Sunflower Ranch Dressing 8.000

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Weeknight Vegetarian Jun 9, 2019

This garlicky, herb-flecked vegan dressing gets its creaminess from sunflower seeds. Use oat milk or coconut milk to keep it nut-free.

You can also serve this as a dip for greens and vegetables.

Make Ahead: You'll need to soak the sunflower seeds for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight. For best flavor, the dressing can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; about 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds (see headnote)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk, cashew milk or your favorite nut-free vegan milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 fat garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil or mild olive oil
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill


Place the sunflower seeds in a medium bowl and add enough cool water to cover. Soak for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight (at room temperature).

Drain the sunflower seeds, discarding the liquid. Transfer them to a blender, adding the vegan milk, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, onion flakes or onion powder, salt and pepper. Puree until as smooth and creamy as possible, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar several times, as needed.

With the motor running, drizzle in the oil a little at a time, processing until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. It will be fairly thick; if you want it thinner, pulse in a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Add the parsley and dill; pulse once or twice to incorporate.

The dressing is ready to use, or you can transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 or 3 days.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Show Up for Salad," by Terry Hope Romero (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2019).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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