Homemade Garlic Ranch Dressing (Dairy Free)

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on March 5, 2010

I was inspired. Two totally unrelated events. An inspiration.

  1. Stumbling upon this post from Pioneer Woman
  2. Scoring a free head of lettuce from Kroger this past week (thanks to the Kroger best customer coupons!)

My light bulb moment…

You see.  I like salad.  I like lettuce.  But straight iceberg lettuce is tough to swallow.  It’s just so bland.

But top it with some STRONG homemade garlic ranch dressing.

A match made in heaven.

Be warned: You will suffer from “garlic breath” after eating this. But the fullness of the flavor is totally worth it!

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Homemade Garlic Ranch Dressing (Dairy Free)

Yield – a little more than a cup

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 0 minutes


  • 1 cup real mayonnaise ($.25) Often on sale…match with a coupon for a super deal!
  • 3 Tbsp rice milk or regular milk ($.03)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice ($.05)
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed ($.05) Use the largest you can find on the clove…or several small ones!
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped onion ($.05)
  • 1 tsp tarragon ($.10)
  • 2 tsp dried dill ($.20)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • Add mayonnaise to a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk and lemon juice.
  • Stir in the crushed garlic and finely chopped onion.
  • Stir in the tarragon, dried dill, salt and pepper.
  • Taste. Add a little of whatever else you think it needs!

  • Pour over the top of iceberg lettuce wedges. Or use as a tasty dip for raw veggies!
  • Savor!

Cost $0.73

P.S. I can’t wait to make this again this summer…using fresh dill and parsley from the garden!

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Hawkins March 5, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Thanks for the recipe! How long do you think it would keep in the fridge?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm

@Amy Hawkins,

I’d say a week…but I bet it doesn’t last that long! Ours didn’t! ;)


Tami March 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm

We are a ranch-lovin’ family! I never had it with garlic, but it’s sounding pretty good.


Alea March 6, 2010 at 12:16 am

I can’t wait to make this for my family. So many of the creamy dressing have allergens in them, so I rarely buy them. this will be a treat!


Katherine March 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

My mouth is watering over this!! Must make it soon! Thank you!


Janice March 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm

mayonnaise is so easy to make from scratch- just 2 eggs, oil, vinegar, salt, dry mustard


Michelle March 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I never buy iceberg. Never ever. Ever. But today, for some strange reason, I decided I specifically wanted iceberg to top my pulled pork nachos tomorrow. Great. That means I’m still gonna have a LOT of iceberg. Thanks for giving me an idea for the rest of it this week!!!!

have a great week…hope the lil guy is awesome :)


Sherry March 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

Can you use something else for the tarragon? I want to make this today, but I don’t have tarragon. I have a lot of other spices though. :D


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm


Parsley would be the ideal…I just happened to have tarragon! I liked the flavor it gave. Can’t wait to make this with fresh herbs this summer!



Sherry March 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm

@Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom,

Thank you so much, Erin! I made it tonight, and it was delish!


krista March 8, 2010 at 11:40 am

mmm, and it could probably be made thicker for dipping or thinner for tossing the salad, too.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm


Right on!


Jessica March 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I read somewhere that if you use lemon juice that you have to consume right away and not store, because the lemon juice makes the milk go sour. Just thought I would share that, thanks for the great recipe.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm


Thanks for sharing…I wouldn’t think it would cause rice milk to go sour…but I could be wrong!


Cassie April 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I just made this–it was fabulous! I didn’t have any lemons or lemon juice, so I used some lemonade! Also no tarragon, so I used a combination of parsley and rosemary. I never get iceberg, even though it always seems to be on sale, but this is something wonderfully simple to do with it. Thanks!


Jen August 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Any thoughts on whether you can use fake mayo – Nayonaise with success?


Kathy Lee August 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Sounds yummy, although I’d make it with a vegan mayo (my favorites are nut based & homemade). This dressing would be really good with fresh basil added, too. ; )


Kathy December 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Can’t wait to try your ranch dressing!


Jerry March 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I was wondering what I could use instead of mayo, as my friend can’t have eggs or dairy in any form, and mayo usually has both dairy and eggs..


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