Vegan Ranch Dressing and Potato Salad

Vegan Ranch Dressing and Potato Salad

I've had several people ask me to come up with a ranch dressing recipe. Well, today is  your lucky day....and guess what, it is oil-free, soy-free AND nut-free! I think most vegan recipes contain soy and/or nuts and I know a lot of people avoid or can't have those, so I wanted to come up with a version that didn't use either.

Most dressing bases are ridiculously high in oil, which is not healthy, no matter what oil it is. The calorie content is sky high and oil is nothing more than straight liquid fat. 1 tablespoon is 14 g of fat and most recipes call for 1/2 cup or more. I like my dressing bases to contain fats/calories from whole foods like nuts or seeds, so my body is processing the whole food, and not just absorbing straight oil. Both my husband and I feel so much better by cutting out excessive oils. It works for us.

Sunflower kernels to the rescue.

This is delicious as a dressing or dipping veggies in, but it is awesome as a potato salad. The consistency of the dressing is perfect for a potato salad. How exciting that this Vegan Ranch Dressing is oil-free, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free and raw. Most anybody should be able to have this!

However, if you are more a Caesar Dressing fan, make sure to try this reader favorite, my Vegan Caesar Dressing!

This is delicious and will fool anybody...don't even tell them it isn't "real" ranch. It is SO good.

I really hope you love this Vegan Ranch Dressing and Potato Salad! Make this and come leave me feedback below and please star rate it!

4.8 from 5 reviews
Vegan Ranch Dressing and Potato Salad
 
An incredibly, easy and delicious ranch dressing that is fantastic as a veggie dip, salad dressing or as a potato salad. Serve this to your guests and THEN tell them it is vegan and they will be shocked!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5 heaping cups chopped red potatoes into ½ inch pieces (740 g, which is about 6 medium potatoes)
  • ½ cup sunflower kernels, unsalted (70 g, or cashews (80 g) if you don't need nut-free, cashews will make it creamier, but of course this will no longer be nut-free!)
  • 1 cup low fat canned coconut milk (if you are allergic to coconut as well, then you can sub with soy milk)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder (depending on how strong you like it, I used 1 ½ tsp)
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed (use half if you prefer a milder taste)
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill (plus extra for garnish)
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard spice
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Note
  • This dressing is delicious right away, but I recommend making it the day before you want to eat it, as It will thicken much more overnight in the fridge. It will taste so much like traditional this way. Also, I used 1½ teaspoons of garlic, which tastes a little strong right out of the blender, but I wanted it to stand out against veggies in a dip and in the potato salad. Start with ½ teaspoon and adjust if you like.
  • If making it with the sunflower seeds, remember they have a stronger taste than cashews do, so keep that in mind.
Instructions
  1. This recipe works well to prepare early in the day or the day before, so everything is chilled well and the dressing has thickened, upon serving. First, roast the potatoes. Preheat an oven to 415 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper, so they don’t stick. Chop the potatoes into about ½ inch pieces. Spread out evenly on the pan and salt generously and bake for 25-30 minutes until very golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix, and process until very smooth and creamy on high. If using canned coconut milk, make sure you have shaken the can really well first. Scrape the sides a couple of times and blend again for a good couple of minutes so it gets really smooth and thickens. The dressing will be fairly thin, but will thicken well in the fridge. Pour into a container and chill in the fridge for an hour or two to marinate, so it gets cold and thickens further. The flavor really is best after it chills and marinates (even better overnight!). If you like, chill the potatoes as well. (I chilled both the dressing and potatoes overnight) When ready, remove the dressing and stir well to mix up any water that may have settled. Toss the potatoes with as much dressing as you like. (There will be leftover dressing) Taste and add any extra salt for flavor and garnish with more dill and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. The extra dill and parsley really adds a nice flavor and presentation.

56 Comments

  1. Whoa, a vegan ranch dressing, and potato salad is my favorite part of a summer meal or picnic, Love how creamy this is. Really delicious I can’t believe you created this.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Suzanne! Mine too!

  2. Fantastic Brandi! I’d never have thought to make ranch with sunflower seeds! I’m so looking forward to trying it when I get the seeds Brandi! 🙂

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Poppy! Yes, it is a great nut-free and soy-free option that turned out really well. For a really creamy thick version, sub half with lowfat coconut milk. All water is a lighter version, although still fabulous. Please let me know when you make it! 🙂

      • How can you claim it is nut-free when you use coconut milk or almond milk? If someone made this recipe as you have it written with the sunflower seeds and one of those milks, takes it to a picnic and says it’s nut free. Someone who is deathly allergic to nuts could have an allergic reaction and die. PLEASE, please change that descriptor for the recipe! I would hate to have that kind of karma on you.

        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

          Hi Deanne, coconut is not considered a tree nut, but actually a drupe (fruit) it is not in the same class as tree nuts. Most people who can’t eat nuts, can eat coconut. I only listed almond milk as an alternative to people who don’t like coconut but I always use coconut milk. I will update that one line to be more clear.

  3. Oh! I am loving this RANCH DRESSING. I have never had regular ranch dressing before in my life, but people are OBSESSED WITH IT! I must try your rendition!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      It’s good stuff, thank you Gigi!!

  4. Nothing says summer like ranch dressing and potato salad! I’m ready for a picnic!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I agree!

  5. I love ranch dressing, actually an all time favourite so this potato salad is SO on my list of things to make 😀
    Yum!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Uru, please let me know when you make it!

  6. This looks so summery – we are only now starting to get some nice weather and i love seeing dishes like this to inspire me to move onto a new season 😉
    This seems like a nice light version of potato salad as opposed to the old fashion heavy pasty style. This is a must try!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Cindy! It is super yummy as a potato salad and as a creamy dip…I’ve been making lots of it this past week.

  7. I can’t believe you created this wonderful and authentic tasting ranch dressing out of sunflowers seeds. It really does taste like ranch dressing!. I’ve have it on chips and on the potato salad and I love it. It’s made even more delicious by it’s simplicity in making. Thank you Brandi!

  8. i love a good ranch dressing on everything some days. this one is a keeper!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      And guilt-free! 🙂

  9. Yum, that dressing looks fabulous! I love how light and simple it is. My husband is a HUGE potato salad fan and would LOVE this!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Girl, you’ve got to try it! My parents are NOT vegan and they could not believe this was not real ranch…dead serious. It is HEALTHY!!!

  10. Oh hell yes! I would put this on PIZZA! One thing I used to love was dipping my crust into ranch..I NEEED this sauce.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Omg I used to do the same thing woman!!! I dropped off a batch of the dip (with half coconut milk) at my folks house and they about died..for real, couldn’t believe it wasn’t ranch!!

  11. A georgous roasted potato salad! I love that special dressing, it looks very appetizing too!

    Divind salad! xx

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Sophie, it truly tastes like ranch!

  12. This was AMAZING! My daughter and I were eating it strait off the spoon as I was scraping it out of the Vitamix! My kids will take this in their lunch to dip their veggies in :). Thank you so much for creating these healthy recipes Brandi!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Haha….licking out of the blender is always a good sign! I’m so glad you both loved it so much!! Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

  13. This is amazing. I have been looking for a replacement to my Follow Your Heart vegan ranch which is processed and made with oil and soy. Your ranch tastes 1,000 times better than that ranch. Not even in the same league. I decided to make only the dressing, not the potatoes. I eliminated the coconut milk mostly because I was too lazy to go down into my basement to fish out a can from the pantry … but also I wasn’t in the mood for coconut having just finished a coconut water 🙂 Anyway, I tossed in a few extra sunflower seeds to make it slightly thicker and am glad I did because I wanted a super thick dressing. I think using seeds for this dressing is superior to using nuts. Hemp seeds might be pretty good too. I ate a simple salad – arugula and baby tomatoes and this dressing. The dressing made the meal (understatement – this dressing was the meal). I used 1 tsp of garlic and am glad I did, but I would use more if I was going to make it with the potatoes. One suggestion – this recipe only made about 2 honest servings because it is soooo good. I would double it!!! I have placed the tiny bit of leftovers in an old dressing bottle and I just know it will taste even better tomorrow … and next time I will make a double batch.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback Jennille!! I’m so glad to hear you loved it so much and it was 1,000 times better than your other ranch, woohoo!! I agree, the sunflower seeds really do work better than cashews. Cashews leave a strong flavor, too much, in my opinion, which is why I’m not a fan of it in dressings unless the flavor is masked really well. Oh, and you will love it even more with subbing half with coconut milk next time…you cannot taste of trace of coconut, it just enhances the richness and makes it creamier. Thanks again! 🙂

  14. OMG–subbed Almond milk for water and 8 cloves Fresh garlic–it was AMAZING!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wonderful Lili! I’m super happy to hear you loved it and wow, 8 cloves of garlic, haha! I bet that made it awesome and super garlicky, which I love garlic. So glad the almond milk worked well too 🙂

  15. This recipe has been pinned! I just wanted to suggest that you indicate under the ingredients that the coconut milk you use in this recipe comes out of the can. I know you indicate that in the directions, but if you only look at the ingredients to make your grocery list, your reader may buy the wrong coconut milk. I am a newby to vegan foods and this issue jumped out at me right away. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Kimberly! I usually do add it, I guess I forgot on this one. I will add it now, thank you! So happy you like the recipe too, please let me know if you make it 🙂

  16. I’ve never had much luck with vegan ranch recipes (with tofu and nuts and such), and the bottled ones at the store are really horrible and chemical-tasting. Your recipe is genius! So easy, too!

    The last couple times I’ve made it I didn’t have dill in the house, but I’m a huge Penzeys fan and have a supply of their buttermilk ranch seasoning (no worries, it’s vegan) and subbed the spices you listed for a tablespoon or so of their seasoning. Even easier and really delish.

    Thank you again for another great recipe. I’m doing weight watchers now and so many of your creations seem to fit right in, which I soooooo appreciate.

    Thank you, Brandi! I have my eye on the cheese sauce next!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh awesome Caroline! I’m so happy to hear you loved this ranch and even more, that it fits in with your weight watchers program, yay! Thank you so much for the feedback, it really makes my day! I can’t wait to hear what you think of the cheese sauce…it’s definitely one of my all-time favorite recipes now!

  17. LOVE potato salad!! And this recipe sounds like the kind of recipe that goes super fast at a summer BBQ! I love that the creamy sauce is made with sunflower seeds – YUM!

  18. I see people post so many recipes on facebook, but once I go through the list of ingredients, I am generally left with two basic ingredients that I’m not allergic to, and those ingredients by themselves sound disgusting. Still, it makes me laugh to do this. So I went looking for a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free recipe for potato salad, and I came across your Vegan Ranch Potato Salad. I hope to try this recipe soon. It sounds wonderful!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh I hope you love it Bonita like other readers have, please let me know after you try it! And I understand about other recipes…some ingredients kind of freak me out a bit too, haha!

  19. This was another winner, Brandi! We never thought we would find a vegan ranch recipe that would taste as amazing as this one! My daughter doesn’t care for Apple cider vinegar so I put white wine vinegar and then used your trick of using lemon juice to make it more tart. Came out delicious. 🙂 I just wondered if you happen to have an approximation of the calorie count on the dressing. I’m watching my weight by using an app that records caloric intake. Thank you!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so happy to hear this was such a hit Colleen, and with your daughter as well! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback!! This is an older recipe before I started doing the calculations on recipes, but I will try to get it up for you this week! Thanks again!

  20. I am excited to find your recipe and my first try is cooling in the refrigerator. I did have some challenges, though! I was able to find sunflower kernels at my local health food store, but are they meant to be raw? or dry roasted? I ended up using unsalted dry roasted but not sure if it was the best choice. I also was unable to find ground celery seed, and without a mortar and pestle it was a challenge to try to grind the seeds! I’ll have to look online for ground seed if I plan to make this dressing in the future. Thanks for the post. I’m always looking for tasty vegan food recipes.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Jeralyn! So sorry I missed this comment! I use raw, unsalted sunflower kernels. Roasted would be too strong of a sunflower choice. Really? Ground celery seed should be in most stores. Sorry you had to use a mortar and pestle! You can also use cashews if you can’t find raw sunflower kernels, but they should be in most stores as well.

  21. This Ranch dressing has quickly become a staple at our house. Absolutely delicious!! I’ve been sharing with all my friends. Thanks for this amazing recipe…I also have been making your 7 Ingredient Pecan Pie Bars and 20 Minute Vegan Alfredo regularly. LOVE your recipes!! Thank you so much.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Melanie, I’m so happy to hear this! So glad you are loving the recipes!

  22. I just made this 2 nights ago for the first time. This is the closest Ive ever found to SAD ranch dressing. Its so flavorful. I’ll be keeping this around weekly.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay! So happy to hear that Estee! The standard american diet ranch dressing is good, but yes, so bad for us and I’m happy we have a healthy alternative that is just as delicious! Thank you for leaving feedback!

  23. This dressing is so delish and creamy! I just made my first batch and used cashews because I didn’t have sunflower seeds in the house. Mixed up with plain soy milk (Trader Joe’s Organic unflavored) it turned out SO creamy straight from the blender. I did add a pinch more salt, only because I’m a bit of salt fiend. This is going to be a regular in this household!! YUM! Thank you so much, Brandi! I love every recipe of yours I’ve tried so far. You’re helping make me a rock star in the kitchen! lol

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Awww this made my day Victoria! Thank you so much for the awesome feedback! It really made me smile! So glad you liked it and it will be even more creamy tomorrow after it sits in the fridge overnight! Thanks again 🙂

  24. This tastes so fantastic! I knew it was going to be flavorful by just smelling everything in the blender before I whizzed it up. My 2-year old and 5-year old tasted it with a spoon right out of the blender and wanted more.

    I doubled the recipe so I can use some for potato salad and the leftovers as a dip for raw veggies for the kids lunch. I didn’t have ground celery seed, but the whole celery seed worked just fine! I went with the low-fat coconut milk, cut the salt in half and used the full amount of garlic powder…so tasty 🙂

    Your recipes NEVER FAIL!!! I love your simplicity in ingredients yet everything is boosted in flavor.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so very much Desiree for such kind feedback, I really appreciate it! I’m so happy to hear you loved this and that your kids did too, that is wonderful to hear! I use the coconut milk too, my favorite!

  25. We tried this and loved it. Thanks for the recipe! Next time I will make double. 🙂

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      So wonderful to hear that Dianna! Thank you so much for the feedback!

  26. This recipe looks wonderful. I’m wondering if the vinegar can be substituted for something else? But not lemon juice. I know the vinegar or citrus is what makes the tang in ranch, but my best friend needs a soy-free, vinegar-free, citrus-free, ranch style salad dressing.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Kimberly! Wow, no vinegar or citrus? Well, to be honest, it’s not going to taste right without one of those. You could have a creamy sauce, but it’s not going to taste much like ranch. There isn’t really a sub if she can’t have either. You could try maybe a little yogurt for tang, but that is a big guess as I don’t do yogurt and it’s not nearly as acidic as lemon or vinegar.

      • Yeah, she has to avoid all acids for now. No tomatoes, among other things, too.

        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

          So sorry, I would just eliminate it then. It will be a creamy sauce, but the taste will suffer some because of a lack of acidity, which will make the nut flavor stand out more, so I honestly not sure of how it would taste.

  27. OMG. Simply AMAZING, Brandi! I used cashews and you’re right….so creamy! Definitely using this recipe for ranch dressing now. So flavorful!

    And I love how the potatoes came out being cut a little smaller than what I normally do for potato salad. And the roasting of them gives them an awesome texture!

    In addition to the dressing I threw in a bunch of fresh herbs (lovage, basil, thyme, parsley) from my garden. It was to die for! Going into my “All Stars” file!!

    You’re a genius.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wonderful Lauren! I’m so happy to hear you loved this ranch dressing so much! Thank you so much for the awesome feedback!

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