This vegan coconut milk ranch dressing will make you forget all about the "real" thing. Coconut milk is whisked with shallots, garlic, apple cider vinegar, chives, parsley, basil, dill, sea salt, and black pepper to create a simple, zesty, and ultra creamy ranch dressing. Drizzle this vegan ranch dressing over salads or dip your favorite veggies into it!
Happy Friday, lovelies! Today is a beautiful day for so many reasons, but I'm a bit overjoyed about one thing in particular: Dan and I are heading to St. Lucia for a week of sunshine-infused adventures. We've been anticipating this trip all winter long, and I had to pinch myself while
staring into the cotton abyss that is my closet packing the other night because it's hard to believe that the time for relaxation and warmth is actually upon us. I went ahead and pre-wrote a couple of posts, so be on the lookout for those next week.
Today's recipe is a knockout, if I do say so myself.
As is the case with this one, sometimes my favorite recipes start off as ideas that wake me up in the middle of the night. When this happens, I'll startle awake with an idea and groggily reach for my phone so that I can type whatever has come to mind into my recipe notepad before dozing off again. 70-80% of the recipe ideas I think of mid-sleep are declared odd, unappetizing, or guaranteed failures by the time the sun rises (e.g., golden beet cookies, pancakes made only of almond butter and flax seeds -- yeah, those would be called almond butter puddles); however, there are about 20-30% that are totally worth a shot and often turn out to be something special.
This tart recipe actually started as an idea that woke me up at 4am on a Thursday morning, and today's recipe was mentally created in the wee hours last Friday.
For this vegan coconut milk ranch dressing, I used full-fat coconut milk as the base and incorporated a slew of fresh herbs and spices in order to create layers of bright flavor.
It's the simplest dressing to throw together, and the scent of herbs mingling with one another will have you hovering your face over the bowl just so that you can inhale all that herbaceous awesomeness.
The result is a deliciously thick and creamy dressing that is balanced by fresh chives, parsley, basil, and dill. If you're not partial to one of the herbs, you can play around with leaving it out and adding more of another, but I found that each of them provided a lovely pop of flavor. This dressing is ideally enjoyed
dumped drizzled over a simple green salad or poured into a bowl to encourage oodles of vegetable-dipping perfection.
Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream, refrigerated overnight (do not use light coconut milk)*
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (omit to make the recipe AIP-friendly)
- Open the can of coconut milk or coconut cream. Scoop the coconut cream off the top of the can and add it to a large bowl, leaving the coconut water within the can.
- Add 4 tablespoons of the coconut water into the coconut cream and whisk until smooth (reserve the leftover coconut water, as you may need to whisk in an extra tablespoon or two after refrigerating your dressing depending on your desired thickness).
- Add in the shallots, garlic, apple cider vinegar, chives, parsley, basil, dill, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and refrigerate dressing for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
- Enjoy this dressing over your favorite salads or dip your favorite vegetables into it!
Christine @ Ciao Veggie says
I am such a fan of this recipe! I recommended it for a salad jar recipe I just posted on my blog :) There's a link back to your site for anyone who wants the recipe!
I even put it in spaghetti last night. Hehehe.
Thank you for sharing the healthy-ranch love, Christine! Your salad recipe looks amazing, and I will definitely have to try the dressing on some spaghetti! Very clever :)
Are you kidding me with this?!! Sooooooo gooooood!!! You're a GENIUS!!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!! lol! :)
Oh, btw, I shared this on Facebook and Pinterest (I have an autoimmune disease and I'm transitioning to AIP, and there's a huge community that bands together, especially sharing recipes) and it BLEW UP! So you may have some renewed traffic here, lol ;)
Hi Melissa! Thank you for your sweet compliments and for sharing the recipe! Im so glad you're enjoying it so much, and that it's helpful to the AIP community! I did get a huge boost of traffic on that post, and I was wondering what happened! Thanks for sending some new visitors to Blissful Basil!
Love, love, love! this is my new favorite dressing. thanks!!!!
You're welcome, Molly! New favorite?! That's awesome!
How do you think this would fair with lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar?
Hi, Aly! I think lemon juice would be a great substitute for the apple cider vinegar. It might even add a brighter, fresher note. I'd love to hear how it works out if you try it!
Has anyone tried this with dried herbs? Specifically, Litehouse Freeze Dried Herbs, much better than the regular dried herbs.
Hi Sandra! I haven't tried it with dried herbs, but I'm sure it would be delicious. I'll make a point to give it a whirl in the next week or so, and will report back with my thoughts. If you have a chance to try it, I'd love to hear your feedback.
Has anyone made this with dried herbs? I'm thinking of Litehouse Freeze-Dried Herbs, which are much better than the regular dried herbs.
Ok I'm not the kind of person who normally loves Ranch dressing. It's usually way too mayo-tasting to me... ew. But, I do like CPK's BBQ Chicken salad and they mix ranch and bbq sauce... so I thought I'd try making this. Plus, I'm tired of vinaigrette after vinaigrette...
Um, I'm having trouble not licking the bowl. This is seriously amazing. Wow. YUM. Thank you for sharing!!
I doubled the garlic, used garlic chives from my garden and added lots of pepper... but I'm sure that the original recipe is just as bowl-licking good.
This stuff is CRAZYPANTS!!!!!!!! So easy, so quick, so tasty, so easy to fool my kid with. Was at the and of my ACV, so used half vinegar and half lime juice. Deelish. Might take the shallot quantity down a bit, though, but will wait to decide until I taste it tomorrow after it's been in the fridge overnight. OH!! And I used half coconut milk and half home made coconut yogurt (just coconut milk fermented overnight with a tablespoon of sauerkraut juice - boom!), which gives a lovely tang.Thank you for this great recipe!!!!!! PS - any coconut/fake/AIP Blue Cheese dressing lurking in the archives?
Hahaha, I LOVE this comment! Great idea to sub in half lime juice for the ACV -- I'll have to try that as I bet it adds a nice brightness. I'm a bit of a shallot lover, so I could see the need to cut back a bit. I can add a note into the recipe to provide a range. Also, love the idea of using half homemade coconut yogurt to add a nice tang! As for the blue cheese, I created a bit of a blue cheese sauce for this burger (https://www.blissfulbasil.com/2014/05/21/juicy-portobello-burgers-with-vegan-blue-cheese-caramelized-onions/); however, it's more about the tang and less about the funkiness of blue cheese (if that even makes sense). I'm still working on it though! Kristy from Keepin' It Kind has an awesome vegan blue cheese recipe in her cookbook, so that's a great one to keep in mind if you don't already own it! Thanks for sharing your feedback!
I'm currently on the Candida diet and this recipe looks perfect! I needed some kind of dipping sauce for my wings. If I make a big batch of this and store it in a jar. How long will it last in the refrigerator? Thanks!
Sorry if this is a repost but I made a previous post but it somehow got deleted?
I'm just wondering if I made a big batch of this, how long will it keep in the refrigerator? Thanks!
Hi Chris! No worries at all. I just didn't have a chance to approve your earlier comment until now, and they dont show up until they're approved! I would stick to a single batch as coconut milk (once opened) tends to last about 5 days in the refrigerator (give or take a few depending on brands). I hope this helps, and enjoy!
Tiff A says
SO excited to have found this recipe! I started the AIP diet a couple weeks ago and have been choking down raw veggies ever since. This dressing will definitely help those veggies go down smoother! :) Thanks for sharing!
Hi, Tiff! So glad that you found this recipe, and I hope it assists with the increased raw veggie consumption. Enjoy! :)
How long does this ranch dressing last for in the fridge?
Hi. Wondering if this recipe would work as a coleslaw dressing? Thanks.
Hi, Michelle! I'm guessing it could work as a coleslaw dressing, but I haven't tried it myself so I can't vouch for results. If you give it a try, I'd love to know how it goes!
Hi, I read black pepper is not AIP, is that the
Hi, Carlen! I'm so sorry, but I'm honestly not sure as I don't follow an AIP diet. I know others who do have said this recipe is AIP, but it sounds like there is some debate about black pepper.
Jenn P says
Right, pepper is not AIP as it is super inflammatory (even mainstream doctors acknowledge that it can irritate arthritis). It would really help if you noted that in your recipe as there are many people who are just starting AIP and they do not know all the ins and outs yet. I'm about to make this recipe for my son and I and I'm really excited.
Hi Jenn! Thanks for your insights. This recipe wasn't specifically designed to be AIP (only vegan). I know many people have found this recipe and described it as being AIP, but to be honest, I don't know enough about AIP to feel comfortable labeling or advising on it.
About how much coconut cream ends up being in this? Every can of Native Forest has half a can full of cream, other brands I've used had far less, I don't want to end up muting the flavors by accident. I'm going to wing it and start with less.
The brand I use usualky yields about 1-1 1/4 cups of coconut cream, so I would start there and add in more as needed/to taste. I hope this helps!
I just made this last night, and WOWEE - absolutely delicious! I subbed dry basil for the regular, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Yum!
I just made this last night, and WOWEE - absolutely delicious. Had it with homemade french fries, and subbed dry basil for the fresh. Turned out great - Thank you!
Wowza!! This was absolutely worth all that herb chopping. I was stoked to have a can of Trader Joe's Coconut Cream, so I made two batches of this. I'll never try another vegan ranch dressing since this is clearly the mother! Awesome recipe. Thank you.
mine did not turn out creamy like your pictures. It was kind of like, stirred up coconut milk. :) It clumped up when it hit my cold veggies in the salad and basically turned back into cold coconut cream. It just was not the consistency of what I think yours looks like. Is that normal? Did I do/not do something? The flavor is really yum so I'd like to fix it if I can
Hi, Sara! I'm so sorry to hear that it's giving you trouble. The only thing I can think of is that some brands (or even cans) of coconut milk can be a bit temperamental and fussy, so I'm guessing it's a problem with the coconut milk itself. I normally use one brand in particular (Thai Kitchen) as it's very reliable, but a few months back I had a really strange can that yielded a curdled texture when I tried making a standard coconut whipped cream. When you refrigerated the can of coconut milk, did it separate into two parts: thick cream and coconut water?
Mel Hassan says
How long would you say this keeps in the fridge? I'm dying to try it!
Hi, Mel! It really depends what you store it in (e.g., bowl, airtight jar, etc), the type of coconut milk you use, and how fresh your herbs are, but I would say as long as a week? Honestly, I've never had it for longer than 4 days, because we go through it quickly!
Hi there! Since I'm not a native speaker I often get confused about what do you mean by 'refridgerated' the can in this case, do you mean put it in the freezer where we make ice or just in the fridge (refridgerator)?
Hi Tsveti! Just in the fridge/refrigerator!
Erin Bowers says
How much is in a can of coconut milk? Guessing 12 ounces?
Hi, Erin! It will vary subtly depending on the brand but 14 ounces is usually standard. I hope this helps!
Does the dressing have a coconut flavor?
Hi, Bev! Yes, it does have a subtle coconut flavor that fades the longer the flavors have a chance to meld.
I tried this and it just ended up being terribly runny. I followed the recipe to a tee. Perhaps it's the brand of coconut milk I used ??? I used the Trader Joe's full fat.
Should I try coconut cream instead? And if so, will it still solidify on top and have milk on bottom. Just want to make sure I get this right the 2nd time I try.
What would the measurements be if using all dried herbs?
Hi, Hannah! I'm not totally certain because I haven't made the swap myself, but I would recommend cutting everything back to about 1/4–1/3 of the measurement to start and working your way up, to taste, from there. Dried herbs are much more potent so you'll likely need just a fraction (perhaps up to 1/2) of the amount. Hope this helps! Enjoy!
I made this and it is truly a life saver! Especially when you're on such a restrictive diet and you're tired of guacamole (never thought I'd say that!) and just need a little more variety. I didn't have any fresh herbs so I made it with all freeze dried herbs and it was still great. I used about 1/3 of the amount listed for the fresh, as suggested by Ashley.
I do have a question though. Would it be possible to use whole fat coconut milk instead of cream and add something like arrowroot or cassava flour to thicken?
Hi, Kim! So happy to hear you're enjoying. You can use full fat coconut milk and simply omit the watery liquid. If the water isn't separated from the cream in the can and you want to use the entire contents, I'd recommend just allowing the dressing to be a bit on the runnier side. Thickening agents like arrowroot need to be heated to activate their thickening powers, and I'm not sure how heating would affect flavor here. Hope this helps clarify and thanks for taking time out of your day to share your rating and feedback. Means a lot to me and is helpful to others making the recipe, too! :)
Brelynn H. says
Hi I made this one time and it was awesome!! Tonight I tried to make it again and wasted three cans of coconut milk (Thai Kitchen brand) cause when I added the ACV it curdled! Why?? The first time it was great
Hi, Brelynn! First of all, I'm so sorry to hear it's giving you trouble this time around. Never fun. Unfortunately, canned coconut milk seems to becoming more and more temperamental these days. I've actually had quite a bit of trouble with curdling coconut milk over the last several months (in general, no matter the recipe). Not sure if brands are including more additives or what the problem is, but fellow bloggers have mentioned the same problem with curdling and I just received a similar comment the other day on a recipe with coconut whipped cream. Heating it up to emulsify it and remove the curds and then chilling it back down is the only thing I've found that works to fix it once it's curdled. A few months back, I was making whipped coconut cream and it curdled on me, so I heated it, chilled it down overnight, and then re-whipped it. It didn't whip up quite as fluffy, but it helped. I'm sorry I don't have a better fix, but I completely feel your pain! Even my favorite brands (Trader Joe's coconut cream and Thai Kitchen) have been giving me difficulties these days—so strange.
Brelynn H. says
Thank you SO much!! That worked out perfectly!!
Hi there! If I want to use real garlic & onion rather than the powder, what ratio would be needed?? On a side note, we bought some organic coconut milk by Native Forest and for the first time these cans are also giving us grief and curdling! So frustrating as they are quite expensive. Thanks for the tips! Can't wait to try it out :)
Hi, Doreen! I'd just add garlic and onion to taste. Keep in mind the intensity of fresh garlic and onion will build more as the dressing chills/rests than would be the case with powder so perhaps go a bit shy on it to begin and taste again once it's chilled for a few hours. Hope this helps. Also, what is up with the canned coconut milk? I've had three curdling cans in a row and am so stumped. Sad to hear Native Forest is part of the curdling clan now too!
Made this recipe and I love it so much!Would you be able to include the nutrition facts too? If not that's okay! This is so amazing and I'm so happy you posted!
So glad you're enjoying it, Felicia! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your thoughts. I'm so sorry but I don't have the nutrition info (see FAQ page for more info as to why), but there are plenty of great calculators online!
Felicia Lam says
Thanks for the tip! I will be looking into the calulators!
Bettrietta Kime says
Tried this recipe twice, but unfortunately it didn't work for me either time. First time I used the Trader Joe's full fat organic coconut milk, and the 2nd time I used Native Forest. All was going well and it was looking delicious- until it was time to add the vinegar, then curdle city. If anyone has success with this recipe I'd love to know if you used a certain type of coconut milk (did it have guar gum in it?) and if there was anything on the recipe you altered. My first batch was done in a Blendtec blender ( thought that was the issue), and it REALLY separated- so I collected it in paper towels and drained it- got some pretty awesome herbed "butter" that was used on grilled asparagus and also used to deglaze a pan we used to cook steaks on!
Hi, Bettrietta! I'm so sorry to hear it didn't work for you. I have to say, I'm personally at a bit of a loss regarding coconut milk lately. Trader Joe's and Thai Kitchen used to be my go-to's and both of those are now unreliable (and curdle more often than not). I know from other readers that Native Forest has also been acting up. One thing I'll note is that they're especially prone to curdling when over-mixed/blended/over-beaten, so definitely avoid the blender at all costs. As for a brand that I can faithfully recommend, I sadly don't have one because my trusty go-to's are no longer trusty. I do believe it's the guar gum and other stabilizers that are causing the issues. I've reached out to some of my blogger friends to see if they've had consistent luck with any particular brands as of late.
Absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe. It's my go to.... could eat it with a spoon. :D
SO delicious with baked salmon! I am AIP so omitted the pepper. I used Natural Value organic coconut milk. No guar gum, stabilizers, emulsifiers, preservatives or whiteners. No curdling. I order it from Amazon. Thanks for losing sleep!!
Hi Ashley! Thanks for this great recipe. I've been trying to find a good vegan substitute for ranch and this is the best. I did have a question though......I used coconut cream (as mentioned in the recipe) and I am storing the dressing in the refrigerator but it keeps separating. I shake it up but there are still coconut chunks in the dressing. Did you have any trouble with this issue? I'm wondering if I did something wrong since I did not see any mention of this in the comments. Any tips would be appreciated. :-)
Hi, Amanda!! You're welcome, and thank you for coming back to share your thoughts and questions. You didn't do anything wrong at all! Unfortunately, since I wrote this recipe three years ago, certain brands of coconut cream and canned coconut milk have become increasingly finicky and unreliable due to the addition of gums and other stabilizers.
Which brand of coconut cream did you use? Trader Joe's used to be my go-to, but I've had issues with it curdling in recent times. I then switched to Thai Kitchen, but the same issues cropped up. Some readers have mentioned having good luck with Native Forest, while others have had issues with it. It's incredibly frustrating, and I'm not sure why certain brands have switched their formula, but it's causing issues across the food blog world (many of my fellow blogger friends are reporting similar hit-or-miss results with coconut milk, and we have yet to discover a brand that's consistently reliable).
As for problem-solving right now, you can try gently heating the dressing in a saucepan and whisking together until the coconut chunks melt back into the liquid. Careful not to heat it too much as it might alter the flavor, but this is the trick I've used when curdling issues crop up. Hope this helps!
I wanted to comment and say I made this recipe and it didn’t curdle for me at all. Even after a week it was still smooth and liquidy in the fridge. I used the Thai Kitchen coconut milk brand, fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar, shook the can of coconut milk before opening it, dumped the whole can in a bowl at once and mixed everything in. I didn’t refrigerate the can either, so I didn’t follow the recipe and it worked out for me. I’m not sure if you want to try what I did and see if it works for you too or not. However, it was a tad runny. Other than that it tasted really good!
Just made this and it's delicious however very runny. I tried adding some collogen to it and still runny. Any ideas?
Hi, Rachel! Did you use only the thick coconut cream at the top of the can and did you use full-fat coconut milk? If you didn't, that would be the cause of it being runny. If you did, I'd recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for several hours—that should thicken it right up. All this being said, occasionally, certain brands of full-fat coconut milk simply don't separate as they should when chilled due to added gums, and that could be the cause. Hope this helps!
Am I meant to be only using the cream at the top of the can of coconut milk? Or the cream and the milk from the can? Or a can of full coconut cream? Thanks again for your feedback! It's so yummy I really want to have success with it!
Hi, Rachel! Just the cream at the top of the can (see step 1 of the instructions for details). Enjoy!!
Just wondering if you could use something else beside coconut cream/milk. All I can fine is coconut milk/ cream with additives. Really would love to try this, Thanks
Hi, Annette! Unfortunately, it really needs to be canned coconut cream or canned full-fat coconut milk. Trader Joe's recently removed all gums/stabilizers from their Organic Coconut Cream and Organic Coconut Milk, and it works great for this recipe. Some readers have had luck with certain brands that do contain stabilizers, but it seems to be a bit hit-or-miss.
The coconut milk I used was super thin, not creamy at all! How do I thicken the sauce? Right now it's just liquid :-/
Hi, Jesse! Did you use canned full fat coconut cream and scoop off only the thick cream at the top of the can? That’s the key to getting the right consistency.
Since you mentioned that you created this recipe, I thought I’d let you know it seems that a grocery chain posted this same recipe on their website without crediting you.
Hi, Jill! Thanks for letting me know. Which grocery store chain and do you have the link where it’s posted? I’ll reach out to them.
Sure thing! It's a local store in the Portland area called New Seasons, and they are really nice. But thought you'd want to know. :)
Thanks, Jill! I just contacted them so we'll see what they say. Really appreciate you looking out for me!
My daughter just shared this with my husband and me. We both love it. Can you freeze it to make it last longer?
Hi, Mary! Happy to hear your family is enjoying the recipe. I've never tried freezing it myself, so I can't say for certain but I think you'd be able to freeze/thaw without any problems.
Rebecca Hamm says
I was so excited to try this recipe today. I made the first batch and pulsed it about three pulses too many and it curdled UGH!!
But I REALLY wanted some AIP Ranch dip lol so I tried again. Lol. Since I only had coconut milk with guar gum at the time, I pulsed the ingredients with just some of the coconut milk water from the bottom of the can until it was smooth and then I stirred in room temperature coconut milk fat and it worked!! No curdling and it was delicious!!I'll be on the hunt for a non additive coconut milk now!!
So happy to hear the second batch turned out for you, Rebecca! Great tip about the coconut milk water and room temperature coconut milk fat. Hope you're able to find an additive-free coconut milk soon, but great to know that you were able to make it work despite that pesky guar gum. Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your tips. Very helpful for me and for others, too!
Fabulous! Went perfect with a tray of raw veggies
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to share your rating—means so much.
A new dairy allergy has me missing my ranch dressing. I couldn't get my coconut milk to separate so my dressing is a little thin, but oh my gosh this is the best ranch I've ever had.
Have you tried freezing it? I'm on a week on, week off rotation, and during my week on I stay stressed and overwhelmed. I was wondering if this was frozen in an ice cube tray, if I could stick a cube in a ziplock bag and run it under water to thaw when I needed dressing.
Hi, Lorine! Happy to hear you're enjoying the recipe so much.
Great question about freezing. To be totally honest, I've never tried freezing it myself, so I'm reluctant to say one way or the other! My gut says it should freeze well. My only concern would be that it could curdle or separate upon thawing, but I think it's definitely worth a try.
Robert Wayne Perrine says
Put the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for an hour or so and then flip it over and remove the bottom of the can. The water can then be poured off and the fat will be left...
How long can this keep for? Thanks!
Hi, Tracey! Typically about 2–4 days in the refrigerator.
Amanda Woodfork says
I made this recipe and one can of coconut milk wasn’t enough. I followed all the measurements, but i did use dried chives and basil. The herbs overwhelmed the coconut milk and i added a second can to give it the dressing look/texture. I read through the comments and didn’t see anyone else mention that one can wasn’t enough. Did i do something wrong?
Hi, Amanda! Hmm, I've never run into that problem with this recipe, but my guess is that it was the brand of coconut milk you used. Do you recall which one it was? Most brands will yield about 1 1/4 cups to 1 1/2 cups cream (with just a small amount of water). Do you recall about how much your can yielded? When I wrote this recipe, there was more consistency between brands of coconut milk, but due to its increasing popularity in recent years (and resulting mass production), there seems to be less and less consistency.
Amanda Woodfork says
About a half cup of cream and the rest water in the first can. The second can was mostly mixed, so the cream was more fluid, but there was probably a half cup of water at the bottom. I used the dressing today after it refrigerated all night an it was good. I'm excited to play with the recipe some more. This was a life-saver. I just started on my journey of making clean eating my lifestyle and being able to make delicious salad dressing will go a long way to keeping me on track!
Thanks for your reply, Amanda! And yes, that sounds like a very small amount of cream from that first can. I added a note to the recipe that takes your feedback into account, so hopefully that is helpful for others going forward.
Happy to hear the recipe's been a lifesaver and that it turned out well after refrigerating. I prefer it on the second and third days after the flavors have a chance to meld and mellow, too. :)