Creamy Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Ranch Dressing

This soy-free and dairy-free ranch dressing is part of another recipe I’ll be sharing soon, but I had to get this to you as soon as possible because it is easy to prepare and so deeelicious! I’ve been making ginormous salads with toasted walnuts, hemp seeds, lentil sprouts (if you haven’t made these yet get to it…they couldn’t be easier), chickpeas, buckwheat and steamed sweet potato or butternut squash—a little dressing goes a long way. It stores well in a glass container in the fridge so make a fresh batch and use it all week long. Fresh, homemade dressing is always better than store-bought.

Chef’s knife
Small dish/bowl
Small pan (optional)

Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
Non-dairy “Buttermilk” (easily made with the three ingredients below)*
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

*A version of this mini recipe can be found in the popular Dairy Freedom eGuide that’s filled with 24 other helpful non-dairy recipes/replacements.

Other Ingredients
3/4 cup cashews, soaked
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh dill
1 tsp chives
1/4 cup onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp fine ground sea salt, or more to taste
Pinch fresh ground pepper


Let’s get started.
Place all buttermilk ingredients into small bowl and set aside to “curdle” for 5 minutes.

You can take this extra step, and I recommend it for rich flavor, but it’s not necessary: In small pan, add 1/4 tsp coconut oil, onion and garlic and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes before adding to blender.

When ready, blend all ingredients, except herbs (dill, chives and parsley), until ultra creamy. Now, add herbs and pulse until they are just broken up but not too much that the dressing turns green. If you don’t mind green dressing, blend away—the taste is the same.

Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for 7-10 days. Besides salad dressing, use this recipe as a dip for Mixed Root Veggie Fries or as a spread for Lentil & Portobello Umami Sliders.


Read the comments or add yours.

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  1. where do you get your cashews from? are they raw? I have seen them at the farmers market but it doesn’t seem like enough and don’t want to come back for more each time.

    • Saniel~
      I get “raw” organic cashews from the bulk section at my local health food store. I also order them from Jaffe Brothers. I hope they are actually raw, but since I’m not there personally to process them, I’m not sure. I’m more concerned with them being “organic” so I always seek out that label first over “raw”. If I find both, great.! Good luck.

  2. gabriel

    is the “buttermilk” in reference to the ingredients, or is it an actual ingredient? The astrisk comment makes it a bit confusing. thanks!

    • Hi Gabriel, “buttermilk” is the title for the 3 ingredients below. I have a version of this mini recipe in the Dairy Freedom eGuide which is why there is an asterisk there…I’ll clarify. Thanks!

  3. Gabriel

    OMG. I just tried this dressing on a salad and it was incredibly delicious. Cooling and a bit ranch flavored. I did take the liberty of substituting the parsley for cilantro. Tastes just as good!

  4. Melissa

    When you say soaked cashews what do you mean? Soaked in what and for how long?

    • Heather Crosby

      Hi Melissa,
      You want to soak them in pure water for about 2-4 hours—this helps release enzyme inhibitors (which will improve nutrient digestion/assimilation) and makes the cashews soft for creamy texture. Read more about soaking nuts, seeds and legumes here. Try it out!

  5. carrie

    This sounds wonderful, only one question…Is there a possible substitute for the cashews?? I have soy & tree nut allergies 🙁

    • Heather Crosby

      Hi Carrie, you can substitute sunflower seeds (soaked for 4-6 hours):)

  6. Do you drain the excess water off of the cashews before using them?

    • Heather Crosby

      Hi Paula,
      Yes, you want to drain off the excess water and give the cashews a good rinse before using 🙂 H

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