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Recipes

The Best Homemade Paleo Ranch Dressing (Try this!)

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Dairy-free ranch dressing. It seems like an oxymoron, but I assure you, it is a real thing! Where there is a will, there is a way. I was determined to find a way to get some healthy ranch dressing back into my life. And this way is surprisingly simple. The recipe starts with a Paleo mayonnaise base, and then you add ingredients from there. It can be made as creamy or as thin as you like, depending on whether you want to use it for a dip or for dressing. One thing that I know is that I am never buying the store-bought kind again.

Homemade Ranch Dressing- my favorite dairy-free ranch dressing!
Serving Size
1
Calories/Serving
87

Homemade Ranch Dressing- my favorite dairy-free ranch dressing!


I have yet to find anything that tastes like the unique flavor of ranch dressing. When you crave it, you crave it. There isn’t anything else that can fill that gap. Olive oil and balsamic can only get you so far with a salad. It was one of the first things that I ate in the U.S. after returning home from study abroad. Veggies or even strips of leftover steak are much more appealing when there is some ranch around to dip them in.

Making Paleo-Friendly Mayonnaise

Before anything else, you’re going to want to make some fresh mayonnaise. When making mayonnaise, you need just 4 main ingredients if you count the spices. These are oil, eggs, some acidity and spices. For acidity, vinegar is typically used. However, for paleo-friendly mayonnaise, substitute lemon juice for vinegar.

As you can see, the recipe for paleo-friendly mayonnaise is quite simple and doesn’t deviate much from ‘regular’ mayonnaise.

ranch dressing ingredients

Is Sea Salt Really Healthier Than Regular Salt?

Sea Salt vs Iodized Salt for MayoBoth regular and sea salt are great no-calorie ways to season food. However, they are both high in sodium. In fact, they contain equal amounts of sodium. One teaspoon of regular salt contains 2325 mg of sodium, which is 100% of your recommended daily intake for the day. (1) Likewise, one teaspoon of sea salt contains 2320 mg of sodium. (2)

As a result, you will want to use them sparingly as the more sodium you consume, the greater your chances of having high blood pressure. However, is it really as simple as that?

Animal studies have shown that sea salt is not as bad as regular salt for blood pressure. (3) Sea salt contains trace amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium. These minerals help lower your blood pressure. However, since you would need to consume a bucket-load of sea salt to get enough of these minerals to lower your blood pressure, and consume tons of blood-pressure spiking sodium in the process, this is simply not practical.

One good thing about sea salt though is that it has a coarser texture because it is less ground than regular salt. As a result, it has a different mouth feel and releases a stronger hit of flavor than regular salt. This may end up in you needing less of it to flavor your food compared to regular salt.

One thing to keep in mind though is that regular salt is fortified with iodine, while sea salt is not. You need iodine to have a healthy metabolism. (4) As a result, you will want to make sure that you eat other paleo-friendly foods that are high in iodine. These include fish and eggs.

How to Select the Right Sea Salt

what salt to getWith the health craze around sea salt, it can be overwhelming selecting the right sea salt for your needs. I found this article by Dr. Weil very enlightening. Here is a summary of what he said:

Your typical generic sea salt may contain additives that are not conducive to a paleo-friendly diet. Hence, you will want to make sure you scrutinize the label to see if it contains any additives, and figure out where it comes from.

The most popular all-natural sea salt comes from the coastal region of Brittany, France. Salt from this region is grey and is called Celtic gray salt. Another great salt from this region is “fleur de sel” or “flowers of salt”, aptly named because the salt resembles snowflakes. This salt is white since it does not touch clay beds. This type of salt is pricier than Celtic gray salt and harder to find.

Other good sea salts come from the coastal region in the west coast of Sicily, Hawaii, and Maldon, England.

Health Benefits of Coconut Milk

coconut milk for paleo ranchYou may be wondering how it’s possible to make ranch dressing without milk.

One cup of raw coconut milk provides a whopping 110% of your manganese needs. What is manganese good for? A variety of things! Your body needs manganese to make and activate several enzymes. Your body also needs it to metabolize glucose and fat, and to get rid of cancer-causing free radicals in your body. (5)

So, coconut milk is very nutritious, but you need to watch how much of it you consume since it is also very high in calories.

Besides the nutritional value, coconut milk has other health benefits. These include:

  • Boosting heart health:

An 8-week study conducted on 60 healthy men found that coconut milk porridge raised HDL “good cholesterol” 5 times more than soy milk porridge. Coconut milk porridge also lowered LDL “bad cholesterol” more than soy milk porridge (6).

  • Reducing the size of ulcers

Coconut milk may be helpful if you suffer from ulcers. An animal study found that coconut milk was as effective as an anti-ulcer drug in reducing the size of ulcers.

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk

We all know that fresh is usually best, and this is also true of coconut milk. Studies have shown that after canned coconut milk has sat on the shelf for more than 2 months, it becomes less nutritious. (7)

In addition, many canned coconut milk products contain bisphenol A, which is a chemical that lines metal cans. This chemical has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and reproductive problems in human studies. (8) Therefore, it would be better to make your own coconut milk if possible.

Gina Eykemans of Cooking Lessons from the Kitchn provides an easy way to make coconut milk. Here is a summary:

  1. Place 1 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut and 4 cups of hot water in a blender that is suitable for blending hot fluids.
  2. Let your mixture rest for about 5 minutes to let the coconut soften.
  3. Blend your mixture on high for about 2 minutes until you reach a puree-like consistency.
  4. Place your mixture in a nut milk bag over a medium bowl.
  5. Squeeze the nut milk bag until you have drained out every last inch of nut milk.
  6. Place your coconut milk in a mason jar. Your nut milk should last about 4 days in the fridge, or alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

How to Use Coconut Milk

Now, that you can make your own coconut milk, how can you use it?

You can add it to hot beverages, use it in smoothies, use it in sauces, as a milk-substitute when baking, or to make salad dressings like our incredible homemade ranch. And talking about salad dressings, here is why I love ours the most.

how to make homemade ranch dressing

Why I Love This Paleo Ranch Recipe

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it uses homemade paleo-mayonnaise. Homemade mayonnaise, like pretty much anything homemade, tastes better and fresher than store-bought alternatives.

Once you have your mayonnaise, simply mix some of it with coconut milk and some seasonings, and voila, you have yummy paleo-friendly ranch dressing!

Here are a few of our other favorite ways to make Paleo Ranch Dressing if you’re looking for something different:


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Ingredients

  • Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup Paleo mayo (here)
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp dill
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Whisk all ingredients together to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Servings

Serving Size

1

Servings/Recipe

12

P.S. Make sure to take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. It has over 470+ easy paleo recipes and free 10 week meal plan. Click here to view recipes.

Nutrition Information

Calories

87

Carbohydrates

0.6 g

Fat

9.4 g

Sugar

0 g

Protein

0.3 g

Fiber

0.1 g

Calories 87 kcal
Potassium 28.3 mg
Vitamin A 0.3 µg
Vitamin C 0.2 mg
Folic Acid (B9) 1.5 µg
Sodium 57.2 mg

Print Recipe

  1. THANK YOU! I have been looking for something to replicate Hidden Valley and this feels right. Creamy dressings are a whole different animal than oil-based ones and sometimes there is just no enjoying a salad when you want something other than oil-based dressing. Now I just have to perfect my mayo-making technique.

  2. I just made this and it is a great alternative. But mine is pretty runny. Do you have any suggestions on how to thicken it?

  3. I used half avocado oil and half olive oil for the mayo, turned out great and the ranch is AMAZING. probably needs a little less garlic and I added a teaspoon of chives, but this stuff is GREAT. Very happy, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • I make my mayo with an immersion blender. Always thick and creamy. Just look up Paleo recipe with immersion blender. Super simple

    • I also use the immersion blender and it gets perfect every time. I use a pint canning jar, put the lemon juice, egg, and mustard powder in first followed by the olive oil. I put the blender all the way to the bottom before turning it on and then bring it slowly to the top. Mayo happens right before your eyes. Then I just move up and down to incorporate any oil that’s left. 2tbsp lemon, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1 egg, 1 1/4 cups olive oil.

    • I put my oil in an old (and clean) ketchup bottle, so that I can pour the oil SUPER slowly. At first, I pour just a few drops at a time, and then after I can tell that the mixture is emulsifying, I start pouring a small and steadyish stream.

      • You can also try an old soy sauce bottle, like the kind u see on the tables in restaurants (with the red lids) they pour olive oil in a perfect slow stream, I haven’t had a batch seperate since trying this!

    • I found that size does matter… at least when it comes to the egg yolks and homemade mayo. My first few tries were a runny mess. I now use fresh, jumbo local eggs. If the yolk is too small, try using one whole egg and one yolk. Also, I use the immersion blender technique, as well. Good luck!

  4. Do you think it would be possible to substitue almond milk for the coconut milk or would it come out all wonky? Your site is wonderful!

  5. Can you give any suggestions on the coconut milk to use. I’ve gotten the unsweetened in the can but saw that it was separated and needed to be mixed up before using. That would be a pain, needing only 1/2c for this recipe. Is there another type you suggest for this? What is the best coconut milk to use?

    • Actually, I usually use the kind you described, canned unsweetened coconut milk. I scoop the separated coconut cream off the top and use that in most recipes. I use the leftover coconut water that’s in the can for smoothies!

      • The fact that you just use the cream and not the water in the canned coconut milk is probably why your dressing isn’t runny. When I read your recipe I wouldn’t know that is what you did but it makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the recipe! 🙂

        • I just wanted to add that I did use the canned kind, only I did scoop it out and mix it all together before measuring out 1/2 cup, and mine isn’t runny, but isn’t quite quick thick enough for dipping, either. Maybe taking just the solid part off the top is the trick.

    • I use canned and mix it up good then freeze my extra in baggies that way it’s premeasured and ready for next time. Just thaw in water before you use it. No waste!

  6. I’m new to this and I tried to find dill in the spices and I could only find whole dill seed. What exactly am I looking for?

    • You would actually be looking for fresh dill, which is usually in the produce section by the other herbs. Let me know if that helps! Some stores also sell dried dill in the spices section, but fresh tastes a lot better.

    • Dill seed can work if you make this in a blender, or if you run the seeds through a food processor first. The result is a slightly different and possibly more mild dill taste. I just did this, because I didn’t have any dill (not seed) and it turned out pretty good.

    • Dried dill weed is available in the spice section. McCormick, among others, manufactures it. Dried is more potent than fresh and I used dried for a wonderful result! So happy to have found this recipe. Found I was not having salad nearly as often as I should because I just don’t like vinaigrettes and was unable to eat the salads!

  7. I struggled with mayo for a while until I figured out this SUPER EASY way to do it. Put all the ingredients in a tall glass, no need to wait for room temp. Key is to use an IMMERSION BLENDER. Put the blender all the way to the bottom and blend for about 20 seconds until you see the mayo starting at the bottom, SLOWLY pull the blender up until the whole glass is mayo consistency. Then just go back to the bottom and to the top a few times. Perfect mayo every time!

    • Thanks so much for posting. I’ve tried to pore the evoo extra slow, but never got thick. I tried your method exactly and worked almost instantly. Perfect mayo.

    • holy crap! thank you for this tip, i was getting so frustrated. I have been to the store so many times to buy eggs in my attempts to make mayo, finally just went to kmart and got an immersion blender. My life is complete now.

    • OK. WOW. JUST. WOW. I was kind of leery when making this, but I have to say that it is A-MAZ-ING! Not only is the Mayo absolutely awesome, I am so so happy to have my ranch back!! I now have a little variety when making my salads for lunch! YUMM-O!! I did what Jenn said and just put everything into the jar (or glass) and use the emulsion blender as directed- Keep it at the bottom until it starts looking like may then slowly go up and down until it’s all blended.. GENIUS!
      Thank you, thank you Rebecca!!! You rock!

    • I used toasted sesame oil the first time I made paleo mayonnaise, and it gave it a very strong taste that i didn’t care for. I like walnut oil, it’s very neutral.

  8. What is that spoon of liquid in the picture of the ingredients? The recipe does not seem to call for this. Am I missing something?

    • the liquid in the measuring spoon is, I believe, the lemon juice. It is missing from the ingredient list, but present in the instructions.

  9. I use an immersion blender as well exactly as Jenn describes. It works every time. The container is important, however. a wide mouth glass pint canning jar works perfectly. I found one in a thrift store for a dollar. Who wants to have to buy a whole case. I live in a farming community and was ready to hit up a canning friend until I went to the thrift store. You want a container that is just a little bigger than the circumference of the blender head… to get that vortex blending going. It WORKS!

  10. an you make this recipe without the egg and if so, how? we have egg allergy in the family and I miss being able to have ranch dressing around the house…im one of those who loves it on pizza too 😉

  11. I agree with another commenter. Am I missing something or is there a liquid in the picture in the tablespoon? What is that? Don’t see it in the recipe.

    • If you, or anyone else, hasn’t figured it out yet. The liquid is the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in the mayo recipe.

  12. Hi,

    I am reading the recipe and it calls for coconut milk. I just want to see if this is canned full fat coconut milk or just regular coconut milk.

    Thanks!

  13. So far so good!!! I made the “mayo” part using only 1/2 cup of olive oil (I used “Extra Virgin”….it seems to me that “light” can apply to either virgin oil or non-virgin?? anybody know?). It took forever to thicken but it eventually did.
    To make it into “Ranch”, I used only a couple tablespoons of canned coconut milk (the super-thick goo at the top of the can)–I was afraid of it getting runny at any step!–and halved the garlic, onion and dill amounts so that I could add more if necessary. That’s when I added a couple more shakes of onion powder and a few healthy pinches of Himalayan salt.
    I’m pleased!! The other “paleo mayo/ranch” that I tried actually tasted like eggs and I hate eggs, so that was a dealbreaker…
    I am *hoping* this new concoction will feed my ranch tooth enough that I convert without backsliding. We’ll see about my husband :-S!! Thank you!

  14. Why is it important?

    “*It’s important to use a light olive oil, not full flavor, for mayonnaise. You could also use almond or walnut oil instead.”

  15. I love this recipe! I’m going to add fresh chopped chives and parsley, because I have them in my garden.

    The “light” olive oil is important to some because a regular olive oil has a pretty strong, distinctive flavor. In order to have a mild, not too heavy olive oil flavored mayonnaise, it helps to have the light olive oil.

    I’m going to try the immersion blender “easy” mayo method! I always hate having to make a triple batch in my Vitamix because the blade is too high for a single 🙁

    Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  16. I found this recipe when searching for a dairy free mayo based ranch dressing. I’m not paleo, but most ranch has MSG, which I can’t have. The kinds that don’t have MSG taste awful. I made this with some vegan mayo I already had and unsweetened almond milk. It is fantastic and took just a couple minutes to mix up. Thank you! Looking forward to many salads in my future.

  17. I just made your Paleo Ranch dressing. I have never liked any of the bottled Ranch version because they don’t taste anything like the original that you made with a packet, mayo, and buttermilk. I only have one thing to say about your Paleo version- holy smokin’ cow!! You hit the nail in the head!! It was so delicious, I was back in the 70s again. I can’t wait to make tuna salad with you Paleo mayo. Thank you so much for giving my back my favorite dressing ever.

    A. Kathryn Vaughn

  18. I cannot wait to try this recipe!!! I LOVE ranch and have so been missing it since I went Paleo…I am wondering, though, what type of coconut milk is recommended?!

  19. I just want to say this recipe is amazing It s exactly what I was looking for thick rich and full of flavor I followed the mayonaise recipe then used just the cream part of the canned coconut milk as suggested but for my seasoning I used pampered chef spinach and herb dip mix it is awesome I finally can enjoy dip again with my favorite vegetables As a note there isn’t a bit of coconut flavor

  20. Great recipe! Just made a batch to have with chicken wings later in the week. I love ranch but I don’t like the strange ingredients in the packets and I’m dairy-free. I made my own coconut milk in the Vitamix and I had some mayo in the fridge that I used. Will try your homemade mayo once I run out of store bought !

  21. Don’t know if I’ll get an answer here since I see two others have already asked and gotten no answer, but how long will this store in the fridge?

    • The mayo will be good up to a week past the date on your eggs. My mayo has never gone bad using this method. I also just posted a comment on making the mayo easier and without risk of it turning into a runny mess.

  22. I made both the mayo and the ranch dressing. I didn’t have an emulsifier, I’ll need to get one because I used a hand mixer and at best after 20 min. it was medium thick and not as thick as regular mayonnaise. I made the ranch dressing and it’s pretty good, decided to add a little lemon juice. Be sure you use a refrigerated can of full fat coconut milk, using the solid cream on top. This will give you a rich, thick ranch dressing/dip.

    • if you use a blender, and turn it up really high the mayo will thicken to the consistency it should be. I only had avocado oil so i used that and it worked out great.

    • I was wondering the same thing. I heard they need to be pasteurized eggs. But they don’t sell these in my grocery store. Maybe someone else will chime in who is knowledgeable on this subject…

  23. Both of these recipes are fantastic! My only change was that I used walnut oil instead of olive oil. Perfect!! Thanks so much for posting this!

    • I have made the mayo with half cup of liquid coconut oil and half a cup of extra light olive oil.Came out perfect!

  24. It looks fabulous. Your mayo is my favorite go to recipe. Just wondering….does the ranch have any traces of coconut flavor? Thanks so much for all you do!

  25. I always make my mayo using an immersion blender and the tall, narrow measuring cup it comes with. Just put all ingredients in the cup, put the blender into the cup so it touches the bottom. Start the blender and lift up slowly as it blends. It only takes about 30 seconds and you’ll have thick, creamy mayo. No need to have room temp either.

  26. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! My kids(9&14), who aren’t eating Paleo, constantly ask me to make this. They say it’s better than any ranch they have ever had. I just use my immersion blender in a metal cup that came with my drink/milkshake maker and it always comes out wonderful.

  27. My mayo came out fabulous! When you make the dip – do you use the coconut milk from the cupboard or refrigerator… and what do you do with leftover coconut milk? Does it need to be refrigerated and how long does it last? (I’m new to this). Thanks!

  28. Thank you SO much for this recipe! I’m normally not a huge dill fan but I may have just been converted! I used an immersion blender and both my mayo and ranch turned out creamy and perfect. Excellent healthy alternative to store bought ranch. Sharing this with everyone I know!

  29. Just wanted to offer my feedback on the mayo recipe using a regular blender. I do not have a hand/immersion blender. The first time I made this, I followed the advice of one of the posters in the comments who said you did not need to have the egg room temperature. The recipe failed for me. Then I made it again, but forgot to put the olive oil in super slowly. Another fail. The third time was the charm! This is what worked- I let the egg come to room temperature. And when it was time to add the olive oil, I super, SUPER slowly drizzled the olive oil through the removable plug in the lid (while leaving the blender on) and. Came out thick and perfect!

    • Oh, and by the way, it’s DELICIOUS! Many thanks! I was so tired of vinaigrette type dressings. This is awesome!

  30. I love your recipe! I just wanted to air a pet peeve: Paleo mayo is just REGULAR MAYO. I know what all of you guys are getting at is that you shouldn’t be using the stuff off the store shelf, but real, true, homemade mayonnaise is just oil, lemon, egg, and optionally salt. That is, and what has always been, true mayonnaise. There’s no need to say Paleo Mayo. Just perhaps real mayonnaise, or similar. It is paleo by its nature, and always has been, as long as you make it yourself, as it is meant to be made. You can’t possibly make real mayonnaise shelf stable, because of the raw egg. Therefore… nothing on the shelf will be real. 🙂

  31. 2nd day on paleo. This website is very helpful. I just made the mayo and ranch. My first batch of mayo was thick and perfect and then I got over zealous and ruined it. Add too much oil too fast and it fell apart. Second batch not quite as thick, but successful. I then proceed to make the ranch. I’m hoping to get a better flavor once chilled. It tastes good, but the coconut is coming through a little. I appreciate your website and everyone’s comments. I read the all. Lol.

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