What’s the Deal with Pizza and Ranch?

You should absolutely order pizza with a side of ranch.

I eat my pizza, pretty much all of it, with ranch. In Texas, no one feels an ounce of shame asking for ranch on the side of a slice. And now that I’m in New York, I refuse to be shamed for my choice in condiment. In fact, ranch is a better condiment for pizza than it is for a salad. It makes more sense in a world of dense carbs and rich tomato than it ever would atop bitter lettuce and crunchy carrots.

This Is Why Pizza + Ranch Is SO Good

Because what is ranch? It’s a combination of onion, herbs, spices and buttermilk (and a few other things—here’s our homemade ranch recipe).

Eating pizza (especially from a pizza chain) goes like this: warm cheese coats your palate, a touch of rich tomato is under that and then the fluffy carb-y crust is there to give you a touch of sweetness. And for some people, the bite ends there. But if you know what’s good (and I do) your next bite starts with a hit of ranch. It’s a bright herbal flavor and a slight tang to wake your palate up for the next round of glorious cheese. Essentially, the acid from the dressing cuts the grease from all that cheese and pepperoni and gets you ready for the next bite. It’s a palate cleanser of sorts.

Find more things you never knew about ranch.

How Did This Pairing Even Start?

Ranch first started being offered at pizza restaurants as a condiment for breadsticks. It wasn’t long before people got adventurous, dunking their slice in a cup of ranch.

The ranch and pizza combination is known to be most popular in the Midwest, but people have been known to dip pizza in the good stuff everywhere from Texas to California. The final frontier is the East Coast, where many pizza joints don’t carry ranch dressing, and those that stock it, do so begrudgingly.

But I believe one day everyone will come to their senses and when you leave with a to-go pizza, there will be a cup of ranch tucked in the box. For now, learn how to make ranch dressing at home and then check out some other odd food pairings we can’t help but love.

Easy Homemade Pizzas to Dip in Ranch
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Mandy Naglich
Mandy is an advanced cicerone, National Homebrew Competition gold medalist, drinks educator and writer. She’s shared her food and beverage expertise at Taste of Home for more than five years, writing about nonalcoholic beer brands, how to make the best Moscow mule and more. Her popular blind tasting classes in New York consistently sell out to groups that want to learn from a certified taster and professional recipe developer. Mandy is also the author of “How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life.” When she’s not busy promoting her book, she’s creating content for her social platforms where she shares fun tidbits like the history of beer and other tipples as well as what to eat and drink at must-try restaurants. She currently lives, writes and brews in New York but documents her drink adventures on Instagram at @drinkswithmandy.