Don’t Buy the Ranch, Make It

To start with, oils are 14 grams of fat per Tablespoon, a standard amount, and that’s the same for any of them, olive, avocado, coconut, soybean.

Conventional vinaigrettes are 2/3 oil and 1/3 acid, not counting salt and other flavorings. Even before I started eating really healthy, that seemed like too much oil. Mayonnaise, and most of its variants, has 9-11 grams oil per Tablespoon serving, surely not a coincidence.

Fat is one of the three big nutrients for us humans — carbohydrate and protein being the others — with 2 Tablespoons of pure oil (6 teaspoons) a day hitting the max. Even for vegans, how much dressing are you adding to your “healthy” salad?

Generally, “healthy” dressings from the store are problematic. (For me, they’re too sweet, when standard lettuce salads are savory.) I have a couple of Bricks with other dressing recipes, but they’re clear vinaigrettes (or citrus), and My Beloved loves creamy dressings. Heck, I’m a sucker for ranch dressing.

So, mayo is less oil but by no means low fat. Using some mayo with other liquids does cut it further. Herewith, then, is a dry seasoning blend that might last a few months. Shake its jar a little to reblend then add some to a little vegan mayo. That makes ranch dip. Add a little acid and thin cautiously with water to make a creamy salad dressing. Or skip the white stuff and add to vinegar/citrus and water and be totally fat-free.

  • 2-4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley OR dried cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon dried chives (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons dried chopped or minced onion (not onion powder)
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 1-3 teaspoons Italian herb blend OR choice of of dried basic, oregano, thyme etc.
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill leaves
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt OR 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (optional to keep salt free; folks can add salt at the table)
  • Vegan mayonnaise (optional)
  • White wine, cider or rice vinegar (optional)
  • Lemon or lime juice (optional)
  • Water
  1. Add all dry ingredients to a small (4-8 oz.) lidded jar, Shake to mix and shake again before using. Store lidded at room temperate with your other spices.
  2. To constitute, add 1 rounded Tablespoon of mix to another small lidded jar. For about a half cup of salad dressing, add to jar 4 Tablespoons vegan mayo, 1 Tablespoon vinegar OR citrus juice, and 1 Tablespoon water. Lid and shake very well. In small amounts, add more mayo to thicken or more water to thin. Add more juice / vinegar for more savoriness.
  3. Wait at least a half hour to rehydrate the savories. Store prepared dressing refrigerated, covered, for a couple of weeks.


  • Don’t sweat not having all the herbs etc. This tastes great with most of the ingredients, even the non-optional ones. And if you have a favor not listed — tarragon anyone? — add it.
  • If that special spice of yours is paprika, turmeric or another bright colored flavoring, your white dressing won’t be. Balsamic or red wine vinegar will darken a white dressing as well.
  • Dried rosemary is not recommended unless chopped finely or ground because those needles never soften.
  • How far do the dry mix or the reconstituted dressings go? A few weeks’ worth is a reasonable guess. Lots of variables.

Adapted from Dry Ranch Mix Recipe of Vegan Richa and from Ranch Seasoning Blend of PlantPure Nation

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