14 Bottled Salad Dressings, Ranked Worst To Best

It's not difficult to make your own salad dressings at home. It only takes a few ingredients — like olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and balsamic vinegar –  to easily concoct delicious flavor combos to adorn all of your salads. But sometimes, you may not want to go through the hassle of whipping up your own dressing from scratch. Bottled salad dressings have you covered, whether you're looking for a quick and easy drizzle for your salad or want to spruce up your cut veggies. But which brands are the best, and which ones should you avoid? 

I ranked some of the most popular salad dressing brands from worst to best. To do so, I tasted each dressing on its own and with raw baby spinach to capture its individual flavor and see how it would perform on greens. I then evaluated the dressings based on the balance of salt, fat, and acidity in each, and also took into account each dressing's texture and the boldness of its flavor. Don't feel like you have to limit yourself to greens-heavy salads when you use these salad dressings; they can also be used in pasta and potato salads, as marinades, and as glazes. 

14. Kraft Zesty Catalina dressing

Kraft offers no shortage of dressings for salad and marinade-lovers to try. The brand has you covered, whether you're looking for a creamy, full-bodied dressing that can cover up even the most offensive salad flavors or a lighter, herby, and more oil-based dressing. But the real question is if the brand's dressings are really worth the price tag. 

If you're judging Kraft solely based on its Zesty Catalina Dressing, then probably not. This tomato puree-based dressing looks and sounds like it would be good, but once you actually get a taste, you'll understand why it takes the bottom spot on this list. It has a sweetness to it that simply doesn't go well with most salads. In fact, it almost tastes like plain tomato sauce, which probably isn't what most people are going for when it comes to salad dressing. The texture is quite rich, which can be helpful in certain contexts. But combined with the flavor, it's a no-go for me. Plus, the added food coloring is a huge turn-off.

So, sure, Kraft gives salad makers plenty of options to choose from. But the unpleasant flavor of the Zesty Catalina dressing makes it one that you're better off leaving on the shelf. 

13. Signature Select Italian dressing

Signature Select is an affordable store brand that's available in many grocery store chains that fall underneath the Albertsons umbrella. The brand has a large selection of different salad dressings to choose from, including similar varieties to big name brands like Kraft. While its selection is impressive, the flavor of Signature Select's dressings, including its Italian dressing and marinade, is not. 

Signature Select's Italian dressing is passable, but it's not something anyone should go out of their way to buy. The flavor is thinner than most of the other brands I tried on this list. It mostly tastes like barely-seasoned oil and vinegar — which means you could probably make a more delicious version of this dressing at home in just a few minutes. Although it's not bad and will get the job done in a pinch, most of the other options on this list taste way, way better.

12. Trader Joe's Goddess dressing

Trader Joe's may be well-known for its Green Goddess dressing, but if you want something a bit earthier, you can turn to the grocery chain's plain Goddess dressing instead. This dressing is quite thick — so thick, in fact, that it's slightly difficult to get it out of the bottle until you give it a few, strong shakes. This dressing is very tahini-dominant and you can taste that sesame flavor as soon as you take a bite. It's nutty, it's rich, and it's ... maybe a bit too much on the flavor front. Sure, this dressing would go well with some specific dishes (think cut veggies and toasted pita), but it's not as versatile as most of the other dressing options I sampled. 

That doesn't mean that all of Trader Joe's dressings are bad. But because this store stocks much fewer options than most larger stores out there, I'd hope that every single dressing it has in stock would be incredible. Unfortunately, the Goddess dressing just doesn't hit that mark. 

11. Hidden Valley ranch dressing

Hidden Valley's ranch dressing is absolutely iconic. It's featured on crudité platters with sliced veggies and some people even put it on pizza. And sure, it has an undeniable appeal. It's ultra-creamy and is definitely more unctuous than any of the other dressings on this list. This is likely due to the addition of buttermilk, which gives the dressing its full-bodied mouthfeel and texture. The flavor itself is bold and creamy — which makes it a dressing that actually tastes good all on its own, no baby carrots needed. But the issue with this dressing is that it's not versatile. 

Sure, Hidden Valley ranch dressing works well for dipping flavorless, store-bought veggies in, but if you're actually looking to enhance the flavor of naturally delicious produce, this dressing doesn't do you any favors. It essentially masks the flavor of whatever you're eating. 

While the brand carries other ranch flavors, like garlic and spicy hot honey, but they're just spin-offs of the lackluster ranch dressing. Once you've tasted Hidden Valley Ranch once, you don't really have to repeat the experience.

10. Wish-Bone balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Balsamic and olive oil is truly a match made in heaven, and that's what it seems like Wish-Bone was going for with its balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Although this is a beloved duo, you're better off mixing these two ingredients into a dressing at home yourself. While this dressing certainly isn't the worst one I sampled, it's simply not robust enough to hold up in a salad. It has a savory, fruity quality to it that's undeniably well-balanced. But ultimately, the flavor and texture is a bit too thin for a balsamic-based dressing, which earns it a spot in the middle of this list.

This is far from the brand's only dressing. Wish-Bone makes a ton of other products, ranging from creamy concoctions to ultra-light vinaigrettes. Overall, Wish-Bone's dressings feel a bit lower in quality than some of the other brands on this list, but it's generally a reliable brand if you want something simple and unfussy to adorn your salad with. Just don't expect a transcendent flavor experience, and you shouldn't be too disappointed.

9. California Olive Ranch garlic apple cider vinaigrette dressing

California Olive Ranch is one of the best, widely-available olive oil brands out there. Therefore, you might assume that the brand's dressing would be equally as good as its standout ingredient. However, that's not necessarily the case, at least when you consider its garlic apple cider vinaigrette dressing. This flavor combination sounds delicious, but the execution falls a bit short. The apple cider vinegar flavor is perhaps a bit too strong here, and thus creates an unbalanced profile. You actually don't get a ton of garlic from this dressing because acidity drowns it out. Plus, there's a palpable sweetness there from the addition of cane sugar. I think the brand could have gotten away with dialing back on the sugar. 

However, California Olive Ranch does get extra points because of how creative some of its dressing flavors are. The carrot miso vinaigrette, for example, is a flavor combo you're probably not going to find offered by other brands. Give California Olive Ranch's dressing products a try if you want to taste something new, but keep your expectations in check.

8. Bragg vinaigrette dressing

A lot of shoppers associate Bragg with its nutritional yeast, but it also carries dressings. Bragg's vinaigrette dressing is uniquely sweet, probably from the addition of honey. The sweetness is quite strong and overpowers the other flavors in the mix. It's not as savory as most salad dressings on this list and it's missing that saltiness that keeps you coming back for another bite. However, that doesn't mean all hope is lost; this is a salad dressing that would taste incredible with a fruit-forward, summery salad base. This one ranked slightly above the California Olive Ranch selection because the balance of flavors is slightly better here, despite the strong, sweet profile.

Since Bragg's main business isn't its dressings, it doesn't have a ton of different options to choose from. Its other apple cider vinegar-based dressings have a bit more a punch to them, while this one falls short on the promise of a solid, zippy flavor. 

7. Briannas organic rich poppy seed dressing

Imagine if Hidden Valley Ranch had an older, cooler sister. That's exactly what you're getting when you taste Briannas' organic rich poppy seed dressing. This salad dressing is beautifully creamy, but it's not quite as rich as buttermilk-heavy ranch. This means it can go on lighter, more refreshing salads without completely overpowering them. 

There's a definite onion flavor to this dressing, which gives it a savory undertone. But a sweet flavor also emerges, and tastes like this dressing was made with caramelized onions. The poppy seeds add a lot in terms of texture, which is a nice departure from the many oily-but-otherwise-textureless dressings on this list. There could be a bit more complexity in the flavor profile, but I can't complain too much.

Briannas offers more than just rich poppy seed dressing. With over 25 creative flavors to choose from, it's a brand that every salad lover has to try out at some point.

6. 365 organic spicy ranch dressing

Ranch is ranch is ranch. Once you've tasted one version of this classic, you've tasted them all. Right? But that's just not the case when it comes to 365's spicy ranch dressing, at least. Whole Foods really committed to the spicy bit with this product. Since ranch dressing is usually so un-spicy, you may not be prepared for the heat you get from this bottle of dressing. The jalepeños offer an undeniable warmth, but they are light enough in flavor to complement the creamy sauce quite well.

Although this salad dressing is a bit creamy for the average, greens-based salad, it would be excellent in potato or pasta salads. That creamy texture works especially well with carbs of all kinds. If you're still on the fence about the spicy element, you can rest assured that Whole Foods has you covered with less piquant dressings, too, like its organic blue cheese dressing and plan, light ranch.

5. Newman's Own Parmesan and roasted garlic dressing

It's not every day that you find a cheesy dressing on store shelves, which is why tasting Newman's Own Parmesan and roasted garlic dressing is such a breath of fresh air. You can seriously taste the Parmesan here, so you know the brand didn't skimp out on one of the most important ingredients in the mix. Don't worry, though — you're going to get plenty of garlic flavor from this dressing as well. The vinegar note is strong and offers a considerable acidity. In fact, it might be slightly too acidic, but it's definitely still a delicious option.

Newman's Own might be a common grocery store brand, but it's one that feels just slightly luxurious. This isn't an expensive bottle of dressing, but it's a step above the basic brands like Wish-Bone and Signature Select. I would recommend trying its other unique flavors, like raspberry walnut and lemon basil vinaigrette, if you want something that feels just slightly elevated. Your salad will thank you.

4. Open Nature lemon garlic vinaigrette dressing

Open Nature offers a range of simple, yet flavorful, dressings, including some vegan options. In general, these are relatively high-quality condiments that go beyond basic flavor profiles. One of the best flavors in the brand's entire lineup, though, is the lemon garlic vinaigrette dressing. This is a salad dressing for citrus lovers everywhere because that lemon flavor really shines through. You could probably assume, based on the name, that there's going to be a strong garlic flavor as well. That's certainly a safe assumption, as you won't have to add any additional garlic to your salad after using this dressing.

This dressing is bright and acidic, with a cleaner, fresher flavor than most of the others on this list. It's distinctively summery and is one refreshing dressing that you can use to complement less flavor-forward salad components. It would be especially delicious when paired with orzo, feta, olives, and other briny flavors.

3. Annie's shiitake sesame vinaigrette dressing

A lot of salad dressings you'll find in stores are basic, unremarkable, and lack strong, assertive flavors. That's definitely not the case when it comes to Annie's salad dressings. This brand doesn't shy away from flavor, whether we're talking about its fig balsamic vinaigrette, Green Goddess dressing, or Thousand Island dressing.

If you're looking for a bold, yet beautifully balanced dressing, you may want to check out Annie's shiitake sesame vinaigrette dressing. This is probably the boldest dressing that I included in this roundup. It's quite salty and acidic, but it offers a lot of complexity. The sesame oil is restrained (perhaps slightly too restrained), but that allows the flavor of the shiitake to really shine. This dressing has that savory, umami flavor that can transform a dish with a drizzle. As delicious as this dressing is with salad, it's even better as a marinade. Flavor-wise, it can hold up to mushrooms, tempeh, and beef especially well.

2. Ken's Steak House Greek dressing

There's no shortage of dressing options to choose from when you opt for Ken's Steak House. Seriously — this brand has over 60 flavors to choose from, so it's got you covered no matter what kind of flavor profile you're going for. Some of these flavors are pretty standard — you've got to have your Thousand Islands and Caesars, after all — but others are more unexpected, like the Chef's Reserve raspberry walnut and peppercorn ranch.

One salad dressing from the brand that really stands out, though, is the Greek dressing. This is a delicious dressing, especially for anyone who likes cheese and olives. You can actually see and taste tiny pieces of olives and feta cheese in this dressing, which gives it a lovely textural quality in addition to its bold, umami flavor. It's well balanced and not too oily, despite being a vinaigrette. This is a dressing you could genuinely drink because it's so tasty. But, it just doesn't have the same complexity as my top pick. 

1. Acid League mango jalapeño cilantro vinaigrette dressing

If you're looking for a dressing that strays from the typical dressing model, you have to check out Acid League's offerings. You're not going to find this brand's flavors anywhere else. The miso Caesar dressing is something special, as is the toasted Thai coconut vinaigrette. But perhaps the best of them all is Acid League's mango jalapeño cilantro vinaigrette dressing.

It may sound like there's a lot going on here. But all of these flavor elements come together beautifully in a dressing that should probably be drizzled all over everything, forever. It's bright and zingy, with a perceptible lime note that's unlike other dressings that utilize lemon as a primary flavor instead. The mango is really present too, but it's more of a fresh, unripe mango flavor than a sweet one. While the jalapeño zing isn't strong, the flavor is definitely there. Basically, this dressing is guaranteed to upgrade your salad (or your tacos ... or anything else you want to eat with it).


I chose brands for this ranking that are widely available in grocery stores, specialty shops, or online. The specific flavors were chosen to provide some variety to the ranking, as each brand's specific offerings vary significantly. I first tasted each dressing on a spoon to hone in on the nuances of the flavors. Then, I drizzled some of each on small portions of baby spinach to taste how they worked with greens. The criteria for the ranking was mostly based on the boldness and balance of flavor, but I also considered the texture, ingredients, and versatility of each one I sampled.