Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

Dairy-Free Ranch www.anourishedappetite.com

I was always a big fan of Ranch dressing.  Usually the kind higher quality restaurant serve or the packet that you threw into a shaker with milk and sour cream.  Not the bottled stuff you find on the shelves at the market.  Those taste weird and have weird ingredients.  Maybe I was on to the dangers of canola oil back then and didn’t even know it! But don’t get me wrong, I would eat it.  I just didn’t LOVE it.  I’m not the kind of ranch fan that drowns their salad in it.  I think that is a bit excessive and a lot gross! I like to taste the individual flavors in my salad, not overwhelm my palate with dressing. I have been known to go hog wild on a bag of baby carrots and a bowl of ranch a time or two.

My go-to meal in high school was microwaved chicken nuggets, that were then placed in the toaster oven on broil to crisp.  Obviously I was too busy to fully cook them in the toaster oven. One can’t wait the additional minutes. Hence the invention of the microwave! I quickly created my favorite meal, sometimes twice daily.  My parents stocked the freezer with bags of nuggets and the pantry remained fully loaded BBQ sauce and ranch.  That way I could always load up on my favorite “foods” at a moments notice.

Dairy-Free Ranch www.anourishedappetite.com

Those nuggets were then bathed in ranch and BBQ sauce.  Bathed, drenched, drowned! Remember in the paragraph above how I stated drowning your salad in ranch was gross?  Is that comment hypocritical of me considering I just admitted to doing the same to the nuggets? The obvious answer is no, because I could still taste the flavors of the chemically created, processed meat. Who knows where the meat in those nuggets was sourced. The “chicken” in the nuggets probably wasn’t even chicken! Yikes!

The BBQ sauce was your average, run of the mill store-bought variety. No homemade action going on back then.  It was questionable BBQ sauce that contained an overwhelming amount of sugar; molasses, sugar and high fructose corn syrup to be exact!   Thinking about the meals I used to eat, makes me nauseous.  Knowing that those foods were engineered to make my body believe they were delicious, makes me angry. Realizing how far I have come, makes me overjoyed.

Dairy-Free Ranch www.anourishedappetite.com

If all that above babble didn’t make it blatantly clear why I chose to create this recipe, I am sorry.  I will work on my writing skills! But I will not rewrite this post, because I want to get this recipe into your hands ASAP! I have been experimenting with dairy-free ranch dressings since my Paleo days began. Not for the sole purpose of wanting to drown homemade, grain-free, organic, pasture-raised chicken nuggets in it.  Although that sounds like a delicious goal. I wanted a dressing option for some amazing recipes coming your way.  Plus I wanted to show the naysayers in my life, that eating clean can be tasty in the from of a ranch dressing.

There are a ton of bloggers out there who have done the same, and posted some great recipes.  I made a conscious decisions from the get go to avoid those recipes so that their approach wouldn’t sway my experimentations. Instead I started off on a journey, a ranch expedition if you will.  I worked with chives, green onions and shallots.  Taste tested the benefits of lemon vs apple cider vinegar for the coconut “buttermilk”. Weighed the benefits of fresh parsley versus dried. Took the same approach with dill.  Over did the garlic, thwarting off any possible vampire attacks. What I ended with is a tasty Ranch dressing.  Enjoy!

Dairy Free Ranch Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1½ cup
  1. In a small bowl combine coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes
  2. Use a bowl and whisk or large mason jar and immersion blender combine remaining ingredients
  3. Slowly add in coconut milk to preferred consistency
  4. If dressing is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk to thin
  5. Store in refrigerator in sealed jar

To a nourished life,


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