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How much seasoning is in a packet of ranch?

Ranch dressing is a popular salad dressing and dip that has a tangy, creamy flavor. It’s made from a mixture of buttermilk, mayonnaise, and seasoning ingredients like garlic, onion, herbs, and spices. The seasoning packet contains the dry seasoning mix that gives ranch its distinctive taste. But how much seasoning is actually in one of those little packets? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

What’s in the ranch seasoning packet?

A typical ranch seasoning packet contains some combination of the following dry ingredients:

  • Dried parsley
  • Dried dill weed
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ground black pepper
  • Dried buttermilk powder
  • Salt
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

The exact amounts of each ingredient can vary between brands. But generally, parsley and dill make up the bulk of the packet, giving ranch its fresh, herbal flavor. The garlic, onion, and black pepper add a savory kick, while the buttermilk powder contributes the tanginess. MSG enhances the other flavors. Table salt seasons the mix.

How much is in a typical packet?

The amount of seasoning in an individual ranch packet ranges from about 1 to 3 tablespoons, or 5 to 15 grams. Here are some more specific breakdowns for popular U.S. brands:

  • Hidden Valley Ranch: 1 tablespoon (7g)
  • Kraft Ranch: 1.5 tablespoons (8g)
  • Wish-Bone Ranch: 2 tablespoons (12g)
  • Great Value Ranch: 2 tablespoons (10g)

So a single packet contains roughly 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried seasoning, which translates to 5 to 15 grams. But remember, brands can differ in their exact amounts.

Nutrition Information

Calories and macronutrients

One packet of ranch seasoning mix contains minimal calories and macronutrients:

  • Calories: 10-15 calories per packet
  • Protein: 0-1 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1-3 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams

Since it’s mostly composed of herbs, spices, and salt, the seasoning packet itself has negligible macronutrient content. The calories and nutrients mainly come from the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and other ingredients you use to make the full ranch dressing.

Sodium content

While the calories may be low, a single packet provides a high amount of sodium:

  • Sodium: 250-500 mg per packet

That’s about 10-20% of the recommended daily value for sodium in just the seasoning alone. The finished dressing will contain even more sodium from the mayonnaise and other added ingredients. If you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to be mindful of how much ranch seasoning you use when preparing the dressing.

Cost Breakdown

Price per packet

Ranch seasoning packets are inexpensive on their own. Here’s what you can expect to pay:

  • Bulk or generic packets: $0.05 – $0.10 per packet
  • Name brand packets: $0.15 – $0.25 per packet

Purchased in bulk or purchased as generic store brands, ranch packets cost only 5 to 10 cents each. Branded packets like Hidden Valley are pricier at around 15 to 25 cents apiece.

Price to make homemade

You can also easily make ranch seasoning from common spices and herbs:

Ingredient Amount Estimated Price
Dried parsley 2 tablespoons $0.05
Dried dill 1 tablespoon $0.03
Garlic powder 1 teaspoon $0.03
Onion powder 1 teaspoon $0.03
Black pepper 1 teaspoon $0.02
Buttermilk powder 2 teaspoons $0.05
Salt 1/2 teaspoon $0.01
Total $0.22

It costs about $0.22 to make a batch of homemade ranch seasoning equivalent to 2 packets worth. That’s cheaper than store-bought packets.

Serving Sizes

How much packet mix per cup of dressing?

The amount of seasoning mix needed for ranch dressing depends on how much you’re making:

  • For 1 cup of dressing: Use about 1 packet (1-2 tablespoons)
  • For 2 cups: Use 2 packets (2-4 tablespoons)
  • For 1 bottle (16 oz): Use 1 envelope (about 1/4 cup)

The general guideline is 1 packet per cup of finished dressing. Scale up or down depending on your recipe size.

Serving size of dressing

The standard serving size of prepared ranch dressing is:

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml)

This 2-tablespoon serving of dressing contains around:

  • 45 calories
  • 4 grams fat
  • 135 mg sodium

Stick with a 2-tablespoon serving to moderate calories, fat, and sodium intake from the dressing.


Shelf life of packets

Unopened ranch seasoning packets have an extended shelf life:

  • 12-24 months at room temperature

The packets are designed to stay fresh at room temp for over a year. Check the best by date on the package.

Once opened, the packets should be used within:

  • 3-6 months

After opening, use the seasoning within 6 months for optimal freshness and flavor. Transfer it to an airtight container if not using right away.

Shelf life of prepared dressing

The shelf life of homemade ranch dressing is:

  • 5-7 days refrigerated

Keep freshly made ranch dressing in the fridge and use within a week. The creamy ingredients like mayo and buttermilk shorten the fridge life compared to just the dry seasoning alone.


Uses for ranch packets

Aside from making dressing, ranch seasoning packets can be used to:

  • Season chicken, fish, or vegetables
  • Add flavor to dips and spreads
  • Sprinkle on popcorn, pizza, or fries
  • Flavor creamy foods like mashed potatoes or egg salad
  • Make savory rubs for meats

Get creative and use the packets beyond just salad dressing! The seasoning blend adds a tasty kick to all kinds of recipes.

What can ranch dressing be used for?

Prepared ranch dressing is great for:

  • Salads, especially green and pasta salads
  • Vegetable dips like carrots, celery, broccoli
  • Sandwiches and wraps
  • Pizza crust and potato dips
  • Burger and sandwich topping
  • Fried foods like chicken tenders or fries

Ranch dressing pairs well with fresh and fried vegetables, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and more thanks to its cool, creamy, and tangy flavor.


To summarize key details on ranch seasoning packets:

  • Contain 1-2 tablespoons (5-15 grams) of dried herb and spice blend
  • Provide main ranch flavors like dill, parsley, garlic, onion
  • Cost around $0.10-$0.25 per packet
  • Have a 1+ year shelf life unopened; 6 months opened
  • Use 1 packet per 1 cup of dressing
  • Add flavor beyond just salad dressing

So while they may be small, ranch seasoning packets pack a flavorful punch. One packet can season a cup of dressing or lend its signature taste to all kinds of recipes. Understanding how much seasoning is inside and how to best use it opens up options for enjoying this popular mix in dips, on meats, and beyond just salads.