It’s not easy to find bottled vegan ranch dressing. And even if you do, it can be pricey. Here’s an easy way to make dairy-free ranch. The well-loved creamy dressing is now yours to enjoy using white beans or softened raw cashews as the base.
I actually prefer making this dressing with white beans. They’re more economical than raw cashews, and are an item that may already be in you pantry. Plus, you can skip the soaking step that you’d need to do for cashews.
That being said, if you enjoy using raw cashews and have some on hand, go for it! Admittedly, the mouthfeel of cashews might just have a small edge, though both they and white beans are excellent options for making a classic dressing in plant-based form. Make sure to see the cilantro-lime variation in the recipe box notes section.
Here are some ways to use this tasty dressing:
- It’s delicious with any kind of leafy salad, of course
- It can be used as a sauce for simply prepared greens, like collards or kale.
- Use it as a dip for raw vegetables and/or chips.
- Serve it as a dip or dressing with your vegan Buffalo-style preparations. These photos show it with Vegan Buffalo Chicken Salad.
- Use it as a sauce for simple plant-based protein preparations.
- 2/3 cup raw cashews or large white beans (cooked or canned and drained cannellini or Great Northern)
- 1/4 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash or Frontier)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- If using cashews, soak in hot water for 2 to 3 hours, then drain. If using beans, just skip this step and proceed.
- Combine the ingredients except the last two in a food processor or blender and process until completely smooth and creamy. Add the dill and pulse on and off a few times.
- Taste for salt. If using canned beans, you might not need much, if any. Add salt to taste, as well as a few grindings of pepper, and pulse on and off a few times again.
- If you’ll be using this as a dip, let it remain thick, but if you’re more likely to be using it as a salad dressing, add a bit more nondairy milk, just enough to give it a more flowing consistency.
- Transfer to a tightly lidded container or bottle and refrigerate. This keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Cilantro-Lime Ranch dressing: Replace the lemon juice with lime juice, and the dill with cilantro. Use lime juice to taste and add a generous amount of fresh cilantro — 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
If you like this vegan ranch dressing, you might also enjoy …
Here are more easy vegan sauces and dressings.