Long before I went vegan, I did my fair share of dieting. Back in high school, I used to hate vegetables (funny coming from a now-vegan blogger, right?), and the only way anybody could get me to eat them was with ranch.
JUST Ranch Salad Dressing is one of the few non-dairy ranch options on the market, but is JUST Ranch Vegan Salad Dressing actually vegan?
Yes, JUST Ranch is 100% vegan and is made by a company that’s dedicated to innovating vegan food alternatives.
JUST Ranch is plant-based, dairy and egg-free, contains no GMOs, and doesn’t have any artificial flavors, making it an excellent alternative to traditional non-vegan ranch dressing.
The only hard part is finding JUST Ranch… Although JUST is still in business, their JUST Ranch product line was officially discontinued, so any JUST Ranch bottles you find are just leftovers from their final manufacturing run.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other great alternatives, which I’ll mention below!
In today’s post, I’ll show you what JUST Ranch Vegan Salad Dressing is made from, how vegan ranch differs from the non-vegan ranch, and reveal JUST’s latest vegan food innovation – JUST Eggs.
What Is JUST Ranch Vegan Salad Dressing Made From?
At first glance, the label “JUST Ranch” may lead you to believe that this dressing has fairly simple ingredients.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case and the ingredients list is actually pretty long. Most of the ingredients are healthy, but there are a few not-so-healthy additives in JUST Ranch.
The ingredients used to make JUST Ranch Vegan Salad Dressing are:
Canola oil, water, sugar, white vinegar, spices, salt, food starch, pea protein, concentrated lemon juice, onion, garlic puree, calcium chloride, yeast extract, lactic acid, natural flavoring (vegan-friendly), xanthan gum, propylene glycol, yeast extract, and several chemical preservatives, including calcium disodium EDTA and potassium sorbate.
That’s a pretty long list for a product that’s supposed to be “just ranch.”
What’s The Difference Between JUST Ranch & Non-Vegan Ranch?
Wondering what makes JUST Ranch (and other similarly-made vegan ranches) different from traditional non-vegan ranch dressing? Take a look at this brief table below to find out:
|JUST Ranch Vegan Ranch||Non-Vegan Ranch Dressing|
|Uses canola oil, salt, sugar, vinegar, food starch, and pea protein as a base.||Uses vegetable oil, water, sugar, salt, buttermilk, and egg yolks as a base.|
|Is 100% dairy-free.||Contains dairy in the form of buttermilk, eggs, and milk-based flavoring.|
|Contains 140 calories per serving.||Contains 140 calories per serving.|
|Contains 220 mg of sodium.||Contains 240 mg of sodium.|
For a full comparison of the ingredients, you can compare the list above to the official list of ingredients in Hidden Valley’s non-vegan ranch here
All in all, the vegan ranch isn’t all that different from the non-vegan dairy-containing ranch. They both share an almost identical base. The only difference is that vegan ranch uses food starch, flavoring, and pea protein instead of buttermilk and egg yolks.
Other than that, they share very similar spices, ingredients, chemical additives, and preservatives.
Making your own homemade vegan ranch is another good option if you’re feeling creative:
Is JUST Ranch Vegan Ranch Healthier Than Regular Ranch?
Usually, vegan food tends to be a good bit healthier than non-vegan food. It tends to be lower in fat, calories, sodium, and sugar.
Vegan food also typically uses fewer GMOs, fewer artificial ingredients, and fewer preservatives. Unfortunately, JUST Ranch Vegan Ranch is not healthier than regular ranch.
If you compare the ingredients and nutrition facts of JUST Ranch to Hidden Valley’s non-vegan ranch, you’ll notice that both the ingredients and nutrition facts are almost identical:
Hidden Valley Ingredients & Nutrition Facts:
JUST Ranch Ingredients & Nutrition Facts:
Generally speaking, ranch isn’t healthy. Like most condiments, it’s designed to add flavoring to food that you otherwise wouldn’t enjoy as readily. Just like BBQ sauce, vegan mayonnaise, and even ketchup, most condiments are empty carbs that consist of low-quality fats, sugar, and artificial flavoring.
As long as you treat JUST Ranch like a condiment, though, it shouldn’t have a big impact on your overall health. Just remember to consume it responsibly and don’t use more than you need.
What Does JUST Ranch Vegan Ranch Taste Like?
Let’s be honest, the taste is what most people care about, and vegan food has a reputation for falling short when it comes to flavor. However, JUST Ranch tastes surprisingly good!
Due to the fact that it uses almost identical ingredients to the non-vegan ranch, JUST Ranch tastes almost identical to the same old-fashioned ranch that you’ve been eating all your life. I know that real ranch has buttermilk and eggs, but I even notice their absence.
It just goes to show that food can taste just as good without animal products.
Where Can I Buy JUST Ranch Vegan Ranch?
Unfortunately, this is where things get a little bit tricky…
JUST Ranch has been officially discontinued.
If you try to look online, all of the stores will tell you that it’s unavailable, like so:
That being said, you may still be able to find JUST Ranch Vegan Ranch in physical grocery stores. The products were known for having a good shelf life, so there’s a good chance that certain grocery stores stocked up on JUST Ranch are still trying to sell out of it.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it in any of the grocery stores around me for several months!
JUST Ranch Vegan Ranch Alternatives
Okay, so you weren’t able to find JUST Ranch at your local supermarket. The game’s over, right?
Not so fast…
Thankfully, there are plenty of vegan ranch alternatives for sale on Amazon! Here’s a brief list of my favorite vegan ranch brands:
1) Only Plant Based! Vegan Ranch (link)
Only Plant Based! is an awesome company that makes an assortment of vegan sauces and dresses. Their vegan ranch happens to taste delicious, and actually contains more natural ingredients than JUST ranch.
Instead of canola oil, this vegan ranch alternative is made using rapeseed oil, which is known for its extra-smooth texture and consistency. Rapeseed oil is also a bit healthier than other vegetable oils.
2) Daiya Homestyle Ranch Dressing, Dairy Free (link)
If you’re looking for a vegan ranch with the simplest, shortest ingredients list, then Daiya’s Homestyle Vegan Ranch Dressing is your best bet.
It’s made with just a few simple ingredients: canola oil, water, vinegar, unrefined cane sugar, sea salt, chickpea protein, dextrose, natural flavors, lactic acid, xanthan gum, yeast extract, herbs, and spices.
It doesn’t have any of the chemical preservatives that JUST Ranch or even Only Plant Based! ranch has. Its simplicity makes for a delicious, all-natural vegan ranch that tastes great with veggies and salads.
Try JUST Egg: JUST’s Latest Innovation
After JUST stopped making their famous vegan ranch, they turned their efforts to a new project – JUST Vegan Eggs (Amazon Link). They currently make an egg-flavored dressing as well as vegan egg patties and vegan egg bites that you can warm up in the microwave.
You can buy them at Whole Foods Market or order them online from Amazon and get 2-hour delivery! In fact, I just ate some for breakfast yesterday morning, and they are delicious.
They taste remarkably similar to real eggs and even come pre-seasoned so they’re delicious right out of the microwave.
In Conclusion – Where Can I Buy Vegan Ranch?
The best place to find and buy vegan ranch alternatives is on Amazon. Ranch doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it’s opened, so it doesn’t require any special packaging or extra delivery fees.
Plus, you’ll be able to compare and contrast it to other vegan ranch brands, so you can find the one that’s best for you!
Do you want to know a really weird flavor combo I’ve been trying lately? Vegan ranch on top of vegan burgers. Mix in a little bit of hot sauce, and it makes for an incredible vegan burger. To see my favorite vegan plant burgers, keep on reading here!