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What is Green Goddess Dressing?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 16, 2024
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Green goddess dressing is a creamy, savory salad dressing that gets its name from its greenish tint. It is believed that the dressing originated in the United States and has been served since the 1920s. Although recipes for this dressing vary slightly, the classic version includes a base made of mayonnaise and sour cream that is flavored with chives, chervil, lemon juice, and tarragon. The dressing is seasoned with salt and pepper.

For many years, green goddess dressing was eclipsed in popularity by ranch dressing. In recent years it has begun to make a comeback. It is now sold by a number of gourmet or specialty food companies and often shows up on the menus at chic restaurants. Some more modern recipes include tahini in the dressing.

There are a number of companies that bottle green goddess dressing, but it can easily be made at home. Home cooks can mix the classic ingredients in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper to taste. This recipe can be made in a low-fat variety by swapping the quantities of the mayonnaise and sour cream and using low-fat or fat-free sour cream.

For this dressing to be suitable for vegetarians, the sour cream will have to be a variety that is made without the use of gelatin, which is a non-vegetarian ingredient that is sometimes used as a thickener in this dairy product. Also, the dressing can be made in a way that is suitable for vegans by using vegan mayonnaise and vegan sour cream. When making this dressing for vegetarians or vegans, the anchovies must be removed from the ingredients list.

Though not all varieties of green goddess dressing include tarragon, some people believe it is an important ingredient in the classic version of the dressing. Chervil can be substituted for the tarragon, as can parsley if tarragon is not available. Similarly, chives can be substituted with scallions.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
Discussion Comments
By honeybees — On Jun 12, 2011

It is very easy to make this dressing at home and you can make a small amount and use reduced fat, or fat free sour cream and mayonnaise if you want a light green goddess dressing.

I usually follow a pretty traditional recipe, but one thing I love to add is some lemon juice and some lime juice in equal amounts. This adds just the right amount of flavor and a little extra kick. I also use equal amounts of sour cream and mayonnaise and make enough for just a few servings.

It doesn't take very long at all to mix it up, and that way it is always fresh.

By andee — On Jun 09, 2011

I don't know if my local grocery store has always carried Green Goddess dressing, but after seeing it there for the last several months, I had to give it a try. I was drawn to the light green color and love the name.

I purchased a bottle of the Seven Seas green goddess dressing and couldn't wait to make a salad and give it a try. I was not disappointed, and really like the smooth texture and could taste a little bit of chives. This dressing would be good any time of the year, but tastes especially good with lots of fresh, summer vegetables.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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