Creamy, salty, and tangy Nut-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing is made from affordable ingredients you can find at any store. Perfect for pouring, slathering, and dipping! 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 if you prefer your 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.
Side note: I'll be updating many of my cheesy posts soon with nut-free options!
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! 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 the grocery store, 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 Nut-Free Vegan Ranch
For this nut-free, oil-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 will work, 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 into a lidded jar, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to let 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, and if you go with fresh garlic instead of dried, the raw garlic bite becomes more mellow.
See the photo above? That was a different batch on a different day, with less water for a thicker, creamier dip consistency. So whether you plan to drizzle your vegan ranch on salads or dip raw veggies and cauliflower wings in it, the consistency is totally up to you.
I hope you enjoy this Nut-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing! If you give it a try be sure to leave a comment below. I would love to know your favorite foods to pair with vegan ranch. You can also tag me in a photo on instagram with @myquietkitchen if you're feeling social. Enjoy!
More oil-free vegan salad dressings:
Nut-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing (Oil-Free)
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- water for soaking the sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk Sub other unflavored, unsweetened milk if needed.
- 3 to 5 Tbsp water Use less water for a dip or more water for pourable consistency.
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp white distilled vinegar Can sub apple cider vinegar.
- 1 tsp fine sea salt or more, to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder OR 1 small clove fresh garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp mustard powder
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped dried chives or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 1 tsp dried parsley or 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/8 tsp dried dill or 1/2 tsp 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.