I put ranch dressing on more things than are probably normal… it’s my favorite. When I first started eating plant-based I mourned this creamy, delicious, satisfying dressing, until I discovered vegan mayo and dry ranch mix. Now I can make my favorite dressing on demand in about 2 minutes. Besides a hearty salad, my favorite thing to do with ranch is pairing it with a meaty, BBQ-flavored protein. This BBQ ranch bowl is perfect for the summertime when you’ve got the grill fired up, but you can get those gorgeous grill marks indoors by using a cast iron grill pan, or even a panini maker. Or, forget the grill marks and just prepare your veggies and protein normally with a drizzle of ranch to bring it all together. Enjoy!
The Essentials of a BBQ Ranch Bowl
- roasted or grilled veggies (anything you’d put on a grill!)
- corn (yes, I’m declaring it essential)
- greens of some kind (kale, lettuce, chard, beet greens, spinach, arugula, slaw veggies, shredded cabbage etc.)
- some kind of protein cooked with BBQ sauce (tempeh, tofu, beans, your animal protein of choice, etc)
- ranch dressing
How to Make 2-Minute Vegan Ranch
These days there are several decent brands of vegan and dairy free ranch, but I find them all to be really expensive, and they don’t taste as good as when I make it myself. Don’t be deterred by the long list of ingredients, it mostly consists of spices and herbs that can be combined ahead in a dry ranch mix, so that mixing up the dressing is just a matter of stirring 4 ingredients together in a cup with a fork.
Choosing Vegan Ingredients
Homemade ranch usually involves mayonnaise and milk, so it’s easy to make a vegan version by swapping the dairy versions for dairy free versions. There are lots of good brands of vegan mayo, I don’t really have a favorite. I use and like them all. For milk, I go with soymilk or almond milk, or whatever I have on hand. Any flavor the milk has gets overpowered by the seasonings, so it’s really just contributing creaminess and thinning out the mayo.
Making a Dry Ranch Mix
The key to homemade ranch dressing is making a jar of dry ranch mix to store in the pantry. Then you can just quickly mix up single servings of ranch at mealtime with a fork and a cup. Be sure to store your ranch mix in an airtight container, because the onion powder when exposed to air can turn into a weird dry onion cake. I’ve learned that one the hard way.
Meaty Plant-Based Proteins
Barbecue sauce isn’t only for meat! Barbecued plants are delicious!! My favorites are tempeh, tofu, chickpeas, and white beans. For tempeh and tofu, marinate cubes or slabs in your storebought barbecue sauce of choice, and just slap it on the grill like you would any meaty thing. Or, roast your marinated slabs on a sheet of parchment paper in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so, and brush some additional bbq sauce on after cooking to add moisture and sauciness. For beans, just simmer them in some storebought barbecue sauce until warmed through. Doesn’t get much simpler than that!
Good Grilling Veggies
Anything you would put on a skewer or a barbecue is delicious in a BBQ bowl. My favorites are:
- Bell peppers
- Big round chunks of onion
What are your favorites? I’d love to see your remakes of this delicious bbq ranch bowl! Tag me in your meal pics on Instagram @katiesconsciouskitchen, or join my free private facebook group to share your creations and inspire others!
Summer Grillin’ BBQ Ranch Bowl
- 2 cups greens of choice, lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, beet greens, slaw veggies, shredded cabbage, etc.
- 1 lb grilling veggies of choice, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, corn, etc.
- 1 package tempeh or tofu, cubed or cut into slabs
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, storebought
Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo, 2 oz
- 1 tbsp plant based milk, 1 oz
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, or white vinegar
- 1 tbsp dry ranch mix, see below
Dry Ranch Mix (Makes About 1/4 Cup)
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp dried chives
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- Cook your protein with the BBQ sauce. For beans, simmer them for a few minutes in the sauce. For tempeh or tofu, slather it on and bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 10 minutes at 350°. Brush on a little more BBQ sauce at the end if desired.
- Roast or grill your veggies of choice!
- Mix dressing ingredients in a small jar or bottle with a fork. Add milk (or water) to desired consistency.
- Assemble your bowl with your greens, grilled veggies, protein, and drizzle with ranch.