Live Real. Eat Real.

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

I wasn’t going to post a recipe but, well, I’m all out of random today (to say nothing of running extremely late).  Unless you want to hear me carry on about how The Young One has already outgrown/worn out the shoes that I bought him just 4 months ago.

No?  I didn’t think so.


Since going dairy-free, one of the things that have become problematic have been salads – mostly because my favorite salad dressing is ranch.  Oh, I can (and freuqently do) whip up a mean vinaigrette, but there’s just something about a creamy, zesty ranch dressing – I just love the stuff.

So you can imagine my dilemma when I began planning the menu for our holiday party – I always do a crudité platter, the center of which is a container of ranch dressing for dipping.  I thought for a bit about just making my regular ranch dressing for it (minus the powdered buttermilk – because it’s all powdered, you know), but then I wouldn’t be able to eat it…and that would make me a very unhappy .

So, it was off to the interwebz to do a search for Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing!  And, by golly, there are about a million recipes for it – this one is based on the recipe at  It’s a good, solid recipe except for the vegan “mayonnaise” (I guess it would be okay if you’re avoiding eggs) and agave nectar (I hate to break it to you, but agave nectar is highly refined; even the “raw” stuff undergoes a certain amount of processing).  I tweaked it with real food ingredients, including homemade mayonnaise and raw honey, and it is just wonderful – you wouldn’t know it is dairy free if someone didn’t tell you.  My guests ate it up.

Note:  I use a lot of coconut milk as a dairy substitute, both in recipes and for things like creamer in my coffee.  All of the coconut milk I purchase is organic and when I can find it I buy fair-trade milk in cans that are free of BPA.  And because all of the fat in the recipe comes from the coconut milk and mayonnaise, a serving of this ranch dressing contains about 1/3 fewer calories than commercial dressing – and no industrial seed oils or refined sugars.

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

16 servings, or about 2 cups

1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons raw honey
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons chives, finely minced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely minced

In a small bowl, whisk the coconut milk with the lemon juice and vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until smooth and  creamy; cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour to allow the flavors to meld and the dressing to thicken.

Keeps well refrigerated for up to one week.

Nutrition (per serving): 88 calories, 9.2g total fat, 8.5mg cholesterol, 139mg sodium, 43.1mg potassium, 1.8g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 1.1g sugar, <1g protein.

Printable version (requires Adobe Reader)


I love Ranch Dressing but avoid it like the plague because it sort of defeats the purpose of eating a salad. 😉 But this? I’m SO going to make it. Salad save! 🙂

Be says:

I have always been lukewarm on Ranch Dressing.

BUT NOT THIS! Absolutely the star of the show! I’ll remind you dear that this is the only year that the crudités was eaten and not thrown away! I can’t wait until you make my blue cheese dressing.

Michele says:

I’m more of a blue cheese fan but JR goes for Ranch every time. Not sure how he would feel about a dairy free version though.

I have been avoiding ranch for years due to all the crud in it. I think I’m going to step back into that pool again!

delicious looking dressing

Lisa says:

I confess. I have never liked ranch dressing. Mayo aversion, I suppose:).

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Karen says:

I’ve tried a few dairy free ranch recipes that just didn’t quite taste right. This one is AMAZING! Thank you so much!

Tracy says:

Hope I’m not too late to the party!
Is the coconut milk from the carton or can? we’re free free free so this is sooooo needed:) thanks, tracy

[…]  cup home-made dairy-free coconut milk ranch. (Recipe here – I make mine without mayo though, and with fresh garlic […]

A.D. Spencer says:

So, we just found out two days ago that hubby has a dairy allergy and he was absolutely distraut about giving up ranch. Naturally, the first order on our agenda was to find a good substitute. I made this ranch for him and we both loved it. The flavor is awesome. I’ll never buy store bought ranch again. Mine never really thickened up though, it might have been the consistency of the mayo I used. Next time I’ll try using just a smidge less coconut milk.
Thanks for the recipe!!
A.D. Spencer, Author of Enlightened

Beth m says:

I just made this. The flavor is good, but it isn’t thickening. Anything I can do to make it thicken up? It has been in the fridge for over an hour…

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