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!
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)
- 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.
How to make Green Goddess Dressing:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- I used a food processor to finely chop the chives or scallions, parsley, and tarragon.
- 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.
- 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.)
- You can use chopped anchovies, but I thought the anchovy paste was easier, and it adds so much flavor.
- 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.)
- 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?
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
Green Goddess Dressing
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!
- 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
- 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.
- Then add lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and anchovy paste (or canned anchovies) and pulse a few times more.
- 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.
- Chill at least a few hours before serving.
- This will keep in the fridge for at least a week, although it probably won’t stay around for that long!
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.
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.
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.
39 Comments on “Green Goddess Dressing”
I did make this with dried tarragon, only made 1 cup adding 1/2 T tarragon. It was delicious and had a very subtle tarragon taste. I think next time I will try adding a little more.
Katie, I think Greek Yogurt might even be better than sour cream in this! (Yeah, a blast from the past for me too.)
I remember that dressing! I still have lots of tarragon and chives. Have to use Greek yogurt rather than the sour cream tho…. Just as good, I bet!
A blast from the Past!
I think if the dressing sits in the fridge long enough for the dried tarragon to release some flavor it might be okay, although I might just make it without tarragon if you have the other ingredients. Let us know how it works with dried tarragon if you try it.
I love tarragon but don't have any fresh, do you think a small amount of dried would work?
No, sorry I was not clear. The avocado was blended up in the dressing, which had basil instead of tarragon and most of the ingredients were the same as this recipe. (Think it might have been Ina Garten recipe, but not sure.) May have to find it and try that version!
that sounds like a winner too!..so the basil would go into the dressing instead of the taragon…and the salad would consist of tomatoes and avocado?
Kate, so glad you liked it! I'm a tarragon fan as well, but I do think it's a strong flavor that not everyone likes, and for people who don't like it or don't have fresh tarragon, I think the dressing would still be good without it.
I saw a variation of this that uses avocado and basil that also sounded good to me!
I made the Green Goddess Salad Dressing last night and I can't stop thinking about how good it was. I had most of the ingredients on hand – used tiny red onions in place of the shallots, didn't have any sour cream so I did without. Didn't have any anchovy paste, so I threw in 2 anchovies – could have used one more. Had fresh taragon in the garden…mixed it all up in the blender and served it over stacked Jersey Tomatoes and freshly made mozzarella…Wow! it was the best!! thank you ps I can't imagine that it could nearly as good without the taragon
Thanks Louise, it was scorching here too the day I ate that salad!
Hi Kalyn, I found you on tastespotting… I used to eat this as a kid too- sounds fabulous. I like your picture as well… it's so hot here in LA that the moment I saw your pic I thought of eating a cool crisp salad. Thanks for sharing ~ Chef Louise
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
This looks great! I can't wait to give it a try. Your photos are beautiful.
Andrea, I do think it will be okay without the tarragon, and you've convinced me I should add "optional" without it in the recipe list!
Mmmm, that salad looks amazing!
Oh I do love green goddess dressing. We always had some at home when I was growing up. Haven't had any in years, so it's time to remedy that situation! I don't have any tarragon in the garden because it never took, but it'll be fine without it, I think.
Susan, I think the dressing would still be great without the tarragon (Duh, I should probably list it as optional in the ingredients, huh?) I am really loving the Green Zebra tomatoes. I think having them by the deck where it's sunny all day long has made a lot of difference.
LOL I've been meaning to make this dressing since I saw it on Hedonia. The tarragon plants I mail ordered last year died, but I wasn't all that crazy about the flavor anyway. I'm betting it would still be delicious without it – traditional or not!
P.S. Your green tomatoes are gorgeous. Congratulations on such a beautiful crop! 🙂
CJ, thanks! I love it too. No idea why it has taken me this long to try making it.
I love Green Goddess dressing. Love it.
Just came in from a scorching afternoon and when I saw that photo of the cool, crisp salad with my favorite dressing…. I could eat that picture.