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I Tried All 7 New Hidden Valley Ranch Flavors and This 1 Is—Dare I Say—Better Than the Original

The new queen of condiments is here!

<p>Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith/Janet Maples

If I could only dip my nuggets into one sauce for the rest of my life, it would be ranch. Specifically Hidden Valley Ranch—although I have tried every major fast food ranch and crowned a winner, too—which I’ve been dipping into and dressing salads with for decades. It was the only condiment in the fridge that was name brand when I was growing up, as I lived in a non-brand-loyal household of generic stuff. But I could tell a difference in how tangy, creamy, herby, and slightly sweet HVR was compared to other brands and unworthy substitutes.

I’ve made my own ranch—including seven different recipes for “cranch” in my cookbook Big Dip Energy—and love to, when I have time. But in a pinch, Hidden Valley is always there to save the day with reliable ranch. I’ve even used Costco-sized bottles to fill a ranch fountain for a birthday party. I never thought I’d love anything more than the original Hidden Valley Ranch...until the brand released seven new flavors in one incredible day. I was lucky enough to taste test the new flavors—and two kinda-new (Dill Pickle and Buffalo, released in April 2023) flavors—in different dishes, ranging from popcorn to pizza and lots of wings at an event in NYC. But after tasting them all again individually, I was shocked to discover that I liked one of the new flavors more than the original. And when mixed with another new flavor, it’s a dip of epic proportions.

For simplicity, I tried each of the new ranch flavors plain, with a ridged potato chip, and with a thin piece of carrot for maximum dip-to-dipper ratio. Below are my rankings, from last place to first place.

The Best New Hidden Valley Ranch Flavors, Ranked

7. Sizzlin’ Nashville Hot Ranch

<p>Hidden Valley/Allrecipes</p>

Hidden Valley/Allrecipes

You should know that I have the spice tolerance of a young child. I sweat and cry when I eat spicy things, but love the flavor of spice. I powered through to sample this, but it was simply too hot for me to handle. I couldn’t enjoy it, but if you are into spice, it has a nice kick of cayenne and a lingering heat that is slightly soothed by the creamy ranch. It is ranked three out of four peppers on the HVR scale, claiming it's the “hottest” on the label. This is made for any sort of crispy chicken, from tenders to dino nuggies. Or as sliders in King’s Hawaiian rolls for a little sweetness. FYI: This flavor is exclusive to Walmart.

6. Creamy Jalapeño Ranch

<p>Hidden Valley/Allrecipes</p>

Hidden Valley/Allrecipes

If you love the quesadilla sauce from Taco Bell, this is a ranch-ified version! The sauce from T. Bell is also called “creamy jalapeño” and has a similar roundness of spice that doesn’t hit you too hard. (It's ranked one out of four peppers, simply “hot” on the label.) The herbiness and extra garlic undertone complements the jalapeño’s heat nicely, and I would dunk a quesadilla in this or use it in place of sour cream on a taco or burrito.

5. Parmesan Ranch

<p>Hidden Valley/Allrecipes</p>

Hidden Valley/Allrecipes

This had way more real cheese flavor than I expected, and a really lovely mix of umami savoriness and aggressively seasoned saltiness that I don’t often find in packaged, shelf-stable dressings. It actually has Parmesan and Romano cheeses in it, and would be great for a Caesar-ish pasta salad, mixed with roasted veggies (at any temperature), or on a roast beef sandwich.

4. Green Goddess Ranch

<p>Hidden Valley/Allrecipes</p>

Hidden Valley/Allrecipes


She is indeed a goddess of all things green. There are visible herbs—dry herbs, but not at all dusty tasting—throughout the ranch, which is already herbilicious by nature. It doesn’t have as much of the classic sweet undertone that I associate with the original HVR, but that makes it a better partner for any salad that is ultra-savory. This would be great with grilled shrimp, radishes, carrots, and a ton of mixed lettuces and fresh herbs. And could also be great with pickled vegetables as this green goddess isn’t very acidic on its own.

3. Cheez-It x Hidden Valley Cheezy Ranch

<p>Hidden Valley/Allrecipes</p>

Hidden Valley/Allrecipes


I love Cheez-Its and I love Hidden Valley Ranch, but I wasn’t sure if they should get married. But after sampling with crispy fries and pretzels, I was eating my words. The cheese (or “cheez”) is subtle here and reminds me of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles with a sprinkle of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning powder. It’s a little cheezy, a little herby, and has that little hint of garlic. I think it would be excellent with pigs in a blanket, chicken nuggets, or on a big ol’ wedge salad.

2. Spicy Hot Honey Ranch

<p>Hidden Valley/Allrecipes</p>

Hidden Valley/Allrecipes

Sweet heat is the name of this ranch’s game. It's ranked two out of four peppers, or “hotter” on the package. It’s not spicy in a lingering way, more of a comfortable bump than an aggressive kick. The honey’s sweetness is a lovely counterpart that I added some yellow mustard to and it made a fun honey mustard ranch situation that was great as the dressing for a Cobb salad with soft-boiled eggs, chunks of creamy Cambozola triple creme blue cheese, and cornbread croutons!

1. Garlic Ranch

<p>Hidden Valley/Allrecipes</p>

Hidden Valley/Allrecipes

As a certified Garlic Girl (my mantle is covered with all sorts of vintage garlic and onions right now!) I knew that garlic ranch would become one of my new favorites, but I didn’t expect it to dethrone the OG Hidden Valley! It’s because this garlickiness is akin to Papa John’s garlic sauce. Slightly artificial, but in a deeply satisfying way. But there is real garlic in there, and it’s a more hearty garlickiness than most garlic-flavored products, including store-bought flavored oils. It is well-rounded garlic flavor that is complemented by the ranch’s herbs and creaminess that the aforementioned crust-dipping sauce lacks. Plus, it's totally worth the death breath! It’s made for pizza, and dare I say chicken Parm? The kind I made in college with a chicken patty, jarred sauce, and shredded mozzarella, not the real deal Italian stuff, I promise. All hail Hidden Valley Garlic Ranch, the new queen of condiments.

Read the original article on All Recipes.