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Ranch Dressing without Buttermilk

This dairy free ranch dressing is made without buttermilk. It perfect as a dressing on salads, wraps, burgers or as a dip for veggies, fries, chicken wings, onion rings, chicken fingers, hushpuppies, and more.

Dairy free ranch dressing in a mason jar

Ranch dressing is one of my favorite dressings.  

I love its creamy and slightly tangy flavor that seems to go with just about anything.  

The one thing I find annoying about it though is that it is dairy, so I made this ranch dressing without buttermilk and sour cream.

Don’t worry, it is just as creamy as the original!

Instead I use buttermilk made from coconut milk and mayonnaise. The original ranch dressing actually called for mayonnaise not sour cream anyway.

Instead of buttermilk this recipe calls for coconut milk and lemon juice or vinegar for tang.  

Don’t worry the coconut flavor is very mild if you taste it at all.

While you could use fresh herbs if you’d like I recommend using dried.

Dried herbs last longer than fresh herbs allowing for the dressing to last longer too.

This recipe makes only one cup of dressing because I find it to be a much more manageable amount.

I rarely need more than that even when serving a number of people.

However, it can be easily doubled, tripped, or even quadrupled if desired.

History of Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing was originally created by a man named Steve Henson while spending a few years in Alaska.  

Then, in 1954, he and his wife opened a dude ranch in California named Hidden Valley Ranch.

There they served it to customers and it became so popular they began selling the dressing and seasoning mix for customers to take home and add their own buttermilk and mayonnaise.  

Eventually they began mass producing their dressing and by the early 1990’s it was America’s best selling dressing.


Buttermilk was originally the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream. 

Traditionally, the milk was left to sit to allow the cream and milk to separate. During this time, naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria fermented the milk and turned it into buttermilk, making it tangier and thicker than regular milk.

However, modern buttermilk is made by adding lactic acid bacteria to milk to ferment it.

How do You make dairy free buttermilk?

Making dairy free buttermilk is easy.

All you need is 1 cup of dairy free milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Then let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes while the milk sours and curdles a bit.

Voilà dairy free buttermilk!

This recipe makes the buttermilk with coconut milk for extra creaminess. However, you can also make buttermilk with almond milk and buttermilk with oat milk.

In fact, if you want to use one of these buttermilks instead of the coconut milk one I make here, go for it!

Does the mayonnaise change the flavor?

Nope! Not at all.

First of all, the original ranch dressing included mayonnaise in it, so if anything, this is actually more authentic than using sour cream.

Also, I’ve used mayonnaise in all kinds of recipes including for grilling and I’ve never found it to give a taste.

Ranch dressing vs sour cream

Ranch dressing is a creamy salad dressing typically made with buttermilk, mayonnaise, and herbs, while sour cream is a dairy product with a tangy flavor often used as a condiment or ingredient.

Yield: 8 servings

Ranch Dressing without Buttermilk

Dairy free ranch dressing in a mason jar

This ranch dressing uses coconut milk instead of buttermilk making it both dairy free and vegan.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Rest Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • ½ cup coconut milk, unsweetened (120 milliliters)
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • ½ cup chilled mayonnaise (120 milliliters)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/3 teaspoons dried chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine coconut milk with lemon juice or vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add mayonnaise, onion powder, dried chives, dried parsley, dried dill, garlic powder, and salt. Mix well to combine.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 16th of January 2021

Hello. I looked around for dairy free ranch dressing and found a few healthy recipes. This one not only looked good, but also looked simple to make. I just made it, and it's so good and super simple to prepare. The only question I had was about the coconut milk - did that mean canned coconut milk or coconut milk drink? I used canned, slightly diluted because I wasn't sure. It is a little thin, yet not a problem. I'm chilling it a bit now to see if it thickens. I followed the exact amounts of everything in the recipe. Next time I won't dilute it. I'm eager to eat salad tonight. Thank you Elissabeth. I look forward to exploring more of what you offer.


Sunday 17th of January 2021

I'm glad to hear you liked it! The recipe is calling for canned coconut milk, not coconut milk drink :)


Tuesday 14th of January 2020

I tried making this ranch dressing and it turned out really thin. I used an actual vegan mayo, since your recipe isn't actually vegan using regular mayo. I like the taste, but it is thin. I hope it thickens up after being in the fridge for a bit, but since I used cold coconut milk and cold mayo, I can't imagine it will thicken up too much. The vegan mayo is just as thick as the regular mayo...any thoughts???


Tuesday 14th of January 2020

My only thought is the lack of egg may have did it unless letting it sit in the cold ends up doing the trick. Maybe double the recipe except for the mayo part to thicken it?

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