When my husband first dipped some baby carrots in this ranch, he told me, without hesitation, that this was the best ranch dressing he’d ever had—and I tend to agree. I love my Coconut Milk Ranch and my Greek Yogurt Ranch, but the creamy richness of the cashews in this healthy paleo ranch take it to the next level! Ranch has this reputation of being a junk food, but this ranch dressing couldn’t be further from that.
The dairy-free base of this ranch comes thanks to cashew cream. Never made cashew cream before? Well, prepare to have your mind blown!
The life-changing magic of cashew cream
Cashew cream is exactly what is sounds like—a rich, dairy-free cream made from nothing but raw cashews and water. After soaking the cashews in boiling water, you blend them into an incredibly smooth cream that can be the foundation to all kinds of dairy-free kitchen experimentation! Cashew cream has a texture similar to half-and-half or even heavy whipping cream, depending on how much water you use.
This creamy richness makes cashew cream a great alternative for folks who choose not to eat dairy for either health or ethical reasons, because it really is incredibly close in texture and fattiness to regular cow’s milk dairy. We have a full post all about the benefits of cashew cream, plus our favorite tips and tricks for how to make it and use it.
But this dairy-free ranch calls for mayo, and isn’t mayo dairy?
I know it’s hard to believe, but unless you pickup a brand that has dairy additives, mayo is 100% dairy-free. Mayo does contain eggs (you can see a full tutorial for how EASY it is to make mayo here—maybe even easier than buying it), so if you are plant-based, make sure to swap in vegan or plant-based mayo in this recipe.
How can you use this dairy-free ranch?
I mean, really, how can you not use this dairy-free ranch would probably be an easier question to answer! Put it on salads, use it for dipping veggies or chips, drizzle it onto pizza, use it as a dressing for pasta salad, dip fries in it—the possibilities are almost endless!
What about your other ranch recipes?
If you aren’t sure if a cashew-based recipe is right for you, we’ve got two other well-loved ranch recipes that might fit the bill:
- Coconut Milk Ranch: This dairy-free, nut-free ranch is a good alternative for folks who are allergic to tree nuts or for kids who attend a nut-free school. The base is creamy coconut milk, which means it’s still paleo, just like this version!
- Greek Yogurt Ranch: This is your classic dairy-based ranch dressing. It’s thick, rich, creamy, and a winner every time!