Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe – An Inspired Dressing

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Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe bursts with freshness. It’s a homemade mix of crisp greens, ripe avocados, and juicy tomatoes. Tossed in a zesty, herb-filled dressing, it’s a healthful delight. Ideal for a light lunch or a side dish, this salad aims to satisfy with its blend of textures and flavors. Remember, the secret lies in its tangy, creamy dressing, making each bite a memorable experience. Perfect for health-conscious gourmets!

Embarking on a culinary journey across Europe and the Middle East, I discovered a treasure in the form of Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe. This recipe became a staple in my kitchen, reminiscent of the vibrant flavors savored in bustling markets and quaint cafes.

Plate and Spoon

In today’s fast-paced world, finding a meal that is both nutritious and quick to prepare can be challenging. Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe offers a refreshing solution. 

Inspired by my travels, this salad blends the lushness of fresh greens with the creamy richness of avocados, all wrapped in a herb-infused dressing. 

It’s a dish my friends often request during gatherings and my children’s top pick for a wholesome meal. This recipe brings a slice of my travel experiences to the table. 

It provides a convenient, healthy option for those busy days. Give it a try, and let the flavors transport you to distant lands.

What Is Melissa Green Goddess Salad?

Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad is a vibrant and healthy dish, perfect for those seeking a nutritious yet delicious meal. It features a mix of fresh greens like spinach or lettuce, complemented by creamy avocado slices and juicy tomatoes. 

The salad’s standout feature is its signature Green Goddess dressing, a blend of fresh herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, delivering a burst of flavor. 

This salad is not only a feast for the eyes but also offers a variety of textures and tastes, making it a popular choice for a wholesome, satisfying meal.

What Is The Origin Of Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe?

The origin of the Green Goddess Salad, which Melissa’s recipe is a variation of, traces back to the 1920s in San Francisco, California. 

Chef Philip Roemer first created it at the Palace Hotel in honor of actor George Arliss, who starred in the play The Green Goddess. 

The salad’s distinctive dressing, made from a blend of mayonnaise, anchovies, chives, tarragon, lemon juice, and pepper, gives it its characteristic green color and rich flavor. 

Over the years, the recipe has evolved, with variations like Melissa’s incorporating different greens and additional ingredients, making it a versatile and enduringly popular dish.

Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe

Ingredients List

Salad Base

Green cabbage (or iceberg lettuce)1 small head
Chives1/4 cup
Green onion or scallions1 bundle

Green Goddess Dressing

Lemon juiceJuice of 2 lemons
Olive oil1/4 cup
Rice vinegar2 tablespoons
Garlic2 cloves
Shallot1 small
Chives (optional)1/3 cup
Nuts (walnuts, cashews, or nut of choice)1/4 cup
Fresh torn basil leaves1 cup
Fresh spinach1 cup
Nutritional yeast1/3 cup
Salt1 teaspoon

What Are The Variations Suitable For The Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe?

Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe is versatile, allowing numerous adaptations to suit different dietary preferences and tastes.

Protein Boost

Add grilled chicken, shrimp, tofu, or chickpeas.

Nutty Twist

Incorporate toasted almonds, pecans, or walnuts.

Fruity Infusion

Mix in diced apples, strawberries, or dried cranberries.

Cheese Upgrade

Try crumbled feta, goat cheese, or shaved Parmesan.

Veggie Medley

Include roasted beets, bell peppers, or grilled zucchini.

Grain Addition

Toss in quinoa, farro, or couscous for heartiness.

Herbaceous Flair

Experiment with fresh basil, mint, or cilantro.

Dressing Alteration

Substitute Greek yogurt for creaminess or add a hint of honey for sweetness.

What Are The Tips For The Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe?

  • Freshness is Key: Use the freshest greens and herbs for a vibrant taste.
  • Dressing Consistency: Blend the dressing until smooth. Adjust its thickness by adding more olive oil or lemon juice.
  • Balance of Flavors: Taste and adjust the dressing’s seasoning with salt, pepper, or lemon juice for a perfect balance.
  • Variety in Greens: Experiment with different greens like arugula or mixed baby greens for diverse flavors and textures.
  • Chill the Dressing: Refrigerate the dressing for an hour before serving to enhance its flavors.
  • Garnish Options: Add toasted nuts or seeds for an extra crunch.
  • Serving Tip: Toss the salad with dressing just before serving to keep it crisp.
  • Customization: Feel free to add proteins like grilled chicken or chickpeas for a more filling salad.
  • Herb Choices: Use green onions or other fresh herbs if chives aren’t available.
  • Portion Control: Adjust ingredient quantities based on the number of servings needed.

Are There Any Unusual Or Exotic Ingredients That Work Well With Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe?

  • Edible Flowers: Add color and a subtle floral note with nasturtiums or pansies.
  • Exotic Fruits: Mango or dragon fruit can introduce a sweet, tropical twist.
  • Seaweed: Thinly sliced nori or dulse brings a savory, umami flavor.
  • Ancient Grains: Quinoa or farro can add texture and nuttiness.
  • Microgreens: Use these for a concentrated burst of flavor and nutrients.
  • Unusual Nuts: Try candied pecans or macadamia nuts for a sweet and crunchy element.
  • Herb Varieties: Experiment with lesser-known herbs like lemon balm or lovage.
  • Cheese Varieties: A sprinkle of feta or goat cheese adds a creamy tang.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Pickled radishes or onions can introduce a zesty, tangy note.
  • Specialty Vinegar: Use sherry or balsamic vinegar in the dressing for a distinct flavor profile.
Bowl and Salad

Recipe Directions

  • Prepare Salad Base: Place all the salad ingredients (green cabbage or iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, chives, and green onion or scallions) in a large bowl.
  • Blend Dressing: In a blender, add all liquid dressing ingredients first (lemon juice, olive oil, and rice vinegar). Then add the dry ingredients (garlic, shallot, chives, nuts, basil leaves, spinach, nutritional yeast, and salt). Blend until the dressing is smooth.
  • Combine and Serve: Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl. Toss well to ensure the salad is evenly coated with the dressing.
  • Enjoy: Serve immediately for the freshest taste, or let the salad sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to allow the flavors to meld together.

Try Melissa Green Goddess Salad—full of yummy greens and flavor.

What Herbs And Spices Work Well In Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe?

  • Basil: Offers a sweet, peppery flavor that compliments the greens.
  • Tarragon: Introduces a unique anise-like taste, adding complexity.
  • Parsley: Adds a fresh, slightly bitter note that balances the creamy dressing.
  • Dill: Gives a grassy and slightly citrusy dimension, perfect with cucumber.
  • Mint: Provides a cool, refreshing touch, ideal for summer salads.
  • Cilantro: Brings a bright, lemony flavor, especially good with avocado.
  • Black Pepper: Enhances overall flavor with a mild heat.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Adds a spicy kick, if desired.
  • Garlic Powder: For an extra garlic punch in the dressing.
  • Cumin: Introduces a warm, earthy note, pairing well with the herbs.
  • Lemon Pepper: Combines citrus and spice, accentuating the lemon juice in the dressing.
Goddess Salad Recipe

Nutritional Values

Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad is a nutritional powerhouse. Thanks to the fresh greens and vegetables, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals. The avocados add healthy fats and fiber, promoting heart health. 

The nuts and seeds in the dressing provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids. With its low-calorie count and high nutrient density, this salad is an excellent choice for those seeking a balanced, healthful meal, contributing to overall wellness and vitality.

What Are The Total Calories In The Salad?

The total calorie count in Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad can vary based on the specific ingredients and quantities used. However, a standard serving typically contains approximately 200-300 calories. 

Health Benefits Of The Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe

Rich In Vitamins And Minerals

Greens and vegetables provide essential nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and folate.

Heart Health

Avocado and olive oil contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Digestive Health

High fiber content from greens and vegetables aids digestion.

Weight Management

Low in calories and high in fiber, it’s filling and can aid in weight control.

Antioxidant Rich

Ingredients like spinach and basil offer antioxidants, combating oxidative stress.

Bone Health

Greens are a good source of vitamin K, essential for bone health.

Immune Support

Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system.

Skin Health

Nutrients like vitamin E and antioxidants promote healthy skin.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Ingredients like garlic and nuts have anti-inflammatory effects.

Energy Boosting

Balanced nutrients provide sustained energy.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Dressings Are Best Served With Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad?

  • Classic Green Goddess Dressing: A herby, creamy dressing with a tangy flavor, traditionally made with anchovies, herbs, and mayonnaise.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette: A light and zesty option, perfect for adding a citrusy spark to the salad.
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette: Offers a sweet and tangy contrast, enhancing the fresh ingredients.
  • Ranch Dressing: A creamy and herb-infused choice, providing a familiar and comforting taste.
  • Caesar Dressing: A richer, more indulgent option, with a depth of flavor from Parmesan and anchovies.
  • Avocado Dressing: Creamy and smooth, doubling the avocado’s natural richness.
  • Honey Mustard Dressing: Delivers a sweet and tangy kick, complementing the salad’s freshness.
  • Tahini Dressing: Adds a nutty, creamy texture, ideal for a Middle Eastern twist.
  • Greek Yogurt Dressing: A healthier, lighter alternative to traditional creamy dressings, with a tangy finish.
  • Cilantro Lime Dressing: Bright and refreshing, it’s perfect for adding a zesty, herby note.
Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe

Experience the magic of greens and herbs in Melissa Green Goddess Salad recipe.

Are There Any Unique Toppings That Can Elevate The Crunch Factor Of Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad?

  • Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and roasted for a crispy, protein-rich addition.
  • Sunflower Seeds: Nutty and slightly toasted for extra texture.
  • Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas): Add a delightful crunch with a hint of earthiness.
  • Sliced Almonds: Lightly toasted for a subtle, nutty crunch.
  • Crumbled Rice Cakes: A gluten-free option that provides a light, airy crunch.
  • Sesame Sticks: Offer a savory and crunchy twist.
  • Wonton Strips: Thin and crispy, adding an Asian-inspired crunch.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: Bursting with juicy flavor and crunchy texture.
  • Crispy Quinoa: Toasted quinoa provides a unique, nutty crunch.
  • Homemade Croutons: Made from whole-grain bread for a hearty, rustic crunch.
Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe

What Is The Difference Between Homemade And Store-Bought Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad?

  • Freshness: Homemade versions use fresher ingredients, offering a more vibrant taste and texture.
  • Ingredient Control: Making it at home allows for the customization of ingredients based on dietary needs and preferences.
  • Flavor: Homemade dressing typically has a richer, more authentic flavor due to fresh herbs and quality oils.
  • Nutrition: Store-bought versions may contain preservatives and additives, while homemade salads are free, making them healthier.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Preparing the salad at home is often more economical than buying pre-made salads.
  • Portion Sizes: Homemade salads can be tailored to the exact serving size needed, reducing waste.
  • Dressing Consistency: Unlike the standardization in store-bought versions, homemade dressings can be adjusted to preferred consistency and flavor.
  • Environmental Impact: Making salad at home reduces packaging waste associated with store-bought salads.
  • Personal Satisfaction: There’s a sense of accomplishment and a personal touch in preparing meals at home.
  • Preservation of Nutrients: The quick preparation of homemade salads ensures maximum retention of nutrients, which can be diminished in pre-packaged salads due to storage.

How Can You Store Or Preserve The Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad Leftovers?

  • Separate Dressing: Store the salad and dressing separately to keep the greens crisp.
  • Airtight Containers: Use airtight containers to store the salad and dressing in the refrigerator.
  • Paper Towel Trick: Place a paper towel over the salad before sealing the container to absorb excess moisture.
  • Consume Quickly: Enjoy leftovers within 1-2 days for best quality.
  • Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended as it will significantly alter the salad’s texture.
  • Refresh Before Serving: If the salad appears slightly wilted, refresh it with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar before serving.
  • Refrigerate Promptly: Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible to maintain freshness.
  • Keep Dressing Thick: If the dressing has thinned out, thicken it with a small amount of Greek yogurt or mayonnaise before reusing.
Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment List

  • Blender or Food Processor: Essential for making a smooth, creamy dressing.
  • Salad Spinner: Helps to wash and dry greens thoroughly.
  • Chopping Board: A large one allows ample space for chopping vegetables.
  • Sharp Knives: Essential for finely chopping herbs and vegetables.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurement of ingredients.
  • Citrus Juicer: Useful for extracting fresh lemon juice for the dressing.
  • Peeler: Handy for peeling cucumbers or other vegetables if needed.
  • Garlic Press: Simplifies the process of mincing garlic.
  • Mixing Bowls: Various sizes for mixing salad and dressing separately.
  • Whisk: Useful if the dressing is mixed by hand instead of a blender.
  • Mortar and Pestle: For grinding nuts or seeds, if included in the recipe.
  • Tongs: Helpful for tossing and serving the salad evenly.
  • Microplane Grater: Ideal for grating garlic, shallots, or zesting lemons.
  • Mason Jars: Perfect for storing and shaking up the dressing.
  • Salad Plates or Large Serving Bowl: For an attractive salad presentation.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can prepare parts of this salad in advance. Chop the vegetables and make the dressing a day ahead, but store them separately in the refrigerator. 

Toss them together just before serving to maintain the freshness and crunch of the vegetables. The dressing’s flavor is enhanced when allowed to sit and meld together for a few hours.

What If I Don’t Have All The Ingredients For The Dressing?

The dressing is quite flexible. If you’re missing an ingredient, you can often substitute it with something similar. For example, green onions can be a good substitute if you don’t have chives. 

Missing nuts? Seeds like sunflower or pumpkin can work. The key is maintaining the balance of creamy, tangy, and herby flavors.

Is Melissa’s Green Goddess Salad Vegan?

The salad base is vegan, but the traditional dressing recipe includes anchovies. For a vegan version, omit anchovies and use plant-based substitutes for dairy products. You can also use nutritional yeast to add a cheesy flavor without actual cheese.

How Can I Add Protein To This Salad?

For added protein, consider including grilled chicken, tofu, chickpeas, or boiled eggs. These protein sources complement the flavors of the salad well and make it more filling, suitable for a complete meal.

How Long Does The Salad Last In The Fridge?

Once dressed, the salad is best eaten immediately. However, if you have leftovers, they can last in the fridge for about a day. 

Remember that the greens will start to wilt, so it’s best to enjoy the salad fresh. If you anticipate leftovers, consider dressing only the portion you plan to eat immediately.

Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe - An Inspired Dressing

Melissa Green Goddess Salad Recipe – An Inspired Dressing

0 from 0 votes
Course: Salads

4 – 6

Prep time


Cooking time



200 – 300


Melissa Green Goddess Salad is a fresh, vibrant dish combining a variety of greens, crisp cucumbers, and succulent tomatoes, all brought together with a creamy, herb-infused Green Goddess dressing. This salad is a feast for the eyes and a delight for the taste buds, offering a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Ideal for a healthy lunch or as a side, it’s both nourishing and satisfying.


  • Salad Base
  • 1 Small Head 1 Green Cabbage (or Iceberg Lettuce)

  • 3 – 4 3 – 4 Cucumbers

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Chives

  • 1 Bundle 1 Green Onion Or Scallions

  • Green Goddess Dressing
  • 2 2 Lemon Juice

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Olive Oil

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Rice Vinegar

  • 2 Cloves 2 Garlic

  • 1 Small 1 Shallot

  • 1/3 Cup 1/3 Chives (Optional)

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Nuts (Walnuts, Cashews, Or Nut Of Choice)

  • 1 Cup 1 Fresh Torn Basil Leaves

  • 1 Cup 1 Fresh Spinach

  • 1/3 Cup 1/3 Nutritional Yeast

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Salt

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare The Salad Base
    Begin by gathering all your salad ingredients.
    Add a large bowl and a finely diced small head of green cabbage (or iceberg lettuce), cucumbers, finely diced chives, and a bundle of chopped green onion or scallions.
    Toss these ingredients lightly to mix them well.
  • Make The Green Goddess Dressing
    In a blender, start by adding the liquid ingredients for the dressing: juice of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar.
    Next, add the dry ingredients to the blender: 2 cloves of garlic, 1 small shallot, 1/3 cup of chives (if using), 1/4 cup of nuts (walnuts, cashews, or your choice), 1 cup of fresh torn basil leaves, 1 cup of fresh spinach, 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
    Blend all these ingredients until the dressing becomes smooth and creamy.
  • Combine Salad And Dressing
    Pour the freshly blended dressing over the salad in the bowl.
    Using salad tongs or large spoons, mix the salad and dressing together until everything is well coated.
  • Serve And Enjoy
    Once mixed, the salad is ready to be served.
    Serve it immediately to enjoy the fresh flavors and crisp textures of the salad.

Recipe Video


  • Customization: Feel free to add or substitute ingredients based on your preference or dietary needs.
  • Dressing Tip: For the best flavor, prepare the dressing ahead of time and let it chill.
  • Serving Suggestion: Serve immediately after dressing for maximum freshness.
  • Nut Allergy: Substitute nuts in the dressing with seeds if allergies are a concern.
  • Storage: If there are leftovers, store the salad and dressing separately to maintain freshness.
  • Seasonal Twist: Incorporate seasonal vegetables or fruits to keep the salad exciting and new every time you prepare it.

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