This homemade vegan ranch dressing really captures the essence of the real thing. It’s all about the fresh herbs and spices when it comes to making a healthy dressing that tastes as good (if not better) than something you can buy in the grocery store.
This easy vegan ranch dressing recipe brings together simple ingredients to create a creamy and flavorful dressing that is perfect for salads, vegan wings and sandwiches.
You don’t need a long list of complicated ingredients to make something delicious. This recipe is incredibly simple and uses all plant-based ingredients. It’s my favorite homemade ranch dressing yet! The base of cashews is mixed together with garlic powder and dried herbs for a delicious vegan version of the classic ranch dressing. All you need is a high-powered blender or food processor to whip this together.
About the ingredients
- Raw Cashews – Provide a creamy base for the dressing, mimicking the richness of traditional ranch dressings made with dairy. They are essential for achieving the desired creamy consistency without using any dairy products.
- Oat Milk (or other unflavored non-dairy milk like cashew milk) – Adds liquid to the recipe, contributing a slight sweetness and neutral flavor while ensuring the dressing isn’t too thick. It helps achieve a balanced texture, making it easier to drizzle or mix into dishes.
- Fresh Lemon Juice – Adds acidity and tanginess, enhancing the overall taste of the dressing and creating a brighter flavor profile characteristic of ranch dressing.
- Fresh Garlic, Lightly Crushed – Offers a pungent and savory flavor, providing depth and complexity to the dressing. Its flavor is key for achieving an authentic ranch taste.
- Dijon Mustard – Adds a hint of spiciness and tanginess, acting as an emulsifier to bind the ingredients together and prevent separation. It enhances the flavor profile and contributes to the dressing’s smooth texture.
- Onion Powder – Adds a sweet and savory onion flavor without the texture of raw onions, complementing the other ingredients and adding depth to the dressing.
- Coarse Salt – Salt enhances the flavors of the other ingredients, balances the acidity, and brings out the natural flavors, ensuring a well-balanced and flavorful dressing.
- Ground Black Pepper – Black pepper adds a subtle spiciness and warmth, complementing the other seasonings and contributing to the characteristic flavor profile of ranch dressing.
- Dried Parsley – Adds a mild herbaceous flavor and vibrant green specks, enhancing the appearance and providing additional flavor to the dressing.
- Dried Dill – Contributes a distinctive herbaceous and slightly tangy flavor, essential for achieving the authentic taste of ranch dressing.
- Smoked Paprika – Adds a smoky and slightly sweet flavor, as well as a deep red color, enhancing the flavor profile and distinguishing the dressing.
- Cayenne – Cayenne adds heat and a subtle spiciness, balancing the other flavors and providing a bit of kick to the dressing. It can be adjusted according to personal preference for heat level.
How to use this dressing
There are so many different ways to use this creamy vegan ranch dressing. It’s a great option for salads, but it also works on so many of my favorite things to eat. This is the perfect recipe to dress up a bland meal.
- French Fries: Serve vegan ranch dressing as a dipping sauce for crispy French fries. The creamy and tangy flavors of the ranch complement the savory taste of the fries, enhancing their overall enjoyment.
- Buffalo Cauliflower Wings: Use vegan ranch dressing as a dipping sauce for buffalo cauliflower wings. The cool and creamy ranch balances the spicy kick of the buffalo sauce, creating a harmonious flavor combination.
- Fresh Veggie Platter: Pair vegan ranch dressing with a platter of fresh vegetables such as celery sticks, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, and cherry tomatoes. The creamy ranch adds flavor and makes the veggies more enticing.
- Veggie Burgers: Spread vegan ranch dressing on a veggie burger as a flavorful condiment. The creamy texture and tangy flavor of the ranch enhance the taste of the burger, adding a delicious twist to the meal.
- Salads: Use vegan ranch dressing as a dressing for salads, such as mixed green salads, chopped salads, or pasta salads. The creamy and tangy dressing adds flavor and moisture, making the salads more enjoyable.
- Wraps and Sandwiches: Include vegan ranch dressing as a spread or dressing in wraps and sandwiches. The creamy and flavorful ranch complements the other ingredients, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
- Potato Skins: Drizzle vegan ranch dressing over stuffed potato skins filled with toppings such as vegan cheese, green onions, and vegan bacon bits. The creamy ranch adds richness and flavor to the dish.
- Tater Tots: Serve vegan ranch dressing as a dipping sauce for crispy tater tots. The creamy and tangy flavors of the ranch pair well with the crunchy texture and savory taste of the tots.
- Stuffed Mushrooms: Use vegan ranch dressing as a filling or dipping sauce for stuffed mushrooms. The creamy and flavorful ranch adds depth and richness to the mushrooms, creating a delicious appetizer or side dish.
- Pizza: Drizzle vegan ranch dressing over slices of vegan pizza or use it as a dipping sauce for pizza crust. The creamy and tangy flavors of the ranch complement the savory taste of the pizza, adding an extra layer of flavor.
- Grilled Vegetables: Use vegan ranch dressing as a sauce or marinade for grilled vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms. The creamy and flavorful ranch enhances the taste of the grilled vegetables, making them more delicious.
- Quesadillas: Serve vegan ranch dressing as a dipping sauce for vegan quesadillas filled with ingredients such as vegan cheese, black beans, and vegetables. The creamy and tangy flavors of the ranch complement the savory taste of the quesadillas.
- Pita Chips: Use vegan ranch dressing as a dipping sauce for crispy pita chips. The creamy and tangy flavors of the ranch pair well with the crunchy texture and salty taste of the chips.
- Vegan Wings: Serve vegan ranch dressing as a dipping sauce for plant-based wings made from ingredients like tofu, tempeh, or seitan. The cool and creamy ranch balances the spicy or savory flavors of the wings, creating a delicious combination.
- Buddha Bowls: Drizzle vegan ranch dressing over Buddha bowls filled with grains, vegetables, and proteins. The creamy and flavorful ranch adds moisture and enhances the overall taste of the bowl, making it more satisfying.
Store this dressing in a mason jar or airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Homemade dressings don’t have preservatives like store-bought. Therefore, they are not shelf stable and need to be used quickly. That shouldn’t be a problem though. After you taste this dressing, you’ll want to put it on everything!
Now that you know how to make your own dairy-free ranch at home, you never need to buy store bought again. Let me know how you use this delicious vegan salad dressing. And, be sure to leave a star rating if you try it out yourself.
Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe (With Cashews)
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked 8+ hours
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. oat milk or other unflavored non-dairy milk
- 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves fresh garlic peeled and lightly crushed
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne
- Place the cashews in a bowl, cover them with water, and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours. After soaking, drain the cashews.
- In a blender, combine the drained cashews, peeled and crushed garlic cloves, and oat milk. Blend on high speed until the mixture is mostly smooth.
- Add the Dijon mustard, onion powder, salt, pepper, dried parsley, dried dill, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to the blender. Continue blending until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
- Pour in 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and blend until well incorporated. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or lemon juice to achieve your preferred level of tanginess.
- If the dressing is too thick, you can adjust the consistency by adding more oat milk or water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired thickness.
- For optimal flavor development, transfer the dressing to a covered container and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before serving.