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Ranch dressing is, by far, my most favourite condiment on earth. As it’s not widely found in German-speaking countries, when I lived in Austria for a year on the Fulbright program, I took along a bottle in my suitcase. It was gone way too fast. I shared some with some of my European friends, but they didn’t seem that impressed. My love for ranch dressing has not wavered since moving to Canada, and although it’s widely available here, Canadians don’t seem that crazy about it either. I think it’s something that’s just deep-rooted in American culture. Americans love ranch dressing and eat it with so many things – pizza, french fries, buffalo wings, chicken tenders – salads and veggies are just the tip of the ice burg.
Paleo & Low FODMAP Ranch Dressing
When I started eating Paleo, I stopped eating store-bought ranch dressing as it contains dairy and potentially problematic additives. There are some Paleo compliant store-bought ranch dressings out there, but I have not yet come across one that even closely resembles the lovely, creamy, garlicy goodness that mainstream commercially-produced ranch dressings tend to possess. Store-bought ranch dressings that are Paleo compliant tend not to be low in FODMAPs, and vice versa. So, if I want a ranch dressing that is both dairy-free and low FODMAP, I have to make it myself. The recipe that follows is dairy-free, Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP.
Dairy-Free Homemade Ranch Dressing Ingredients
Dairy-free mayonnaise: In my opinion, the key to an awesome tasting homemade ranch dressing is the mayo. Some oil-based, dairy-free mayos, homemade and store-bought, do not taste the greatest; however, I found this avocado oil mayo by Chosen Foods at Costco (where it is cheaper), and it has been a lifesaver. I have not yet developed my own recipe for dairy-free mayo, so when I do have to make my own mayo at home, I use this recipe for homemade olive oil mayonnaise on Olive You Whole, but I use an immersion blender instead of a food processor as it is more fool-proof.
Garlic-infused olive oil: To replicate the lovely, garlicy goodness characteristic of ranch dressing, I use 2 tablespoons of garlic-infused olive oil. If you are not concerned with FODMAPs, you could use ½ teaspoon garlic powder instead of the oil, but I think the garlic-infused oil tastes even better than garlic powder.
Acidity: To counter the fat brought by the mayo and oil, I add a tablespoon of lemon juice. The finely-chopped scallions (a.k.a. green onions) also bring a fair amount of acidity to the dressing in addition to onion flavour. If you’re not going for low FODMAP, you could use ½ teaspoon onion powder instead of scallions, but you will also want to increase the amount of lemon juice by about ½ tablespoon.
Herbs: Parsley and dill are pretty common herbs in ranch dressing recipes. If you want to add some extra tangyness and excitement to your dressing, you could sub cilantro for the parsley.
Seasonings: I find that just sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper taste the best in this recipe.
Dairy-free milk: In order to adjust the dressing’s thickness, I use unsweetened almond milk. If you’re planning to use the dressing as a veggie dip, I recommend using just 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk. I used 3 tablespoons in the dressing pictured, which I found easyish to spread on a salad but not too terribly thin.
Equipment needed to make this recipe include:
A small bowl
Measuring spoons and cups
Citrus juicer (unless you prefer to squeeze the lemon by hand)
Air-tight container, such as a glass jar
After you’ve chopped the scallions and herbs and juiced the lemon, combine everything in a small bowl, saving the almond milk for last. Add the almond milk one tbsp at a time until the dressing is at your desired consistency.
Refrigerate in an air-tight container, preferably a glass jar, for about a week but up to 10 days. I typically do a “sniff test” every time I serve it, just to be sure. As it is made from whole foods and does not contain preservatives, homemade ranch dressing doesn’t last anywhere near as long as the store-bought stuff, but it is a lot healthier. Be sure to shake the jar or stir well before reserving as it will separate. Serve on your favourite salads (such as my addictive Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders Salad) or as a dip for veggies, french fries, chicken tenders, or basically anything yummy you’d like to taste even yummier. The sky is the limit when it comes to eating ranch dressing!
If you’re looking for a true veggie or chip dip recipe, check out my Easy Dill Veggie Dip recipe, great for veggies and chips!
*If you do not have issues with FODMAPs, you can use ½ tsp garlic powder and ½ tsp onion powder in place of the garlic-infused olive oil and scallions. If you omit the scallions, you may want to increase the lemon juice by ½ tbsp.
Please note: the ranch dressing pictured is 1 ½ batches of the recipe. One batch made the jar about two-thirds full.