A rich & creamy oil-free Vegan Ranch Dressing recipe made with either cashew or tofu! This delicious dairy-free version tastes like classic ranch, but is made healthier with no mayo, sour cream, or buttermilk. (Gluten-free, nut-free option.)
Creamy vegan ranch dressing - yes! Let's do this.
This dairy-free ranch is made healthier with no mayo, buttermilk, or sour cream.
Instead we swap in a cashew and yogurt base (or you can opt for silken tofu if desired).
I tested this recipe extensively trying to nail down the best vegan ranch dressing. Both texture and flavor had to be just right to capture that classic ranch essence.
I'm thrilled to finally share the results, and truly hope you enjoy it as well!
Ingredients for Vegan Ranch Dressing
For this recipe you will blend together in a small high-speed blender or food processor:
- Raw cashews: These nuts are used to create the thick and creamy base. I use soaked cashews so they're softer and easier to blend. You can either do this ahead of time and let them soak for several hours, or use my "quick soak" method in the recipe notes.
- Vegan yogurt: Be sure your dairy-free yogurt is plain and unsweetened. If you don't have this ingredient, you can use all cashews instead. (See the notes in the recipe for guidance.) Or you can also substitute the yogurt with vegan mayonnaise.
- White distilled vinegar: If you don't have regular white vinegar, then you can replace with apple cider vinegar. However I much prefer the taste of white vinegar in this recipe for classic ranch flavor.
- Fresh lemon juice
- White miso: This is a fermented soybean paste. The mild umami flavor is delicious in dressings to give it a deeper, more complex flavor. I highly recommend including it, but if you don't have any then salt well to taste instead to bring out all the flavors. (You can also include black pepper.)
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Fresh parsley, chives, and fresh dill
Need nut-free? See the notes below the recipe for guidance on using silken tofu instead! (Though personally I enjoy cashew ranch best.)
Spicy ranch: Add hot sauce to taste or chipotle in adobo sauce (start small because it's strong.)
Jalapeno ranch: Blend in some fresh jalapeno pepper for a spicy, zesty version.
Herbs: Change up the fresh herbs as you see fit. Basil or cilantro would be tasty as well.
Other flavors: Get creative with any other flavors that sound good. Increase the onion and garlic or add dry mustard powder, Dijon mustard, green onions, etc.
Using dried herbs? Fresh is suggested for this recipe, but you can substitute dried if needed. Use 1 teaspoon dried for every 1 tablespoon fresh.
Salad: Drizzle this homemade ranch dressing over your favorite salads for creamy, tangy, herby goodness.
Dip: Serve it in a bowl with a tray of veggies, buffalo cauliflower wings, or French fries for dipping. Include fresh vegetables like carrot sticks, cucumber, tomato, celery, bell pepper, radish, sugar snap peas, or whatever you enjoy.
Condiment: Spoon it on your sandwiches, wraps (I like this Crispy Tofu Wrap), pizza, or veggie burgers as a sauce in place of vegan mayo.
Store in a sealed glass mason jar (or other airtight container) in the refrigerator. I find it keeps for about 5 days.
Tip: You can serve this immediately, or chill in the fridge for a couple hours to let the flavors blend and intensify further.
For more inspiration, also browse all vegan oil-free salad dressing recipes.
Vegan Ranch Dressing (Oil-Free)
For the base:
- 1/4 cup raw cashews* (soaked)
- 1/4 cup vegan yogurt** (plain, unsweetened)
- 1-2 Tbsp. water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. white distilled vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. white miso
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
For the fresh herbs:
- 2-3 Tbsp. fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp. fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp. chives
- Place all base ingredients in a small high-speed blender. (I use a NutriBullet.) Blend for 20-30 seconds until smooth.
- Chop herbs and add to blender. Pulse/blend for 1-2 seconds to combine. (Don't over-blend or the dressing will turn green.)
- Serve immediately or chill in the fridge to let flavors intensify and blend.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this cashew-based oil-free homemade vegan ranch dressing recipe for salad and beyond, also check out: