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Can You Eat Ranch Or Caesar Salad Dressing While Pregnant?

There are a whole host of things you have to give up when pregnant, from alcohol to cold cuts, and you might be wondering whether certain foods are safe.

One question you may be asking is can you eat ranch or caesar salad dressing while pregnant? Eating most foods is perfectly safe during pregnancy, but it is important that you know the risks. 

Here we’ve collected all the information on ranch and caesar salad dressings, and whether they are safe to consume while pregnant.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Ranch Or Caesar Dressing?

The issue with most ranch dressings is that they contain soy, sour cream, and buttermilk.

Not all buttermilk is safe for pregnant women to consume, so it is important to double-check before assuming it is safe. Most ranch dressings that are commercially made are completely safe to eat during pregnancy.

The most important thing is to ensure that the buttermilk and sour cream in the ranch dressing is pasteurized. The pasteurization progress involves a heat treatment that destroys microorganisms in certain foods. 

Caesar dressings on the other hand can sometimes be risky because they can sometimes contain raw eggs which potentially pose a salmonella risk.

However, most commercially prepared caesar dressings have pasteurized or cooked eggs, meaning that they are perfectly safe to consume while pregnant. 

Always double-check the label on any ranch or caesar dressings to make sure that none of the ingredients are unpasteurized or contain any raw eggs in the dressing. 

Homemade Or Store-Bought?

If you are wary of store-bought dressings, the good news is that they are likely safe if they are kept on the shelf.

Unpasteurized dressings would need to be kept in the refrigerator, so if they’re on the shelf, they’re probably safe- but remember to always double-check the labels.

If your dressing of choice is kept in the refrigerator, it’s worth checking the label to see if it is safe for consumption while you are pregnant. 

If you’re a fan of homemade dressings, you may need to check the recipe carefully to see if they’re safe for you to eat. Most recipes will contain either buttermilk or sour cream, but as long as you purchase a pasteurized version, you should be fine!

If you’re eating homemade ranch at someone else’s house, it’s worth double-checking the ingredient list with them and steering clear if they contain unpasteurized sour cream or buttermilk, or to see if it contains any uncooked eggs. 

And if you’re eating ranch at a restaurant ask the server what brand the restaurant uses. You should be able to find any information online, but if in doubt, steer clear!

Ranch Dressings That Are Safe To Eat While Pregnant

There are plenty of ranch dressings that are perfectly safe to consume while you’re pregnant. Here we’ve collected some of our favorites. 

  • Kraft Ranch – This ranch dressing contains pasteurized buttermilk, so it is totally pregnancy approved. 
  • Hidden Valley Ranch – This is a classic ranch flavor, and contains no eggs.
  • Litehouse Homestyle Ranch- This ranch contains non-fat buttermilk, egg yolk, and non-fat sour cream, however, it is all pasteurized and perfectly safe for consumption. 
  • Styletoyz Hidden Valley Ranch- Although this brand contains buttermilk and egg yolk, both are pasteurized so it is completely safe!
  • Newman’s Own Salad Dressing- This ranch dressing contains whole eggs and buttermilk that is pasteurized making it completely safe. 
  • Wish-Bone Light Ranch Dressing- This ranch dressing is completely pasteurized and pregnancy-safe. 

Caesar Salad Dressings That Are Safe To Eat While Pregnant

Here is a list of the caesar salad dressings that are safe to consume while you are pregnant, saving you the time of having to check every single label – we really do have better things to do with our time!

  • Panera Bread – This brand is made with eggs that are not only pasteurized but salted and frozen before being used in their in-store dressing. The ‘at home’ dressing si also safe.
  • Cardini – Contains eggs but these are pasteurized and so safe to consume while pregnant.
  • Ken’s  – Contains egg yolk but is also pasteurized and so pregnancy safe.
  • Trader Joe – Does not contain any egg and so it’s perfectly safe.
  • Costco/Kirkland – Contains only pasteurized eggs and is therefore safe.
  • Outback Steakhouse – Their Caesar dressing does not contain raw or unpasteurized eggs and is safe for pregnant women.

Ranch Dressing Variations

There are some variants of ranch dressings that might not be as safe for pregnancy. Here we have some of the most common variants and the risks associated with them. 

Buttermilk Ranch

Most ranch dressings have buttermilk in them, but as long as they are completely pasteurized there are no real risks involved. 

Buttermilk must be pasteurized like most dairy products as raw dairy products risk carrying the listeria bacteria, which can be passed on to the baby through the mother. 

Blue Cheese Ranch

Most blue cheese ranch dressings are perfectly safe for pregnant women to consume as they are made with cheese and pasteurized milk. If you’re unsure check the label to see if the milk is pasteurized.

If not, try to find a dressing with pasteurized milk, or stick to ranch-flavored snacks that are perfectly safe for consumption. 

Ranch Dressing Substitutes

If you’re still wary of consuming ranch dressing while pregnant, you may be looking for the perfect alternative. Here we’ve collected some of our favorites to help you choose. 


Plain yogurt is a great protein-rich option that contains calcium. Try mixing plain yogurt with some garlic and dill for a ranch substitute, or for something different stir in some tomatoes and cayenne for something with a little kick!

Olive Oil And Vinegar

Olive oil contains a bunch of healthy unsaturated fats, which contribute to a lower risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Mix some olive oil with a little vinegar for the base of a bold dressing, and add in some herbs or garlic to make some new and interesting combinations. 

Is Ranch Dressing A Healthy Option When Pregnant?

Ranch dressing can definitely be a healthy option while you are pregnant, as long as it does not contain high amounts of refined sugar. Most ranch dressings will state on their label if they contain corn syrup which is high in sugar content and best avoided when pregnant.

There are healthier versions of ranch dressing available and these have been made using semi-skimmed or skimmed milk – these would be a better choice.

Just one serving of the full fat ranch dressing contains over 120 calories and that is for just 2 small tablespoons – so it is definitely worth checking out those low-fat alternatives which usually come in at around 66 calories for the same sized serving.

The Final Thought

The good news is that most ranch dressings and caesar dressings are completely safe for you to eat during your pregnancy. The most important thing is to double-check if the milk products in your dressing of choice are pasteurized.

If they are, then it’s perfectly safe to consume, and if not there are plenty of substitutes available, such as yogurt, olive oil, or vinegar. 

And if you’re concerned about some of the other foods that are safe to eat during pregnancy, check out Can I Eat Clam Chowder While Pregnant?