A white bowl is filled with a colorful salad dressed with dairy-free cashew ranch dressing.

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.

Small turquoise bowl filled with cashew cream. A gold spoon dips into the bowl.

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!

A white bowl is filled with a colorful salad dressed with paleo cashew ranch dressing.

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!
 
Dairy-Free Cashew Ranch Dressing

Cashew Ranch Dressing

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 6 hours 3 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 3 minutes

While you may think of ranch as junk food, this Cashew Ranch Dressing is anything but!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons mayo (vegan mayo is fine)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or 1 teaspoon fresh minced dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chives or 1 tablespoon fresh minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place cashews in a bowl or jar (I like using a wide-mouth quart mason jar) and cover with  water. Let soak overnight (at least 6 hours).
  2. Once soaking is finished, drain and rinse the cashews, and place in the basin of a high-powered blender. Add 1/2 cup of water, the mayo, the lemon juice and zest, the apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, dill, chives and salt and blend on high until very smooth—about three minutes.
  3. Store in covered container in the fridge for up to 10 days. The dressing will get thicker as it cools.

Notes

Quick soak method: Cover cashews with boiling water and let sit 1 hour before proceeding.

Super quick method: Place cashews and three cups of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse before proceeding.

YouTube video
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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6 Comments

  1. This is by far the best tasting homemade salad dressing I have ever made and much healthier too. My question is that the dressing turned out very thick, like sour cream texture which would be great for baked potatoes and veggie dip but how can I make it thinner?

    1. Hi Diana! We’re so glad you love the dressing! If you’d like to thin the texture out a bit, you can add a bit more water when blending, one tablespoon at a time, until you get it to the pourable consistency you like.

  2. I’ve tried so many online low or no-oil ranch dressings online and none of them were as good as my favorite homemade ranch dressing. I wanted to replace it because it’s mostly made with vegan mayo and I’m trying to cut down on using products with a lot of oil. I’m so glad I decided to try just one more recipe. I love the bold flavor of this dressing. I can really taste it when using it as a dip for my veggies. In fact, I’m even using less of it than my original mayo ranch dressing. The only changes I made were to add 1/2 tsp more onion powder and no dill.

    1. We’re so glad you love it, Colleen! Thanks for taking the time to tell us about it. We especially appreciate you letting folks know what adjustments you made and if they worked. That’s super helpful info for all of us!