The 10 Best Salad Dressings from Our Taste Tests

The best salad dressing turns a bowl of lettuce into something special. See, salads get a bad rap, but we don’t think they deserve it. The onus is not on salads to be good, but on us to make them good. Yes, boring salads are often bad, but throw in a protein, cheese, fruit, some crispy carbs, and a bangin’ bottled salad dressing, and salads can be one of the most delicious, refreshing, texturally interesting, and customizable dishes out there. But the first step to S-tier salads is figuring out a theme to center around, and that’s often…drumroll…the dressing! Here’s a rundown of the best store bought salad dressing we’ve tried during our taste tests.


best ranch dressing

Best Ranch Dressing

Marie’s Creamy Ranch Dressing + Dip

What is ranch? A flavor? A salad dressing? A dip? A feeling? A friend? Ranch can be all those things—especially Marie’s Creamy Ranch Dressing + Dip. After the Sporked crew first ranked the best ranch dressing, a reader commented to recommend this one. And they were right. This salad dressing is “thick, creamy, and herby.” Senior writer Jordan Myrick went so far as to call it “absolutely perfect.” That’s pretty great for store bought salad dressing. If you need the perfect ranch for salad, wings, or just a little bit of company, this is the best salad dressing at the grocery store. —Kota Lee

Read the full ranking of the best ranch dressing

Credit: Liv Averett / Ralphs

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best store bought caesar

Best Caesar Dressing

Cardini’s Original Caesar Dressing

Fun fact, Caesar salad was not invented in the U.S. or Italy but in Mexico by an Italian immigrant (named Caesar Cardini). Well, guess what. Our pick for best Caesar happens to bear the Cardini name. As Jordan said in their ranking of the best Caesar dressings, it makes a lot of sense that the inventor of Caesar salad’s brand was our top Caesar dressing pick. This dressing is “acidic, garlicky, perfectly creamy”—it’s one of the best salad dressings you can buy. I’m not even a huge Caesar person and I’m sold. —Jessica Block

Read the full ranking of the best Caesar dressing

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best french dressing

Best French Dressing

Ken’s Steak House Creamy French Dressing

For those of you who have never tried French dressing, it can range from violently orange to violently red and tastes like a creamy mix of sweetness, tang, and salt. This particular French dressing is on team orange, and, according to Jordan, it has the “perfect balance of tart and sweet.” They also like the creamy thickness and pointed out that this would be good on lettuce, yes, but also on some piping-hot chicken nuggs. The best salad dressing is versatile and this one is surprisingly versatile. —Jessica Block

Read the full ranking of the best French dressing

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best italian dressing

Best Italian Dressing

Trader Joe’s Organic Italian Dressing with Romano Cheese

Y’all already know I love Trader Joe’s (or maybe you don’t, in which case: Hi, I love Trader Joe’s). Why? Because many of their products are unique, cheap, and generally high quality, and this Italian dressing with Romano cheese is no exception. In fact, it’s one of the best salad dressings, period. Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo called it a “prime example of perfect salad dressing alchemy,” because it has the tang, the oily richness, and the herbs you want in a good Italian dressing, along with a hint of sweetness and a “pungent bite” from the Romano cheese. I know you didn’t think you needed cheese in your Italian dressing, but trust us (and TJ’s), you do. —Jessica Block

Read the full ranking of the best Italian dressing

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best blue cheese dressing

Best Blue Cheese Dressing

Bob’s Famous Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing & Dip

I don’t actually like blue cheese as a cheese, but blue cheese as a salad dressing?! Sign me up. I’m aware that this may make no sense, but hey, I contain multitudes. And whether it’s drizzled on a wedge salad, slathered on chicken wings, or simply served as a dip for Snyder’s pretzel snaps (highly recommend this combo as a late night/wee hours of the mornin’ snack)—if you want the most blue cheesiness per fluid ounce, this Bob’s dressing is the best salad dressing out there. According to Jordan, this “rich and creamy and thick” dressing has “both big and small chunks of blue cheese and huge pieces of freshly cracked peppercorns.” Ugh, YUM! —Jessica Block
Read the full ranking of the best blue cheese dressing

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best green goddess salad dressing

Best Green Goddess

365 Organic Green Goddess

With food, green connotes good health. What food is more emblematic of health than a salad? I’ll tell you what: a salad drenched in green goddess dressing (oh and if you aren’t familiar with green goddess, allow us to explain what it is). 365 Organic Green Goddess dressing from Whole Foods isn’t necessarily green, but it is creamy, tangy, and heavy on the herbs. It’s versatile, too. According to Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling, you can “eat it on a simple salad with lettuce or throw in some canned tuna or even pour it onto a taco salad.” Green goddess can do a lot, and Whole Foods makes the best version you can buy. —Kota Lee

Read the full ranking of the best green goddess

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best thousand island dressing

Best Thousand Island

Ken’s Steak House Thousand Island

Thousand island contains multitudes (along with chunks of pickle relish), and Ken’s version is head and shoulders above the rest, whether you’re looking for the best salad dressing or the best burger sauce. According to Jordan, this dressing is “perfectly balanced…tangy, sweet, creamy, and salty.” What more could you want from a store bought salad dressing? Whichever of the thousand islands Ken’s Steak House is located on, I think we can safely say we want to visit. —Kota Lee

Read the full ranking of the best thousand island dressing

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Litehouse Avocado Ranch Dressing & Dip

Best Avocado Dressing

Litehouse Avocado Ranch Dressing & Dip

Avocado salad dressing should be creamy, yes, but it should also taste like avocado. That isn’t always the case! When we taste tested avocado dressing, we discovered that Litehouse does it right. This stuff is rich and creamy as all get out, and also has a bold avocado flavor, along with the herby-ness of ranch. According to Jordan, “It captures everything you love about the best ranch dressing—the creaminess, the tanginess, the herbaceousness—and smashes it together with delicious avocado.” If like ranch with a little extra oomph, give this a shot.

Read the full ranking of the best avocado dressing

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best vegan ranch

Best Vegan Ranch

Sprouts Plant Based Ranch

If you don’t do dairy, we have good news: You can still enjoy really, really good ranch dressing. Sprouts Plant Based Ranch is a revelation for vegans, but people who are accustomed to buttermilk-filled ranch will like it, too. Why? It tastes just as good as pretty much every dairy ranch dressing you’ve ever had. “I would have no idea this was plant based ranch if I didn’t see the label,” Jordan said. That’s a good endorsement from a true ranch lover. This is definitely one of the best vegan salad dressings you can buy, but it’s also among the best salad dressing, period. —Kota Lee

Read the full ranking of the best vegan ranch

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best vegan caesar dressing

Best Vegan Caesar

Gotham Greens Vegan Caesar Dressing & Dip

Caesar dressing is tricky to vegan-ify. Its main ingredients are frequently egg yolks, parmesan cheese, and anchovy paste, three things that are definitely not vegan. Gotham Greens managed to pull off a miracle with their vegan Caesar dressing and dip. When it comes to the best salad dressing, particularly the best plant based salad dressing, this stuff is nuts. “This vegan Caesar dressing tastes like so much parmesan that I had to triple check the ingredients to make sure it was actually vegan,” Jordan wrote. “It’s creamy. It’s peppery. It’s cheesy (without cheese). It really has it all.” Okay, we’ll admit it could use a squeeze of lemon juice, but other than that, you’re going to love this stuff.

Read the full ranking of the best vegan Caesar dressing

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks


About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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  • We love Olive Garden Italian dressing and it’s available in most stores, we recreate Olive Garden salad at home with their dressing, romaine hearts, whole colossal black olives, fresh cracked black pepper, Roma tomatoes, Cento pepperoncini peppers, julienned red or sweet onion and lots Parmesan Reggiano cheese that we shave off a block. We buy frozen New York garlic rolls too.
    We think Ken’s Honey Mustard is the best overall honey mustard dressing.
    We also like Ott’s Famous Original dressing, it has a little horseradish in it but I would call it an offshoot of French dressing. We love Wishbone Western dressing. It’s a smoky, garlicky, oniony French style dressing that is addictive. It can be hard to find in stores so we most often order it online.

    Reply
  • We have bought Ken’s Thousand Island for several years.. it is heads and shoulders above any other brand..

    Reply
  • These broader rankings are much appreciated.

    Reply
  • If you never tried Marie’s Blue cheese dressing it might top Bob Evans but Bob Evans aka Abdows has been gone from New England for many years. I think Red Robin’s should sell their ranch on shelves omg the steak fries and ranch combo is too good to be true.

    Reply