Best Dip Mixes: Ranch Mix, French Onion Mix & Beyond

Pop quiz: Would you eat an entire container of sour cream with a spoon? Probably not. But! What if I took that container, dumped in some seasoned dip powder, mixed it all around, and gave you a bag of chips to scoop up the sour cream? You’d be scraping the sides of the plastic tub in 30 minutes. That’s the power of a packet of dip powder. Dip is dangerous and delicious. And the powdered stuff often outshines what comes pre-made for one simple reason: You get to control the power of the seasoning. Most dip packages call for two cups of sour cream, but use a little less if you want a saltier, more herbaceous dip. Go over that two cups if you prefer a plainer, cream-forward dip. That type of dip will pair well with a spicy chip. Pair a ranch dip with some Buffalo Pretzel Crisps for a wing-like experience. Powdered dip puts you in the driver’s seat. It gives you creative control, and I love that.

For this taste test, we opened up a big ol’ honkin’ bag of Ruffles, the standard chip for dipping for a reason. They are delicious, perfectly shaped, and also Ruffles have ridges, ya’ll. Here’s what we decided we wanted in our dip powder: We want it to have quality ingredients. It should be salty and seasoned. Bonus points for any umami-rich MSG. Additional bonus points for soy sauce powder. These things just make dried dip sing. 

So grab a bag of chips and join us.

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Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup & Dip Mix

Best of the Best

Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup & Dip Mix

This dip is impressively viscous and flavorful. It’s got a creamy, cheese-like consistency to it once you mix in the proper amount of sour cream, and the onion flavor is rich. The ingredients list both dehydrated onions and onion powder, so you get a nice depth of flavor and texture. Also, yes, this contains MSG and soy sauce, meaning the umami flavor is powerful and delicious. It’s also got some corn syrup in there, too. Lipton features all the addictive ingredient hits, and it’s better for it. The bottom line is Lipton Onion Dip Mix is savory as all get out, which is exactly the type of thing you find yourself unable to stop eating. We’re powerless against it. Perfect score.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Hidden Valley Dips Mix the Original Ranch

Best Ranch

Hidden Valley Dips Mix the Original Ranch

Somehow, Hidden Valley ranch dip mix is ranchier than their ranch dressing. Maybe it’s the concentrated powder form that just enhances all that classic ranch flavor, but whatever it is, we’re buying it. This dip powder really brings that tangy, buttermilk flavor that makes your mouth water. And all the additional spices and MSG add up to create a really creamy and sharply flavorful dip. Pairing this with some plain Ruffles is a damn dream. This was the dip that fellow staff writer Jordan Myrick and I couldn’t stop eating on our lunch break. 

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

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Laura Scudder’s Ranch Dip Mix

Best Ranch Runner-Up

Laura Scudder’s Ranch Dip Mix

I really wanted to like this one more than Hidden Valley based on the ingredients alone. Laura Scudder’s includes dried parsley, buttermilk solids, MSG, garlic powder, and dehydrated onions. There’s some added texture from the dehydrated onions, and the dried parsley helps add some fragrance, but overall it just didn’t have that same mouth-watering quality that Hidden Valley did. Still, if you see this in the grocery aisle, it’s great and worth picking up. Maybe dress it up a little more, or put a bit less sour cream in the mix. 

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

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Happy Belly Onion Soup & Dip Mix

Best Savory

Happy Belly Onion Soup & Dip Mix

This dip powder tastes a lot like Lipton’s onion mix, and it features many of the same ingredients. They do use soy sauce powder, though, and perhaps more of it is featured in their recipe, because this gave everybody beef soup vibes. Editor-in-chief Justine Sterling immediately commented on the beefy flavor while scanning the back of the package, expecting to see “beef concentrate” listed. There is no beef, but anytime a food makes you go, “There has to be meat in here,” that’s a good thing. Savory, onion-forward, and salty, Happy Belly makes a great dip mix.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

A Blend Above Maui Onion Dip Mix

Best Sweet Onion

A Blend Above Maui Onion Dip Mix

I found this company via Amazon, and they do some pretty rad powdered dip mixes. Their Maui onion is the best of the best, though. This has all the sweet tanginess of a maui onion chip, just distilled into dip form. In fact, every Ruffles chip we dipped in here immediately became a crunchy Maui onion chip. We didn’t complain. The ingredients here are great. The only thing with A Blend Above is that they recommend mixing a one-to-one ratio of sour cream and mayonnaise for your dip. You might want to just opt for sour cream. Dealer’s choice.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Watkins Ranch Organic Gourmet Dip Mix

Best Garlic Flavor

Watkins Ranch Organic Gourmet Dip Mix

Somehow this ranch dip won our best garlic flavor. It’s peculiar, but everybody who tasted this agrees: This is not ranch dip. This is garlic dip. The garlic flavor is really strong. Also, the ingredients here rule. It’s all organic, and they use things like dill powder, tamari sauce, cayenne, and buttermilk solids. Personally, I am of the belief that ranch dressing needs dill of some kind, so I appreciate that they went for it there. This is really good, but the garlic just somehow overpowers everything. It’s not exactly ranch, but they get the ingredients right.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

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A Blend Above Garlic Bacon Ranch

Best Bacon Dip

A Blend Above Garlic Bacon Ranch

This tastes just like an Iceberg wedge salad. It’s got the creaminess and tang of a good ranch dressing, but the added bits of dehydrated bacon bring a salty pork vibe that’s scrumptious as hell. This is a worthy spin on ranch dip, and A Blend Above uses some thoughtful ingredients to create their spice mixtures. This company also goes without MSG and preservative agents like citric acid, if that sort of thing is important to you. It also doesn’t suffer much flavor wise without those things. 

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • Solid list! It’s also worth mentioning that these powdered dips make great “marinade starters” for meats and veggies that you can throw in a dutch oven or a slow cooker and set it and forget it. Particularly Hidden Valley Ranch and the Lipton’s Onion.

    Reply
    • Definitely gonna pick up one of those “A Blend Above” variety packs as well.

      Reply
  • Knot’s vegetable dip! My fav!!!!!

    Reply
    • Knorr’s not knot

      Reply
  • There is one dip not mentioned but Dill Ranch from Hidden Valley is actually very tasty. I was shocked how good it was. Check it out one day.

    Reply