Hidden Valley’s got a new vegan ranch to pair with your buffalo cauliflower

closeup of vegan hidden valley ranch bottle
Photo: Hidden Valley Ranch/PR

Hidden Valley is going vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free for its next foray into the wild kingdom of ranchness. It’ll be a while, though—the product is expected to hit store shelves in April. So no plant-based Super Bowl buffalo cauliflower dipping for you quite yet.

Have you ever had vegan ranch? I have, and it’s actually quite good. It doesn’t sound like it would work, since the whole product is basically buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, and a hint of spice. But, as grumpy as this might make some people, vegan substitutes for mayonnaise are pretty spot-on now; the real test is whether or not it tastes like the original Hidden Valley Ranch, which still clocks in at number one (or near number one) on taste tests. Don’t worry—when this product comes out, we’ll do the hard work and report on it as professional ranch tasters. I will also volunteer to plunge into a kiddie pool full of dressing for no discernible reason. I may regret this if it actually happens.

If you’re aiming for a more plant-based diet, things like this can chip away at products containing animal stuff in your pantry pretty easily. Baby steps, people, baby steps. As an omnivore I welcome products like this, because it makes me feel like I’m doing a little better for the planet—at least mentally. Maybe dairy-free, allergen-free ranch dressing will go well on Impossible burgers or on lab-grown chicken. Or for my frozen pizza bones (crust) if I’m feeling frisky. Also, remember the time I tried to cook my way through an entire gallon of ranch? I only live the best life I can.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

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DISCUSSION

larsvargas
Lars Vargas is still suspicious of 2021's motives

Since you mentioned “Buffalo cauliflower” which is supposed to be a vegetarian / vegan substitute for [Buffalo-style chicken] wings (nobody in Buffalo says “Buffalo Wings”; they’re just “wings”), I’ll mention that the default dressing for wings is blue cheese and not ranch. It’s been that way in Western New York for 50+ years and shall remain that way.

I realize that wings are now a thing that happens outside of Buffalo, NY and that’s actually a good thing. But jesus Christ with the fucking ranch. Stop it already. This is not the midwest. It’s blue cheese dressing. Even on the “Buffalo Cauliflower”.

OK, my rant is over and I’ll begrudgingly admit I like Ranch but much prefer blue cheese for dipping. And it’s only blue cheese on “wings” or anything designed to substitute for wings.