This copycat Trader Joe's green goddess dressing is not only delicious and creamy, but also gluten, dairy, and sugar free! Perfect to brighten up any salad; this versatile dressing can be used in multiple ways - you can't go wrong!
Confession: This recipe is a copycat of Trader Joe's green goddess salad dressing. It's one of the few I’ve ever found that they offer that is truly paleo! However, after reading the ingredient label, I realized two things:
- You and I can make this ourselves.
- It will taste so much fresher if we do.
Origins of green goddess dressing
Believe it or not, we can dig back to a chef of Louis XIII in France to find the first known version of this dressing. It originated as a “sauce au vert” (green sauce) that was traditionally served with green eel. Yikes. I’m glad we’ve moved on from that.
A chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1923 made the next known version of green goddess dressing as a tribute to the actor George Arliss and his broadway play at the time, The Green Goddess.
Named for both its color and the play, that version is said to have contained anchovies, scallions, parsley, tarragon, chives, mayonnaise, and vinegar.
About 20 years later, in 1948, the New York Times published a recipe for green goddess salad dressing that included Worcestershire sauce.
Then, in the early 1970’s, the salad dressing company Seven Seas finally produced a bottled version of the dressing available in stores. Seven Seas has since been purchased by Kraft, and the dressing is still available.
That said, after reading the ingredient label on that one, I’m a hard pass. Soybean oil, corn syrup, and food dyes? No thanks. We’re taking it back to the roots here and making it from scratch.
Or, Trader Joe’s took it back to the roots and we are copying them. But they are really a copy of a copy, so let’s just make some dressing and move on, yeah?
What goes in Trader Joe's green goddess dressing
The ingredients that are listed on the label are:
WATER, AVOCADO, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, GREEN ONIONS, LEMON JUICE, CHIVES, PARSLEY, OLIVE OIL BLEND (OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL), YELLOW ONION, BASIL, GARLIC, SEA SALT, BLACK PEPPER.
Now that is super clean for a grocery store salad dressing, and makes my little paleo heart pitter patter that I’m not reading about corn syrup and food dye.
Sometimes I’m just too far of a drive from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes the parking lot looks like they’re giving away free groceries and I don’t feel like throwing it in park on the grass sideways just to get some salad dressing, you know what I’m saying?
So it’s time to DIY! We're going to start with avocados. This is going to be our base for the creamy dressing. From there, we will add some lemon juice and vinegar to get it that acidic base it needs.
Next up, we'll add some fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and spices for flavoring, and thin it out with a bit of water until we get it to the right consistency.
I'm a big fan of keeping recipes simple, with a short ingredient list. Let's be honest - we can pin fancy photos and recipes all day long, but those don't end up being the ones we make.
We make the recipes with short ingredient lists, short cook times, and good flavor, because that’s typically what life allows for.
How do you make green goddess dressing
This is going to get complicated, so stay with me, ok?
First, you're going to gather all of your ingredients. Second, you're going to put them all in a food processor. Third, you're going to turn it on and run it until the dressing is smooth.
Then you're done. I told you it was complicated.
If you don't have a food processor, you can always use a blender. If you don’t have a blender, mash up your avo a bit in a wide mouth mason jar, add your other ingredients, and use a stick blender like this one.
And if you don’t have one of those, well - get thee to the store. You need some sort of electric blade in your kitchen before you can do much of anything in a timely manner.
Storing this dressing
Avocados are finicky, aren’t they? Always getting all mushy on us before we’re ready, turning themselves brown, immediately panicking when they’re exposed to air…so dramatic. I mean really. Get it together. 🥑
Here’s the good news - when you add an acid to avocado, it keeps it from turning brown. My Cumin-Lime Dip is a great example - the lime juice in that will actually let you store it in the fridge for a few days, and be able to pull it out and serve it again, and possibly only have to scrape off just a thin top layer to get her looking pretty again.
This dressing works like that too. It’s got lemon juice and vinegar in it, both of which work as an acid to keep the avocado green.
You can store this dressing in an airtight container for 3-4 days. It’s super fresh, so I wouldn’t leave it much longer than that - try to use it within a day or two.
You can also freeze it into the large silicone ice cube trays, and then just pop out one at a time and defrost it for the perfect single serving size for your salad!
Other ways to use copycat Trader Joe’s green goddess
This sauce is super versatile and can be used in multiple ways other than just as a salad dressing. Here are a few ideas:
Serve it as a dip: Add less water in the last step. It will stay a bit thicker and make it more like a dip.
Start with no water, and add it a bit at a time to the food processor until the dressing is the dip consistency you're looking for!
Things that pair well with this are Siete grain free tortilla chips, sugar free plantain chips, or raw veggies.
Use it as a marinade: Toss some chicken breasts into a ziplock bag, dump in a batch of this dressing, and let it sit overnight. Then pour the whole thing into a roasting pan and bake it.
Use it as the liquid in the Instant Pot: Ok, so your Instant Pot is for steaming, right? Right. But - you can also add other things that have water content to the pot and use them to cook and flavor the contents of the meal, like this 3-ingredient chile chicken.
Try this instead: add your chicken breasts, add your green goddess, close it up. Use this Instant Pot chicken breast cooking guide and set the timer. When it’s done, shred the chicken in the sauce and devour. Serve over some cauliflower rice. You’re welcome.
Use it in the slow cooker: Here's a genius recipe from Kristy over at Boys Ahoy for slow cooker green goddess chicken. Yum.
Using other ingredients
You can change up the herbs if you want to change up the flavoring at all too. We’re using chives (just a smaller and milder version of their cousin the green onion), basil and parsley. If you wanted a more onion-rich flavor you could use full size green onions. You could also mix up the basil and swap it out for cilantro for a different flavor - that’ll take you more towards my Southwest Avocado Dressing for this taco salad.
Changing out the avocado for another creamy base will also change the flavor up a bit - mayonnaise would be my first choice to sub for the avocado, and I happen to know about a great homemade mayo recipe here! 😉
- 1 medium avocado
- ½ cup water
- ⅔ cup chives
- ½ cup basil
- ¼ cup parsley
- 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Combine all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as needed.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 30Sodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1g
Looking for other homemade dressing recipes? Check out these below!
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