This green goddess dressing is everything the perfect creamy salad dressing should be: quick and easy, creamy and herby, and loaded with umami goodness. I've long been a fan of the bottled version from Annie's Naturals, which I recently tried to replicate in my own kitchen. Guess what, I came up with something I like better! And I've worked out all the options to make it with or without the traditional anchovy and included substitutions for both omnivores and vegetarians.
Pardon me while I worship at the altar of the green goddess. I mean, what's not to like about a salad dressing that's chock-full of flavor and nutrition? I can put this dairy-free green goddess dressing on just about any salad and know I will enjoy it. And there are so many different ways to use it, once you experience it you won't be able to stop making it. I especially like to use it to create a satisfying salad for lunch.
Satisfying salads start with fat and fiber
Creating satisfying recipes is something that really drives my blog, because I believe that when healthy food tastes amazing, it becomes what we want to eat. Satisfaction with a meal comes from two things: satiety and enjoyment. Satiety is a comfortable feeling of fullness, and enjoyment comes from the senses, appearance, flavor, texture, and smell.
You can increase the satiety you feel from a salad by adding fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Fats and protein are particularly good at triggering your brain to feel a sense of fullness from your meal. The challenge is to make sure the fat and protein sources are as healthy as possible, and to pair them with enough fiber to make you feel full before you consume too much fat.
This dairy-free green goddess dressing has all three of those things in a healthy, dairy free package. Each serving contains 5.8 grams of protein, 14.5 grams of fat (almost all of which are healthy unsaturated fats), and there's even a modest 1.8 grams of fiber. Add that to all the fiber you get from the veggies in your salad, and you'll be well on your way to creating a satisfying salad that won't leave you feeling hungry an hour later.
In defense of anchovy (for non-vegetarians)
Let’s talk a little bit about anchovies. If you think you don’t like anchovies, I hope I can convince you to try them in this dressing. I first used anchovies in my own kitchen when I was researching the dressing for my BLT kale Caesar salad, and I’m now officially part of the anchovy fan club.
I don’t expect the world to start downing anchovies whole, but I'd argue that they are a worthy source of umami, one of the five basic flavors humans can experience. Umami means “pleasant savory flavor” in Japanese, and science suggests that adding umami to a dish increases satiety.
In the American diet, umami is usually achieved by adding MSG, cured meat, or processed soy, but the nutritional benefits of using anchovy really can’t be overstated. In fact, anchovies are so packed with nutrition that many health organizations consider them a superfood.
When anchovies are used correctly, they do not overpower a dish or make it fishy. In fact, you might be consuming anchovy at your favorite upscale Italian restaurant without knowing it! It’s the secret ingredient that gives a lot of Italian dishes that little something extra.
Frequently asked questions: substitutes for anchovy
Worcestershire sauce is the usual substitute for anchovy, and it works well in this dressing. I’ve also tried Asian fish sauce in a pinch, blended with a bit of tamari. Red Boat is my favorite brand of fish sauce, it’s nicely balanced and not too salty. Be aware that both of these options contain fish, so they are not vegetarian.
Absolutely! My favorite vegetarian substitute for anchovy in this dressing is 2 teaspoons of furikake seasoning and 1 teaspoon of tamari. Furikake is a Japanese seasoning that consists mostly of seaweed and sesame seeds. I’m seeing it more at grocery stores these days, but check the ingredients carefully, because many furikake blends contain hydrolyzed soy protein and/or sugar. Trader Joe’s has a decent sugar free furikake at a reasonable price.
Credit for the idea behind this substitution goes to Vaishali at Holy Cow Vegan. She suggests processing nori sheets into a powder, which I’m sure would work too. I happened to have some furikake on hand and I loved the seaweed/sesame combination combined with the tamari. It works GREAT.
Tips for the perfect dairy-free green goddess dressing
- Use fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are critical to the success of this dish...not just the color, but also the texture and the flavor. The one exception is that if you want a strong tarragon flavor, but can't find any fresh tarragon, use ½ cup of fresh parsley and a tablespoon of dried tarragon.
- Find a quality Dijon mustard. High-quality Dijon mustard usually has a better balance between its spicy, tangy, and acidic elements. I use Maille, which is found in most grocery stores.
- Pay attention to the seasoning in your dressing. The ingredients I use to create the umami base for this dressing are all pretty salty, so don’t add any salt until after you’ve blended everything together and tasted it. If more salt is needed, add it just a small pinch at a time and blend it well between tasting.
Meal prep and storage
This dressing is simple to make, but because it contains raw garlic, it can only be kept for about three days in the refrigerator. I kept the recipe at a fairly low volume so that you hopefully don't end up throwing any out. The individual ingredients to make the dressing will all last about a week, however, and the process is quick enough that it's not hard to plan multiple batches in a single week.
You can also substitute ½ teaspoon of granulated garlic for the raw garlic, in which case it will keep for 5 days.
I love hearing from you!
Questions, comments, and ratings are welcome and encouraged. Let me know what you think of this dairy-free green goddess dressing...you’ll make my day!
Dairy-Free Green Goddess Dressing
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or verjus
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chives or green onion tops roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic peeled and trimmed, or ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste see notes for substitutions
- ½ cup fresh herbs parsley and tarragon are traditional
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in the blender and blend until smooth. Add the tahini last for easier blending.
- If your dressing is too thick, add water, a tablespoon at a time, and re-blend until you get the consistency you are looking for. This is a strong dressing and can handle 2-3 tablespoons of water.
- Taste your dressing and add salt as needed, a pinch or two at a time, until well-seasoned. Yield: about ⅔ cup.