Ranch dressing. It’s right up there with salsa and ketchup on the “condiments you probably have in your fridge right now” list. Except…when you don’t eat milk anymore. I’ve gotta be honest, I’ve tried a lot of the commercial options for vegan ranch dressing out there, and they just…well, they’re not right. And there are some other vegan ranch recipes out there, but most are based on vegan mayo, which bumps up the fat calories quite a bit. Or, the ingredients were just “too vegan”, if that makes any sense. And even this recipe is going to seem that way, depending on your comfort level with so-called “vegan” food. If you know what nooch is, you’re comfortable. If you don’t, not to worry, it’s not a huge part of this recipe and you could totally leave it out. Or you could try something new! YOLO, or so I’ve heard. I never expected that I would use the term YOLO on the blog. First time for everything. Probably the last, too.
Anyway…I have tinkered with this recipe long enough. It’s really, really close to how I remember ranch tasting. And I don’t mean the stuff in the bottle, I mean when you go out to a restaurant and they have housemade ranch as a dressing option. And if I may be so bold, I think it tastes even better. Let me put it to you this way. I took a small container of this ranch to a restaurant and dipped my fries in it. It’s worth that effort.
Ranch is really quite simple – you need a creamy, neutral base, some vinegar-y zing, and some seasonings and herbs. Here are the cast of characters for this vegan ranch dressing:
– Savory Cashew Cream (I know, I know, I use it in everything. That’s because it’s AMAZING).
– Tahini (this is the secret weapon)
– Unseasoned rice vinegar (or other unsweetened, mild vinegar, like white wine vinegar)
– Garlic powder, onion powder, salt (we’ll get into why the powder and not fresh)
– Fresh chives and parsley, or your other favorite herbs like dill and/or cilantro (mix it up!)
That’s it! Really! Ok, ok, the savory cashew cream has a very small amount of nutritional yeast (nooch), and just a smidge of miso, and those are definitely not ingredients that are on the Top 3 Condiments list (unless you’re me), but they are worth it and last a long time. You may even find yourself using them for other things, like, say, vegan spinach ricotta. I digress.
Why fresh herbs and powdered seasoning? Great question. I went with the dried garlic and onion because the flavor is a bit muted, and more predictable. Using raw garlic and/or onion is not only risky in terms of the strength of the flavor, but in the lingering taste/odor after hanging out in the fridge for a few days. Fresh herbs, on the other hand, are super important because they taste good, in that they have actual herbacious flavor. Apparently spell check doesn’t think herbacious is a word, but IT IS. I hear chefs on the Food Network say it all the time. HERBACIOUS! Anyway…fresh chives and parsley taste infinitely better than their dried counterparts, so use fresh. It’s worth it.
One caveat regarding the herbs, though. You’re going to be tempted to throw them in the blender along with all of the other ingredients, but don’t. Wait and pulse them in after the dressing base is all blended up. That way they’ll break down just a little bit but won’t turn the dressing green. Ask me how I know.
Tell me that doesn’t look like ranch dressing. Oh, wait, it IS. Time for a taste test! Where’s my lovely hand model?
See how creamy it is, clinging for dear life to the crudite? Little does it know it’s about to get devoured by a very hungry princess/photo assistant.
Every day I love her just a little bit more, and worry that my heart might explode. My little Vida and her way too big princess dress that she loves so much and her ranch-kissed chin. Life is good.
UPDATE: Check out this new video where I make the ranch and Vida makes a cameo at the end, 2 years later! She’s grown so much, but is still my little precocious nibbler. <3
How to make Vegan Ranch Dressing:
Ok, friends! Hopefully I’ve enticed you to go give this a try! And if you are looking for something on which to douse the dressing, I’ve got you covered.
Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wraps, anyone?
Please, pretty please, let me know if you make this recipe! It makes me happier than a french fry dipped in vegan ranch. On Instagram, tag @eatwithinyourmeans and hashtag #eatwithinyourmeans, or simply leave a comment here. I’m good with whatever way you want to say hello!
Romaine calm and lettuce eat vegan ranch dressing. On the romaine lettuce. You get it.
Quit while you’re behind, Beth.
Vegan Ranch Dressing
- 1 cup Savory Cashew Cream (see note for alternatives)
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 Tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, unseasoned rice vinegar, or other mild unsweetened vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder or granulated garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (or dill, cilantro, or a combination), or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives, or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried
- Puree all ingredients except herbs in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the herbs and pulse a few times to break down the herbs and mix in. Pureeing the herbs will turn the dressing a pale green color, so be careful not to pulse too much if you want the dressing to look like “traditional” ranch.
- The mixture will seem thin, but will thicken upon refrigeration.
- 1 1/4 cup raw cashews or pepitas*, soaked for at least 1 hour if not using a high speed blender (see note for quick-soak method)
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar, unseasoned rice vinegar, or other mild unsweetened vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
Quick soak method for raw cashews or pepitasBoil cashews or pepitas for 15 minutes in a small saucepan, then drain and proceed with recipe. *Pepitas can be substituted but will lend a pale green color to the dressing. The flavor of the pepitas is stronger than that of cashews, but dissipates some upon refrigeration. This is a great nut-free option!
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I never left a comment on a website but now i just have to:
I discovered your website earlier this year and truly fell in love with it.
I just love your writing and reading your posts always makes me laugh! Your recipes are great too and i like that you share some real comfort food with us and not that type of “screaming healthy vegan food” (hope you know what i mean).
There was a time when it was more quiet on your website and now i could not be happier that we got you back 🙂 !
Just keep going, girl. You´re great!
Lots of love from Germany,
First of all, my sincerest apologies for the delayed response. I have been thinking about it since you posted and all of a sudden I realized, Oh! I never even told her how much it meant to me! Seriously, you have no idea how it touched my heart that you took time out of your life to write this. Every now and again, I wonder if there are people out there who notice when things are quiet around these parts. And now, I know that there ARE! I’m having to be very creative with my time to find a way to post more often, but it’s really important to me, and it makes me so happy that it makes you happy too!
Thank you again, Corinna. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for your encouragement.
I absolutely love the ranch dressing recipe as another way to use the savoury cashew sauce. This is the second time I’ve left a comment that praised that basic sauce. I mixed it with horseradish for a drizzling sauce over roasted veggies and had half a dozen women swooning over it; when I took it to an event this week. Can’t wait to try it in your lasagna recipe. You are my food hero for creating this amazing recipe!!!!!
Ooh, I might need to try the pepita version for the boys! They are obsessed with ranch dressing. Me—I’ve never been a fan, but maybe that would change if I made my own?
Thanks for this ranch recipe! I’ve tried other vegan ranch recipes and this is the best!! Delicious with all veggies and potatoes too!! I did omit the nutritional yeast and it was still perfect!!
How long will this keep in the fridge?
Herbaceous is a word, herbacious is not.
Made this for Thanksgiving and it was good on my salad but it was amazing on tortilla chips as a dip. It reminds me so much of a mexican sour cream dip they make at restaurants here that is simply called white sauce. I did not add salt and that probably would have made it better on the salad if I had. I did not have any fresh herbs so I used about a tsp or more of dried dill, parsley and chives and it was still really good. Will definitely be making this again and again!
I’m new to this stuff. It tastes really good. How long will it last in the fridge?
Hi Julie! So glad you like this! It should last at least a week in the fridge, but it never lasts that long here. You can also freeze it!
Your ranch dressing is superb! I’ve tried every recipe out there plus the wasted jars of store bought and this one is by FAR the best! Thank you!
This was really yum! Thanks!
I could eat this dressing on just about everything. I make it almost weekly. Even my non-vegan friends love it. In fact, I bought a chives plant just so I could always have fresh chives for this dressing. Dried dill seems to work fine. Oh, and herbaceous is a word, it’s just spelled with an ‘e’ instead of an ‘i’. Thanks for all the great recipes. I love them and I always recommend your website!
Why are there three asterisk’s (***) after
1 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, unseasoned rice vinegar, or other mild unsweetened vinegar*** ?
There are no others to indicate what they mean.
Nonetheless, I will be making this shortly ignoring the asterisks. I’ll let you know how it turned out.
Mr. Pass the Plants says
Hello! Just talked to the Mrs. She can’t quite remember what those three asterisks were for. Do tell us what you thought of the dressing. It’s a staple in our home. Yum!
Hi Wendi! First of all, so sorry that I didn’t answer your question sooner. Mr. Pass the Plants alerted me to my oversight. 😉 I think at one point I had written the recipe differently, so perhaps when I edited it I forgot to remove them. In any case, there is only one asterisk now, referring to to the pepitas. If you did try this, I’d love to hear how it went! Happy New Year! 🙂
Sounds pretty good. I’m hesitant on cashew cream but worth a try.
Side note, you can’t “eat” milk. ????????
Oh my word, this recipe is easy and delicious! Thank you.
I used a carton of lite firm silken tofu instead of the cashew cream and skipped the tahini. Came out great! Thanks for the great recipe!