We Tried Ranch Dressing Ice Cream and It Tastes Like Frozen Salad Dressing

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream.

Ah, ice cream. Comforting, sweet, delicious ice cream. And those delectable flavors—vanilla, chocolate… and Hidden Valley Ranch.

Wait a minute. Back it up. Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream? As in, the delightfully spiced, buttermilk salad dressing and dip mix, but frozen and somehow sweetened into ice cream?

Ranch Dressing Ice Cream Is Really Here

What in the Hidden Valley Ranch even is this? Did someone at the company hit their head? Lose a bet? Get pranked?

A little history: This is far from the craziest ice cream flavor ever (lobster, dill pickle and Thanksgiving dinner ice creams have all existed). Chicken and waffles ice cream is currently a thing. I recently reviewed a caramelized onion ice cream tied to the Knives Out: Glass Onion release and didn’t throw up even once.

So, back to this ranch ice cream: Hidden Valley Ranch dressing joined forces with Van Leeuwen ice cream, the company behind the Glass Onion flavor. The ice cream is part of its new spring flavor list and was released on March 10, which is National Ranch Day. I hope your cards are in the mail.

Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream is a rich French ice cream featuring the savory flavors of ranch dressing, including buttermilk and herbs. The company seems to know they’ve got an uphill climb to get people to eat this as ice cream and urge people to pair it with salty snacks, even topping the ice cream with crushed potato chips or pretzels.

Here’s What I Thought

Hidden Valley Van Leeuwen Ranch Dressing Ice Cream Gael Fashingbauer For TohGael Fashingbauer for Taste of Home

OK. Deep breaths. Even the most fearless eater is bound to approach ranch dressing ice cream with a bit of trepidation. I opened the carton to see sparkling white ice cream with none of the green dots of herbs I expected to see.

But if I thought for a second the ice cream was plain vanilla, hoo boy, did the fierce, oniony smell remind me. This is Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream, not vanilla ice cream with a sprinkle of flavoring. If you put a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch outside on a snowy winter’s day, and it froze solid in the bottle, it might smell something like this.

But the taste? I’ll try and spell it out.


No, that’s not just a quote from an old Peanuts comic strip. It’s pretty much my reaction upon tasting the Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream. It tastes exactly like the salad dressing. With the Glass Onion ice cream, the onions were caramelized and thus softened and sweetened, hidden in deep golden stripes inside a rich satisfying ice cream.

Here, though, you can’t get away from the oniony, garlicky dressing taste. It’s in every bite. I tried the suggested trick of crushing up potato chips on top, and even dipping a potato chip into the ice cream. It’s better that way, there’s no question. But it’s still undoubtedly Hidden Valley Ranch dressing ice cream. This is not a good combination. I love Hidden Valley Ranch as a dressing and a dip, and I love vanilla ice cream, but the blend of the two of them is like chocolate and dirt. These are two distinct flavors, but together they should not be eaten.

When Can I Get It?

Starting on March 20, you can buy Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream at 3,500 Walmart stores nationwide for $4.98. You can’t miss the carton in the freezer—it has a version of the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing label on it.

I can’t say I recommend it as a food, but Hidden Valley Ranch dressing has some of the most devoted fans out there. I’ve heard of American tourists packing it in their luggage when they travel outside the country since it’s not easily found elsewhere. So if you know one of those devotees, buy them a carton of this and have a taste test. I’m gonna bet even the most enthusiastic Hidden Valley Ranch dressing fan won’t be able to finish a bowl.

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Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
Gael has written about food and restaurants for 27 years. At Taste of Home, she dives into taste-testing unusual food products and sharing the latest in food trends and news. She's the co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops" and "The Totally Sweet '90s," which celebrate the nostalgic tastes and trends of the '70s, '80s and '90s. As a professional pop culture junkie, Gael has written about TV, movies and books of all kinds for CNET, NBC, MSNBC and "TODAY." If Marathon candy bars ever make a comeback, she'll be first in line.