This Nut-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing is perfectly creamy, salty, and tangy, and made from affordable, easy-to-find ingredients. It's great for dipping, pouring, and slathering on all your favorite dishes. Whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) and free from nuts, oil, gluten, and soy (depending on your milk choice).
Here's the thing about vegan ranch dressing, it's just so versatile! Creamy, milky, mildly herbaceous, garlicky, and just salty enough to keep you coming back for more veggies. But for those of us who prefer our salad dressings on the healthier side, store-bought vegan ranch really isn't an option.
But that's okay! Because once you realize how easy it is to make healthy vegan ranch dressing at home, you'll wonder why you ever thought about buying the bottled stuff.
Recently I've become interested in developing more allergy-friendly recipes. So after working on my Vegan Pimento Cheese and Pimento Macaroni Salad, which both contain cashews, I decided to explore seed-based creamy sauces and dressings. And I'm so glad I did! Raw sunflower seeds for the win, y'all.
Related: Check out this new Nut-Free Mac and Cheese recipe.
Sunflower Seeds = Allergy- and Budget-Friendly!
I suppose I thought the flavor of sunflower seeds would be overpowering in most cases, but thankfully I was wrong! In my experience, the key is to use raw sunflower seeds, and give them a brief soak and rinse first.
You can usually find raw sunflower seeds in the bulk bins at most grocery stores, and they're very affordable, like less than three dollars a pound kind of affordable! With that amount of seeds, you can make 6 or 7 batches of this oil-free dressing. Take that, cashews!
How to Make It
For this oil-free, nut-free vegan ranch dressing, a high-speed blender will give you the creamiest results. But if you don't mind a bit of texture, a regular blender works, too. This ranch dressing is a breeze to make. The process looks like this:
- Pour boiling water over the raw sunflower seeds and let them soak for about an hour. Drain and rinse.
- Blend all ingredients except the herbs until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add the herbs (fresh or dried), and either stir them into the dressing or pulse the blender once or twice.
- Pour the dressing into a lidded jar, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors mingle.
You don't have to do that last step if you really want to use the dressing right away, but it does taste better after it sits. The flavors of the herbs spread throughout the creamy base, and if you go with fresh garlic instead of dried, the raw garlic bite becomes more mellow.
Adjust the Consistency
See the photo above? That was a different batch on a different day, with less water for a thicker, creamier dip consistency. Whether you plan to drizzle your vegan ranch dressing on salads, use it as a spread for sandwiches or as a dip for raw veggies and vegan wings, the consistency is totally up to you.
Use the lesser amount listed in the recipe for a thick dip and the full 5 tablespoons of water for a thinner salad dressing.
Store the dressing in a clean jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freezing not recommended.
I hope you enjoy this Nut-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing! If you give it a try be sure to leave a comment below, and let us know your favorite foods to pair with ranch.
You can also tag me in a photo on instagram with @myquietkitchen if you're feeling social!
More oil-free vegan salad dressings:
Nut-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing (Oil-Free)
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- water for soaking the sunflower seeds
- ⅔ cup plain, unsweetened soy milk - Sub other unflavored, unsweetened milk if desired.
- 3 to 5 tablespoons water - Use less water for a dip or more water for pourable consistency.
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar - Can sub apple cider vinegar.
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or more, to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder OR 1 small clove fresh garlic, peeled
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon mustard powder
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons chopped dried chives or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- ⅛ teaspoon dried dill or ½ teaspoon chopped fresh dill, optional
- Place raw sunflower seeds in a bowl. Bring some water to boiling, and pour over seeds, just enough to cover. Let soak 30 minutes to 1 hour, then drain and rinse seeds under cold water.
- To a blender add the seeds, milk, 3 tablespoons of water, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, garlic, onion powder, mustard powder, and black pepper. Gradually increase to high speed, and blend until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Taste and adjust salt, acid, and/or water amount as desired (keep in mind, the dressing will thicken in the refrigerator).
- Add the herbs to the blended mixture and stir to incorporate. Pour dressing into a jar or container, cover, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The flavors will mingle and develop as it sits.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com. For the most accurate nutrition information we recommend calculating it yourself to reflect the specific ingredients used in your dish.