This fresh and tangy avocado green goddess dressing is such a treat! It is easy and quick to prepare and simply made by combining vegan yogurt, avocado, plenty of fresh herbs, garlic, lemon juice and green onion. It makes for an incredibly flavorful dairy-free creamy sauce you will want to add over anything and everything!
Welcome to your new favorite sauce! This avocado green goddess dressing is - OMG - so very overwhelmingly delicious.
It's tangy, cool, creamy, thick and filled with fresh herby flavors. Also super easy-to-make and comes together within 10 minutes. You can use it as a dip, salad vinaigrette, green buddha bowl topping sauce, roasted vegetable dressing, sandwich sauce, grilled tofu garnishing and so much more! It's simply the best refreshing creamy sauce to bring so many meals back to life. You will want to drizzle it on just about everything!
Plus, look at that vibrant green look, don't you want to just dig in?
And the best part is not only does it have that extra rich texture that will make you go for more, but it is made using only good-for-you ingredients! Yes, yes! No mayo, no sour cream, no oil, no dairy - BUT- hello naturally-rich-in-fat avocado and creamy tangy vegan yogurt.
Add some lemon juice for an extra zesty twist with fresh garlic and green onion for a punch in the flavor, then generously pack the sauce with fresh herbs. It is such a well flavored and super balanced sauce that's wholesome and with immediate brightened up effect on plates that would feel dull without it.
So hang in there vegan ranch dressing, you still have a place in my heart. But, when the fresh herbs are all over, then you will have to make some space for Ms. Green Goddess Dressing over here!
Origin of the green goddess dressing
The classic green goddess dressing was first created in the 1920' by a chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California. It was made to honor the actor George Arliss after his role in the play "Green Goddess".
Well, it seems like not only the movie was a hit, but the dressing too as it became quite famous. It is not until the 80's though that it gained most of its popularity, and became considered a health food, I assume due to its bright green color.
Nowadays, you will find green-goddess-everything like smoothies, bowls, salads, pasta, etc.
Making an avocado green goddess dressing that's vegan
A classic green goddess dressing is usually made using mayonnaise (or sour cream), anchovies, herbs, lemon juice and black pepper. You will find many variations to the traditional recipe with the addition of greek yogurt or even some eggs or buttermilk. All this sounds not that vegan-friendly, right?
To make a vegan green goddess dressing, then we have to skip on the dairy creamy base. In this case, I used a combination of vegan yogurt + avocado, which I found gave me the best final texture. The yogurt adds some tartness and a "white" creamy texture that's appetizing while the avocado keeps a rich and "fatty" consistency, even without the mayo or sour cream.
Ingredients you'll need
This recipe is highly customizable and such an amazing way to use up fresh herbs that are left behind before they go bad.
- Vegan yogurt: I used the Greek style almond yogurt from Kite Hill.
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh cilantro (or basil, dill, mint)
- Green onion
- Nutritional yeast (optional)
As a side note, I tested with and without the nutritional yeast and although a green goddess sauce don't have a cheesy flavor, I found that the nutritional added a deeper flavor with hints of a dairy taste. You can omit it if you don't have it though.
How to make it
This sauce will be ready within 10 minutes with minimal chopping as everything goes in the food processor. So, it is more of a matter of gathering the ingredients together, then a quick blend and done, super easy!
Step 1- Purée
Add the yogurt, avocado, lemon juice, garlic, salt and nutritional yeast to the food processor. Process until super smooth.
Step 2- Pulse
Then, add the fresh herbs and green onion and pulse until desired consistency. You can make your dressing as smooth or as chunky as you want. I love mine where I can still see some flakes of herbs, so I usually pulse a few times, then stir with a spatula and pulse a few extra times.
Step 3- Taste and adjust
Do some taste testing and feel free to adjust the amount of tart lemon juice and saltiness, but also, add a few tablespoons of water for a thinner sauce.
For a dip, I usually don't add any water, but if I want to make a salad or want to drizzle a sauce over bowl, then I'll add some. This is up to you and what you are looking for.
Step 4- And serve!
The sauce is ready to be served right away, no need to chill first. Sprinkle with some chopped herbs if serving as a dip or transfer to a pourable jar so you can drizzle over bowls and noodles.
Watch how to make it
Tips when making this sauce
- For an extra smooth sauce, then you can use your blender to make it or add the ingredients all at once in your food processor and process on high speed. Adding the herbs as a second phase allows you to pulse to hold on some texture, but that's optional.
- Be sure to use ripe avocado without any dark bitter spots for best flavor.
- The sauce is pretty thick as is, so don't forget to adjust the consistency adding some water or plant milk.
What if I don't have a food processor?
You can easily use a blender to make it. Although be sure to add the herbs after all the other ingredients were blended to smooth first so you can only do a few gentle pulse.
Alternatively, you can make this even if you don't have a food processor or blender: start by mashing the avocado as smooth as you can with a fork, then transfer to a bowl and add the yogurt, salt, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and crush the garlic right in the bowl. Whisk vigorously. Then chop the herbs as small as you can and incorporate into the smooth sauce, adding a few tablespoon of water to thin the sauce as needed.
Variation to the recipe
You can play around with the herbs depending on what you already have on hand. Try to include parsley if you can, but then you can swap the cilantro for basil, mint or dill. This recipe is a fun way to use any leftover herbs! Also:
- Tart flavor: Swap the lemon juice for apple cider vinegar to taste. It adds a fun tart flavor that pairs so well with the herbs. As a side note, you might need to adjust how much lemon juice you want to add depending on the vegan yogurt you are using. Some are naturally more tart than others, so tweak the amount as needed.
- Onion flavor: Instead of the green onion, you can use chives or even some raw white onion. Use a small amount to start with and add more as needed as it can be quite pungent.
- Spice profile: Also, feel free to add different spices to your sauce, like curry powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne or black pepper.
It is incredible how many ways you can use this sauce! My favorite way is definitely to generously drizzle over bowls, like this vegan green buddha bowl, but here are some other ideas:
- Use instead of mayo in sandwiches or burgers (amazing paired with this vegan chickpea burger!).
- Stir in pasta or potato salads.
- Add generous dollops in tacos, like in these vegan fish tacos.
- Perfect as a dip for raw veggies, falafels, pita bread or even crackers.
- Add over pizza to freshen them up.
- Makes for an amazing salad dressing too.
Oftentimes, avocado will turn brown after being in contact with ambient air. I did notice though that this sauce retained its beautiful green color and stayed fresh for a few days, thanks to the acidic lemon juice.
To help preserve this sauce, then transfer to a storage container, place a saran wrap over (make it touch the surface of the sauce) and keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Whisk well before using.
I do not recommend to freeze it as the yogurt in the sauce will change in texture after defrosting.
Yes! This sauce is naturally free from gluten.
I tested with both coconut yogurt and almond yogurt and they both worked out well. They have similar texture, although I find the almond yogurt slightly creamier (or less jelly-like). Also, depending on the brand, you might have to adjust how much lemon juice you want to add as they vary slightly in how tart they are. And, make sure to use plain yogurt so you don't end up with vanilla flavored green goddess sauce!
Make sure to use coconut yogurt to make this sauce and it will be nut-free.
You can use 2 avocados and skip on the yogurt if you want. In this case, you will definitively have to add some water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. If you have to use too much water, then adjust the other flavoring ingredients accordingly.
Other herby sauces you might like
- Vegan avocado ranch dressing
- Vegan mint and dill tzatziki
- Vegan creamy pesto sauce
- Vegan Italian dressing
I hope you enjoy this avocado green goddess dressing as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Avocado Green Goddess Dressing (Vegan and Oil-Free)
- Food processor
Vegan Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
- 1 cup vegan plain yogurt - unsweetened
- 1 small-medium avocado - ripe
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt - or to taste
- 1 cup fresh cilantro - or other fresh herbs like dill, mint or basil
- ¾ cup fresh parsley
- 1 green onion or 2 tbsp fresh chives
- To a food processor, add the yogurt, avocado, garlic, lemon juice, salt and nutritional yeast. Process until very smooth.
- Then, add the fresh herbs and green onion and pulse a few times until desired texture. For a thinner sauce, add some water (1-2 tablespoon at the time) and process again.
- Serve right away as a dip, stirred in pasta salads, garnishing buddha bowls, in green salads, sandwiches, etc.
- I used the Greek style almond yogurt from Kite Hill. You might have to adjust how much lemon juice to use depending on the tart level of the yogurt you choose.
- Storage tips: transfer to an air-tight container and cover with a plastic wrap touching the surface of the sauce. This can help the sauce to brown (due to the avocado being in contact with ambient air). Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Do not freeze.