This vegan ranch veggie dip (also a delicious dressing!) gets its spicy kick from horseradish! You can make this nightshade free, AIP friendly recipe in only 5 minutes!
And just like that, we’re on the final stretch of nightshade free January. This homemade recipe has a kick of spice without the spice. I’ll explain more of that later. But first… let’s talk about this all-time favorite condiment recipe. All things RANCH!
I’m pretty sure that ranch dressing is a condiment that every American has tried at least once. More often than not, once people try it, using it becomes an obsession! Kids, adults, seniors, and heck, even some family pets love it.
If you’re like me, you have a recipe box full of ways to use the tangy, creamy, delicious dressing.
Uses for Ranch Dressing
Here are just a few ways that I like to use it.
- staple seasoning blend (in its dry ranch seasoning form)
- all purpose veggie dip
- wonderful marinade for grilled, fried, or roasted chicken
- substitute for mayo in pasta salad, tuna salad, or ranch egg salad
- yes, the occasional dressing of choice for any healthy green salad.
What’s in spicy vegan ranch?
There are a number of things that make this vegan ranch recipe a bit different than your ordinary ranch salad dressing.
I use horseradish for a spicy kick, which makes it nightshade free and safe for anyone on an AIP protocol! Also, dairy free and vegan, Whole30 compliant, and even low carb. So, real food for the win! It’s a dressing or veggie dip for EVERYONE to enjoy!
If you are not on AIP protocol and can tolerate nightshades, I recommend adding a bit of tabasco, which I love to do. It makes it extra peppery/spicy.
AIP friendly means no nuts/dairy/nightshade/grains. It seems like we are eliminating a lot, but the flavor is so refreshing and it tastes like the real deal!
Ingredients and substitutions
- coconut cream or coconut milk– you just need the solid portion from the can. If you want a coconut substitute, make my recipe for traditional homemade vegan ranch dressing.
- extra virgin olive oil or refined avocado oil. Be sure to use pure olive oil
- vegan buttermilk. A combination of lemon juice and non dairy milk.
- fresh minced chives and dill weed if you can find them. Otherwise, dried varieties will be fine
- apple cider vinegar– There are health benefits with ACV that you won’t get from white or wine vinegar. In a pinch, they’ll work fine.
- pure horseradish– Either buy a piece of horseradish root and grate it, or get a jar of grated horseradish. Just be sure it isn’t horseradish sauce. That is a completely different product, and 9 times out of 10, it isn’t gluten free.
- spices: onion salt, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper
- OPTIONAL: hot sauce of choice– this adds extra spiciness, but omit it if you’re on an AIP protocol or nightshade free diet
How to make spicy ranch
There isn’t much to do but mix the ingredients up and find your favorite way to use it!
- Make the dairy free buttermilk.
Just combine 1/4 to 1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut or almond milk (make sure it has some fat in it) with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine, then let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to curdle.
- Combine the buttermilk with remaining ingredients.
Add all of the ingredients, including the buttermilk, to a glass or metal bowl and whisk to combine.
- Transfer to covered container and refrigerate.
Pour everything into a glass jar (I like to use a mason jar), seal with lid, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. This allows time for the flavors to meld together.
Note: Coconut cream thickens in the fridge, so the ranch dressing will be very thick right out of the fridge. It’s best to either use a spoon to stir it, or let it sit for a few minutes at room temperature before serving.
- Using Fresh Herbs
You can use fresh or dried herbs. I love using fresh herbs when they are in season and dried herbs when I want to make vegan ranch with just pantry staples.
- Adjusting the Consistency
Use coconut cream from chilled canned (solid portion) if you want extra thick vegan spicy ranch dip. If you want a thinner consistency to use as a salad dressing, don’t chill the coconut cream.
- Buttermilk Substitute
We substituted real buttermilk with homemade dairy free buttermilk. It’s really easy to make! You’ll find the instructions below. It’s not as thick as traditional buttermilk, but it does the trick!
If you think of it, make some extra to use for a batch of Garlicky Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits. YUM!
Whether you decide to serve spicy vegan ranch as a dip or dressing, the important thing is to be sure that you make enough.
Because let me tell ya, finding new ways to use it may become an obsession for YOU too.