Healthy Valley Ranch Dressing (GF)

This recipe came about because my oldest son and I wanted to create a healthier version of the most popular commercial ranch dressing – sans “hidden” msg!

In fact, one of the best ways to help your kids better embrace healthy eating is to encourage them to join you in finding healthier versions of their former favorite processed or packaged foods. For more tips on cooking with kids, check out “Kids in the Kitchen.”

Time-Saving Tip: My friend Brooke shared a great idea to save time when making this recipe. She makes up little pre-measured packets of this ranch dressing recipe, so she can quickly grab a “seasoning packet” and add it to the mayo and kefir for faster turn-around time! What a stellar idea! I love saving time in the kitchen!

Ranch Dressing

Healthy Valley Ranch Dressing (GF, DF Option)

Yield: 3/4 cup of dressing

Healthy Valley Ranch Dressing (GF, DF Option)


  • 1/2 cup plain homemade yogurt (for Whole30, or if DF, use almond milk or pure coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup homemade mayo
  • 1/4 tsp, plus 1/8 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch dried dill weed
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes (if you like it a little spicy)
  • *Optional: 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder to thicken


  1. Place all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together until well blended.
  2. Place in small mason jar and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours (or even better, overnight) to allow flavors to meld together.
  3. Note if using coconut milk or coconut milk yogurt in place of whole milk yogurt, the dressing will have a slight coconut flavor. The longer the dressing sits, the less noticeable the coconut flavor will be once the dressing ingredients have a chance to meld. If you prefer no coconut flavor, be sure to use almond milk.
  4. Keep refrigerated; use within seven days. (It's so yummy, that won't be hard to do!)


*Arrowroot powder is an herb used to thicken foods. It is a healthier option (more easily digested) than cornstarch. However, if you're following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, you may wish to omit this ingredient since it's merely used as a thickening agent.

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  1. Gwen B. says

    Another good one. Hi again. My 12 year old used the Coconut Oil and Olive Oil Mayonnaise recipe from passionate homemaker in the vitamix and then converted that mayo into this recipe. He wants and entree salad for lunch tomorrow and veggies and ranch as a snack in his lunch box this week. He likes it enough to eat it happily when his school friends have doritos and coke. Didn’t used to be that way, so points for you and us. Thank you.

    • Kelly says

      That’s great! So happy to hear your son is not only enjoying the recipe, but is making it – getting kids to cook with you in the kitchen and prepare healthy meals, is such a great way to introduce them to new, healthier options! :)

  2. SaraA says

    Hi, I see that your recipe calls for homemade mayo, but noticed that in the pic you are using Spectrum mayo? Do you recommend that for a decent substitute if I don’t have any homemade on hand? Can you also please share a link to your homemade mayo recipe? Thank you so much for all your effort and sharing with all of us! :) God bless!

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Sara. There are a lot of homemade mayo recipes out there in cyberspace, so depending on the flavor you like, there has got to be one out there for you. I recommend making your own mayo because it’s much healthier than any bottled mayo (see link to my favorite mayo recipe below). Thanks for calling to my attention that the photo shows a bottle of commercial mayo in it – that photo is quite old and I had forgotten I even used spectrum at that point. I don’t use or recommend spectrum mayo anymore, because they use canola and soybean oil in their products, which are two oils that I do not recommend. In a pinch, Hain brand mayo would be my choice if I didn’t make my own. BTW, hope you enjoy the ranch dressing recipe – it’s a real favorite! Blessings, Kelly :)
      • Favorite Homemade Mayo:

      • SaraA says

        Thank you, Kelly! :) I still have yet to try the recipe, but I finally bought all the ingredients, so I plan to soon; hopefully in the next few days. I looked up Hain Mayo, and just wondered: is the reason you would be willing to resort to it because it uses safflower oil instead of the other kinds? I will have to try the homemade mayo this week, too! Thank you again for your ministry and all the effort and energy you invest to serve us all. Blessings, SaraA

        • Kelly says

          Hi, Sara. I definitely don’t endorse using safflower oil either. I might use it in a pinch because I don’t have an immediate reaction to it, but it’s not something I would have on a regular basis. That’s because I follow the Weston A Price – Nourishing Traditions lifestyle of using healthy real fats (traditional fats) over using the refined, processed fats of modern society which is basically all of today’s vegetable oils. Here’s a nice explanation that can help explain why most real foodies do not cook with or purchase foods containing processed oils: It really comes down to what your comfortable with changing. I certainly don’t want to overwhelm, which is why I always recommend taking slow, steady steps forward that work for you and your family. I know it’s not always realistic to make everything from scratch. Hope this helps! Blessings, Kelly :)

          • SaraA says

            Ok, gotcha, thank you again. I was curious, bc I didn’t think safflower was a recommended oil, although maybe not totally eschewed like soybean. Have you seen the mayonnaise made with coconut oil from Wilderness Family Naturals?! I found it first on their website and learned they were out of stock, but then walked into our local farm co-op today and to my surprise, saw some on the shelf there! I didn’t know they had already ordered some, but it was priced at $9.30 a jar… so I decided to go home and make my own, lol! ;) I will be using your recipe later today, since I have a craving for chicken salad- But not for unhealthy oils! :)

          • Kelly says

            Wow! That’s great to know! Thank you so much for taking the time to inform me and the rest of the readers of this. I looked it up and WFN’s mayo looks terrific! But yes, definitely pricey! I hope you like Shannon’s recipe. I use a mix of oils because as much as I love EVOO, using 100% olive oil in the recipe is a bit too strong of an olive oil flavor for me. Let me know how it turns out for you and what you used. Blessings, Kelly :)

  3. SaraA says

    Ok,, that leads me to another question, if u don’t mind! I just read FoodRenegade’s expose’ of adulterated EVOO, so I’m wondering what brand u use and recommend?! Or do u get urs local? My FIL actually told me he had heard a report about it a few *years* ago, but I generally distrust mainstream news media, so I kinda blew him off and never looked into it. :/ I now know I have used plenty of sub-par EVOO during that time!

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Sara. Great question! I hadn’t seen Kristen’s article until you just mentioned it. But I’m fairly sure the olive oil I use is pure, as it comes from a group of family-owned olive growers in Northern CA that are COOC certified. You can get it through the Azure Standard co-op, if you’re in one and I think some whole foods type markets may carry it as well. Or of course you can purchase it online at:
      My understanding from Kristen’s post is that she endorses Wilderness Family Naturals’ olive oil:
      So there are at least two options. Thanks again for your note! Blessings, Kelly :)

  4. Kari H. says

    Kelly – thank you so much for all the fabulous recipes! My husband and daughter have been loving all the meals on your menu plan and it’s made cooking MUCH easier and streamlined for me.

    I took another cook’s advice and made several packs of this ranch seasoning to save time – brilliant idea!
    We now use these seasoning packs (2-3 packs per 1 cup sour cream) when we do a sourcream-ranch vegetable dip – delicious, and so much cheaper and wholesome than even the “organic” ranch dip mixes you can get.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Kari! Thanks so much for the kind note. I am so glad you’re enjoying this recipe and have made up the packs for easier assembly. I hope you and your family had a blessed Thanksgiving too! Appreciate you taking the time to leave a note of encouragement. Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

  5. Susanna says

    I couldn’t find plain kefir at the store, and I’m hoping to skip another trip for buttermilk instead- wondering if you think vinegar/milk made buttermilk would work? Or thinned out plain yogurt? We’re trying the meal plan this week, can’t wait!!

    • says

      Buttermilk works beautifully in this recipe and I’m sure yogurt would as well! Hope you enjoy the recipes here. Thanks so much, for leaving a note, Susanna! Blessings to you! :) Kelly

  6. Nicole says

    I was going to make this for dinner tonight but I just noticed I don’t have dried dill weed . Is there something that would work well to replace with or is it pretty necessary for the “hidden valley” flavor? Thanks

  7. Jennie Steele says

    Amazing! Kelly! This is the perfect blend. I’m always slightly altering recipes for our taste, but this is AWESOME! I will note that I used kefir instead of homemade yogurt or buttermilk, as it’s what I have on hand (and digest it more easily)…YUM. We ate it straight-away with lunch; after melding I know it will be even better! Thanks for such a simple, CLEAN recipe! (After eating Chik-Fil-A at a few VBC events this summer, my 6-year-old had saved some of their “amazing” sauces. Determined to outdo the processed junk, I’ve been on the hunt!…And, didn’t have to work hard!…THANK YOU!).

  8. Genet says

    Hi. I am starting Whole30 tomorrow !!!
    I have a question about the yogurt. I thought dairy was not allowed ?
    What do you use for Whole30 Ranch dressing ?

    • says

      Hi, Genet. You are correct, dairy is not permitted on Whole30. However, if you look at the recipe itself, you’ll see I comment on how to adjust it to be dairy-free. :) I note that you can use almond milk or pure coconut milk in place of the whole milk yogurt. You can also use plain coconut milk yogurt. Blessings, Kelly

      • Genet says

        I’ve read alot about the Almond Milk.
        What type/brand do you recommend ? We only have Kroger and Walmart stores where I live :(

        • says

          Hi, Genet. I think walmart carries silk brand almond milk which I believe contains very few fillers. I don’t know about Kroger. There is also the option of making your own almond milk, but I have to admit, I don’t myself because of time. There’s only so much of it in a day. :)


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