Lighter Green Goddess Dressing

Lighter Green Goddess Dressing

We’ve been Lighter Green Goddess obsessed ever since Virginia brought a little crock of herby dressing home from a playdate and said, “This is the best dressing ever.”

When a child has that sort of enthusiasm about anything related to vegetables, it’s smart to listen up. We promptly put it on our cooking “to do” list.

young girl in the kitchen making green goddess dressing

A few days later my friend  asked if she could come over to snap some pictures of me and the kids in the kitchen for a photo essay. Virginia was home, along with one of her friends, so it seemed the perfect occasion to tackle Green Goddess Dressing.

Where Does Green Goddess Dressing Come From

We did a little research on the dressing and learned it actually hails from here in San Francisco, created in the 1920s by the Palace Hotel to honor an actor starring in a play called, you guessed it, Green Goddess.

Traditionally, the dressing is made with a variety of herbs, which are what give it the signature green hue. This Lighter Green Goddess version is adapted from an Ina Garten recipe. If you know anything about Ina, you know she isn’t shy with fat or salt.  I’ve scaled back the fat and sodium, and made the anchovies optional, since that can be a deal breaker for kids. It remains delicious nevertheless.

little hands chopping herbs

How to Use Lighter Green Goddess Dressing

The dressing is excellent over salad, and is particularly well suited to the salads of summer, abundant as they are in tomatoes and cucumbers. Here are a few other ways to enjoy Lighter Green Goddess:

  • Serve with tender new potatoes
  • Spoon over grilled or roasted fish
  • Use it to dress steamed broccoli
  • Toss with shredded chicken and diced celery for chicken salad.
  • Swap it for mayo on a veggie or turkey sandwich
  • Use it as a dip for crunchy vegetables.

mom and children making salad with green goddess dressing

For more dressing recipes, check out:

Best Balsamic Dressing

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Carrot Miso Dressing

Healthier Ranch Dip and Dressing

Greek Yogurt Poppyseed Dressing from Real Mom Nutrition

Lighter Green Goddess Dressing

This makes a thick, creamy dressing that is delicious for a vegetable dip or to dress a salad. If you like a thinner dressing, you can drizzle a little olive oil and vinegar onto your salad along with the Green Goddess. You can bump up the healthy fats in this by adding 1/2 medium ripe avocado and cutting the mayo down to 1/4 cup.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword lighter green goddess dressing
Author Katie Morford


  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions , white and green parts (3 to 4 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 medium clove chopped garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 1 small anchovy (optional)


  1. Put the mayonnaise, sour cream, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper into a blender or food processor and whirl just until silky smooth.
  2. Store in the fridge for up to four days. Makes about 1 1/4 cups dressing.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2006)

Photos by Kimberly Koch (


07.18.2013 at7:15 AM #



07.18.2013 at12:43 PM #


The dressing looks delish! I love the photos too…..and the friendship bracelets….sigh…..

07.18.2013 at12:43 PM #

Katie Morford

Thanks Kate. Yes….those bracelets …. on little hands speak volumes about what it means to be 10.

07.18.2013 at8:43 PM #

Kimberly Koch

Thanks for the shout out, Kate. I had a great time at your house. And my take-home dressing was delicious! Great on salads, but also excellent as a dip for fresh cucumber slices.

07.21.2013 at3:30 PM #


Just made your dressing and it is wonderful! I have never made Green Goddess dressing before, was I ever missing out. Divvied it up in mason jars to share with a couple of friends tonight, as I shouldn’t eat all of it in the next three days. Thanks!

07.21.2013 at3:30 PM #

Katie Morford

Glad you like it Kris and so sweet to share. I cut the original recipe in half, but it does still make quite a generous amount.

02.26.2014 at12:57 PM #

Juegos Tragaperras sin Descargar

Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read
stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess
I will just book mark this blog.

04.13.2020 at4:36 PM #

Gloria Corley

Can I substitute yogurt for the sour cream?

04.13.2020 at4:36 PM #

Katie Morford

Yes! I’d recommend Greek yogurt, but if you only have regular yogurt, the dressing will be a bit thinner.

06.03.2021 at6:39 PM #

Christina Moreno

Hi! Do you know the calories on your version?

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