Green Goddess Dressing

SaladCondimentSalad Dressing

A classic salad dressing made with parsley, tarragon, chives and sour cream for a tangy finish.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Do you remember green goddess dressing? It used to be pretty popular in the 70s and 80s when I first encountered it. If I’m not mistaken it was one of the usual dressings for a typical California salad with mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts and sunflower seeds, that one could order at the aptly named Good Earth restaurant in Palo Alto.

It sounds like a dressing right out of Marin County central casting, but apparently it was invented in the 20s, by the chef at the Palace Hotel (beautiful hotel, still there) in San Francisco, to commemorate the actor George Arliss and his play, The Green Goddess.

Pre-Internet, not knowing the provenance of this dressing, all I cared about was that it tasted good, good enough to mask the taste of alfalfa sprouts which thankfully people don’t eat much of any more, and it was called “green” and “goddess” which appealed to this Birkenstock-wearing hippie wanna-be.

Parsley and Garlic Chives

Italian parsley and garlic chives

Fast forward to now, and you know what? This dressing is a gardener’s dream. I just picked some herbs from the garden, puréed them with some anchovy paste (essential), lemon juice, garlic, sour cream and mayo.

Instant awesome!

By the way, this recipe makes the kind of dressing that sort of glops on, so you want to toss it in with the lettuce greens, to just lightly coat the salad before serving. Or you can serve it as a dip. It’s great spread on crackers or with crudités.

Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Vary the proportions of the herbs to suit your taste. If you want, add some ripe avocado to the mix.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 2-4 canned anchovies
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
  • 3 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a blender or food processor and blend or pulse until you get an evenly smooth dressing, about 30-45 seconds.

Serve as a dip, or toss with salad greens for a dressing.

The dressing should last about a week in the fridge.

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Products We Love

Links:

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Panini - from Panini Happy

Green Goddess Burgers - from Macheesmo

Green Goddess Dip - from Leite's Culinaria

Green Goddess Dressing

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

45 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Kimber

    I had this in restaurants a few times and I really liked it. However, as a vegetarian, it is heartbreaking to know that something with the word “green” and a non-casear salad dressing in it actually has anchovies. Pretty deceiving for vegetarians in my opinion.

  • Laura

    Can you use yogurt instead of sour cream?

  • Jeff

    I used this recipe as a general guide, so thank you. I know that many think Green Godess dressing includes tarragon, but having had green goddess dressing at the Palace Hotel on many occasions ( starting in the 60s), I can assure you, it does not And I do not included in my recipe. I will also tell you that the best parsley to use is good old Garden-variety “garnish” parsley And not Italian flat leaf.This is one of the most underrated dressings of all time and is one of my favorites.

  • Jodie

    I’m assuming chopped tarragon is fresh tarragon. So how much dried should be used?

  • Lydia Fish

    Use it as a marinade for spatchcocked chicken — 24 hours in the fridge, then roast the chicken as usual. I use buttermilk or yoghurt instead of mayonnaise.

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