Cashew ranch dressing is rich, creamy, and flavorful. This vegan ranch is so easy to make, right in your blender, no oil needed!
Oh boy, do I love ranch dressing, and this is by far the best vegan ranch I've ever had! It's perfect for dipping everything from veggies to tofu bites to tots.
The base for this dressing is a simple cashew cream. If you're not familiar with cashew cream, it isn't some kind of fancy, expensive specialty food. In fact, I've never seen it for sale in a store.
Cashew cream is just raw cashews blended up in water or some other combination of liquids. The key to making good cashew cream is to soak your cashews in water. This softens them up so you it's easy to get them super creamey, even in the crappiest blender.
A lot of recipes for cashew-based sauces call for raw cashews, but in my experience, that's not really necessary. Soaking will soften up roasted cashews just fine, so feel free to use either to make your cashew ranch dressing.
One you soak your cashews, drain off the soaking water. Then, toss them into the blender with water, lemon juice, and a few dried spices, and boom! Cashew ranch.
One thing to note: This dressing does thicken up as it cools, so don't panic if it feels a bit thin when it comes out of the blender. Just stick it into the fridge to chill, and it will thicken up to creamy perfection.
This vegan ranch works well as either a dip or a salad dressing. Slather it onto your next salad or try one of these delicious ways to use it:
- as a party dip with veggies or sriracha tofu for dipping
- for dipping fries or tater tots
- stirred into soups or stews to add creaminess and a flavor boost
- on your next baked potato instead of sour cream
- as a dip for vegan wings
Anything you'd do with dairy ranch you can do with cashew ranch dressing instead.
How to store
I like to store this dressing in a mason jar. It will keep in an airtight container like this for five to seven days in the refrigerator.
Occasionally, this dressing will separate in the fridge. This is no problem! Just stir it up, and you're good to go.
Cashew ranch dressing recipe
- 1 cup cashews - raw or roasted is fine
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 large clove or 2 small cloves of garlic
- ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper - or more, to taste
- Soak the cashews with enough hot water to cover them completely for 10 minutes.
- Drain the cashews and pour them into the blender along with the remaining ingredients, except the salt and pepper. Blend until completely smooth. This will take about a minute in a high speed blender, and it will take longer in a regular blender. Just keep blending, stopping every minute to give the motor breaks, until your mixture is totally smooth.
- Taste, and add more salt and pepper, if needed, to suit your tastes. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
Frequently asked questions
It will keep for 5-7 days.
I don't recommend freezing this dressing. The texture just changes in a way that isn't super pleasant.
You sure can! Head on over and make my tahini ranch dressing instead.
There are so many ways to make vegan ranch! This recipe uses cashews and water as the base. You can also use tahini, if you don't do cashews.
Store-bought vegan ranch tends to use an oil emulsion as the base, but I'm sure there are bottled ranch dressings that use other bases, too.
There are lots of plant based ranch dressings on the market. Daiya, Simple Truth, and lots of other brands make them, and you can even find bottled vegan ranch at the regular grocery store.
Thank you !
Could you just soak cashews in 1/2 cup hot soy milk? Then you won't have to drain.