Vegan Ranch Dressing tastes better than store-bought dressing, and is made without using dairy or mayo! Drizzle it over salads, or use it as an easy veggie dip.
Why You’ll Love It
It tastes like the real thing. This homemade vegan ranch dressing tastes like the popular mix that you can stir together at home, but it’s made with simple ingredients.
It’s easy to make. Just toss a few ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth to create the creamy base. Then pulse in the dried herbs, for an authentic look and flavor!
It’s great for special diets. This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and Paleo friendly. You can also make it oil-free by omitting the 1 tablespoon of oil called for in this recipe. (It’s still delicious either way!)
It’s versatile. You can serve this homemade ranch dressing as a dip for raw veggies, french fries, or buffalo cauliflower wings, or drizzle it on veggie burgers for extra flavor. It will thicken up when chilled, if you prefer a thicker dip!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Rather than using vegan mayo, raw cashews provide the creaminess in this recipe. When shopping for cashews, look for ones that are not roasted or salted, for the most mild flavor.
You can also replace the nuts with hemp hearts, which are a complete source of plant-based protein. They make an easy nut-free alternative.
Dried herbs make this vegan salad dressing recipe more convenient, but you can also use fresh, if you prefer. When swapping fresh herbs for dried herbs, be sure to triple the amount called for. (Dried herbs are more concentrated in taste.)
How to Make the Best Vegan Ranch Dressing
1. Soak the cashews.
To help soften the cashews, place them in a bowl and cover them with a 1/2 cup of hot water. Set that aside while you measure the other ingredients, or let it rest up to 2 hours before you plan on blending. This step is optional, but helpful if you don’t have a powerful blender.
Note: Soaking the cashews for hours is not necessary. I usually only let the cashews soak for 5 to 10 minutes, because I’m impatient and don’t plan ahead. There’s no need to drain the water from the cashews, unless you are doing so to help them digest a little better. (Blending may help with that, too.)
Pour the cashews and their soaking water into the blender, along with the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, salt, and black pepper.
Blend until the dressing looks smooth and creamy, about 60 seconds in a high-speed blender. If the dressing isn’t looking smooth enough, add 1 more tablespoon of water and blend again, until the cashews are totally pulverized.
3. Add the herbs.
For a classic speckled look, add in the parsley, chives, and dried dill after the dressing already looks smooth and creamy. Secure the lid on the blender and pulse briefly, just until the herbs are evenly mixed in.
If you blend for too long, the vegan ranch dressing will turn green, rather than looking white with bits of herbs throughout.
You can serve this vegan ranch recipe right away, over a salad or as a dip for sliced carrots and celery sticks. Or, store it in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will thicken up even more. (The flavor also gets better when it sits overnight, so keep that in mind!)
This cashew ranch dressing recipe is adapted from a combination of the Hemp Seed Ranch Dressing in my first cookbook, and the dressing from Eat Dairy Free, which is loaded with over 100 dairy-free and allergy-friendly recipes. (Check it out if you need more dairy-free ideas!)
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional ranch dressing recipes usually call for a combination of mayonnaise, sour cream, and sometimes buttermilk. You could swap those for store-bought alternatives, like soy milk, almond milk, or vegan mayonnaise, but I prefer to use these simple nutrient-dense ingredients, instead.
The main spices used in ranch dressing are onion, garlic, and parsley, along with plenty of salt and pepper. I also like to add chives and a pinch of dill. The flavors will get stronger as they meld in the fridge overnight, so keep that in mind when you make this.
You can replace the cashews with hemp hearts, for a nut-free dressing.
Looking for more vegan sauces? Try Tahini Dill Dressing, Romesco Sauce, or the best ever Peanut Sauce.
Best Vegan Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup warm water , plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill (optional; but recommended)
- Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with the warm water. Let them soak together while you measure the rest of the ingredients, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Pour the cashews and their soaking water into the blender, then add in the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Secure the lid on the blender and blend until smooth, about 60 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides, as needed, to make sure everything gets blended, and add an additional tablespoon of water, if needed, to help the cashews break down into a silky-smooth texture.
- Next, add in the parsley, chives, and dill, and pulse briefly, just to incorporate them. (This gives the dressing a speckled look, like traditional ranch. If you blend too long it could turn green instead.) Taste and adjust any seasoning as needed. You may want to add up to 1/4 teaspoon more salt, or extra lemon for a more tangy flavor.
- Pour the dressing into an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. It will thicken much more in the fridge overnight, so I recommend adding a tablespoon of water, or more, as needed to thin it out again the next day. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake the dressing before each use.
If you try this dairy-free ranch dressing, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.
Questions and Reviews
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!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I like adding a pinch of dill to mine, too. 🙂
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.
Her book is available through my affiliate link on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2GLiBKy (Or you might be able to find it at a local bookstore.)
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..
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?
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!
She has a hemp seed ranch dressing in one of her cookbooks!
Is there a good substitute for the cashews that would work? I’m allergic to cashews. Thanks
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.
I have a son who is extremely allergic to cashews. Has anyone substituted almonds (he can have almond, pine and hazelnuts)?
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!
Does any other nut work for the ranch dressing? I am highly allergic to cashews 🙁
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!
Recipe sounds really good but I can’t do cashews and for some reason I didn’t see the cashew substitutes. Has anyone substituted the cashews with something? Thanks so much!
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. 🙁
Do you think it would taste off if I omit all sweetners from the recipe?
I love it
What is “a serving”? 1 or 2 TBS?? Thank you.
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!
Has anyone tried a cashew substitute?
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.
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
I’m 14 years old and an ultimate ranch lover, yet a vegan. I tried Daiya’s brand of ranch, but it just wasn’t right. Realized I had all the ingredients and rushed to make it. I didn’t use mustard or syrup, but it was so good! It actually tasted like real ranch dressing! About to go enjoy it with a salad. Thank you so much for this recipe!
This is amazing! I love ranch too, but I DO NOT eat mayo. I always sub for yogurt, but the cashews here sound great! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
I LOVE the dill! I cut the oil in half as I try not to use any oil in general, it was still delicious! I am so glad I found you. You have made sticking to a plant-based diet easy and 100% more enjoyable. THANK-YOU 😊
Delicious! Made it just as written and used as salad dressing and veggie dip. So glad for a healthier and non dairy ranch sauce!
Wanted to love it. But not my fav. Prefer the mayo based dairy free dressings.
This is delightful!!! I’m out of dill, so I couldn’t add that (though I will in the future because… yum!). I also didn’t have dried chives, so I used dried minced onion instead. It’s chilling in the fridge now; can’t wait to eat it later!
This recipe is great! I can’t believe how much it tastes like “regular” ranch. This has become a staple for me!
I just ran out of cashews because I made the zucchini cheesecake (also totally awesome!) so I substituted hemp hearts, which gave kind of a peppery background, still very tasty. I’m surprised how much the dressing thickens up overnight! Thank you so much for your recipes that get me to eat more veggies and especially salads!
This dip is SOOOO good! It had me hunting for veggies to eat it with! I could eat it with a spoon! I make it often and it really gets me eating more veggies. Seriously, so good. Go make it right now!
Just tried the Vegan Ranch Dressing–AMAZING!! I’m off of dairy, and was really missing my Ranch dressing. Quick and easy to whip up at home, too!
I just made this and loved it on my salad. I added a little more lemon juice and reduced the salt a bit, but it was seriously yummy. Thank you.
Looks yummy. Is this dressing considered “neutral” or is it a nuts/seeds/dried fruit thing. Trying to figure out for food combining.
Technically it’s in the nut/seed category, but I’ve started considering dressings and sauces more neutral, because they don’t seem to impact my digestion when I eat them over a big bowl of veggies or cooked starches. (Like over a grain bowl) I hope you’ll enjoy experimenting with it!
I made a triple batch this week because my daughter ate the whole batch in a day last week! I didnt have parsley so I used cilantro, omitted the oil, and omitted the chives because I didn’t have any on hand. It is the best ranch I have ever made. And I’ve been dairy free since 2012 so that’s saying a lot!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the vegan ranch dressing, Ashley! Thanks so much for letting me know the swaps you tried, too. I love cilantro, so that sounds amazing!
Terrific dressing, used half half cashew and hemp seeds, with fresh chives instead of dried as thats what I had on hand. It made more than I was expecting though, can I freeze part of it…? Thanks!!
I love this dressing! I couldn’t find an organic ranch dressing without certain ingredients, but this recipe has solved my problem. I usually make it with hemp seeds.
Megan, I have been making the ranch dressing from your Everyday Detox cookbook for years. Is this one made with cashews what you would consider as an update to the recipe in the ED cookbook? Also, I see a lot of comments about allergies to cashews. Those readers may want to consider the recipe in the ED cookbook as it’s made with hemp hearts and really tasty!
I want to try this. Could I use hemp milk instead of hemp hearts? Also, I cannot have vinegar…will this affect the overall ranch affect?
Recommending this Creamy Ranch recipe to almost everyone I know is something I just can’t stop doing. I make a new batch of it every week and am so grateful to have found it. My 6 year old son also loves Ranch and has given this alternative his stamp of approval. He even likes to use it as dip for potato chips.
DELICIOUS!!! like oh my goodness, I will never buy/make any other ranch! I am vegetarian, but trying to go all plant based, and I am SOOO happy I found this recipe. I’ve made other things from detoxinista and always love them-and she did it again with this recipe! Can’t wait to try more dressings and vegan recipes! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
We will be using this recipe quite a bit in our house! It is delicious! The flavors are a wee bit strong for me so I added a little cashew yogurt, but it is great to have a solid foundation to work from. Well done!! I have been reading your blog for so many years and can always count on you to make something delicious, healthy, and versatile.