This recipe for dairy free ranch dressing is going to quickly become your go to recipe for ranch dressing! Made with just a few ingredients, this creamy vegan ranch dressing is made without eggs or coconut milk! Ready in just 5 minutes, this dairy free ranch is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, low carb and Whole30 friendly!
There is something about ranch dressing that you can’t deny! It makes vegetables disappear and adds so much depth and flavor to a dish! And it’s a dressing for a long time I didn’t think I would enjoy again!
I stopped eating bottled dressing from the grocery store years ago because of the questionable ingredients. Unfortunately, I don’t like mayo as a base and I didn’t love the flavor when I made ranch dressing with things like greek yogurt or coconut milk. It just wasn’t the same, so I decided I just didn’t need ranch dressing in my life.
Well when I made Dave instant pot BBQ chicken a few weeks ago I wanted to make Dave stuffed sweet potatoes with bbq chicken and homemade Whole30 friendly ranch dressing. So I started playing around with making ranch dressing and now we are both obsessed with this dairy free ranch made with cashews!
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Why is this dairy free ranch dressing so good?
This dairy free ranch dressing is made with soaked cashews and comes out thick, creamy and slightly tangy with easy to find ingredients! Best of all, it’s ready in just 5 minutes and is less expensive than the higher end ranch dressings at the store!
What is vegan ranch dressing made of?
- Raw cashews (soaked) see tips below
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Garlic Olive Oil
- Dried Chives
- Dried Parsley
- Dried Dill
How do you make dairy free ranch dressing?
- To make this cashew ranch dressing you start by soaking the raw cashews.
- You can either soak them in filtered water on the counter for up to 8 hours or you cover the cashews in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes to soften them. I usually don't plan ahead enough so I normally boil them. If you have a Vitamix or something similar you may not need to soak the cashews, but it's an easy step so I wouldn't skip it
- Once the cashews are softened, drain the soaking water.
- Add the cashews, fresh water, apple cider vinegar and garlic olive oil to a high speed blender. Blend on high for about 45 seconds until smooth.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend just quick enough to incorporate.
- Note: If you add all the ingredients to the blender at once, you will get a light green dairy free ranch dressing. The taste will still be amazing but because you blend the dried herbs for so long, they will turn the dressing green! I may or may not have learned that from first hand experience!
Substitutes you can make for this dairy free ranch dressing recipe:
What if you don't have apple cider vinegar? You can use lemon juice, lime juice or red wine vinegar. The vinegar is the kick that gives the ranch dressing the tang that you would normally get from buttermilk so it's important that you don't skip this ingredient!
If you don’t have garlic olive oil, you can use a combination of olive oil and garlic powder. Use about ½ tsp of garlic powder with 1 tbsp olive oil. I wouldn't recommend using fresh garlic unless you really like garlic in your ranch dressing. I find that fresh garlic can quickly take over the flavor.
If you are nut free or can’t tolerate cashews, you could also try this recipe with hemp hearts. I have used hemp hearts in the past but they are not as sweet as the cashews so you may need to add 1 tsp. of maple syrup to help the flavor come together.
You can certainly use fresh herbs to make this recipe. However, I like to use dried herbs since I typically forget about my fresh herbs and they go bad before I get around to using them all. The rule of thumb is to double or triple the measurements with fresh herbs. This means if you want to use fresh chives, for example, you would want 3 tbsp fresh chives since the recipe calls for 1 tbsp. dried.
Can you make cashew ranch dressing without a blender?
If you don’t have a high speed blender (I use a little ninja bullet blender) you could also try to make this recipe with an immersion blender or in the food processor. However, I think the texture will be tough to get exactly right in the food processor.
How to thicken or thin out cashew ranch dressing?
- If your cashew ranch dressing seems a little thin after blending, it will thicken in the fridge. The dressing should thicken up within 30 minutes to 1 hour in the fridge.
- If the dressing still isn't thick enough, you can soak about 1/4 cup of cashews in boiling water, drain the water and blend the cashews into the dressing previously made.
- To thin out the dressing, simply add 1-2 tbsp of water at a time and blend with the blender or using a spoon.
How long does vegan ranch dressing last?
This dairy free ranch dressing should last about 5-7 days in the fridge in a sealed container.
How to store dairy free ranch dressing:
I usually store most leftovers and homemade sauces in glass containers so I can easily see what we have on hand. For storing the leftover dairy free ranch dressing I like to use:
- Mason jars or leftover salsa jars that have been run through the dishwasher
- Glass bottles or leftover kombucha bottles with wide mouths
Ideas on how to use this dairy free ranch dressing:
- On salads
- On wraps or sandwiches
- With bbq chicken or buffalo chicken (or salmon)
- Drizzled over roasted rosemary potatoes
- In chicken salad or tuna salad instead of mayo
- Dipping sauce for veggies
If you love this vegan ranch dressing you should also try:
Dairy Free Ranch Dressing
- Soak the raw cashews on the counter 2-8 hours or cover them in boiling water and soak for 4 minutes.
- Drain the water from the cashews.
- In a high speed blender, combine the cashews, fresh water, garlic olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Blend for about 45 seconds
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend quickly (5-10 seconds) to incorporate
- Refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow to thicken slightly
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