If you’re looking for a reliable yet easy dairy free ranch dressing recipe, you’ve come to the right place. My homemade vegan ranch sauce is a perfectly tangy, creamy, onion-y vegan version of the traditional ranch dressing. It’s dairy free and egg free, and made from easy to find ingredients. Make this non dairy party dip or salad dressing in one bowl in less than 5 minutes!
I’ve wanted to come up with my own homemade vegan ranch dressing recipe for the longest time. I’ve never been a huge fan of ranch on salads, but when it comes to using ranch as a dip for vegetables or vegan buffalo cauliflower, I’m all in!
Originally we used to buy vegan ranch dressing at the grocery store whenever we could find it. However, we live on an island, so whenever any of the two grocery stores in our vicinity didn’t happen to have any, we were out of luck.
I’ve tried to make vegan ranch sauce at home, but I kept finding recipes that were too complicated. One had so many ingredients that I felt like I used every single bottle and jar in my condiments cabinet including peanut butter and molasses (okay, maybe not the last two but you get the picture).
So I set out to create my own non dairy ranch recipe. I was looking for two things:
- My vegan ranch needed to have only a handful of ingredients, preferably ones that I always had at home – who wants to run to the store last-minute when a ranch craving hits?
- My ranch recipe needed to be truly easy – best if I could make it in a single bowl in five minutes or less.
Long story short, this is exactly what I got when I came up with this this homemade vegan ranch dressing recipe!
Vegan Ranch Dressing Ingredients
Vegan mayonnaise. I debated whether or not to use vegan mayo in this recipe. I know that there are less processed homemade vegan ranch recipes out there that use blended raw cashews as the base.
But those recipes are also more involved: you have to pre-soak the cashews and then use a blender to turn them into a sauce.
Since I wanted my ranch to be truly easy and quick, I bit the bullet and went with store-bought vegan mayo. (I usually have a jar in my fridge that comes in handy when I make my vegan chickpea salad sandwiches, or smoky chipotle aioli.)
My go-to vegan mayo is the tried-and-true Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart. It’s also the easiest to find in most grocery stores. Other good options include the Chosen Foods Vegan Avocado Oil Mayo, and Hellmann’s/Best Foods vegan mayo alternative.
White distilled vinegar. White vinegar adds the distinct sharp flavor that ranch dressing is famous for.
Alternatively, you can use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, but be aware that the flavor will be a bit different. In my opinion, apple cider vinegar makes this dressing taste more like blue cheese than ranch (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
Unsweetened non-dairy milk. Milk helps to thin out the texture of mayo. Use a bit more of it to get the consistency of a salad dressing, or less of it to keep the ranch sauce thick as a dip.
I’ve used both unsweetened and original almond milk to test this recipe. The unsweetened milk works better, but if you don’t have it, the original, slightly sweeter version will do too. Important: don’t use vanilla non-dairy milk unless you want your vegan ranch to be vanilla-flavored.
Nutritional yeast. The good ol’ nooch works here to add another layer of sharpness to the flavor of our ranch. Nutritional yeast is known for its cheese-like taste, but don’t worry – we’re only using one teaspoon of it, so it’s not going to turn our ranch into queso.
Granulated onion and garlic. The flavor of traditional ranch dressing is famous for a hint of onion. If we were to blend up some regular onion for this recipe, it would add too much liquid. What we need is a concentrated onion-y taste without the extra liquid.
This is where granulated onion comes into play. In fact, it’s one of the main components in a lot of ranch seasoning mix recipes. Add to this some granulated garlic (and dried chives if you have them), and you’ll be taking the flavors to the next level.
Dried herbs – parsley, chives (optional) and dill. If I tell you that we’re using them to add another level of complexity to the flavor of our ranch sauce, you’ll probably roll your eyes. But that’s exactly what we’re doing here.
I understand that a lot of us may not have all three of these at home. In that case feel free to skip whatever you don’t have. I didn’t have chives the first time I made this recipe, but my ranch still came out delicious.
Mustard powder. Mustard powder adds a final punch of sharpness along with a touch of heat. We’re using just a quarter of a teaspoon here, so it’s OK to skip it if you don’t have any on hand.
You can potentially substitute it with the same amount of Dijon mustard, but I haven’t tried that. If you do, please let me know how it came out!
Salt and pepper. The must-have ingredients of any savory recipe make their appearance in our ranch too. Start by adding a smaller amount of salt – you may find it enough since mayo is already salty. Taste and adjust the flavor after you mix the sauce.
Note: If you’re adding more milk to thin out your ranch to the consistency of salad dressing, you may need to add a bit more salt.
Is Vegan Ranch Gluten free?
The majority of ingredients in my homemade vegan ranch are gluten free. However, I advise checking the labels of the vegan mayo and dairy free milk you’re planning to use:
- All plant-based mayo brands I’ve listed in the recipe card below are gluten-free according to their manufacturers. (They are also soy-free.) I still suggest checking the ingredients list because the recipe formulas may have changed since this post was published.
- Most plant-based milks are gluten-free except oat milk. Oats are often planted next to wheat fields, so they may get contaminated with wheat kernels during harvest. So unless the oat milk manufacturer explicitly declared that they use certified gluten-free oats, we can assume that their brand of oat milk isn’t gluten free.
How to Make Dairy Free Ranch
You’ll be impressed how easy my vegan ranch recipe really is. To get the exact proportions of each ingredient and to print out this recipe, see the recipe card below.
To make my dairy free ranch, set out all ingredients first: vegan mayo, white vinegar, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, granulated onion and garlic, dried dill, dried parsley, dried chives (optional), mustard powder, salt and pepper.
Next, combine all of these ingredients in a small bowl:
Using a small whisk or a fork, whisk everything together until all ingredients are well incorporated. The flecks of herbs should be distributed evenly.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. That’s it!
To make vegan ranch dressing:
The consistency of your ranch sauce will be quite thick when you follow the recipe exactly. If you want to thin it out to make ranch dressing, add a bit more non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time, and whisk everything together once again.
Taste the resulting dressing for seasoning – you may find that it needs a bit more salt since it’s been thinned out.
If you accidentally got your ranch too thin, add a bit more mayo, whisk to incorporate, and check the seasoning.
To make vegan ranch dip:
My vegan ranch comes out pretty thick as is, so you may find its consistency just right. If you’d like to make it even thicker, add a bit more mayo, mix it in, and adjust the seasoning.
– If your ranch came out a bit bland:
Add more seasoning! It’s hard to spoil ranch by adding extra garlic, onion and chives. If the flavor lacks in sharpness, add another pinch of nutritional yeast and mustard powder. You can also add more vinegar, but be careful – a little bit goes a long way.
– If your ranch is too thin:
Add more mayo, then whisk it in and check for seasoning.
– If your ranch is too thick:
Thin it out with a bit more non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time.
– If some of the liquid separated during refrigeration:
Just whisk everything together again to incorporate the liquid.
What to serve with dairy free ranch
My easy dairy free ranch is very versatile:
- Use it as a dressing for fresh veggie salads;
- Serve it as a dip with crudités or vegan buffalo cauliflower (like I did below);
- Use it as a spread in sandwiches to immediately boost their deliciousness factor (works really well in my buffalo tofu sandwich).
How to store homemade vegan ranch
This ranch will keep for 3-4 days refrigerated in an airtight container. Note: if some of the liquid separates during storage, just give it a good whisk to incorporate it back into the sauce.
I hope my easy dairy free ranch becomes your go-to recipe for this delicious and tangy dressing or dip!
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