Is Hidden Valley Ranch Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 25, 2023

Identifying whether or not Hidden Valley Ranch is vegan proves to be a complex task. 

This complexity arises due to manufacturers often concealing the nature and source of their ingredients. 

Fear not! This article is here to uncover the truth and support your commitment to a vegan lifestyle.

Is Hidden Valley Ranch Vegan?

Hidden Valley Ranch, most commonly known for its creamy ranch dressing, offers a variety of products. However, none of them are strictly vegan. They do have some items that are dairy-free and gluten-free, but none that meet the full vegan certification.

Is Hidden Valley Ranch Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, Hidden Valley Ranch can’t really be described as cruelty-free. This is primarily because the company uses dairy products, like cheese, in many of its offerings. Since dairy production often involves the use of animal labor, it’s difficult to categorize the brand as entirely cruelty-free.

What Is Hidden Valley Ranch Made Of?

Hidden Valley Ranch is a widely popular dressing that gives a unique zesty flavor to your salads. It is known for its creaminess and blend of herbs and spices. But have you ever wondered what exactly goes into this fan-favorite condiment? Below we explore each of its main ingredients:

  • Soybean oil
  • Water
  • Egg yolk
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cultured nonfat buttermilk
  • Natural flavors
  • Spices
  • Dried garlic
  • Dried onion
  • Vinegar
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Xanthan gum
  • Modified food starch
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Artificial flavors
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Sorbic acid and calcium disodium EDTA

Soybean oil

Soybean oil is derived from the seeds of the soybean plant. It is one of the most widely used edible oils in the world, particularly in the United States. Soybean oil gives the dressing a smooth texture and adds a slight savory flavor. Because it is derived from plants, soybean oil is vegan friendly.


Water is used as a base in many dressings including Hidden Valley Ranch. It provides the necessary liquid volume and aids in the emulsification of the oil and other ingredients. Water, being a fundamental part of all life, is of course vegan friendly.

Egg yolk

Egg yolk is derived from chicken eggs. It is used to create a creamy and rich texture in the dressing. Since it is an animal product, it is not considered vegan.


Sugar is used in Hidden Valley Ranch to add a hint of sweetness that balances the savory and tangy flavors. It is typically derived from either sugarcane or sugar beets. 

However, it is worth noting that some sugar processing methods involve bone char (from animals), which could make it non-vegan, though this is less common nowadays. It’s difficult to determine if the sugar in the dressing is truly vegan without detailed information from the manufacturer.


Salt enhances the overall flavor of the dressing. It is a mineral and therefore vegan.

Cultured nonfat buttermilk

Cultured nonfat buttermilk adds a tangy flavor and creamy consistency to the dressing. It is made by adding cultures to nonfat milk, which then ferments. Since buttermilk is a dairy product, it is not vegan.

Natural flavors

Natural flavors are derived from plant or animal sources to add specific tastes to the dressing. Without explicit details, it is uncertain whether the natural flavors in Hidden Valley Ranch are vegan or not.


Spices are used to enhance the flavor of the dressing. They usually include a mix of different herbs and spices. Typically, spices are plant derived and vegan, but without specifics, we cannot confirm this.

Dried garlic and dried onion

Dried garlic and onion are used to intensify the flavor of the dressing. Both ingredients are derived from their respective plants and are thus vegan friendly.


Vinegar adds tanginess to the dressing. It is usually made by fermenting ethanol from sugarcane or grains, which is a vegan-friendly process.

Phosphoric acid

Phosphoric acid is used as an acidulant in food to provide tartness and control pH. It is generally made synthetically from inorganic materials, and thus considered vegan.

Xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is a thickening agent that gives the dressing a creamy texture. It is produced by fermenting simple sugars with a specific type of bacteria. Xanthan gum is considered vegan.

Modified food starch

Modified food starch is used to improve the texture and stability of the dressing. It is usually derived from corn, wheat, potato, or tapioca. It is typically considered vegan.

Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer that provides an umami taste. It is usually made by fermenting starch, sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses. MSG is generally considered vegan.

Artificial flavors

Artificial flavors are chemically made flavorings. They can be derived from a variety of sources and without explicit information from the manufacturer, it is unclear if they are vegan.

Disodium phosphate

Disodium phosphate is a food additive used to adjust pH. It’s typically created from mineral sources and is considered vegan.

Sorbic acid and calcium disodium EDTA

Sorbic acid is used as a preservative to maintain freshness, and calcium disodium EDTA is used to protect flavor. Both are synthesized from inorganic compounds and are thus considered vegan.

Please note that despite some of the ingredients being vegan, the presence of egg yolk and cultured nonfat buttermilk makes Hidden Valley Ranch not suitable for a vegan diet. Always check product labels if you have specific dietary requirements.

Vegan Alternatives to Hidden Valley Ranch?

For those looking for the cool, tangy taste of Hidden Valley Ranch but adhering to a vegan lifestyle, you might want to consider some alternatives. Here are a few that might offer the creamy, delicious indulgence you’re after:

  • Just Ranch: Certified plant based, this dressing delivers a creamy, dairy-free ranch experience that’s sure to satisfy your palate.
  • Follow Your Heart Vegan Ranch: This option provides a classic ranch flavor without any dairy or animal byproducts.
  • Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch: Made with avocado oil and organic ingredients, this is a delicious, gluten-free dressing choice.


Hidden Valley Ranch, while offering a range of gluten-free and dairy-free foods, doesn’t currently provide any certified vegan products. Its regular ranch dressings and HVR seasoning flavors contain dairy or animal derived ingredients, making them unsuitable for vegans. 

However, with many certified plant-based alternatives in the dressing aisle, vegans can still enjoy the cool, creamy, and delicious flavors of ranch dressing with their favorite foods

Remember to always check labels to ensure brands of products align with your dietary restrictions and ethical choices. Together, we can enjoy Hidden Valley Ranch responsibly while remaining true to our beliefs and values.