Kalyn's Kitchen

Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing is one of my favorite salad dressing recipes, and I make this every year when French Tarragon comes up in my garden! 

PIN Green Goddess Dressing to try it later!

bottle of Green Goddess Dressing

Have you tasted Green Goddess Dressing? Green Goddess was a hugely popular salad dressing when I was a kid, and for me, it’s one of those blast-from-the-past things that I’ve loved for so long I don’t remember when I first tried it. There are definite similarities to Ranch Dressing, but Green Goddess is creamier and more herbal, with generous amounts of chives, tarragon, and parsley. And lately I’ve been talking with my sister Sandee about re-creating our favorite salad dressing memory, and I finally made this delicious dressing to share with you!

What makes Green Goddess Dressing distinctive is the use of fresh chives, tarragon, and parsley, plus a touch of anchovy paste in the dressing. You can vary the fresh herbs a bit depending on what you have on hand, but please don’t skip the anchovy paste which gives this a distinctive flavor.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • fresh chives or green onions
  • fresh tarragon (tarragon is optional but if you like tarragon it’s really good in this dressing
  • fresh parsley, I used flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
  • white wine vinegar
  • anchovy paste (affiliate link)
  • mayo
  • sour cream
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Where does the name Green Goddess come from?

I read about Green Goddess dressing on Hedonia (a site that’s no longer online) and discovered that the dressing originated in San Francisco, created by a chef at the Palace Restaurant in 1923 for an actor who was starring in a play called “The Green Goddess.” You can read more here about Green Goddess Dressing. I used the Green Goddess recipe from Hedonia, which Sean adapted from the original recipe from The Palace Restaurant, and I can’t find either of those online any more so I’m glad I recorded it here.

More about fresh tarragon:

Of course, I love the flavor or fresh tarragon so I absolutely loved this dressing, which I’m thinking is a pretty good reason to be sure I get some tarragon into the freezer so I can make it this winter! You can use Cooking with Fresh Tarragon to see more recipes I’ve enjoyed with this distinctive flavor.

Green Goddess Dressing process shots collage

How to make Green Goddess Dressing:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. I used a food processor to finely chop the chives or scallions, parsley, and tarragon.
  2. Pack the herbs into the measuring cup when you’re measuring them to go into the food processor (affiliate link). Of course, you can also chop by hand if you don’t have a food processor.
  3. Then add the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and anchovy paste to the processor and pulse a few times. (Or simply stir in if you don’t have a food processor.)
  4. You can use chopped anchovies, but I thought the anchovy paste was easier, and it adds so much flavor.
  5. Add the mayo, sour cream, and a bit of salt and fresh ground black pepper and run the food processor for about 20-30 seconds, until all ingredients are well combined. (Or just stir together in a bowl.)
  6. Let the dressing chill in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving. This will stay good in the fridge for at least a week.

How do I eat the Green Goddess Dressing?

collage photo showing two ways to use Green Goddess Dressing

Most of the time I simply devour the Green Goddess Dressing on a simple tossed salad, as a side dish for dinner. But one salad I love to make with this when I have Green Zebra Tomatoes is this Caprese Salad variation where I stack up a slice of Green Zebra Tomato (or any tomato you prefer) a slices of fresh Mozzarella, and another slice of tomato, then drizzle some Green Goddess Dressing over the top! I promise you will love that if you like fresh Mozzarella! You could also use Green Goddess Dressing on Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks if you like that salad.

More Green Goddess Recipe Ideas:

Green Goddess Veggie Cups ~ The View from Great Island
Green Goddess Veggie Burgers ~ Simply Recipes
Green Goddess Feta Dip ~ Gimme Some Oven
Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad ~ Pinch of Yum
Green Goddess Avocado Hummus ~ Just a Taste

bottle of Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

Yield 2 cups
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Green Goddess Dressing is one of my long-time favorite salad dressings, and every year I freeze some of my fresh tarragon so I can make this in the winter!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh chives or green onions (packed into measuring cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon (packed into measuring cup, see notes)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (packed into measuring cup, I used flat-leaf Italian parsley)
  • 1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste (or more, depending on how much you like anchovies)
  • 1 C mayo
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Measure 1/4 cup each of chives (or green onions), tarragon, and parsley, and add to food processor. Pulse processor until the fresh herbs are finely chopped.
  2. Then add lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and anchovy paste (or canned anchovies) and pulse a few times more.
  3. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, and freshly-ground black pepper and run the food processor about 20-30 seconds, or until ingredients are well combined.
  4. Chill at least a few hours before serving.
  5. This will keep in the fridge for at least a week, although it probably won’t stay around for that long!

Notes

Fresh Tarragon is optional but if you like tarragon it’s really good in this dressing. I would use a bit more parsley if you're not using the tarragon.

(I used a Food Processor (affiliate link) to make this, but if you don’t have one you can finely chop the herbs with a chef’s knife and then stir the ingredients together in a bowl.)

Nutritional information is based on 2 T serving size, but if you love this like I do you might want more dressing than that!

Recipe adapted slightly from Green Goddess Dressing from Hedonia, who adapted it from the original recipe from The Palace Restaurant in San Francisco.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Green Goddess Dressing would be approved for all low-carb diet plans and all phases of the original South Beach Diet. If you’re strictly following South Beach, you should use low-fat mayonnaise and low-fat sour cream to make this dressing; other low-carb eating plans would prefer full-fat ingredients.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2010. It was updated with better photos in 2014 and was last updated with more information in 2021.

Pinterest image of Green Goddess Dressing

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    39 Comments on “Green Goddess Dressing”

  1. This recipe is amazing! I used 1/2 tbsp chopped capers instead of anchovy paste (just my preference) & it turned out awesome!! Thank you so much!!

  2. This reminded me to put anchovy paste on the shopping list. Just a smidge makes all the difference in a lot of recipes.

    Tarragon makes all the difference too, but not in a good way for those of us who can't abide anything with the faintest hint of licorice taste. Basil sounds like a good idea.

  3. So glad people are discovering this; I am craving it myself now!

  4. This has to be my new favourite dressing Kayla.

  5. This recipe is great! I only 'discovered' Green Goddess dressing last year, and used the 'original' recipe from the Palace Hotel.

    I don't use anchovies often, and a tin of them was less expensive than the paste….so I bought a tin, used what I needed, then froze the rest. (it's easy enough to cut off a chunk and thaw if you need it for something else).

    And I did use low fat mayo, and low fat sour cream. It turned out fantastic! Thanks, Kalyn!

    • I love the idea of this dressing so much but parsley irritates my mouth badly—a mild allergy? Is there any herb you would suggest trying to sub in? 

      • I think tarragon is what gives it that essential Green Goddess flavor, so I’d just use more chives or green onions to replace the parsley. Can’t think of anything else that wouldn’t compete with the tarragon flavor.

  6. I most definitely need to make this dressing, Kalyn! Having anchovy past on hand would also allow me to make my own Caesar dressing, which is another favorite of mine. 😉

    Thanks,
    Shirley

  7. Valerie, I think the "from-scratch" variety is always so tasty!

  8. Green Goddess truly is a blast from the past! I wonder why you just don't see it around anymore? I think it's time for a comeback 🙂

  9. Lydia, what a great spring ritual.

  10. I love picking herbs out of the spring garden for Green Goddess dressing. It's kind of a ritual around here!

  11. This is one of my all-time favorite dressings!

  12. So much great flavors in this salad dressing. Adding to my list!

  13. Jen, I love that variation! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Just posted on your chicken nuggets page that we uses this as a dip. Didn't have fresh tarragon so I substituted fresh oregano and a bit of cilantro. Also threw in half a chipotle pepper Bc the mayo I had was kind of sweet. Made a really nice smoky and herby dressing. Will make over and over again. Thanks for your creations. You are inspiring.

  15. Ms. b, thanks for reporting back! That will make this recipe much more useful for winter.