Primal Kitchen Ranch Review

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr. Jennifer Hughes, MD

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Primal Kitchen Ranch displays a clean ingredient list and is the most cost-effective combination of organic ingredients at this price point (though it's still expensive). Don't expect it to have the exact taste and thickness as classic ranch dressing, but it's tasty in its own right.

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Our Rating:

A-

» Rating Methodology

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Our Rating Methodology

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Ingredients & Nutritional Quality: A+
  • User Experience: B+
  • Brand Experience: A
  • Value: A-
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Welcome to our Primal Kitchen Ranch review!

The next stop in our tour of Primal Kitchen’s clean, gluten-free dressings and dips, ranch is an American obsession that leaves many salad-prone dieters in mourning when cutting out the dressing for health reasons.

This is why we’re thankful to see high-quality sauce and condiment brands like Primal Kitchen restoring the buttermilk-based indulgence into a more nutritionally sound version.

However, considering the exalted state of ranch, both the stakes and the standards are high for Primal Kitchen Ranch or any other brand that dare to offer a healthier alternative of the same name. 

And so, we dipped, we dabbed, and we slathered it on, arriving at the conclusion that this is a very tasty, somewhat runny, but overall fitting replacement for this staple condiment.

Primal Kitchen Ranch earned an overall grade of A in our review, and as long as you’re open to trying a slightly different version, we recommend it for anyone looking for a cleaner alternative.

Primal Kitchen Ranch
  • Description

    Meet Primal Kitchen Ranch: It’s “ranchy,” if not runny, but easy on the taste buds and far superior to the ingredient quality status quo.

  • Ingredients:

    Avocado Oil, Water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Egg Yolks, Sea Salt, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Cream of Tartar, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate*, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Parsley, Organic Chives, Organic Dill, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Rosemary Extract.
    *Adds a negligible amount of sugar

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • Far superior nutritional value over “standard” ranch
  • Little compromise on taste
  • Cons
  • Significantly thinner than other versions
  • Premium price

Ingredients and Nutritional Quality

Summary:

Grade: A+

Both for what is in the ingredient list (a dozen plus organic ingredients) and what isn’t (harsh preservatives or added sugar of any kind), Primal Kitchen Ranch exemplifies a clean alternative to a historically unhealthy product.

Here is the ingredient list for Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing:

Avocado Oil, Water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Egg Yolks, Sea Salt, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Cream of Tartar, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate*, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Parsley, Organic Chives, Organic Dill, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Rosemary Extract.
*Adds a negligible amount of sugar

Consistent with their other sauces and dressings (Like Primal Kitchen’s Caesar Dressing), Primal Kitchen stacks more than a dozen organic, nutrient-dense ingredients like garlic and onion powder, dill, rosemary, and more on a base of avocado oil, leaving little room for criticism on the grounds of nutritional quality.

Still, some who are less familiar with these thickeners and flavorings—organic guar gum, nutritional yeast, and organic gum acacia—may hesitate when first encountering these seemingly “preservative-adjacent” entries on the Primal Kitchen Ranch ingredient list.

While it’s true that these three ingredients are generally used not for nutritional purposes, but as thickeners and flavorings, that doesn’t mean that safe and nutritionally valuable versions of these thickeners and flavorings don’t exist.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the three ingredients as used in Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing to clear things up:

Nutritional yeast is an inactivated form of the same yeast commonly used in bread and beer (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and though it doesn’t make for very good bread or beer, this umami flavoring is fairly rich in protein, antioxidants, and several micronutrients.

Organic gum acacia is an indigestible, fiber-rich polysaccharide (usually used as a thickener/emulsifier) that has been associated with weight loss and other health benefits; the USDA has recognized acacia as safe for human consumption since the 1970s.

Organic guar gum is another fiber-rich polysaccharide—this one being sourced from guar beans—that can thicken and hold together foods while kicking in a little protein as well. 

In other words, if you need thickeners and emulsifiers, which is reasonably expected in the case of ranch dressing, then these are top-shelf choices.

In light of the ingredient quality and the complete lack of added sugar or harmful additives (see nutrition facts here), we award Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing an A+ for ingredient and nutritional quality.

User Experience

Summary:

Grade: B+

Primal Kitchen Ranch has an enjoyable flavor – if not a bit of a departure from the norm – but it’s very thin and runny compared to most other ranch dressings.

Here we aim to capture every aspect of our direct experiences reviewing the product, including the taste and texture, condition of the product on receipt, use of the packaging, shelf life, and more.

Since we took to our local grocery stores to source Primal Kitchen Ranch this time, the issue of packaging quality or shipping windows is moot, but the product was undamaged.

Similarly, we had no issues with the product losing its freshness prematurely, and the packaging (standard glass bottle with plastic threaded lid) gave us no issues.

We opted to try this dressing with several different foods so that we could give it a chance to showcase every aspect of the flavor, so we picked up one of those egregiously overpriced vegetable trays on our way out of the store.

The afternoon of dipping and crunching that ensued yielded two impressions very similar to that of our Primal Kitchen Teriyaki experience: the taste is above average, but this dressing is very thin.

Primal Kitchen continually demonstrates their ability to innovatively formulate around problematic ingredients while retaining a pleasant—though sometimes different—flavor. 

Such was the case here, as we enjoyed the familiar properties of ranch—creamy, savory, spiked with flavorful herbs—while also acknowledging subtle differences in flavor like the slightly saltier and more distinctly herbal delivery.

However, as mentioned, Primal Kitchen’s Ranch Dressing does itself no favors in comparison to the thick and creamy texture of “conventional ranch,” as their product is noticeably runnier and thinner.

It takes more than a single dip to coat your piece of food in the dressing; we had to pull the old “tilt the bowl and spin the carrot around in the dip” move before quickly chomping on the carrot to keep it from running off.

If you like your ranch dressing or dip thick and creamy, this might be a turnoff, but for many, the flavor and the much cleaner ingredient list is sure to compensate for the issue.

Using both of these scenarios (creamy ranch purist versus the rest) to balance our grade, we’ve arrived at a B+ for user experience.

Brand Experience

Summary:

Grade: A

Short of a couple of small improvements to be made in shipping policies and site content, Primal Kitchen informs, engages, and accommodates their customers very well.

Here we briefly depart from our closeup on the product to credit the brand based on the overall experience they provide current and prospective customers, which encompasses several factors like:

  • Depth, breadth, and quality of website content
  • Ease/fluidity of the online shopping experience
  • Customer service
  • Shipping and return policies
  • And more

Though we didn’t need to contact customer service in this particular case of sampling Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing, we explain in our Primal Kitchen review that their services and their response were above average.

Primal Kitchen offers phone, email, and live messenger support, and when contacting them through these services, we received prompt, personalized, and helpful responses to all of our questions.

The free shipping threshold of $50 for subscribers and $25 for non-subscribers provides a compelling incentive (and frankly, it’s not that hard to hit either mark with just a few products), and our products—when shipped in the past—arrived consistently on time.

Content-wise, the site offers enough breadth and depth to engage new visitors and Primal Kitchen veterans alike—thanks to their info-rich blog posts and a library of podcast episodes—but the information is not clearly consolidated.

The shopping experience is very fluid, informative, and unobtrusive, aided by simple drop-down menus that parse out the otherwise cumbersomely large catalog (more than 80 products) into categories.

Every product page is well designed and loaded with helpful content without seeming cluttered or confusing, and the “this much more to free shipping” meter is a clever way to gently nudge shoppers towards a mutually beneficial incentive.

Other than the issue of beginner-friendly info consolidation, our only gripe is that Primal Kitchen doesn’t pay return shipping.

Balancing everything, we give Primal Kitchen an A for brand experience. 

Value

Summary:

Grade: A-

Primal Kitchen Ranch isn’t cheap, but neither is the quality, as the ingredient list outperforms even more expensive competitors.

Primal Kitchen Ranch is priced at $7.99 on the Primal Kitchen website, which reduces to just under $1 per ounce (8oz bottle).

As most of us know, you can certainly find a wealth of undercutters dipping far below this line, even as low as $0.20 with some brands.

However, assuming you’re not interested in a cocktail of highly processed vegetable oil, preservatives, and added sugar, we’re going to keep this lowest tier where it belongs—out of the running altogether.

High-quality competitors of Primal Kitchen Ranch generally range from $0.75-$1.20 per ounce, and though some of them come close on ingredient quality, none (even the most expensive at just over $1.20/ounce) have quite as many natural, organic ingredients as Primal Kitchen’s offering. 

Still, there’s no denying you’re paying a premium for Primal Kitchen Ranch’s superior nutritional value, and the thinness of the product doesn’t serve this equation of price versus quality (and quantity) well because you may need to pour out a bit more than usual.

All the above considered, we give Primal Kitchen Ranch an A- for value.

FAQs

Is Primal Kitchen Ranch healthy?

Each person’s definition of healthy may vary slightly based on their own dietary needs and other factors, but thanks to Primal Kitchen Ranch’s largely organic ingredient list and zero added sugar, it’s healthier than the vast majority of store-bought ranch dressings.

How long does Primal Kitchen Ranch last?

Each bottle of Primal Kitchen Ranch has a “best by” date printed on the bottle, and Primal Kitchen recommends refrigerating and fully using within 60 days of opening.

What is the healthiest salad dressing?

Though Primal Kitchen’s version of ranch is certainly healthier than most, oil/vinegar, sesame, and citrus-based dressings are generally regarded as the healthiest dressings.

Is Primal Kitchen Ranch Keto?

Yes, Primal Kitchen Ranch is certified Keto.

Our Verdict

Primal Kitchen Ranch continues Primal’s tradition of developing clean ingredient lists with very little in the way of harmful additives, including added sugar.

The taste is enjoyable and certainly ranch-like, but not exactly the same, and the product is significantly thinner than most ranch dressings.

Primal Kitchen supports this product and all others in their catalog with responsive and accommodating customer service, fair shipping and return policies, informative (but somewhat scattered) site content, and more.

Finally, the price isn’t going to win any awards, but we were unable to find a more cost-effective combination of organic ingredients and certifications (Whole30, gluten free, keto certified, no dairy, no canola oil, and more) at this price point.

Primal Kitchen Ranch earns an overall grade of A- in our review, and we recommend this product to anyone looking for a cleaner alternative to the same old dip. 

Primal Kitchen Ranch
  • Description

    Meet Primal Kitchen Ranch: It’s “ranchy,” if not runny, but easy on the taste buds and far superior to the ingredient quality status quo.

  • Ingredients:

    Avocado Oil, Water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Egg Yolks, Sea Salt, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Cream of Tartar, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate*, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Parsley, Organic Chives, Organic Dill, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Rosemary Extract.
    *Adds a negligible amount of sugar

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