Glass bottle filled with healthy ranch dressing sits in front of a white bowl filled with salad.

Dairy and I have a tumultuous relationship. My body seems to handle long-fermented dairy (like kefir or 24-hour yogurt) just fine, but once I dig into unfermented or short-fermented dairy—like regular milk or store-bought yogurt—my body is none too pleased. Over the last few years, I’ve started tuning in to how different foods make my body feel, and that means I’ve had to come to grips with some of my favorite dairy-based foods not fitting in. I’ve had to find non-dairy alternatives for sour cream, coffee creamer, and even my beloved ranch dressing. 

I thought it would be really hard to replicate my favorite dairy foods, but I’ve actually found the opposite to be true! I’ve had a ton of luck swapping out dairy for creamy and fatty cashew cream and full-fat coconut milk from the can. That’s exactly what I use here to make this paleo and vegan ranch dressing creamy, thick, and rich without a drop of dairy! 

A hand holding a fork spears salad greens in ranch dressing.

How do you make healthy ranch dressing?

Making this ranch might be even easier than opening a bottle from the store (and it sure is cheaper!).  To make dairy-free ranch, you just:

  • Combine fresh or dried herbs and spices in a bowl.
  • Add in coconut milk, mayo (use plant-based mayo for vegan ranch dressing), and apple cider vinegar.
  • Whisk or blend together until smooth. I like using my immersion blender so it gets super smooth.
  • Let chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge for the flavors to blend.

Can you eat ranch if you’re following a vegan, paleo, or Whole 30 diet?

You sure can! While all three diets cut out dairy, you can happily enjoy my dairy-free version of ranch dressing. It’s paleo and Whole 30-compliant as written, and if you grab some plant-based mayo, it easily becomes vegan. Enjoy your ranch!

Close up of a bowl of salad with ranch dressing in a white bowl.

How can you use this ranch?

This dressing is, obviously, delicious on salads, but I’ve also found a bunch of other tasty uses for it in my kitchen. I’ve been using it as a sauce on a cheese-less chicken, bacon, and ranch pizza. The creamy, flavorful sauce almost makes up for the fact that there isn’t any cheese on the pizza. I’ve used it as a dressing for pasta salad. I’ve used it as a marinade for chicken. I’ve used it as a dip for cut veggies (because, as much as I love white bean dip, I need a little variety in my life).

Should you use fresh herbs or dried herbs to make ranch dressing?

To give this dressing the most flavor, you’ll want to use fresh herbs wherever you can. But I know how expensive fresh herbs can be out of season, so I tested this with dried herbs, and they work just fine! I’ve listed the amounts for both fresh and dried—so you can use all fresh, all dried, or a combination of the two. If you do use mostly dried, just make sure to let the dressing rest in the fridge for a good hour or two before using to help bring out the flavors. And if you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful, booming windowsill herb garden, use the heck out of those fresh herbs!

Spices and herbs for homemade ranch dressing in a white bowl

How do you store leftover ranch dressing?

I put my extra ranch dressing in either a wide-mouth pint mason jar or a glass vinegar bottle in the fridge, and it keeps for a week or more. Although admittedly, this ranch never actually lasts that long in our house. We’re lucky if a batch lasts two or three days! It’s that good.

Not sure this ranch dressing is for you? Check out my other ranch dressing recipes:

 
Healthy Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing (Dairy-Free, Vegan, Paleo)

Healthy Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing (Dairy-Free, Vegan, Paleo)

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Drizzle this Healthy Ranch Dressing on your favorite salad or use it for dipping. You can't go wrong with this dairy-free version of a classic!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (use plant-based if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder OR 1/4 small onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder OR 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill OR 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley OR 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives OR 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and whisk together until smooth. For a super smooth dressing, blend using an immersion blender.
  2. Transfer to a bottle or jar for storage, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving (longer if using dried herbs).
YouTube video

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 224mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 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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45 Comments

  1. This is an awesome recipe, and I use it often when having guests. Ive never made more than a single batch at a time, and never have any left over, but Im wondering:

    How does this freeze? The recipe only uses maybe 1/4 of the can of milk, and I am always at a loss for what to do with the rest. Im thinking maybe just making like a quadruple batch, and freezing it for future use, but I have no idea how it’ll come out once thawed.

    Anyone tried this?

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think it would freeze well – I suspect it would separate oddly when you thawed it. But you could pour the extra coconut milk into an ice cube tray and freeze that, then thaw it in the future for more batches of dressing!

  2. I’m very excited to try this, but I can’t have mayonaise. Do you know if there are any egg-free substitutes that be used?

  3. I thought the recipe given might be *too* herb-y for my picky kids, so I doubled the coconut milk and mayo and used the same amount of herbs and seasonings.

    Yum! And it hasn’t even chilled a while yet to let the flavors mingle! My youngest, who is SOOOOO hard to please with food, gave an immediate two-thumbs-up!

  4. Sorry, I was wrong. It doesn’t have dairy. I was thinking eggs. We can’t have either in our house. I’m just getting it all confused. The recipe looks great though!

  5. Has anybody tried making this sans mayo? We can’t do eggs, I’m thinking that the solid cream from the can of coconut might work out, with a bit of lemon for added flavor lost from the mayo. I’ve been eating dairy-free the last couple of months, and I find that solid coconut cream (I appreciate Native Forest for taste and insane amounts of solid cream, more than half of every can) slightly warm, with a tiny sprinkle of salt makes a wonderful butter substitute on scones, muffins, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, et cetera. Delicious.

    1. I just tried this without mayo very close to what you suggested. Mostly just used the fat from a can of coconut milk plus a bit of the water to thin it out. I also added a few teaspoons of olive oil to add just a touch of that mayo consistency. I cut the herbs mostly in half since I only had about half the base ingredients. Only used ACV since that’s what I had on hand. It turned out REALLY well. The texture after being in the fridge all night is sort of like whipped butter, so great as a veggie dip. Maybe more of the coconut water next time if I’m going for salad dressing. Flavor is spot on.

  6. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made this dressing. It is perfect. Unfortunately, it’s obnoxiously high maintenance, haha (for me anyway – workin’ on that). But every time I have it on hand I’m so glad to have it. Especially right now on a ridiculous low-sugar, non-dairy diet. It’s on my favorites list!

    1. Nope, I don’t count calories. But there are lots of great nutrition calculators out there that can help you out. 🙂