A vibrant, herby and super savory Green Goddess Dressing! This healthy green goddess dressing is made with avocado oil mayonnaise and buttermilk and is delicious served with any green salad. We also love enjoying it as a dip for homemade fries, drizzled over chicken or fish, and so much more.

bright green dressing in a white and brown bowl with a spoon being dipped in it

What is Green Goddess Dressing?

Green goddess dressing is thought to have originated in the 1920s at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. A chef at the hotel created this dressing in honor of actor George Arliss who was starring in a local play called “Green Goddess.”

Classically, green goddess dressing is made with mayonnaise, tarragon vinegar, parsley, chives, tarragon, garlic, scallions and anchovies. Since we’re in the business for taking classics and making them healthy-ish, I stuck pretty close to the traditional ingredient list and made a few smart ingredient swaps.

What Does Green Goddess Dressing Taste Like?

Green goddess dressing is a vibrant and unique salad dressing. The combination of fresh herbs and anchovy create a dressing that’s both super fresh and surprisingly savory. It’s creamy, herby, slightly tangy and super savory. 

Healthier Green Goddess Salad Dressing

To lighten things up, I swapped out traditional mayonnaise for avocado oil mayonnaise (avocado oil is much healthier than canola or vegetable oil). In addition to using a healthier mayonnaise, I cut down on the total amount and replaced some of it with tangy buttermilk.

TosStreamline the ingredient list, I relied on two heavy-hitting herbs—basil and parsley. If you love tarragon, cilantro, chives or dill, go ahead and throw some of those in too. Just make sure you have at least 2/3 cup fresh leafy herbs.

fresh herbs, scallions, buttermilk, mayo, anchovy, garlic clove, and lemon arranged on a table

Ingredients in Green Goddess Dressing?

Let’s first talk about the elephant in the room. Yes, green goddess dressing is made with an anchovy fillet. No, it does not taste fishy. So what’s the anchovy about? Just like in Caesar dressing, anchovy adds a wonderful layer of savory flavor that you just can’t get from anything else. Here’s what else you’ll need:

  • Avocado oil mayonnaise: I prefer to use avocado oil mayonnaise because avocado oil is much healthier than canola, vegetable or safflower oil. You can also use olive oil mayonnaise.
  • Fresh herbs: I prefer the combination of basil and parsley. If you have dill, cilantro, chives and/or tarragon on hand, throw some in!
  • Buttermilk: lightens up the dressing and adds a nice tang.
  • Scallions: also called green onions, scallions are important for adding a mild onion flavor. You can also use chives but I don’t recommend using onions or shallots as they’re too strong in flavor.
  • Fresh lemon juice: adds a bright zip!
  • Anchovy fillets: you can also use anchovy paste if you have that on hand.
  • Garlic: one small garlic clove adds just enough garlic flavor. Any more and the flavor takes over.

How to Use Green Goddess Dressing 

wood bowl filled with lettuce, vegetables and topped with a green goddess dressing


How should I store this green goddess dressing?

Store green goddess dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How long will it last?

Stored in the fridge, it should last up to 1 week.


  • Use an avocado in place of the mayonnaise. You might need additional buttermilk to thin the dressing.
  • Add additional herbs if you have them on hand. I like dill, chives and tarragon.
  • Make this vegan by using vegan mayo, unsweetened and unflavored nut milk or vegan yogurt, and skipping the anchovy altogether. Increase the lemon juice to 2 tablespoons. 
  • Looking for a green goddess made with avocado and/or Greek yogurt? Check out this one that uses both!
  • Use sour cream in place of some of the buttermilk or mayonnaise.
  • Make this uber light (and protein packed) by using whole-milk Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise.

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bright green dressing in a white and brown bowl with a spoon being dipped in it

Healthy Green Goddess Dressing

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ¼ cup dressing 1x
  • Category: Dressing
  • Method: No-cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Vibrant and flavorful, this creamy green goddess dressing is packed with fresh herbs and tons of savory flavor. Enjoy on a salad, spooned over chicken or fish, or served as a dip with fries, chips or vegetables. 


  • ½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise 
  • ⅓ cup packed fresh basil 
  • ⅓ cup packed fresh parsley 
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk 
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 anchovy fillet or ½ teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 small clove garlic 
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Black pepper to taste


Combine mayonnaise, basil, parsley, buttermilk, scallions, lemon juice, anchovy, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a blender. Purée until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Season dressing with salt and black pepper to taste.


This recipe is gluten-free.

Don’t have a blender? You can also use a food processor.

Make Vegan: use vegan mayo in place of the avocado oil mayo, skip the anchovy, replace the buttermilk with unsweetened and unflavored nut milk or vegan yogurt, and add an additional tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Alternatively, you could use a small avocado in place of the mayo. 

Make Dairy-Free: use unsweetened and unflavored nut milk and an additional tablespoon of lemon juice in place of the buttermilk.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 84
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 141mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg

Keywords: green goddess dressing, healthy green goddess dressing

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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  1. I followed this recipe EXACTLY. The sauce was exceptionally salty. I added some fresh lemon juice. But wow. Salty.

    1. Hi Sandra,

      I’m sorry to hear you found this sauce salty. The only sources of salt are the anchovies (which can be quite salty) and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. It’s important to use kosher salt here as the measurement is specific to kosher salt, not sea salt or table salt. Not sure why it came out so salty for you, but next time you could skip the 1/4 teaspoon of salt altogether.