Is Green Goddess Dressing Fattening?

Green goddess dressing has become a popular salad dressing option in recent years. Made with ingredients like avocado, anchovies, garlic, herbs, and lemon juice, green goddess dressing has a fresh, zesty flavor that pairs well with salads and vegetables.

But some people wonder, with its creaminess and bold flavor, is green goddess dressing a fattening salad dressing option? Or can it be part of a healthy diet?

Here is a closer look at the nutrition facts and ingredients in green goddess dressing to help determine if it’s a smart choice for your diet or if you should limit how much you consume.

Green Goddess Dressing Nutrition Facts

The nutrition content of green goddess dressing can vary considerably between brands and homemade versions. Here are some general nutrition facts for a typical store-bought green goddess dressing (serving size 2 tablespoons or 30 ml):

Calories 140
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 240 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 1 g

As you can see, a 2 tablespoon serving of green goddess dressing provides 140 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates.

It’s moderately high in calories and fat compared to other salad dressing options. For example, the same serving size of vinaigrette or Italian dressing has around 80-120 calories and 10-12 grams of fat. Ranch dressing has about 140-150 calories and 14 grams of fat per 2 tablespoon serving.

So green goddess dressing falls on the higher end for calories and fat content amongst salad dressings. The type and amount of oil used is the main driver of the calories and fat. Green goddess recipes typically rely on oils like olive oil, avocado oil, or mayonnaise to achieve the characteristic creamy texture.

However, while green goddess dressing is high in fat, the majority comes from unsaturated fats like olive oil or avocado oil. It provides 2 grams of saturated fat per serving, which is a moderate amount.

It’s also low in sugar, with just 1 gram per serving. There are minimal amounts of protein and carbs.

So in terms of nutrients, green goddess dressing derives most of its calories from fat, specifically unsaturated fat. It offers little protein, carbs, or micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients in Green Goddess Dressing

To understand if green goddess dressing is fattening, it’s important to look beyond just the nutrition facts and also analyze the ingredients used to make it.

Here are some of the main ingredients found in most green goddess dressing recipes:

– Oil – Olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil. Provides creaminess and the majority of the calories and fat.

– Mayonnaise – Also contributes fat, calories, and texture. Regular mayo provides around 100 calories and 11 grams of fat per tablespoon.

– Herbs – Like parsley, chives, tarragon, basil. Give flavor without adding calories.

– Anchovies – Small fish. Provide a savory, umami taste in small amounts. Minimal effect on calories.

– Garlic – Also used in small quantities mainly for flavor.

– Lemon Juice – Adds brightness and acidity. No calories or fat.

– Vinegar – Helps emulsify and thicken the dressing. Trace amounts of calories.

– Salt and Pepper – Seasoning that enhances overall flavor.

As you can see, the main fattening ingredients in green goddess dressing are the oil and mayonnaise used as the base. Without these, the dressing would be much lower in calories and fat.

The herbs, lemon, anchovies, garlic, vinegar, and seasonings add most of the characteristic green goddess flavor. But besides the small amount of calories in the anchovies, these ingredients are very low in calories and fat.

So when analyzing if green goddess dressing is fattening, it really comes down to the type of oil and amount of mayonnaise used in the recipe. More oil or full-fat mayo means a more calorie-dense and higher fat dressing.

Is Green Goddess Dressing Healthy?

Given its high fat and calorie content, is green goddess dressing a healthy choice compared to other salad dressing options? Or is it considered an unhealthy, fattening choice that’s best limited in a healthy diet?

Here are some points to consider:

– Made with healthy fats – While green goddess dressing is high in fat and calories, it’s primarily from unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado oil. This makes it healthier than dressings made with more saturated or trans fats.

– Minimally processed – Homemade versions contain ingredients you’d find in a home kitchen like oil, herbs, lemon, and mayo. Store-bought brands still tend to have a fairly simple ingredients list.

– No added sugars – Green goddess dressing gets its flavor from herbs, garlic, anchovies and lemon rather than added sugars. This makes it lower in sugar than many other dressings.

– Fresh taste – The herb and lemon flavors make green goddess dressing taste bright and fresh. It complements salads and vegetables well by enhancing their natural flavors.

– Can be lower fat – Homemade or lighter versions can cut back on full-fat mayo and oil to reduce the fat and calorie content.

– Rich flavor – The creaminess and bold flavors mean you often use less dressing compared to other options.

So while green goddess dressing is higher in calories and fat than vinaigrette, its primarily unsaturated fat content, minimal added sugars, and fresh taste make it a healthier option than many other creamy dressings.

Of course, as with any dressing, portion control is important. Limiting to the recommended serving size of 2 tablespoons will help keep calories under control.

How Fattening Is Green Goddess Dressing?

To summarize so far – green goddess dressing derives most of its calories from fat, with a 2 tablespoon serving providing around 140 calories and 14 grams of fat. This makes it moderately high in calories and fat compared to vinaigrette dressing.

However, it’s made primarily with healthy unsaturated fats like olive oil. It also contains minimal sugars and uses fresh herbs and spices for flavor rather than sugar or salt.

So is green goddess dressing very fattening if you use it regularly on your salads? Or can it fit into a healthy diet in moderation?

Here are some factors that help determine how fattening green goddess dressing is:

– Ingredients used – Homemade dressings or brands made with healthier oils, light mayo, and less added salt will be lower in calories and fat. Choosing these options can help minimize the fattening potential.

– Serving size – Sticking to the recommended 2 tablespoon serving size helps control calories. Being heavy-handed with pouring dressing dramatically increases the calorie intake.

– Frequency of use – Occasionally using green goddess dressing on salads is unlikely to significantly impact waistline. But using it daily could tip the calorie scales. Limiting to a few times a week keeps intake moderate.

– Exercise habits – Burning off extra dressing calories through regular exercise provides more flexibility for enjoying richer dressings while managing weight.

– Overall diet – Green goddess dressing can fit into an otherwise healthy diet focused on lean proteins, produce, fiber-rich grains, legumes, and healthy fats. It’s filling up on processed foods that really packs on pounds.

So while green goddess dressing is moderately high in calories for a salad dressing, portions, frequency, activity level, and diet quality all impact whether it contributes to weight gain or can be enjoyed as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Having it in moderation on salads that include nutrient-dense ingredients like leafy greens, vegetables, chickpeas, nuts or seeds can allow you to savor the flavor without sabotaging your diet. But pouring it liberally over starchy sides or using it daily could tip the scales.

Tips for Making Green Goddess Dressing Healthier

Here are some easy ways to lighten up green goddess dressing to cut back on fat and calories:

– Use light mayonnaise or Greek yogurt instead of regular mayo. Saves about 50 calories and 5 grams of fat per tablespoon.

– Substitute avocado oil or olive oil for vegetable oils. They have high amounts of healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

– Cut back slightly on oil. Using 3-4 tablespoons instead of 6 tablespoons per recipe cuts nearly 100 calories of fat.

– Boost the herbs and spices. Parsley, chives, tarragon and garlic provide lots of flavor for minimal calories.

– Increase the lemon juice or add a splash of vinegar. Brightens up the dressing without adding calories.

– Thin it out with a spoon or two of water. Achieves a pourable consistency with less oil.

– Use sparingly on salads and drizzle on vegetables. You’ll use less if it’s not being poured directly on greens.

Healthier Salad Options With Green Goddess Dressing

While green goddess dressing is higher in fat than vinaigrettes, its creamy texture and bold herb flavor still make it a smart topping for nutritious salads and vegetables.

Here are some healthy salad ideas that are complemented with green goddess dressing:

– Kale salad – Massaged kale, carrots, chickpeas, avocado, sunflower seeds, with green goddess dressing. Healthy greens, plant-based protein, fiber and texture.

– Greek salad – Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, olives, feta cheese, onion, with green goddess dressing. Lots of fresh vegetables.

– Cobb salad – Greens, hard boiled eggs, avocado, bacon, chicken, tomatoes, blue cheese, with green goddess dressing. Lean protein and produce.

– Chopped vegetable salad – Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cherry tomatoes, parsley, with green goddess dressing. Packed with nutrients.

– Grilled chicken & quinoa salad – Mixed greens, grilled chicken, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, goat cheese, with green goddess dressing. Balanced mix of lean protein, healthy grains, fruits, and veggies.

– Taco salad – Shredded lettuce, black beans, roasted corn, salsa, avocado, tortilla chips, with green goddess dressing. Plant-based proteins and lots of fiber.

The key is filling up on whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, fiber-rich carbohydrates and healthy fats. When green goddess dressing is paired with nutritious ingredients in reasonable portions, it can be part of an overall balanced diet.

Healthier Alternatives to Green Goddess Dressing

While green goddess dressing has some merits as a salad topper, if you are looking to cut back on calories, fat, or sodium, here are some healthier salad dressing options:

– Vinaigrettes – Made with vinegar, olive oil, herbs and spices. Significantly fewer calories and fat compared to creamy dressings, with bolder flavor than oil and vinegar.

– Greek yogurt dressing – Combine Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, pepper. Creamy texture with less fat by substituting yogurt for mayo and oil.

– Tahini dressing – Whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and water till smooth. Provides creaminess from sesame seed paste instead of mayo or oil.

– Hummus dressing – Blend hummus with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Chickpeas add protein and fiber.

– Vinegar-based dressings – Rice wine vinegar, balsamic, red wine vinegar provide tangy flavor and tenderize greens without adding fat.

– Oil-free, bottled dressings – Look for brands with 5-20 calories per serving. Often made with vegetable juice or purees for creamy base instead of mayo and oils.

– Salsa or bean dip – Use as a zero-fat dressing alternative to add big flavor to salads.

– Lemon or lime juice – Brightens up greens. Avoid bottled due to added sodium.

So if watching calories or fat intake, be aware of portion sizes with richer dressings like green goddess and also rotate in these lighter options for variety.


Green goddess dressing is a full-flavored salad dressing made creamy with mayonnaise and oil. A 2 tablespoon serving provides around 140 calories and 14 grams of fat, which is moderately high compared to vinaigrette and other lighter dressings.

However, green goddess dressing relies primarily on healthy unsaturated fats like olive and avocado oil for its fat content rather than saturated fats or trans fats. It also provides the benefit of lots of fresh herbs, minimal added sugars, and a bright, fresh flavor.

When used in moderation on salads and veggies focused on whole foods like greens, vegetables, and plant-based proteins, green goddess dressing can fit into an overall healthy diet. Just be mindful of portion sizes, ingredients, and frequency to keep calories in check. Lightening it up by using less oil or substituting Greek yogurt for mayo are easy ways to enjoy the flavor while minimizing the fat and calories.

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