Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
22 Sep

Dairy-Free Green Goddess Dressing

This recipe for Dairy-Free Green Goddess Dressing turns salad into a sumptuous feast. The creamy texture is outrageously good, without any dairy or mayonnaise. How? The trick is blending a little coconut milk with avocado then adding an abundance of fresh herbs to drown out the coconut flavor. The result is a savory, herbal, garlicky dressing that’s shockingly good over greens with chicken, steak or salmon.

You’re welcome to top greens with leftover chicken and drizzle a little oil and lemon juice on top, but why, when you could have a Green Goddess Chicken Salad with Bacon? Simply toss chunks of cooked chicken in Green Goddess dressing and pile it high on a bed of romaine (and other veggies too, if you like). Top liberally with crumbles of bacon and you have a salad you won’t soon forget.

Salad is a favorite Primal meal because it’s fast, it’s healthy and the variations are endless. Whether you’ve been following the Primal lifestyle for awhile or are just getting the hang of it (or back on track) with the 21-Day Challenge, recipes like this make it so easy to eat well.

Hungry for more? Another two-dozen amazing new salad dressing recipes are in the Primal cookbook coming out in December, Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings (learn more below). With recipes this easy and this good, every salad you make will be more than just a meal. It will be a Primal feast.

Dairy-Free Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess salad dressing was invented at a hotel in San Francisco in the early 1900s and has been a classic ever since. In this dairy-free Primal version, coconut milk and avocado replace the sour cream and the mayo.

When you’re making this dressing, don’t worry too much about measuring exact amounts of the herbs – the more the better. Just grab a handful and use cooking shears to snip them into the food processor.

Quantity: 1 cup


  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (60 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (45 ml)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon (15 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1.25 ml)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml)


Blend the first nine ingredients in the food processor until combined.

With the blade running, pour in the oil and process until the dressing thickens and the herbs are finely chopped.

This dressing is best if used within 5 days.

Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings Coming Soon!

Grilled steaks or chops are admittedly great, but what if the right rub or marinade could make them outstanding? Broiled fish is among the healthiest of foods, but seafood dishes often cry out for the added flavor of a savory sauce. Nothing beats salads or steamed veggies for nutritional value, but why not make them more tempting—and even more nutritious—with a flavorful dressing loaded with antioxidants and nourishing fats? And while berries make a delicious snack, the right topping can make them a decadent dessert. Sometimes all it takes to transform an ordinary meal into a mouthwatering culinary masterpiece is an added rub, sauce, marinade, or dressing. Unfortunately, most traditional flavor enhancers contain sugars, trans fats, gluten, MSG, and other objectionable ingredients.

Following the remarkable worldwide success of The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and The Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals, bestselling author Mark Sisson and chef Jennifer Meier team up again to present Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings. Based on the Primal/Paleo eating strategy that has been scientifically proven to help you burn off excess body fat, boost energy, and delay the aging process, Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings offers over 120 easy-to-prepare recipes with an almost infinite number of uses. Finally, you can bring rich and satisfying flavor to healthful meals while adding Omega-3 fats, powerful antioxidants, and other vital nutrients. And you don’t have to compromise great taste or spend hours slaving over complicated preparations. With options organized into convenient categories and presented with vibrant photos and simple directions, you’ll become a Primal kitchen whiz on everything from macadamia salad dressing, to brown butter sage sauce, to coconut milk whipped cream!

Shop Now

Not Sure What to Eat? Get the Primal Blueprint Meal Plan for Shopping Lists and Recipes Delivered Directly to Your Inbox Each Week. Now Available as an App!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Ok, Mark. I don’t usually bother to read recipe postings, but this one caught my eye. I make my salad dressings simply because all (without exception) commercial salad dressings are manufactured by folks who think soy and sugar are food. The recipe I generally use is about 3 oz olive oil + 3 oz vinegar + about a teaspoon of nearly every ground spice in my cabinet (with a few exceptions).

    But now I gotta try this one.


    Howard wrote on September 22nd, 2012
    • Howard, thanks for your recipe, too. I am newly venturing into the world of making my own salad dressings, and am excited to try variety. My salads are all kinds of different, now I want the dressings to be healthy and yummy, too.

      Mary wrote on September 22nd, 2012
      • Guess I should list what I add to my V&O, then. Usually, but not always, about a tsp (except where noted) of each:

        Minced garlic
        Powdered onion
        Hot red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp)
        Black pepper (a pinch or two)
        Spicy Spaghetti Seasoning
        Xanthan gum (a pinch)

        This is not a complete list, because I will toss in other spices if I have them, and sometimes I will leave some out, e.g., I don’t always include the red pepper flakes.

        I also went back and measured the V&O, and found it’s closer to 5 oz each.

        Shake vigorously and let sit at room temperature for about a day to get the spice flavors to blend. Shake vigorously again just before pouring on your salad.

        This amount of dressing is good for about 6-8 lunch-portion salads. No problem with shelf life; with 1/2 vinegar, I would guess it would be good for at least a couple of weeks, but it never lasts that long around my house, so I don’t really know.

        We just got back from the store with the ingredients for Mark’s Green Goddess dressing, and I’m looking forward to trying it out this week.

        Howard wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  2. … and anti-paleo site after site i fall onto talks about how we paleo/primals are starving ourselves into temporary results and subsequent deathly bad health – or the afterlife accelerated.

    my partner and i just an hour ago were chuckling about this idea while satisfying ourselves immensely with a great little grilled steak, steamed cauli and beets fresh from the garden, and some olive oil sautéed potatoes from same said garden.

    aaaahhhh – well – let them eat cake!… 😉

    ravi wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  3. Just like the first post, I use olive oil but I sub out lemon juice for the vinegarand and add a little salt. Shake up and pore.

    Debi wrote on September 22nd, 2012
    • I may try that, too. However, I suspect that without the vinegar, it might not have as long a shelf life.

      I found that if I add salt, the result is a bit too salty, especially since I almost always add bacon, olives, and pickled okra to my salads.

      Howard wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  4. I’m making this tonight. This looks REALLY REALLY good.


    Bob wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  5. I’ve never had traditional Green Goddess dressing, but this looks pretty tasty.

    And I love the idea of the new book. I have noticed that a big difference between SAD eating and primal is how many SAD foods have sauces and dips. Probably because they are bland beige foods, but it certainly does make getting food into my kids easier if they can dip it in something gooey!

    Decaf Debi wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  6. This recipe looks absolutely amazing. I kinda struggle with making salad dressing at home because I get bored with most of them real quick. Plus i am in love with those green potent weeds ( I’m talking about parsley, dill, basil.. ).. So looking forward to trying this recipe.

    Gift Clumsywarrior wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  7. My favorite dressing is olive oil with hot mustard.

    :-P wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  8. Id like to just dive into that food processor and swim around !

    Andi wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  9. Ohhh this looks so good!!!

    Kitty =^..^= wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  10. love this! Love Green Goddess but have avoided it for YEARS!! Thanks for posting this recipe!

    Sandy A. wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  11. Tried this today…Love it.

    Sd wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  12. How funny! I came up with this one all by myself the other day. What I love about it is that it can be tweaked just by what herbs you add. Basil and garlic. Curry. Whatever you feel like.

    Honeybuns wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  13. Made this stuff last night and it was AMAZING! Even without a food processor, all the flavors blended excellently. Didn’t have anchovies on hand either, so I substituted bacon pieces.

    So refreshing to have a salad dressing recipe that doesn’t require me to use mayonnaise! (none of the stores near me have any mayo without soybean and/or canola oil, which means I don’t use mayo anymore)

    Bret wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  14. Just made this and it is awesome! I forgot to buy anchovies (probably because I don’t usually eat them.) Just saw the above posters idea to sub bacon pieces- that’s a great idea! Definitely will have to try that next time. This time around I just added more salt :)

    Amy wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  15. This dressing is lick the plate good! I just made it in my Vitamix. It came out creamier (it’s a whipped consistency) than the pictures, but it tastes garlicky-herby delicious.

    Kristin wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  16. This looks awesome! I don’t think I’ve ever had Green Goddess dressing, but it sounds like a few of my favorite things all rolled into one. Plus, it’s another recipe where I randomly have all the important ingredients hanging around, anyway (yes, even the anchovies).

    P.S., I can’t wait for the healthy sauces, dressings, and toppings book. Those are the little details that take a meal from good to great.

    Deanna wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  17. I made this today. Very yummy.

    Jenny wrote on September 24th, 2012
  18. just had this with my salad tonight:
    marinated chicken
    golden beets
    green goddess dressing

    liz wrote on September 24th, 2012
  19. I made this last night. This is outstanding. I made enough to last me for maybe a week, and it’s so good I could just eat it with a spoon.

    Brad B wrote on September 26th, 2012
  20. Whoa! I have made this twice now and it is going to be a weekly staple in my house. I use it on salads, veggies, as a dip for apples…oh my goodness, it could be delicious with meat too.

    I can’t find fresh tarragon at the store, but I use fresh chives, mint, and thyme from my herb garden as a substitute. Amazing! How did I live before without this recipe?

    Hilary wrote on September 30th, 2012
  21. Also, I’d imagine you could substitute out the parsley for cilantro to make a southwestern salad dressing.

    Hilary wrote on September 30th, 2012
  22. This was soooo good!!! I had it with chicken & bacon on salad like suggested. Perfect! My new fav! Can’t wait for the new book!

    Tiffany Clark wrote on November 4th, 2012
  23. I’m definately going to have to try this. I’m the old fashioned vinegar and oil kind of girl but this recipe looks really good. Thanks for this one.

    Online Gym wrote on November 24th, 2012
  24. Finally made this. It’s amazing. I am so sorry I waited so long. I made a double batch and had it with salad, mixed with tuna, drizzled over chicken, as a dip for veg and hard boiled eggs. It’s perfect for everything.

    Roary wrote on January 27th, 2013
  25. I can’t understand why bacon is being promoted. As a product it is full of salts, nitrates, nitrites, preservatives everything we should be avoiding

    Zak wrote on August 1st, 2013
  26. Now that Mark has created an awesome primal mayo, I wonder if this recipe will be updated to use it. What would be a good substitute for the sour cream?

    inquisitiveone wrote on June 17th, 2015

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