Green Goddess Pesto Sauce

published Jul 16, 2021
Green Goddess Pesto Sauce

This all-purpose summer sauce is great for dipping, spreading, and marinating.

Makesabout 2 1/2 cups

Prep10 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

When I want big flavor without a ton of effort, I turn to this green goddess pesto sauce. Packed with garlic, lemon, avocado, and a medley of herbs, this all-purpose sauce adds a burst of fresh summer flavor to everything in touches. It’s got all the creaminess you expect from green goddess dressing while also featuring the best parts of pesto: fresh basil, garlic, and lots of good olive oil. Why settle for one when you can have both?

Use this sauce to liven up your breakfasts (it’s delicious on toast), complete a crudité platter (it’s fabulous for dipping), or as a flavor-packed sidekick to any summer dinner.

My 5 Favorite Ways to Use This Summer Sauce

Once you try your first taste of this versatile sauce, you’ll understand why I always double the recipe. Here’s how I use it.

  1. As a salad dressing: It’s great on Cobb salads, pasta salads, caprese salads, panzanella, or just a simple bed of greens.
  2. As a sandwich spread: Try it with cold cuts or even a grilled cheese.
  3. As a dip: Pair it with crunchy summer veggies — or a big bag of tortilla chips.
  4. As a marinade: Use it as a marinade for chicken, beef, seafood, or veggies. Marinate meat for as little as 30 minutes and up to 5 hours; seafood and veggies only need 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. As a finishing sauce: Brush a thin layer of the sauce onto any protein during the final minutes of cooking. 
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

How to Freeze Green Goddess Pesto Sauce

This big-batch recipe is perfect for freezing. I like to spoon it into ice cube trays (for smaller portions) or small Mason jars (for larger ones) and then stick it in the freezer. To thaw, place the ice cubes or Mason jar in the fridge for six to eight hours, or overnight. Once defrosted, stir the sauce until smooth, and use it within one to two days.

Green Goddess Pesto Sauce

This all-purpose summer sauce is great for dipping, spreading, and marinating.

Prep time 10 minutes

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Nutritional Info


  • 1 bunch

    fresh basil

  • 1/2 bunch

    fresh parsley

  • 1 bunch


  • 1

    medium avocado

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup

    plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/4 cup

    cold water

  • 2 cloves


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the following, placing them in a high-powered blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment as you complete them: Pick the leaves from 1 medium bunch fresh basil until you have 2 loosely packed cups. Pick the leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh parsley until you have 1 loosely packed cup. Cut 1 bunch scallions crosswise into 2-inch-wide pieces until you have 1 cup. Halve and pit 1 medium avocado, then scoop out the flesh. Juice 1 medium lemon until you have 2 tablespoons juice.

  2. Add 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup cold water, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds black pepper. Blend or process until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and season with more kosher salt or black pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.