-Friendly Ranch Dressing Options

While traditional store-bought ranch dressings may not fit into a keto diet, there are many keto-friendly ranch dressing alternatives you can purchase or make on your own. Here are some great options:

Purchase Keto-Friendly Ranch Dressings

Several companies now make keto-friendly ranch dressings with below 3g net carbs per serving. Here are some good store-bought options:

  • Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing: 2g net carbs
  • Brianna’s Asiago Ranch Dressing: 1g net carb
  • Paleo Paprika Ranch Dressing by Wildbrine: 1g net carb
  • Better Than Good Gourmet Ranch: 0g net carbs
  • Tessemae’s Organic Ranch Dressing: 1g net carb

When purchasing, read the labels carefully and look for versions without added sugars. Watch the serving sizes as well.

Make Your Own Keto Ranch Dressing

Making your own healthy keto ranch dressing at home is easy. Here are some basic recipes to try:

Basic Keto Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate before serving.

Creamy Keto Ranch with Greek Yogurt

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Whisk together all ingredients or blend until smooth.

Keto Bacon Ranch Dressing

  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix ingredients together, adding some reserved bacon grease if needed to thin.

Keto Ranch Dressing Nutrition Facts

Making your own keto ranch dressing allows you to control the nutrition content. Here are some nutrition facts per 2 tablespoon (30ml) serving for basic homemade ranch:

Calories and Macros

Calories 140
Fat 15g
Carbs 2g
Fiber 0g
Net Carbs 2g
Protein 0g

As you can see, this DIY keto ranch dressing is high in fat with minimal carbs and moderate calories. The small amount of carbs comes from the dairy products.

Vitamins and Minerals

Homemade ranch dressing provides a good amount of fat-soluble vitamins A and K. You’ll also get small amounts of vitamins B12, C, D, E, folate and calcium. The fresh parsley, dill, garlic and lemon juice give it micronutrients not found in store-bought versions.

Tips for Using Ranch Dressing on Keto

Here are some tips for using ranch dressing successfully on a ketogenic diet:

  • Read labels and aim for 1-2g net carbs or less per serving.
  • Stick to full fat ranch made with healthy oils like olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Avoid low fat or fat free ranch dressings.
  • Measure carefully as even keto-friendly ranch is easy to over consume.
  • Drizzle over salads instead of dunking to control portions.
  • Use as a veggie dip or sauce for keto-friendly chicken tenders or pork rinds.
  • Make your own from scratch so you know all the ingredients.
  • Water it down and use as a salad dressing to make it go further.
  • Add ranch flavor to tuna, chicken or egg salad.
  • Combine with mayo and stuff into tomatoes or cucumbers.

With the right ranch dressing choice and careful portioning, you can definitely include this flavorful condiment in your low carb diet.

Healthy Keto Ranch Recipes

Ranch dressing is very versatile on a ketogenic diet. Here are some healthy keto recipes that use ranch dressing:

Keto Ranch Chicken Salad

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup keto mayo or ranch dressing
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until combined.

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wings

  • 3 lbs chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup keto ranch dressing

Bake wings at 400F for 40-50 minutes until crispy. Toss in a bowl with hot sauce and butter. Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.

Ranch Pork Rind Breadcrumbs

A crispy coating for keto fried foods:

  • 2 cups pork rinds, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup keto ranch dressing

Mix all ingredients together. Use to coat keto fried chicken, fish or vegetables.

Ranch Bacon Deviled Eggs

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
  • 2 Tbsp keto mayo
  • 1 Tbsp ranch dressing
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Scoop out egg yolks into a bowl, mash and mix in remaining ingredients except bacon. Scoop back into whites, top with bacon crumbles.

Loaded Keto Ranch Baked Potato

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, riced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp each onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 slices cooked crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sliced green onion

Roast riced cauliflower in oil and seasonings at 400F for 10 minutes. Mix in ranch dressing, bacon, cheese and green onion. Bake 5 more minutes until hot.


Many commercial brands of ranch dressing contain added sugars and starches that make them inappropriate for keto. However, there are some keto-friendly ranch options available in stores made with healthy fats and minimal carbs. Even better, ranch dressing is easy to make at home so you can control the ingredients. When buying pre-made ranch dressing, read labels carefully and aim for 1-2 grams net carbs or less per serving. Stick to full fat versions made with olive, avocado or coconut oil instead of vegetable oils. Making your own allows you to skip any preservatives or inflammatory oils. Simple keto ranch recipes only require basic ingredients like mayo, Greek yogurt, vinegar and seasonings. Measuring portions is important, but there are many tasty ways to incorporate ranch flavor into keto meals. Overall, ranch dressing can fit into a well-formulated ketogenic diet when you choose the right products and recipes.

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