Ranch vs Bleu Cheese Dressing: Which is the Better Choice for Your Salad

For decades, salads and chicken wings have been popular dishes to serve with ranch and blue cheese dressings. The differences between the two dressings’ flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles are frequently contrasted.

Chia seed healthy ranch salad dressing in a jar

Although each dressing has its own distinctive flavors and textures, they are frequently substituted for one another in various recipes.

Ranch is a creamy dressing prepared from buttermilk, mayonnaise, and other herbs and flavors, for individuals who are not familiar with these two dressings.

Blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, and different seasonings are the ingredients used to make blue cheese dressing, a thick dressing.

The decision between the two dressings frequently comes down to preference because each has a distinctive flavor and texture.

Ranch dressing is frequently seen as the more widely used option, but blue cheese dressing also has a loyal following.

The distinctions between ranch and blue cheese dressings, including their flavors, textures, and nutritional content, will be discussed in this article.

We’ll also examine some well-known dishes that incorporate these sauces and offer advice on how to incorporate them into your own dishes.

What is Ranch Dressing?

The renowned American salad dressing and dipping sauce known as ranch dressing was invented by Steve Henson in the first half of the 1950s.

Ranch sauce in a white porcelain bowl

At his dude ranch in California, Henson initially served the dressing to visitors, and it immediately gained popularity.

Buttermilk and mayonnaise are often used as the base for ranch dressing, which is then seasoned with a mixture of herbs and spices such as garlic, onion, dill, parsley, and chives.

The particular formula may change based on the brand or consumer taste, but most varieties share the same sour and creamy flavor.

Ranch dressing is frequently used as a salad dressing, a topping for sandwiches, and a dip for veggies, chicken wings, and other finger foods. It has grown to be so well-liked that it is currently among the best-selling salad dressings in the country.

What is Bleu Cheese Dressing?

With a base of yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise, bleu cheese dressing is a well-liked salad dressing that is often flavored with crumbled bleu cheese, vinegar, and a variety of herbs and spices.

blue cheese on wooden board

The dressing is popular for its acidic and savory flavor and is frequently used as a sauce for chicken wings, as a topping for burgers, and as a dip for vegetables.

Although the exact beginnings of bleu cheese dressing are unknown, it is thought to have started in the United States in the early 20th century.

The dressing rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s and has since become a mainstay of American cuisine.

The inclusion of crumbled bleu cheese, which gives the dressing its distinctively acidic and pungent flavor, is one of its defining characteristics.

A particular mold strain is used to make the cheese known as “blue cheese,” which is distinguished by its characteristic blue-green veins.

In order to allow the mold to grow and the flavor to develop, the cheese is normally aged for a number of months.

Comparison of Ranch and Bleu Cheese Dressings

Two of the most widely used salad dressings in the US are ranch and bleu cheese.

piece of italian blue cheese

Both of these dairy-based dressings pack a sour punch and have a cooling impact when it becomes hot outside.

The two dressings are distinctive from one another due to a few significant variances between them.

The flavor profile is one of the primary distinctions between ranch and bleu cheese dressing.

Dill and chives are added to ranch, which is then complemented by the sourness of the buttermilk.

On the other hand, the flavor profile of blue cheese dressing is derived from its main ingredient, which has a tangy pop that is mellowed and balanced by other ingredients including mayo, sour cream, vinegar, and spices.

The nutritional value of the two dressings is another distinction between them. In a ranking by nutritionists, EVOO is followed closely by blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

The Bolthouse blue cheese dressing, which included yogurt, had the fewest calories and fat (35 calories and 2.5 grams), whereas Ken’s balsamic vinaigrette scored highly due to its familiar ingredient list and very low calorie count (90 calories).

On the other hand, ranch dressing often has more calories and fat.

Both dressings have advantages when it comes to combining with certain dishes.

While bleu cheese dressing is a traditional accompaniment with buffalo wings and steak, ranch dressing is frequently served with chicken wings, pizza, and veggies.

Yet, both dressings have a wide range of applications and can improve the flavor of numerous dishes.

Finally, despite the fact that both ranch and bleu cheese dressings are well-known salad toppings, their flavor profiles and nutritional profiles are different.

Personal preference and the food they are being matched with are ultimately what determine which of the two is preferred.

Taste and Texture

Ranch and blue cheese dressings are very distinct from one another in terms of flavor and texture.

Homemade ranch dressing in a small jar with herbs

In general, blue cheese dressing is stronger and tangier than ranch dressing, which is gentler and creamier.

Ranch dressing usually has a buttermilk basis, which gives it a slight tanginess. But, mayo or sour cream are also added to make it creamier.

Moreover, it frequently includes herbs like dill and chives, which give it a mildly tangy kick.

Contrarily, the flavor profile of blue cheese dressing is derived from the component itself, which has a tangy pop that is mellowed and tempered by mayo, sour cream, vinegar, onion, and garlic.

The texture of the two dressings is one of their main distinctions. While blue cheese dressing has a thick texture from the blue cheese chunks added, ranch dressing is often smoother and creamier.

The blue cheese pieces offer the dressing a more nuanced texture that can enhance the dining experience as a whole.

Nutritional Information

The nutritional facts of both ranch and blue cheese dressings should be taken into account when deciding which dressing to use.

Piece of the blue cheese on the wooden spoon

Although both dressings include a lot of calories and fat, there are significant distinctions to be aware of.

Ranch dressing has 430 calories per 100g, whereas blue cheese dressing has 484 calories per 100g, according to Calories-Info.

This indicates that Ranch dressing has 13% fewer calories than Blue Cheese dressing. Both dressings have a lot of fat in them, making up the majority of the calories.

Yet it’s crucial to remember that not all fats are created equal. More saturated fat is present in blue cheese dressing than ranch dressing, which may be harmful to cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health.

Ranch and French dressings are rated as the least healthy selections by HuffPost because of their high sodium and fat levels.

A vinaigrette-based dressing is advised over creamy dressings like Ranch and Blue Cheese for people trying to reduce their calorie and fat intake.

According to EatingWell, creamy dressings like Caesar, Blue Cheese, and Ranch have roughly twice as much calories and fat as other vinaigrettes at 110–120 per 2 tablespoons.

In conclusion, Blue Cheese dressing has more calories and saturated fat than Ranch dressing, despite both dressings being high in calories and fat.

A vinaigrette-based dressing is advised over creamy dressings like Ranch and Blue Cheese for people trying to reduce their calorie and fat intake.

In the US, ranch dressing is the most often used salad dressing. Pizza crusts, wings, and vegetables are all dipped in it.

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing in Blue Bowl

Moreover, it is added as a topping to tacos, burgers, and baked potatoes. Ranch is a flexible dressing that works well with a variety of foods.

For buffalo wings, blue cheese dressing is frequently used as a dip. Moreover, it is added as a topping on sandwiches and salads.

Several different recipes can benefit from the tart flavor that blue cheese dressing adds.

These dressings are frequently used as salad toppings and vegetable dips. While blue cheese is more frequently used in European cuisine, ranch is more frequently utilized in American cuisine.

The type of dressing you choose for your buffalo wings depends on your particular preferences. While some people enjoy ranch’s milder flavor, others favor the pungent flavor of blue cheese.

Both ranch and blue cheese dressings are well-liked options for enhancing the flavor of a range of foods.

Both dressings may give your favorite dishes a delightful twist, whether you prefer the milder flavor of ranch or the tangier flavor of blue cheese.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sliced cheese with blue mold and appetizing strawberries

What are the main differences between ranch and blue cheese dressing?

Ranch dressing typically contains buttermilk, mayonnaise, and various herbs and seasonings, while blue cheese dressing has the added benefits of chunks of blue cheese, vinegar, onion powder, and garlic powder. The main component difference between the two dressings is the blue cheese itself, which gives blue cheese dressing its distinct flavor

Which dressing is healthier?

Both dressings are high in calories and fat, with ranch typically having slightly fewer calories and fat than blue cheese. However, the difference is minimal, and both dressings should be enjoyed in moderation as a treat rather than a regular part of a healthy diet.

Which dressing is more popular?

According to a GrubHub survey, ranch dressing is five times more popular in chicken wing orders than blue cheese. However, personal preferences for dressing can vary greatly, and both dressings have their dedicated fan bases.

Can ranch or blue cheese dressing be used for anything besides salad or chicken wings?

Yes! Ranch dressing is a popular dip for vegetables, chips, and even pizza. Blue cheese dressing can also be used as a dip or as a topping for burgers and sandwiches.

Are there any variations of ranch or blue cheese dressing?

Yes, there are many variations of both dressings, including spicy ranch, avocado ranch, and chunky blue cheese. Some recipes also call for Greek yogurt or sour cream to be added for a creamier texture.

Bowl of salad dressing


It basically comes down to personal opinion when deciding between ranch and blue cheese dressing. These dressings can improve the flavor of any salad or meal and each has a distinctive flavor character.

Yogurt-based dressings, such as those from Bolthouse Farms, are a terrific option for individuals seeking a healthier option. They are a wonderful choice for weight loss because they are creamy but low in calories.

It’s crucial to remember that both ranch and blue cheese dressings can include a lot of sodium and fat. It is advised to use them sparingly and to pay attention to portion proportions.

According to a Ponce University study, eating wings with blue cheese is the best option. On the other hand, there is a lot of discussion over this on Twitter, with some users vehemently defending their love for ranch dressing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.