This avocado green goddess dressing is a delicious and versatile twist on the classic recipe, replacing sour cream and mayonnaise with avocado and yogurt. Not only does it add a ton of flavor to any meal, but it's also make-ahead friendly!
As the weather in April begins to warm up, I naturally find myself transitioning out of my winter hibernation phase. It's incredible how much time we humans spend outside when it's not brutally cold, right?
I try walking daily (sometimes just to walk, sometimes to earn myself some ice cream in the heat), playing tennis or jogging a few times a week, and eating lighter foods.
Growing up, I didn't understand the concept of seasonality in cooking. Nowadays, though, I can feel how my body craves a plate of cold, juicy fruit in the summer and a warm bowl of small batch chili in the winter.
Earlier this year, I began working on a recipe for green goddess dressing to accompany a spring salad. Traditionally, this salad dressing, originally developed in California, includes sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, parsley, and tarragon.
I, however, wanted to change things up a bit to really make the dressing feel bright and seasonal.
Why You'll Love This
After a few rounds of recipe testing, I'm very satisfied with the result! This spring-themed dressing is creamy, lemony, salty, and a bit spicy.
Let's summarize why this recipe works:
- Replacing traditional ingredients like sour cream and mayonnaise with yogurt and avocado yields a light, creamy dressing with added fiber.
- In the past, I've found that some green goddess dressings taste creamy but lack a bit of "oomph." Here, I include anchovies, garlic, and a jalapeno for added flavor and heat.
- This sauce is easy to make-ahead for meal prep and highly customizable to your own preferences. Vegetarian? Substitute capers for anchovies. Don't like the heat? Omit it! Want to use this as a dip for veggies? Go right ahead! I've got all the details on how to do so below.
- Finally, it's pretty dang easy.
- Fresh Herbs: Any combination of fresh, soft herbs will work! I like using a mix of basil, parsley, tarragon, and chives. You can also use cilantro instead of parsley or scallions instead of chives. Personally, I find tarragon's licorice flavor to be quite strong, so I only use a tablespoon, but if you love it, feel free to double that amount.
- Garlic: I find that 2 garlic cloves gives enough sharpness to the dressing without feeling overpowering. If you're sensitive to garlic, I'd start with one clove.
- Anchovies: I love the salty, umami flavor that anchovies bring -- and don't worry, it doesn't taste fishy! If you're vegetarian or you don't like anchovies, you can substitute 2 teaspoons capers.
- Jalapeno: I call for 1 chili, but it's important to know that jalapenos can vary significantly in heat. I recommend deseeding and de-ribbing the pepper which will remove a good amount of the heat. If you don't like heat, you can omit this!
- Avocado: You'll only need ½ the avocado for the dressing, but you can cut up the remaining half and add it to the salad if you like or save it for another use.
- Low-Fat Skyr/Greek Yogurt: I normally use full-fat yogurt in my recipes, but here I like that the low-fat variety is slightly more watery, which helps thin out the sauce. If you only have full-fat, you can fill your ⅓ cup measurement with ¼ cup yogurt and water.
How to Make This Dressing
The dressing comes together very quickly once you've got your prep done!
Your food processor is going to do most of the work here. First, you'll want to blend all of the aromatics into a chunky paste (it's okay if they don't form a smooth puree yet).
Next, add the avocado and liquids (except for the olive oil). Puree until smooth, then add the skyr/yogurt and olive oil.
The final dressing should be perfectly smooth and creamy, and you may need to run the food processor for an extra 30 seconds to a minute to get there. Once it's reached a nice texture, season it with salt and pepper.
Note that the texture is thicker than a typical salad dressing, but I have no problems coating a salad with it; I'll just add drizzle of olive oil, then toss the sauce in. You can absolutely thin it out with water to your desired consistency, though!
Serving Suggestions and Adaptations
I love how customizable this recipe is! You can...
- Serve it as a dip! If doing so, you can omit the water to keep it on the thicker side, then thin it out to your desired consistency once everything is pureed. Enjoy alongside crudites.
- Make it vegan. Omit the skyr and use a full avocado. You may need to add more water to achieve an optimal texture.
- Use as a spread for sandwiches. Perfect for a green goddess sandwich or a panini.
- Dollop on tacos or grilled meat. A spicy, creamy sauce is a great pairing for homemade tacos or grilled chicken.
Tips and Tricks
- Salt and acid are your friends. Avocado is fatty, so it needs a good amount of salt and acid for balance. If your dressing tastes a bit bland, make sure it's very well-seasoned with salt and plenty of lemon juice (you need more than you think)!
- Don't be afraid to add water. Depending on the texture and size of your avocado, you may need to add more water. While this is a thicker dressing, it shouldn't be as thick as, say, guacamole.
- Integrate this dressing into your meal prep. I love having flavorful sauces on hand to incorporate into my lunches and dinners throughout the week. You can use this as a salad dressing, dip, or topping so feel free to get creative!
This avocado dressing will last about 4 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container.
Absolutely! Just substitute the anchovies for capers (for 4 anchovies, you will want 2 teaspoons capers).
You could try replacing the skyr with a neutral plant-based yogurt. But you can just as easily use the full avocado, and thin out the dressing with a bit more water.
The sauce creates that "back of the throat" heat, and if you're eating a salad with it, it'll definitely build up over time! But either way, I'd say it's mild.
That said, every jalapeno is different. If you're nervous, I'd recommend using half of the pepper to start.
I've made this dressing successfully in a single serving blender. The key is to use a smaller blender cup so that the herbs and garlic get chopped up finely.
For even more cozy recipes, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.Happy eating! Love, Karishma
Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
- Food processor, or a high-powered, single serve blender
- 1 cup tightly packed fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, and cilantro | destemmed to yield 1 ounce
- 1 tablespoon tarragon
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives, or 1 scallion, chopped
- 4 anchovy filets, or 2 teaspoons capers
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded, ribbed, and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ avocado
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water, plus more if needed
- ⅓ cup low-fat skyr, or greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- In a food processor, combine herbs, anchovies, jalapeno, and garlic. Process until everything is finely minced and broken down (it won't be completely smooth yet).1 cup tightly packed fresh herbs, 1 tablespoon tarragon, 3 tablespoons chopped chives, 4 anchovy filets, 1 jalapeno, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the avocado, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and water. Process until the mixture turns light green and is fully pureed into a mostly homogeneous texture.½ avocado, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons water
- Mix in the skyr and olive oil and process until smooth. This dressing is on the thicker side, but if it feels too thick you can thin it out with more water.Season generously with salt and black pepper. Yields about ¾ cup dressing.Note: The dressing should taste creamy, garlicky, spicy, with plenty of salt and acid. If needed, you can add more lemon juice if you'd like it more sour. If using as a dip, you'll want it to be well-seasoned. If using as a dressing, you'll want it to be *slightly* over-seasoned as the flavors will dilute once you toss it with the salad ingredients.⅓ cup low-fat skyr, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, Salt and black pepper
- Jalapenos can vary significantly in heat, so if you’re spice sensitive, you can add half of it to start and adjust as needed (or omit if you don't want the heat at all).
- If using full-fat greek yogurt, fill your ⅓ cup measurement with ¼ cup yogurt and water. You can also use ⅓ cup of regular full-fat plain yogurt.
- I typically use about 1 ½ tablespoons dressing per person in a salad.
- Storage: Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can use it as a dip, drizzle it on tacos, smear it on sandwiches -- the sky's the limit!
- Avocado is fatty, so it needs a good amount of salt and acid for balance. If your dressing tastes a bit bland, make sure it's very well-seasoned with salt and plenty of lemon juice (you need more than you think)!
- Depending on the texture and size of your avocado, you may need to add more water. While this is a thicker dressing, it shouldn't be as thick as, say, guacamole.