Ready for a Summer Reset? Get your copy → tiny summer reset book cover

Vegan Ranch Dressing (with NO mayo!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

This vegan ranch dressing is my new favorite salad topper, and also doubles as an easy vegetable dip. Instead of using dairy or soy, it gets its creaminess from raw cashews!

carrot dipping into vegan ranch

(If you can’t eat cashews, be sure to check out the substitutions down below the recipe, or try my Lemon Tahini Dressing for a nut-free and vegan option.)

This dairy-free ranch recipe comes from my friend Alisa’s new book, Eat Dairy Free, which is loaded with over 100 dairy-free and allergy-friendly recipes. Her book includes ideas for everyday meals, snacks, and sweets, with comfort food favorites like dairy-free Chicken Alfredo, Black Bean Burgers, “Cheesy” Twice Baked Potatoes, and Mylk Chocolate Cupcakes.

eat dairy free book on a wood table with carrots and celery and ranch

If you’re not familiar with Alisa’s website, Go Dairy Free, it’s also a great resource for dairy-free living, including recipes, product reviews, and more.

Is ranch dressing made with milk?

Traditional ranch dressing recipes usually call for a combination of mayonnaise, sour cream, and sometimes buttermilk, so they are typically made with milk.

It could be easy to swap these ingredients for store-bought dairy free or vegan substitutes, but I prefer to use whole food ingredients, like cashews and olive oil, to avoid added preservatives or fillers. That’s why I love Alisa’s vegan ranch dressing recipe below!

ranch ingredients on white background overhead shot

What are the herbs in ranch dressing?

The main spices used in ranch dressing are onion, garlic, and parsley, along with plenty of salt and pepper. There is usually a bit of acid, in the form of lemon juice or vinegar, and then also a touch of sweetness to balance it all out. You can add a few more herbs, if you like, such as dill or chives, depending on the flavor you’re going for.

I like to use dried herbs when I make ranch dressing, because it reminds me of the spice packets my mom used to use when I was a kid, but you’re welcome to use freshly chopped herbs if you prefer.

Is ranch dressing healthy?

When it’s made with mayo and sour cream, ranch dressing can pack quite a few calories and grams of saturated fat into each serving. On top of that, dairy is a common allergen and may trigger an inflammatory response for certain people, making a dairy-based dressing less ideal.

However, when you make dairy-free ranch dressing with whole food ingredients, I think it’s a healthier choice– especially if it gets you eating more veggies!

vegan ranch dressing pouring over salad

More Vegan Salad Dressings

I hope you’ll enjoy this dairy-free ranch dressing recipe as much as I do. It makes a great dip for veggies, a party spread with chips, or practically anything else you use ranch for!

carrot dipping into vegan ranch
Print Pin
4.47 from 15 votes

Vegan Ranch Dressing

This dairy-free ranch dressing is made with cashews, olive oil, and herbs for an easy vegan and paleo alternative. It makes a healthy dip, too!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword ranch dressing, vegan ranch dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 72kcal


  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2/3 cup water (or non-dairy milk)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or mild oil of choice)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard (or ground mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives (optional)


  • Put the cashews in your spice grinder or small food processor and whiz until powdered, about 30 to 60 seconds. (If you have a high powered blender, like the Vitamix, you can skip this step.)
  • Put the cashew powder, water, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper in your blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the parsley.
  • Pour the dressing into an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to thicken and let the flavors develop. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake or whisk the dressing before each use.


Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 47mg | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 3.4mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Reprinted with permission from Eat Dairy Free, by Alisa Fleming.
For 2 tablespoons: Calories: 72, Carbohydrates: 2, Fat: 6, Protein: 1

 Recipe Notes:

  •  I used maple syrup in this recipe to keep it vegan, but if you’d prefer to use honey, Alisa’s recipe recommends using 1 teaspoon of that instead.
  • If you can’t tolerate cashews, sunflower seeds can be used instead, but the flavor will be slightly different. Because they are more bitter, you may want to add an extra splash of maple syrup to help balance that out.
  • Alisa’s original recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of grapeseed or rice bran oil, which will help make the dressing thicker, if you’d like. I only keep olive oil on hand at home, so I used less of it to lower the fat content and keep the flavor neutral. (I think the olive oil taste would be noticeable if you used more.)
  • If you’d like to soak the cashews for easier blending, I recommend soaking them in water for up to 2 hours, then draining and using only 1/2 cup of water in this recipe to start with. (You can always add more to thin it out later!)

Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite dairy-free swap? Share your favorite recipe links below!

Disclosure: Alisa sent me a complimentary copy of her cookbook, but I am under no obligation to share a positive review. I just wanted to share one of her delicious dairy-free recipes with you, because she’s a pro at making them! 

Get more recipes + meal plans in my books:

detox book and meal plan

Get Started Today!

Get a free 7-Day Kick Start when you sign up for my email newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



This was amazing! I can’t believe how similar it is to a ranch dressing made with dairy. I added a bit of dried dill as well. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I like adding a pinch of dill to mine, too. 🙂

Nan sommer

Sounds grea! Recently was gifted with IBS-D, and desperately look for similar recipes.

Do I order this intriguing cookbook through you or on my own?

Thank you again for this recipe.

Name Sommer


I’m sure to put it in my dressing list!
Here you used the non-dairy milk, didn’t you?
So the color will be different when you use water or milk..

    Megan Gilmore

    I always use water in dressings. I don’t think the non-dairy milk would be very noticeable, since you’re already mixing it with cashews. (Which is how you make most nut milks, anyway!)


Curious about using cashew mean/flour if you don’t have a good food processor? Not sure why I didn’t think of this before. Not having a high powered gadget has limited my dairy free options a bit.


what could I use if I cannot eat nuts?


    I am curious about this as well because I am allergic to tree nuts. Megan, would we be able to substitute the cashews with something else?

    Alisa Fleming

    You can use sunflower seeds, But the flavor will be a bit more pronounced and not quite as “ranch like.” Still good if you like the flavor of sunflower seeds though!


Wow!This was easy to make and was a game changer for us in that we have been buying vegan salad dressings for years. The store bought brands are tasty but not as good as this. I lowered the amount of oil to 1 tbsp, added arrowroot powder to thicken it. I didn’t have powdered garlic or onion, so I used fresh onions and garlic. Super tasty! Thanks for sharing.


This is like my holy grail of dressings. I made it as soon as I saw this post. I’m definitely checking her book out. Thanks for sharing this.


I’ve recently started making my own ranch dressing at home. I know it’s not traditional, but I like a 1/4 tsp each of dried dill and dried chive in mine.Just yesterday, I was wondering if I could make a vegan version. Thanks for posting the recipe. So excited to try this!

Riddhima Nair

Thanks for sharing the vegan ranch dressing yummy dish.


yummm! This ranch dressing sounds amazing!


This looks so good! I used to love ranch dressing but now that I am vegan, I never have it. What a great substitute for those of us who don’t eat dairy. Thanks!


Wow, that’s amazing! We looking for such recipe for long time (we use vegan mayo or vegan sourcream, but that’s wasn’t so good)! Thank you for sharing😊😍💖


I found this to be really sweet and a bit on the yucky side. It was so overpowered by maple and ACV that it didn’t really resemble ranch. 🙁


Hi Megan,

Do you think it would taste off if I omit all sweetners from the recipe?

Amritesh chaubey

I love it


What is “a serving”? 1 or 2 TBS?? Thank you.

    Megan Gilmore

    If you see the nutrition info that I post directly below the recipe card, I posted the nutrition for 2 tablespoons worth of dressing. Hope you’ll enjoy it!


This dressing is so creamy and so tasty!


Delicious! It’s just perfect:)


I’m not using oil these days. Can the oil be replaced with water? Or something else?


I don’t comment on recipes I have tried but I had to for this one. It is amazing! I have tried over 20 of your recipes in the last month since my family went to a whole food vegan diet. All of them have been good but this one surprised me. My other favorite is the lentil curry😊


This ranch recipe is amazing!!! So fresh and light. The texture is just like the real deal buttermilk ranch. I used…
1/2 water and 1/2 Soymilk
1/2 canola oil and 1/2 EVOO
fresh parsley instead of dried
Fresh garlic instead of dried
And added fresh dill

I would give this recipe more stars if I could, this is going to be a new staple in my household!

This is better than anything you will find pre-made at the store.

Thank you for sharing this treasure.


I never, ever give bad reviews but this tastes like straight oil. Would probably be great if it was far, far, far less or eliminated entirely.


can we just use cooked cashews


This is my go to vegan ranch recipe. I have used fresh chives or green onions before too and its wonderful. I omit the sugar, don’t think its necessary. I add a little more salt, real ranch is super salty!


So far the best ranch dressing I have had. I followed the recommendations to sub non-dairy milk and used grapeseed oil instead of olive oil

Get Started Today!

Get a free 7-Day Kick Start when you sign up for my email newsletter