With fresh herbs and a tangy clean flavor, Green Goddess Salad Dressing is an enduring classic. With just 9 ingredients and a very quick prep time, this versatile dressing might become your favorite year-round.
No recipe typifies California cuisine more than Green Goddess Salad Dressing. Freshness, veggie-loving, and bursting with fresh herbs in every taste, this is the most iconic California salad dressing ever and the most versatile.
This creamy dressing with loads of fresh herbs can be used in many ways. Serve it over your favorite salads, as a sauce over fish and chicken, or as a dip paired with crudités or thick chips and pita crackers.
It's so simple to make and is even better if made the day before you serve it. All you need are just a few pantry ingredients plus fresh herbs and lemon to make this delicious all-purpose salad dressing.
- What Is Green Goddess Dressing?
- 100 Years Old and Still a Favorite!
- Why We Love Green Goddess Dressing
- Why This Recipe Works
- Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make Green Goddess Salad Dressing
- Ways to Serve Green Goddess Dressing
- My Top Tips
- Substitutions & Variations
- Recipe FAQs
- More Delicious Salads
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
What Is Green Goddess Dressing?
Green Goddess Dressing is a pale green herbal salad dressing. It is deliciously tangy with the flavors of herbs balanced with acidity and saltiness.
It was created in 1923 by Executive Chef Phillip Roemer of The Palace Hotel in San Francisco for a banquet honoring George Arliss, the lead actor in William Archer’s play “The Green Goddess.”
The classic Green Goddess Salad is a bed of hearty greens dotted with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a hearty portion of Dungeness crab.
On the side was the dressing. Not the usual dressing for a Crab Louie Salad, pale pink Thousand Island, but a beautiful pale green dressing with flecks of finely chopped herbs.
This creamy pale green dressing became an enduring coast-to-coast sensation, finding its way to New York City in the 1940s, and being rediscovered in the 1960s, 80s, and again, today.
It has amazing versatility. Not only is it fabulous for dressing greens, but it can also be served hot or cold making it the most frequently reinvented sauce for pasta, meats, and even as a dip for veggies or chips.
The recipe has appeared often in The New York Times and in numerous cookbooks by famous chefs, each one putting their own spin on this perennial classic. In fact, just about every chef from coast to coast has created their own version of the Green Goddess.
100 Years Old and Still a Favorite!
Some versions have added ingredients to the original recipe through the years and even the Palace Hotel updated the recipe several times to be even more green and savory with additional ingredients. I have seen all sorts of versions of the dressing over the years.
Some contain green onion instead of chives, greek yogurt instead of sour cream, or additions of mashed avocado, spinach leaves, fresh basil, fresh tarragon, lime juice, a garlic clove, and even ranch dressing. With a little inspiration, this creamy salad dressing recipe has been and can be reimagined over and over again.
Since its creation, the salad had been continuously on the menu of the famous Garden Court Restaurant in the Palace and was for many years listed as the “Palace Signature Dungeness Crab Salad”. The original recipe used to be on the Palace Hotel website, but since Marriott purchased the hotel it is no longer listed.
Why We Love Green Goddess Dressing
- It is Deliciously Different
- It Can Be Served Year Round in Any Season
- Quick and Easy to Make – a 10-Minute Recipe
- Can... and Should Be Made in Advance
- You can Make a Vegetarian Version
Why This Recipe Works
To say Green Goddess is my favorite salad dressing is an understatement! I absolutely love this dressing... and not just on a salad! It also makes a wonderful dip and sauce.
My version of this classic salad dressing is close to being exactly like the original that was invented by Chef Roemer.
Like the traditional green goddess, this version contains only the herbs of parsley and chives, which are easily available at most grocers. And although the original recipe contains anchovy fillets, my version contains Worcestershire sauce, which is always in my fridge and gives a hint of anchovy.
This salad dressing is the one you will want to make in every season. In the summer you can make pasta or potato salad, in the fall you can spoon it over salmon, in the winter it can be a fabulous dip, and in the spring it is heavenly over a fresh garden salad.
Skip the bottled green goddess dressings and give this easy recipe a try. Trust me, it is nothing less than dreamy.
So, let's cook!
Here's what you need:
- Mayonnaise - Mayonnaise is the heart of this dressing. I actually prefer Miracle Whip Salad Dressing but you can use your favorite mayo in this salad. The original recipe was made with a house-made mayonnaise and I read a rumor a long time ago that Chef Roemer used tarragon vinegar to make it.
- Sour Cream - Sour cream brings more creaminess and a tangy flavor to this dressing.
- Fresh Parsley - Choose the freshest parsley you can find. It can be any variety, curly, flat leaf, or Italian.
- Fresh Chives - Only the freshest herbs will do since they are the stars of this dressing. Bright green chives that are firm are essential.
- Lemon Juice - Lemon juice balances the flavors of the dressing with bright acidity. Fresh is always best.
- Worcestershire Sauce - I always have Worcestershire sauce on hand so I find it convenient to use in this recipe. The original recipe contains anchovies, which are best to use and noted in the recipe card and you can also substitute anchovy paste.
- Rice Wine Vinegar - Any white vinegar will work in this recipe. I happen to like rice wine vinegar.
- Salt - Just plain ordinary salt is fine.
- Black Pepper - Freshly ground is more piquant and has a lovely flowery aroma.
Please see the recipe card for the exact quantities.
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make Green Goddess Salad Dressing
So... this is how easily this classic Green Goddess Dressing comes together:
Place the parsley and chives into the bowl of a small 3-cup food processor. Pulse herbs until very finely chopped.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Pulse until all is well combined.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Pour into a container and cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
The classic presentation for Green Goddess dressing is a salad of romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. A large portion of fresh crab meat is mounded in the center of the salad, and the dressing is served on the side.
Feel free to create your own special salad bowl for this dressing. I like romaine lettuce, cooked quinoa, or couscous, a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, and cherry tomatoes!
My Top Tips
♡ Green Goddess Dressing is best when made the day before serving it. This gives the ingredients time to “marry”.
♡ This dressing is very thick. If a pourable dressing is desired, add half and half or whole milk to the dressing until the desired thickness is achieved. Be sure to check the seasoning and adjust as needed.
Substitutions & Variations
Substitute Yogurt - You can substitute plain unflavored yogurt for any or all of the sour cream.
Add Tarragon - If you like the flavor of fresh tarragon you can substitute it for some portion of the parsley and chives. There are many versions of this dressing that contain tarragon, most notably the version published by The New York Times. However, the original version does not include fresh tarragon. There is a rumor that the mayonnaise made by Chef Roemer contained tarragon vinegar.
Make Green Goddess Sauce - Thin the dressing with a few tablespoons of heavy cream or half and half to make a sauce.
Make it Vegetarian - You can make a vegetarian version of Green Goddess by substituting 2 tablespoons of capers for the Worcestershire sauce.
Variations of the Salad - Substitute cubed or chopped chicken or turkey for the crab. The salad greens can be romaine, curly endive, escarole, and chicory. Other green vegetables like garden peas and asparagus can be added to the greens.
A small food processor helps make this salad dressing quickly. If you do not have a food processor you can also use a blender to make this dressing.
Actually, you should make Green Goddess in advance. I like to make it a day ahead of needing it to allow the ingredients to blend and "marry".
You can store Green Goddess in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Unfortunately, you can't successfully freeze this dressing because it contains dairy which will separate during and after freezing.
More Delicious Salads
Green Goddess Salad Dressing with Fresh Herbs
- ¼ Cup Parsley, Packed (about 1 oz.)
- ¼ Cup Snipped Chives, Packed (about 1 oz.)
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise, I Actually Prefer Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
- ½ Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, or 3 Anchovy Fillets, Rinsed, Dried, and Minced
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper, if desired
- Place the parsley and chives into the bowl of a small 3 cup food processor. Pulse herbs until very finely chopped.¼ Cup Parsley, ¼ Cup Snipped Chives
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Pulse until all is well combined.1 Cup Mayonnaise, ½ Cup Sour Cream, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice, ¼ teaspoon Salt, Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Pour into a container and cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Encharted Cook Notes
Nutrition Per Serving
All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.