A creamy, tangy, herby, vegan ranch dressing with a hint of southwest flavors. This dressing is super versatile! Try it on salads, burgers, baked potatoes, stirred into soup, as a dip for raw veggies or french fries…the possibilities are endless!
If you thought you had to give up ranch dressing because you follow a plant based diet, it’s your lucky day. You don’t have to!
There are plenty of store bought options for dairy-free ranch these days, but personally I haven’t found one that is worth spending the money on.
With just 10 ingredients and a blender, you can whip up this homemade version in less than 5 minutes!
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Traditional ranch dressing ingredients usually include mayonnaise or oil with buttermilk, garlic, onion, herbs and spices. They are popular because they are creamy and tangy and full of flavor.
This recipe is certainly creamy and tangy and full of flavor and herbs like dill, oregano, and chives, but my homemade version is dairy free, gluten free, and even oil free!
Cashews ~ Blended raw cashews make a creamy base for this vegan ranch and will yield the best results.
For a nut free version, try hemp seeds or sunflower seeds. You can also use 1 cup of vegan mayonnaise in place of the cashews.
Herbs ~ I like dill, oregano, and chives. You can throw in some parsley, as well, if you like.
Vinegar ~ Typically I used apple cider vinegar, but white distilled vinegar works just as well.
Spices ~ I add a little cumin and smoked paprika to give this vegan ranch a southwest flare. The cumin and paprika are not at all overpowering and this dairy free dressing would work on pretty much anything you could throw its way. But, the added flavors do bring just a little extra something to liven up your food.
You can leave these spices out if you want a traditional ranch dressing flavor. Or you can kick up a notch and add a dash of chili powder or cayenne, too.
How to make the recipe
For exact ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix or Blendtec, you’ll need to soak your raw cashews in hot water water for a couple of hours to ensure they blend up smooth and creamy.
Then, just throw all the ingredients into the blender and purée until perfectly smooth.
If the dressing seems too thick, you can add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Pro tips for success
Use raw cashews for the creamiest dressing and best flavor.
Be sure to soak the cashews for several hours if you don’t have a high speed blender to ensure they blend up perfectly creamy.
Use fresh squeezed lemon juice for the best and brightest flavor.
Blend until silky smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed to loosen it up.
Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Add an extra pinch of salt, squeeze of lemon, or dash of dill, etc.
Traditional ranch dressing is made with dairy and is not vegan. However, there are several brands making vegan ranch these days. It’s really easy to make your own at home, too!
Traditional ranch isn’t typically a healthy choice. It contains dairy and oil and if it’s store-bought, likely excess sodium and unnecessary additives and preservatives, too.
My homemade vegan ranch dressing, however, is made from real whole food plant based ingredients and contains protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
This dressing will last for 3-4 days in an air-tight container in the fridge.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Southwest Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe
- ¾ cup raw cashews soaked for 1 to 2 hours if you don't have a high speed blender
- ½ cup water
- Juice of 1 lemon about 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon snipped chives
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Add additional water by the tablespoon, if needed, to thin it out.