Trader Joe’s Organic Sriracha Ranch Dressing

Trader Joe's Organic Sriracha Ranch Dressing

Hot like the sun is hot.

I’ve seen some pretty shocking things appear on the Trader JOe’s shelves over the years – chocolate/wine drinks, pumpkin greek yogurt, chocolate bars made with bacon – but I’m usually able to take it all in stride. When you shop at Trader Joe’s you have to expect the unexpected. However, Trader Joe’s Srirach Ranch Dressing I was totally unprepared for. Ranch dressing? Available at Trader Joe’s? Holy crap!

Unfortunately, however, this new salad dressing offering is a mixed blessing.

Ranking: 3 stars 3 star ranking

What it is: Very spicy ranch dressing.
Price: $2.99 for a 16 oz. bottle
Worth it: Good for wings, but too spicy for salad.

As you might have gleaned from the frequency I write about them, I’m a fan of salads. I’m a fan of salads in the same way that rats are a fan of untended grain silos – which is to say I eat salads with a ravenous, unstoppable intensity. With their plethora of fresh produce, Trader Joe’s is a real boon for salad lovers like me – except that they seemed to miss the memo on two important points.

One, for some reason Trader Joe’s refuses to sell reasonable quantities of croutons at reasonable prices. You can buy a small sachet of artisinal cheese bagel rounds for $4.99, and that’s it. How can you carry two types of salmon jerky, but no croutons, Trader Joe? Madness.

Two, Trader Joe’s refuses to expand their salad dressing line. The salad dressings they offer are good, sure. I love a little bit of Asian Sesame Seed Dressing or Balsamic Vinaigrette on my freshly washed greens, but the quantities are laughable. Only available in small, solid glass, 8 oz bottles, picking up salad dressing at Trade Joe’s feels more like picking through potions at a medieval apothecary than shopping for condiments.

So as exciting as a new flavor of Trader Joe’s dressing is – and being able to buy ranch dressing at Trader Joe’s is *very* exciting – what I was most shocked by was the new, full-sized, 16 oz. salad dressing bottle. The bulbous plastic bottle with screw on cap might seem weirdly plebeian by Trader Joe’s standards, but it’s nice to see Trader Joe’s do something like a normal person every once in a while as well.

So at $2.99 per bottle the price is right, the size is right, and since this is just spicy ranch dressing we’re talking about, surely the flavor is just fine as well. Right? Right? Well, no – not really.

Look, I’ve had spicy ranch dressing before. I know what to expect from spicy ranch dressing – that familiar buttermilk creaminess spiced up with some piquant red pepper. Trader Joe’s Sriracha Ranch Dressing may look like it’s taking this route, but they actually deliver something far more intense.

Taking the “Sriracha” part of the name seriously, they’ve loaded up this simple dressing with a mouth blistering blast of pure chili paste. I’m not kidding – this “ranch dressing” might even be spicier than Trader Joe’s own Sriracha knock-off. How does that even work?

Overall, the whole ranch dressing part takes a serious back seat to the sriracha. That means if you want to use this dressing to kick up your burger and fries, add flare to your tacos, or serve as a dipping sauce for chicken wings you’re in good shape. However, if you want to slather it on a bed of lettuce and carrots, you had better be ready for your lips to blaze with the fire of a thousand raging suns. It’s far more a hot sauce than a salad dressing.

As far as I’m concerned, I could maybe see incorporating this into an Asian noodle salad or similar, but this was way to spicy for my daily salad needs.

The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: Only if you like your salads hot.

Would I Buy It Again: Nope, too spicy for me.

Final Synopsis: A good hot sauce substitute, but not great on salads.


12 Comments on “Trader Joe’s Organic Sriracha Ranch Dressing”

  1. tyler f. says:

    yes, this is pretty hot stuff but worked when I added more than lettuce and kale greens: as in sliced roasted baby potatoes, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and homemade bread crumbs. I would think it would also work as a condiment for hot wings.
    btw: Joe’s also carries a pretty terrific Buttermilk dressing which I love.

  2. Mara says:

    How about as a dip, either for wings or carrot sticks, cucumber spears, etc.?

  3. Erin says:

    We love TJ’s Parmesan Ranch dressing — in the refrigerated section. And based on your post, this new dressing sounds great. Bring on the spice! BUT, then we looked up the nutrition data. 11% RDA sodium for 2T. That’s a lot. 80 calories is “okay.” We’ll stick with the parm ranch.

  4. Anonymous says:

    this is amazing. i give it a million stars!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love it I use it instead of mayo in the canned chicken and topped my salad with that and feta cheese and tomatoes. Outstanding!!

  6. gothics says:

    A very solid addition to fish tacos. I used it with the habanero lime wraps. Tasty!

  7. Erin says:

    I replied above a while back. Finally tried the dressing. HUGE fan. I will even drizzle on steamed broccoli. I think another use would be in chicken salad. SO, for those who like some spice, I highly recommend Beanitos Chile Lime Puffs. Best “chip” I’ve had in years. Trader Joe’s needs to beef up its chip offering. We only buy tortilla chips there…and their jalapeno puff things are weak.

  8. Anthony says:

    This is the best spicy ranch dressing I have ever tasted. I like spicy and this is spicy. I use it on my salad all the time and makes it so much more delicious. If you don’t like spicy, don’t get it. If you like a little spicy, don’t get it. This is for people who like spicy foods amd sauces. 5 stars in my book.

  9. promacnyc says:

    UPDATE: Buy it again and check it out for an updated version – I think. Can’t prove it. I too found it so spicy (but good) that I used to “cut it” with some yogurt and use super sparingly. But I think TJ’s has re-formulated the recipe and have toned it down from Super Spicy to just Spicy. If you didn’t like it before, you might now. If you like it before, you may find it better. I do think its a terrific product.

  10. Kelly says:

    Stuff is great on salads even if you make a taco salad

  11. promacnyc says:

    Sadly they discontinued this wonderful stuff!

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