Friday, April 18, 2014

Green Goddess Salad Dressing (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Green Goddess is one of my favorite salad dressings, and also a sign of spring!

Green Goddess Salad Dressing

(For Phase One Fridays I feature Phase One Recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and Green Goddess Salad Dressing is a flavor combination I've loved for years.  It's also something that feels like a sign of spring, because I love to make it with the earliest chives, scallions, and parsley that peeks up in the garden.  If you're never tried making this, you're in for a treat!)

Have you tasted Green Goddess Salad Dressing? Green Goddess was hugely popular 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. 

 It wasn't until I read about Green Goddess dressing on Hedonia that I knew 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." When I saw that post I'd been talking with my sister Sandee for months about re-creating our favorite salad dressing memory, and after I wrote about Green Goddess Dressing for I finally made the dressing. I used the Green Goddess recipe from Hedonia, which Sean adapted from the original recipe from The Palace Restaurant. Of course, I 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!
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. 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 also use chopped anchovies, but I thought the paste was easier.)

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.) I couldn't bring myself to use reduced-fat mayo in this, but I did use light sour cream.

Let the dressing chill in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving. I have a couple of these salad dressing bottles, which kept this good for more than a week in the fridge.

Green Goddess Salad Dressing
(Makes about 2 cups of dressing, recipe adapted slightly from Green Goddess Dressing from Hedonia, who adapted it from the original recipe from The Palace Restaurant in San Francisco.)

1/4 cup fresh chives or green onions (packed into measuring cup)
1/4 cup fresh tarragon (packed into measuring cup, tarragon is optional but if you like tarragon it's really good in this dressing
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 (I used full-fat mayo, but use reduced-fat mayo if you prefer)
1/2 C sour cream (I used light sour cream)
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

(I used a food processor 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.)

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!

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
There's no doubt that if you're strictly following the South Beach Diet, you should use low-fat mayonnaise and low-fat sour cream to make this dressing. However, I couldn't bring myself to use low-fat mayo for this favorite recipe from the past, and since you're only eating a few tablespoons on a heathful salad, I don't feel too guilty about it. Take your choice on the dressing, but if you use the full-fat type like I did, I'd consider this a "once-in-a-while-treat" if you're actively trying to lose weight.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight using The Glycemic Index partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Green Goddess Recipe Ideas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Green Goddess Tomato Mozzarella Stacks from Kalyn's Kitchen

Try Making Green Goddess Dressing from (12 recipes ideas)

Green Goddess Dressing from Hedonia

Basil Green Goddess Dressing from 24 Boxes

Green Goddess Dressing from Karma Free Cooking

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. 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.

  2. CJ, thanks! I love it too. No idea why it has taken me this long to try making it.

  3. 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! :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Mmmm, that salad looks amazing!

  7. 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!

    Sasha, thanks!

  8. This looks great! I can't wait to give it a try. Your photos are beautiful.

  9. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  10. 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

  11. Thanks Louise, it was scorching here too the day I ate that salad!

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. that sounds like a winner too! the basil would go into the dressing instead of the taragon...and the salad would consist of tomatoes and avocado?

  15. 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!

  16. I love tarragon but don't have any fresh, do you think a small amount of dried would work?

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. Katie, I think Greek Yogurt might even be better than sour cream in this! (Yeah, a blast from the past for me too.)

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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.

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

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

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

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

  27. Lydia, what a great spring ritual.

  28. 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 :)

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

  30. 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. ;-)


  31. 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 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!

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

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


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