Vegan Ranch Dressing




So a funny thing happened to me at work yesterday: Jillian Michaels came in. With the location of my job, celebrity spotting tends to be a daily happening, which is kind of a fun perk about what I do.  I try not to ogle at them (well, there was one time when Bob Balaban from “Waiting for Guffman” and “Moonrise Kingdom” came in… I was tongue-tied) just because I know they are trying to go about their lives. But for me, it just adds to the magical feeling I get now that I work in Hollywood.

By using cashews, you get such a creamy, vegan alternative to Ranch Dressing.

 I’d like to think that Jillian would approve of this dressing. So today I will pass on the gym and will eat tons of ranch dressing. All in honor of her.

Non-dairy Ranch Dressing made with cashews and no milk!


Vegan Ranch Dressing
Prep time
Total time
Serves: ½ c. Dressing
  • ½ c raw cashews, soak for 30 minutes with boiling water in a bowl, drained* (see notes)
  • ¼ c. filtered water
  • ¼ c. homemade nondairy milk
  • ¼ of a medium red onion, skin removed
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¼-1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh parsley
  1. In a high-speed blender, all everything together except for the parsley until completely smooth. If you like a thinner dressing, add a little water at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Add parsley and pulse until it is roughly chopped but not blended to the point where the dressing is now completely green.
  3. Adjust the salt and pepper according to taste.
  4. Chill for an hour. Stays fresh for 3-4 days in fridge in an air-tight container.
For a nut-free version, you can check out this recipe.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ c. Calories: 105 Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 6.5g Sugar: 1g Sodium: 125mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 3.2g

This is definitely comparable to Ranch Dressing, in fact, I think it tastes better (but then again, I think anything that is homemade tastes better so take it for what it’s worth). As someone who cannot eat dairy, there is a great need for recreating excellent alternatives and this is right where it’s at. I promise you that if you served this dressing on a salad for dinner tonight, no one would know that it was actually made from cashews!

An easy way to recreate Ranch Dressing in your home, using this secret ingredient to make it vegan.








OptinMonster allows you to explode your email list by using our incredible exit intent technology.


  1. Standolyn Robertson says:

    Hi Cara, I just made your dressing recipe. It’s great! With the addition of the red onion mine is a pretty pink. How did you keep your dressing so white?

    Thanks for sharing such a good recipe

  2. Standolyn Robertson says:

    Hi Cara, Just made this dressing for the first time. It’s great!

    The red onion made my dressing a pretty pink. How did you keep your’s so white with the red onions?

    Thanks for creating such a yummy recipe.

  3. Hi Cara!

    Would you be willing to keep posted the previous vegan ranch dressing recipe prior to this one? It’s our family’s absolute favorite and I can’t find it on your site any longer!

    • Hi Karene! This is actually the same recipe just different pictures (I needed to update them). You can alternate 1-2 garlic cloves for the onion. Everything else is as it was.

  4. I’ve made this twice now, and I the juice from 1/2 a lemon is too much. It just makes it too lemony, which to me makes it seem less like ranch.

    • Sorry to hear that Holly! I think this is where different taste buds come into play, not to mention size and amount of liquid from 1/2 lemon. Maybe if you do try to make it again, add only 1/4 of the lemon and use unsweetened nondairy milk for the remainder?

  5. I was looking for a delicious raw vegan dressing without a bunch of oil… This is just perfect. My husband always says you have to follow a recipe exactly, the first time, to know if it is a good recipe. While I felt compelled to adjust, I did not. THIS IS A GOOD RECIPE!!!

    It was just outstanding. Thank you so much!

  6. Yes, yes, yes!

    I was searching for a non dairy dressing, and this one is perfect. Tried it yesterday….amazing!

    Love from Germany,

  7. I really would LOVE to make this but my son is allergic to nuts. Would plain ole rice milk work as a substitute? I know it won’t taste exactly the same, but searching for a good substitute. I’m sure it wouldn’t be as creamy either…ugh. His food allergies are really cramping my vegetarian lifestyle. lol Thanks for your help and oh, I’m a new follower and really loving the recipes that I’m seeing you share! Thanks so much!

  8. This ranch turned out great even though I don’t have a high-speed blender! And I was able to keep it in the fridge for 4 days without going bad.
    Soaking my cashews to make more today :)

  9. Hey Cara,

    I wanted to make a big batch of this and bottle it. Do you know how the recipe would keep? Thanks in advance, just found you today! love your posts!

    • Hi Maggie :) I would say it would stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days (that is, if you can keep from eating it all). Glad you found your way over here! xo

  10. I’m a new follower. Just LOVE your blog. Thank you for your inspiring recipes. :-) This ranch dressing is just lovely.

    • Hi Amber! Thank you so much for the love. I really hope you enjoy the recipes over here and if you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to ask! xo

  11. So cool! I would try to play it cool, but I would totally not play it cool, haha! Love the idea of a dairy-free ranch, too… everyone would be able to enjoy the wonders of ranch dressing (can you tell I have a fondness for it?) 😛

  12. You're Biggest Fan! says:

    looks like your messages didn’t get forwarded from your old neighborhood…….Someone very close to you said:
    “Welcome to your new home. You improve the neighborhood!

  13. Oh, YUM! I will be making this soon! It’s so hard to find a non-dairy, wheat and soy-free dressing! Thanks for another great recipe, Cara!

  14. Love the new site Cara! Looks fantastic! :) As does the non-dairy ranch dressing! Yum! I have to make it asap. It looks so fresh and creamy.

  15. Oh I LOVE Jillian! She is one of the only workout DVD people who actually motivate me! I would have been floored if she had walked into my work!

    I laughed so hard at you honouring her with ranch sauce. Only you :)

    • She was really sweet and kind during her visit. She was also a tiny woman but I could see the bite in her despite her size. Wouldn’t want to cross her…

  16. Oh this dressing looks delicious!! A must try!

  17. what you moved:)) love the site, this dressing and that you are working in hollywood! congratulations!

    • I moved, hooray! It’s about time too!! And I moved in real life as well :) I’m officially digging some roots here in Hollywood :)

  18. Yum, I am going to have to try this ASAP! I love the new site, you did such a great job. :)

  19. Fantastic! Both the dressing and the new site. Huge congrats my friend!

  20. This looks great!!! I didn’t know you were in LA, I am in Orange County.
    Love your new address on your website =)

    I will have to try this because all I have made here have been um awesome

  21. was literally *just* thinking about ranch dressing being my biggest obstacle to going vegan. No longer, Fork and Beans saves the day!

  22. Just made this! It smells delicious! It is chillin’ in the fridge and I can’t wait to try it!

  23. Herbivore Triathlete says:

    Is there no end to the cashew creativity? I used to love ranch in my pre-vegan days. I don’t have a high speed blender & tend to get grainy creams when using cashews. Loving the simple photos lately.

  24. this looks so yummy! I really want to try cashew dressings… but I haven’t because my little one has a peanut allergy. I haven’t been able to find cashews that don’t have a may contain warning. This one looks so good I may have to make it and “hide” it in the back of the fridge!

    Jillian scares me. I would so be in the corner crying if she yelled at me. LOL! That said.. I do have mad respect for her. :)

    • Oh, she would totally destroy us! I guess she was teaching an exercise class at the gym next to where I work and one guy came in saying that he couldn’t hang. She almost made me barf… ha!

  25. Looks so fresh and delicious! I actually hardly ever use dressing at all on salads, but this looks so appealing! :)

    • You know, I am the same way. If I do use dressing, I use just a little. People always think I am weird for that too. Glad to know there is someone else just like me :)

  26. Oddly enough, I’ve never made cashew ranch dressing. I love a Cesar type dressing I make w/ cashews, tahini and miso from Appetite for Reduction, and I do loves me some cashew cream (sweet or savory), so why haven’t I tried cashew ranch?? Hum…no reason I can think of, so cashew ranch it is! The two bags of kale and the head of Romain in the fridge agree with me.

    • Oooooh, a caesar dressing sounds soooo good! Me thinks I’m gonna have to give that a try next–thanks for that :)

  27. What?!? I know she’s a bit of a beast, but I love JM. I don’t want the “Biggest Loser” though, so perhaps I would hate her if I did…

    • Baker Bettie says:

      Key words here are “behind the scenes.” You probably wouldn’t hate her if you watched the show. :)

      • She seemed very nice but I am sure in order to be a trainer and personality like that on tv, one also must be a beast of sorts :)

  28. more garlic=my kinda dressing 😀

  29. Funny thing. My sister is a producer of the biggest loser so I get the scoop on the behind the scenes. Let’s just say, Jillian is… not her favorite. Haha.

    LOVE cashew ranch dressing. Haven’t made it in a long time, but I was just thinking last night that it would be so good with some roasted garlic in it! I know it wouldn’t be raw then, but it just sounded so tasty. Yours looks so creamy. Do you have a Vitamix? I tried to get my husband to let me buy one but he just can’t understand how a blender can be worth so much money. He just doesn’t understand!

    • My husband was skeptical, too, until he tried it! Now he says we would buy another one if this one broke. Then I remind him it has some crazy warranty, and he’s even happier! Plus, I’ve told him many times over that in case of a fire, I’m scooping out my fish (into a bowl of water) and grabbing the Vitamix. He’s on his own 😉

    • Okay so this gets me thinking that you NEED to visit your sister soon because it sounds like her and I live rather closely to each other. How fun would THAT be??!

      No Vitamix in my house :( I use the Cuisinart’s version of the Magic Bullet. It is just as amazing though. That sucker blends to perfection, I tell ya. And it’s only $75!

  30. yummy! it looks so creamy and delicious! dayv loves ranch dressing(or did before going vegan). i will make this for him over the weekend and report back!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: