Annie’s tahini goddess dressing, a copycat recipe

December 17, 2008 at 5:20 am (A, Derek's faves, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Sauce/dressing)


Both Derek and I love Annie’s goddess dressing.  It’s a tahini-based dressing that’s savory and rich, and very satisfying.  Annie’s is not sold in Germany, so I’ve decided to try to figure out how to make something similar myself.   I searched around on the web for a while, and came across this taste test from the San Francisco Chronicle that shows that Annie’s Goddess dressing is indeed better than knockoffs by other companies.  The result of the taste test didn’t surprise me, but it did worry me a bit—if big food companies can’t replicate Annie’s dressing, why do I think I have a shot?

I looked around some more on the web, trying to find a copycat recipe.  Although I found tons of posts where people were asking for the recipe, I could find only one post on recipezaar where someone actually attempted to replicate the original. Although the recipe is rated well, it doesn’t seem to follow the constraints given by the Annie’s ingredient list; I decided not to follow this recipe, but rather to try to figure it out on my own.  I looked at the order of ingredients in the ingredient list (ordered by weight) and the nutritional information to try to figure out how much of each ingredient to use.  My first few tries were pretty awful, but after ten attempts, I think I finally nailed it!  Now we can have Annie’s goddess dressing in Saarbruecken whenever we like.  Or maybe I should call it Fannie’s (Fake-Annie’s).

The bottle lists twelve ingredients: Canola Oil, Water, Tahini, Apple Cider Vinegar, Soy Sauce (water, soybeans, sea salt wheat), Lemon Juice, Sea Salt, Garlic, Sesame Seeds, Parsley, Chives, Xanthan Gum.

NUMBER 1

Here’s what I tried in my first attempt:

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 Tbs. water
  • 3.67 Tbs. tahini
  • 1.5 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice [+1 Tbs. to fix it]
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs. parsley [+ more to fix it]
  • 1 Tbs. chives

We tasted it before adding the parsley, chives, or garlic, and it tasted overwhelmingly of tahini, and was very salty.  After I added the parsley it definitely tasted more like Annie’s, although the tahini taste was still way to strong.  We added another tablespoon of lemon juice, and more parsley, which helped cut the tahini and salt a bit. Although the dressing was tasty on our salad, it still wasn’t right.

NUMBER 2

On my second try:

  • 6.5 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 Tbs. water
  • 2 Tbs. tahini
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar [+ more to fix it]
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. fine salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs. parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chives

After tasting it my first thought was “too much soy sauce”!  It wasn’t too salty, just too briny and fermented.  I tried adding more parsley and vinegar to cover up the soy sauce taste, but then it just tasted even more fermented, as well as too acidic.  The tahini flavor wasn’t very strong at all.  This batch was worse than the last one.  I had to cut it with half vinegar to reduce the intensity enough that I wanted to eat it.

NUMBER 3

My friend Katrina came to visit this week, and we (plus Derek) took a weekend trip to Geneva to visit my friend Kathy. I suggested we try to make this dressing, figuring that four minds (and tongues) would be better than one. We started out with this recipe:

  • 55 grams canola oil (about 4 Tablespoons) [+ 1 more Tbs. to fix]
  • 4 Tablespoons water [+ 2 more Tbs. to thin]
  • 60 grams Cortas Tahini (about 3.75 Tablespoons)
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. tamari
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • no sesame seeds
  • 1.33 Tbs. parsley [+ 1 Tbs. to fix]
  • no chives

At this point it tasted a lot like Annie’s, according to Derek.  The texture seemed a bit thick, and it was missing the chive/onion taste, and the parsley flavor was too mild.  So we added another 1 Tbs. canola oil, a pinch of minced red onions, 2 Tbs. of water, and another Tablespoon of chopped parsley.  When I tasted it I thought it tasted pretty good, but that the tahini flavor was actually too weak, and still there wasn’t quite enough parsley flavor.  When we ate it on the salad, I thought it was good, and definitely closer to Annie’s. However, it tasted slightly watered down, and not as salty as the real thing.  Surprisingly, I couldn’t taste much tahini flavor either.  I think the final 2 Tbs. of water was too much.

The tahini you choose will affect this recipe significantly.  In this attempt we used Cortas tahini from Geneve.  It is smooth and not too bitter, and not very roasted tasting.  In 32 grams / 2 Tbs. it contained 240 calories, 19 grams of fat, 5 mg of salt, 6 grams of protein, and 4% each of iron and calcium.

NUMBER 4

On my next attempt (Spring 2009) I made the following:

  • 5 Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 Tbs. water
  • 3 Tbs. tahini (add more if needed, depending on brand)
  • 1.5 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. tamari
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs. minced parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chives

I tasted this and it tasted good, but when tasted right after Annie’s it didn’t taste quite as good.  I couldn’t put my finger on what the difference was.  Annie’s tasted slightly oilier maybe, and less acidic.  Derek thought Annie’s tasted saltier and more lemon-y.  I double checked the nutritional stats compared to Annie’s and it’s pretty similar except that mine has about half the salt.  When we put the dressing on the salad, it didn’t taste like Annie’s at all.  It was really watered down tasting.  Next time I want to use less water, more salt or soy sauce, and double check that the amounts are actually in descending order by weight, according to the Annie’s ingredient list.

NUMBER 5

The next try (12/26/2009):

  • 1/3 cup canola oil (80 grams)
  • 3 Tbs. water (43 grams)
  • 3.5 Tbs. tahini (56 grams)
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar (29 grams)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. soy sauce (5 grams)
  • 4 tsp. lemon juice (19 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp. + 1/6 tsp. sea salt, coarse (~ 9? grams)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, crushed (~6 grams I think)
  • 1.5 tsp. hulled, toasted sesame seeds (5 grams)
  • ~ 2 Tbs. parsley, about 7? grams
  • chives (didn’t have any)

total dressing made: 229 grams, 8.1 ounces (after many, many tiny tastes)

So on this try I started out with the previous recipe but used only 2 Tbs. water and doubled the soy sauce.  It was definitely better, but the consistency was still way too thin.  It didn’t help that my tahini was very thin and runny.  I added another Tbs. of tahini (from the bottom, where it was thicker and stiffer), which definitely helped the consistency, although it was still way thinner than real Annie’s.  I think unless I get some xantham gum I should use less water than implied by the ingredient list.  Next time I’ll start with only 1 Tbs. water and add more only if needed to thicken it.  Also, next time I’m going to try to get all thick tahini, none of the runny stuff, and use slightly less, maybe 2.5 – 3 Tbs.  Derek thought it tasted a little more tahini-y than Annie’s.  Also, I toasted my sesame seeds quite well and the final dressing tasted a little too much like toasted sesame.  Next time I will toast them very lightly, if at all.

We did some side-by-side taste tests and clearly the consistency is really different, and the chives are missing, but also the Annie’s just tastes much more intense.   It tastes kind of briny. We decided to add a little more lemon juice and apple cider vinegar (reflected in the totals above), and that seemed to help.  Then I added just a touch more soy sauce (also shown above), which also seemed to help.  I think next time I’d try even more soy sauce and perhaps less salt to compensate.

I compared the stats of this recipe to Annie’s and this recipe looks pretty similar but the salt is still significantly less.  Also, based on the weights and the ingredient list order, I’m still using way too little soy sauce.  I might try upping the soy sauce to 2 tsp.  Also, the other main problem is that there’s too much lemon juice.  Maybe I should decrease the lemon juice a little and add more apple cider vinegar.

NUMBER 6

The plan for next time, start with the lesser amounts and add up to the greater amounts:

  • 1/3 cup canola oil (~80 grams)
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbs. water (~7-14 grams) [I used 1/2 Tbs.]
  • 2.5-3 Tbs. tahini, as thick as possible (~40-47 grams) [I used 3 Tbs. thick tahini]
  • 2 Tbs.  – 2 2/3 Tbs.. apple cider vinegar (~28 – 38 grams) [I used 2 2/3 Tbs.]
  • 1.5 – 2 tsp. soy sauce (~7-9 grams) [used around 2 tsp., don't use more!]
  • 2 tsp -  1 Tbs. lemon juice (~9-14 grams) [I used 1 Tbs.]
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt (~8 grams) [I used 4 grams, a little over 1/2 tsp. kosher salt]
  • 1 medium-large clove garlic, crushed (mine was 6 grams)
  • 1.67 – 2 tsp. hulled sesame seeds, very lightly toasted (~7 grams) [I used 2 tsp., 7 g]
  • 2 Tbs. parsley, chopped coarsely (~7 grams) [I used 1.5 Tbs, 7 grams]
  • 1 Tbs. chopped chives [I used 1 Tbs., 3 grams]

I think it was just a tad too much soy sauce.  Maybe I put in a little over 2 tsp. though.  I unfortunately didn’t measure as carefully as I should have.  I think the amount of apple cider vinegar was good, but there was maybe a tad too much lemon juice.  Also, I think the tahini flavor was too strong, although I may have put in more than I thought.  Also, it was a little too green tasting.  I’d decrease the parsley and chop the greens by hand, and add them after blending.  Derek said it was my best version yet–getting closer!  The plan for next time:

NUMBER 7

  • 1/3 cup canola oil (I used a tad more, about 80 grams)
  • 1 Tbs. water (15 grams) [I ended up adding quite a bit more to compensate for the xanthan]
  • 2.5 Tbs. tahini, as thick as possible (~40 grams)
  • 2 2/3 Tbs.. apple cider vinegar [I used a bit more, ~41 grams]
  • 2 – 2 1/4 tsp. soy sauce (I used around 12 grams)
  • 2.5 tsp  lemon juice (I used around 13 grams)
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt (4.5 grams)
  • 1 medium-large clove garlic, crushed (I used 3 grams)
  • 1 tsp. hulled sesame seeds, very lightly toasted (I used 3 grams)
  • 1 1/3 Tbs. minced parsley (I used ~5 grams)
  • 1 Tbs. minced chives (I used ~2 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

Dec 28, 2010:  It turns out 1/3 cup of canola oil is more like 73g, but I put in 80g.  I toasted my tahini this time, as suggested in the comments.  The tahini didn’t get much thicker, but it did change flavor a bit.  I mixed up this version (before adding the xanthan gum and water), then went to compare it.  I opened a brand new bottle of Annie’s dressing that I just bought in the States.  I started by tasting the Annie’s right out of the bottle, but it didn’t taste at all as I remembered.  Did they change their recipe?  The ingredient list is the same.  Then I saw that there was a watery liquid (vinegar?) at the bottom of the bottle, and so I put the lid back on and shook the dressing well.  It tasted better after that, but still not quite as I remember it.  Derek also immediately said it tasted different.  Strange.  My version tasted quite close, although did seem to be a tad more acidic than Annie’s.  Next time I’ll cut back on the vinegar or lemon juice slightly.

I then added 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum, which turned out to be way too much.  The consistency seemed okay at first but after several hours in the fridge it had thickened considerably.  I had to add tons of water and still it was horribly goopy and gummy textured.  It was so goopy and watered down tasting that I had to throw it away.  Sad.  Next time I’d try just 1/8 tsp. xanthan and 3 Tbs. water.  Before I put in any xanthan gum and any water it was a bit thin, but an okay consistency.  So if you don’t have xanthan gum I’d say omit the water, or just add a very little bit.

NUMBER 8

  • 1/3 cup canola oil (73 grams)
  • 2 2/3 Tbs. water (40 grams)
  • 2 2/3 Tbs. tahini, as thick as possible, toasted (40 grams)
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar (30 grams)
  • 2 2/3 tsp. soy sauce (14.24 grams)
  • 2 2/3 tsp.  lemon juice (13.35 grams)
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt (4.5 grams)
  • 1 medium-large clove garlic, finely minced or crushed (4 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. hulled sesame seeds, very lightly toasted (4 grams)
  • 1 Tbs. minced parsley (3.75 grams)
  • 1 Tbs. minced chives (3 grams)
  • 1/16 tsp. xanthan gum (.325g)

Combine all ingredients except for water, and whisk to combine.  Don’t use a blender. It’s probably best to hold off on adding the water until the end.  You’ll want to add enough at the end only to reach the desired consistency.  If you’re not using xantham gum you might not need any at all.  The two things I’m still not positive about are the apple cider to lemon ratio, and the soy sauce to salt ratio.

I made this immediately after my last fiasco and it tasted way too much of soy sauce, but otherwise it tasted pretty close.  The acid balance was good and so was the consistency.  It was not quite sesame-y enough, but I think that’s just because the soy sauce was masking the sesame flavors.  So next time I’ll start with only 2 tsp. soy sauce and then taste and add another 1/4 tsp. if necessary (up to 12g).  If it’s soy saucy enough but not salty enough I may add another 1/16 tsp. salt.  If it’s still not sesame enough tasting I will increase the tahini and water each to a full 3 Tbs.

Here’s the nutrition info for the real thing vs. my recipe #8.  As you can see, they’re very similar.

Annie’s
Goddess Dressing
Serving Size: 2 Tbs.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 120
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 330mg
Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 4%
Calcium    0% Iron 2%
Annie’s copycat Goddess Dressing
Serving Size: 2 Tbs.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 117
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 333mg
Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 0.6g
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 3%
Calcium    3% Iron 3%

NUMBER 9

  • 1/3 cup canola oil (73 grams)
  • 2 2/3 Tbs. water (40 grams) [possibly less, probably none if you're not using xanthan gum]
  • 2 2/3 Tbs. tahini, as thick as possible, lightly toasted (40 grams)
  • 2 Tbs. + 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (32.5 grams)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. soy sauce (12 grams) [START WITH JUST 2 tsp. (10.7g)]
  • 2 1/4 tsp. lemon juice (11.25 grams)
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt (4.5 grams) [MAY NEED ANOTHER 1/16 tsp., up to 4.87 grams]
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced or crushed (4.75 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. hulled sesame seeds, lightly toasted (4.69 grams)
  • 1 Tbs. minced parsley (3.75 grams)
  • 1 Tbs. minced chives (3 grams)
  • 1/16 tsp. xanthan gum (.325g) [maybe a tad more?]

Combine all ingredients except for water, and whisk or blend to combine.  If you use a blender or stick blender, then wait to add the herbs until after blending.  You want flecks of herbs, not pureed uniform greenness.  It’s probably best to hold off on adding the water until the end.  You’ll want to add enough at the end only to reach the desired consistency.  If you’re not using xantham gum you won’t need any water at all.   Makes about 1 cup, or 8 servings.

I tried this recipe (#9) on Aug 29, 2012.  Two tsp. of soy sauce weighed 15g not 10.7g, so either I measured wrong or some soy sauces weigh more than others.  I’m glad I didn’t use 2 1/4 tsp!  I wonder if the weight has anything to do with how strong they are?  My 2.25 tsp. lemon juice also weighed a bit more than indicated (around 13-14g I think).  My garlic clove weighed 6g, but the final sauce didn’t taste any more garlicky than normal.  I guess a few extra grams of garlic doesn’t make much of a difference.  I used only 3/4 tsp. salt.  I toasted my sesame paste this time, and used dried parsley (1 tsp.) and only 2 Tbs. of water.  The consistency was good.  Perhaps next time I’ll add a tiny bit more xanthan gum and the full amount of water.  The flavor was pretty darn close I think.  It tasted just a tad too lemony and soy saucy, probably because I put a bit too much in.  Also, Derek said the sauce tasted more roasted than Annie’s.  He said it tasted better than Annie’s, but if you want more of a copy cat then roast the tahini less.  In any case, he loved the dressing.  I can’t decide if I like the dried parsley or fresh parsley more.  I think maybe the dried parsley is more authentic tasting, but I’d have to do a side-by-side comparison to be sure.

I wonder how long this dressing lasts in the fridge?  Anyone know?  If it lasts a long time then maybe next time I’ll make double the recipe, so that it fills one of my big Annie’s jars.  Here’s the doubled recipe:

NUMBER 10 (similar to #9, but bigger)

This is very similar to #9, but uses slightly more xanthan gum and water, and the recipe is doubled.  I also rounded the amounts a bit to make it easier to measure.

  • 2/3 cup expeller-pressed canola oil, other neutral oil, or even extra-virgin olive oil (146 grams)
  • 1/3 cup tahini, as thick as possible (80 grams)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (60g) [may need another tsp. for a total of 65 grams]
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. soy sauce (24 grams) [depends on your soy sauce---you may want to START WITH JUST 4 tsp., about 21 grams]
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice (23 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt (9 grams) [MAY NEED ANOTHER 1/8 tsp., up to 10 grams]
  • 2 medium cloves garlic (~9 grams)
  • 1 Tbs. white sesame seeds, lightly toasted til light golden brown (~9 grams after toasting)
  • 2 Tbs. minced parsley (8 grams) [or 2-4 tsp. dried parsley??]
  • 2 Tbs. minced chives (6 grams) [or 2-4 tsp. dried chives??]
  • 3/16 tsp. xanthan gum (~1 gram)
  • 6 Tbs. water (89 grams) [possibly only 1/4 or 1/3 cup, and none if you don't add the xanthan gum]

Instructions:

  1. Measure out your oil into the container you’re going to blend the dressing in.  (I use the tall, narrow, 1-quart container that came with my stick blender.)  Tip: use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to measure the oil, then reuse the cup for the tahini.  You’ll have one less cup to clean and the tahini will come out more easily.
  2. Add the tahini.  Note:  If your tahini is not already made from toasted sesame seeds, then you may want to toast it yourself in a small skillet or pan over low heat until lightly fragrant.  You’ll probably need to toast a little extra to end up with the 80g needed.  (Some is always lost to the pan.)  If you use raw tahini, the dressing will still be good, but perhaps not quite as authentic tasting.
  3. Combine all the remaining ingredients except for water and herbs, and use a stick blender to blend it.  You can also mix the dressing by hand, but then you’ll need to finely mince or crush the garlic, and the sesame seeds won’t get fully integrated.
  4. Finally, stir or whisk in the herbs and water.  You add the herbs after blending because you want flecks of green, not a uniform green/brown color.  It’s best to hold off on adding the water until the end because the amount depends on how thick your tahini was.  You’ll want to add just enough water to reach the desired consistency.  If you’re not using xantham gum you probably won’t need any water at all.  
  5. Makes about 2 cups, or 16 two-tablespoon (~30g) servings.  Fits perfectly into one of the larger Annie’s dressing bottles.  You’ll just need a funnel to fill it.  Or you can just leave it in the container you blended it in, or transfer it to a pint-size ball jar.

I need to double-check the weight measurements for the soy sauce, the lemon juice, the sesame seeds, and the herbs.

Update July 15, 2013:  I made recipe number 10 last night but with a few changes.  The only oil I had around was extra-virgin olive oil, so that’s what I used.  I was afraid it was going to change the flavor substantially, but actually it was quite subtle.  When I tasted the dressing by itself the olive oil was subtle but definitely detectable, but on the salad I didn’t really notice it.  And Derek didn’t notice it at all.  I was measuring everything in a bit of a rush so put in slightly too much oil (150g) and tahini (around 92g), and used 22g soy sauce.  I didn’t toast my tahini, and I actually don’t know if it was made from toasted sesame seeds or not.  It’s not too pale looking but it’s not particularly dark either.  I used fresh parsley but dried chives.  I blended the dressing after adding the herbs, but it didn’t seem to have a detrimental effect.

The final dressing had a good consistency from the xanthan gum, and a good flavor, but was pretty salty tasting.  I added a few more squeezes of lemon juice and another 2 tsp. dried chives, but it didn’t change much–still pretty salty tasting.  But on the salad (greens, beets, and fennel) the dressing tasted almost perfect.  Pretty darn close to the real thing.  Derek said it was even better than the last batch I made (although that was quite a while ago so I’m not sure he really remembers).

Rating: A
Derek: A

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80 Comments

  1. Soulwright said,

    I love Annie’s dressing – and this sounds delicious. I am going to give it a try.

  2. Ben said,

    I just finished off a bottle of Goddess and had the same impulse: “What a simple ingredient list, most of which I have around now; I could make this!” I’m glad to see someone else has put in the effort to try to crack the code. I’m going to experiment, too! Thanks for posting!

    Do you think the xanthan gum could be the texture key? It also must affect flavor– I see it’s fermented sugar. Hmm.

    • captious said,

      I’m not sure about the xantham–I’ve never used it before. If you try this recipe, or come up with a better approximation, please do share!

  3. OPK said,

    I just made my own version that I think came out pretty great. Doesn’t taste exactly like Annie’s, but I think it tastes fresher:

    1 tbs chives
    2 tbs parsley
    1 clove garlic
    3 tbs tahini
    2 tbs cider vinegar
    2 tbs lemon juice
    1/4 tsp dijon mustard
    2 tbs yogurt
    1 tsp Bragg’s amino acids or soy sauce
    1/2 cup olive oil
    pinch of salt and pepper

    whizz all in a food processor. enjoy!

  4. captious said,

    Thanks for posting your recipe OPK. Why did you add the yogurt and mustard?

  5. Sara said,

    So glad to see others have been trying the same. i just read that xanthan gum is a substitute for wheat gluten, and indeed a thickener.

  6. captious said,

    Here’s another attempted copycat recipe I found online
    http://healthylazy.tribe.net/thread/c309759c-8e5f-48a6-a2fd-f46924f4f24b

    2/3 cup canola oil
    1/3 cup water
    2 tablespoons tahini
    3 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
    2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
    1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 cloves garlic
    1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
    1 tablespoon parsley
    1 tablespoon chives
    1/8 teaspoon xantham gum

    Combine in blender all ingredients except sesame seeds, parsley and chives. Blend on high about one minute until mixture turns creamy. Add remaining ingredients and blend on low for a few seconds.

    Adjust flavor with vinegar, soy sauce, and salt as needed…these will vary slightly depending on what brand is used.

  7. Nicole said,

    I just wanted to say that Annie’s Goddess dressing is the only dressing my young sons will eat. When I discovered this I became a faithful customer and my kids ate their veggies.
    Now I have discovered that all the grocery stores in Vancouver BC no longer stock this dressing and have chosen this horrible copy cat version instead. I have tried two other brands, and they both taste terrible.
    I came across your site because I was going to try to order it online (no luck there either). I shall try your version and see if it works for us. Thank you for putting so much effort into this and sharing it with everyone.

    • captious said,

      Let us know how it goes.

      captious

    • Leda Gagne said,

      I too am looking for a recipe for Annie’s Goddess dressing. It is the only dressing my grandson will eat. I also love it. I have tried several recipe’s but they do not taste like the dressing in the bottle. If somone finds a good recipe, please share.

  8. Sandra Seaman said,

    I love Annie’s dressing but I am gluten free and the soy sauce has wheat in it. They could so easily make a gluten free version with wheat free soy sauce but I don’t see that happening. I’m going to try version #7 and see how it goes…

    Sandy

    • Kathleen said,

      I was wondering about the quality of the “soy sauce” that all these recipes used. Tamari is “soy sauce” but much better than what passes for soy sauce in many parts of the US. It’s a much more nuanced product, less out-right salt and more layered. If you’re using something like Kikoman or La Choy, you’re in for a wonderful surprise when you switch. Good quality tamaris are often available in wheat-free versions. I use San-J wheat-free, low sodium, and it’s marvelous. Using a poor quality soy sauce will always downgrade your recipe.

      • captious said,

        I always use a good quality soy sauce (either tamari or shoyu) when I cook.

  9. Jenn F said,

    We use our own recipe as well…

    1/3 cup water
    1/4 cup canola oil
    2 T. tahini
    1 T. lemon juice
    1 T. apple cider vinegar
    1/2 t. garlic powder
    1/2 t. dried parsley
    1/2 t. dried chives
    1/4 t. salt

    It’s all we eat on our salad and I always make sure to have all the ingredients on hand. For anyone who tries…enjoy!

    • Jenn F said,

      Oh yeah…I forgort 1 T of soy sauce

  10. Wendy said,

    I too have played with this recipe and have a little bit different version that sounds like it makes significantly more than all these that I have read. I also use dried garlic since I don’t like smelling of it all the time, and I agree with the green onion omitted, don’t like how it gets after a few days. I am also not fond of parsley so leave it out. I did add lecithin (soy) and that makes it as thick as you want by adding more or less.

    3/4 c canola or olive oil
    2/3 c tahini ( I like the already roasted and salted if I can find it, otherwise roasted unsalted)
    2-3 T lecithin granules
    3 T soy sauce
    1-2 T cider vinegar
    2-3 T lemon juice
    1 T sesame seeds (toasted if desired – I don’t, too lazy)
    1 clove crushed garlic or ~ 1 tsp garlic granules/powder
    1 tsp onion powder (or fresh if you like)
    s/p to taste

    I put the lecithin in the oil first to let it soften a bit and then add everything else and whiz in a bowl with my stick blender until it is my desired thickness, adding a bit more lecithin if not thick enough and water if too thick. And adjust all the seasoning to get it right. I have not had much success staying with one brand of tahini because stores discontinue like others have said with Annie’s dressing as well. LOL.

    Hope this meets with someones approval. I like that it make quite a bit because I eat this with carrots a lot!!!!!

    I never have worked with xanthan gum, but I have made other dressing blending the oil and water with lecithin and knew it would thicken it.

  11. Wendy said,

    OOOPS. Left off 1 1/4 cups (10 oz) water!!!!!! geez

  12. Hilary said,

    WOW I tried recipe number 7 and it’s GREAT!!
    thank you so much for your time tasting and tweaking the recipe!

    can’t wait for my salad lunch tomorrow!

  13. nick said,

    just a quick tip for people who’s tahini is too bitter and or runny (this fixes both). You can roast your tahini paste in a 325 degree oven, just keep an eye on it and stir occasionally until in starts to darken and smell nutty and roasty. This got me allot closer to store bought. Also I left out the water untill the end to adjust the consistency (ended up not using any, made for a richer dressing). I also left the lemon to the end because lemons vary greatly in their acidity and sweetness (if your lemon juice is especially tart you could try a little sugar, this would help with thetahini bitterness as well). thanks for your hard work and I hope this helps out.

  14. Bri said,

    Try toasting the tahini along with the sesame seeds.
    The tahini itself is such a huge component and a light toasting deepens the flavor. I note that you mentioned sesame seed toasting here…but I didn’t see if you were toasting the tahini itself.

    Wait!
    I just read Nick’s comment.
    I totally agree with Nick and reinforce his message to toast the tahini.
    I think toasted tahini tastes amazing. I think it makes the dressing much closer to the original.

  15. captious said,

    I’ve been reading over my notes and I’ve noticed that one thing that’s been giving me trouble is the amount of soy sauce. One time I’ll say: don’t use more than a tsp. and then the next time I’m adding more than 2 teaspoons! Perhaps part of the reason it’s so difficult to pin down is that the amount of soy sauce depends on the amount of acid. I suspect that the more acid I include, the less salty and briny the dressing tastes.

  16. Joy said,

    Thank you! Thank you! Annie’s Goddess was my absolute favorite dressing, then I found out I am gluten intolerant. OrganicVille Sesame Goddess is OK; not as flavorful as Annie’s, but adding a wheat-free tamari helps some. Can’t wait to try these recipes!

  17. Chris said,

    I really like the Goddess Dressing from Trader Joe’s (which, for the most part, is Annie’s). I just tried recipe #9 and it came out fantastic! I didn’t have canola oil so I substituted sesame oil. I was surprised at how close it came to what I like about Trader Joe’s version. I can’t wait to tinker with the ingredients the next time. Toasted tahini sounds yummy…

    Thank you for posting this!

    • captious said,

      Chris, did you use toasted sesame oil or just regular sesame oil?

      • Chris said,

        I used regular sesame oil which came out great. I’ve never seen toasted before, so now you’ve got me wondering what *that* would taste like!

    • captious said,

      Toasted sesame oil is quite intense. You usually use it in drops or at most teaspoons. I can’t imagine you would use 1/3 cup of it! But definitely get some. It’s great on broccoli or other veggies. A little goes a long way.

  18. Bunny said,

    I just tried recipe number nine and found it a bit intense. I added one heaping tablespoon of mayo and it was perfect.

  19. Tam said,

    First, thank you for the energy you have put into this! I am gluten intolerant and I really miss Annie’s Goddess Dressing. I can’t compare the two side by side, but I’m on batch 2 of Number 9, using toasted tahini, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos as my soy sauce (a scant 2 TBS), and light olive oil instead of canola.

    My taste buds have decided that the only slightly missing link… is that I think Annie’s uses dry chives and parsley for their large scale production. I found batch 1 was a bit too herbaceous, so I tried dried (gasp, for a chef). The herbs were too dry to taste or enjoy when I made it, but by the next day, the herbs had ‘bloomed’, and I was left with something that really tastes like I remember. I think batch 3 will include the addition of a single snipped chive and 2-3 leaves of fresh parsley for a bright clean herbaceous finish, but the bulk will be dried.

    I’d love to know if you’ve tried dried herbs yet, as this is slightly fascinating me, lol!

    • captious said,

      Interesting. I haven’t tried using dry herbs. It would certainly be more convenient.

      • rick said,

        I was found this site and I was thinking of re-hydrating the dried goodies in water.Just a idea.I am going to make this dressingsoon ,but I just ordered a couple of bottles from Amazon to make any comparisons first

  20. Lindsay said,

    So I tried version 8 with a few modifications…mostly because I didn’t have the other ingredients. Safflower oil instead of canola, reduced sodium Kikkoman’s soy sauce, kosher salt instead of sea salt, no sesame seeds, dried parsley and dried minced onion instead of chives. No Xanathan gum either. My husband thought it was Annie’s!!! I can’t remember exactly how Annie’s tastes because the generics don’t quite match it and I haven’t bought Annie’s in a while. I love the homemade version though! Thanks so much for all of your testing, saving me the work!

  21. Lisa said,

    Thanks! I made a slight variation of #9 and my husband and I both really liked it. It tasted very much like Annie’s, but we thought it was a little lighter-tasting. I didn’t add extra salt because I thought the tamari/soy would be salty enough. I doubled the xanthan gum and it emulsified really nicely. I didn’t have fresh parsley or chives, so I just used dried parsley flakes instead. Per the response above, I’ll try dried chives too next time. You saved me a lot of time in trying to imitate the “real thing” :).

    • captious said,

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your comment! But what do you mean by “lighter tasting”? Less fat?

      captious

  22. BJ said,

    I hate to break this to you, but the Goddess Dressing you buy at Trader Joe’s is made by Annie’s, using the Annie’s recipe, in the Annie’s factory. It’s is the same dressing, just relabeled for TJ’s and distributed and sold by TJ’s. There is no difference, except the price (which in my area of the country is about half).

    • captious said,

      Interesting. Chowhound.com also makes the same claim. Either way, this revelation doesn’t help me that much, since there are no Trader Joe’s in Germany. But for those of you who live near a TJs, try it out and report back, okay? The San Francisco Chronicle in 2008 found (in a blind taste test) that the TJs dressing was far inferior to Annie’s, but I can imagine that things could have changed since then.

    • Yvonne said,

      It may be true but Annie’s Goddess dressing tastes different from Trader Joe’s Goddess. I prefer TJ’s.

  23. jason said,

    um, you do realize goddess dressing was invented in 1923 and in the seventies, seven seas brand marketed a goddess dressing. “annie’s” is not even close to original, so the others are not “knock offs”, just other variants and they ALL are knock offs (especially using tahini for mayo). just because it’s the first most people heard of (including myself) doesn’t make it original. google, every time. i’m not trying to be a jerk, just dispelling what seems to be the predominate assumption going on here amongst the post and replies.

    i love tahini, and will definitely try some of these recipes and try to find what works for me and my girlfriend. i never thought the annie’s dressing was all that special, but it was good, and my girlfriend loved it. i’ll try to match it to her tastes then tweak it out for mine.

    thank you for your diligence and posting!

    • natalie said,

      You are talking about green goddess dressing which is completely different from Annie’s Goddess Dressing. Green Goddess dressing is mayonaisse based while Goddess dressing is tahini based. Huge difference.

  24. cooksimple.com » Tahini Goddess Dressing said,

    [...] The Captious Vegetarian did quite a few experiments trying to nail the Annie’s recipe. I started off with recipe #7 [...]

  25. anna said,

    thank you so much for doing the legwork for us! i love annie’s goddess, but as often as i eat it, it’s kind of pricey. can’t wait to try these recipes!!

  26. Libby said,

    Oh, Oh, OH! I make a lot of my own dressings but I still grab Annie’s when it’s on sale because I could drink the stuff. #9 is unbelievable. Since I grow my own herbs, it’s much less expensive. I can afford to have this all the time. Perfect. Thank you for all your experimentation. You nailed it.

  27. Alyssa said,

    Thank you so much for all your effort and time working this out, and especially posting it! I have bought a couple bottles of the dressing but am annoyed at the cost and how small the bottle is. Made tahini for the first time (for the same reasons :-) and am ready to put the two together. I so appreciate your devotion. I added the link on facebook for my friends to enjoy your hardwork too. This dressing on a warm grilled chicken and heirloom tomato salad is unbeatable. Thank you!

  28. Heidi said,

    FYI I found in a BC natural foods store a brand called “Simply Natural” making Organic Goddess Dressing. Looks like it is made in NJ. We have been without the Annie’s version for some time, so can’t compare directly, but this is nice and tangy. It helps us get by between our over the border TJ runs! I will give the recipe(s) a good try too. Thanks for research!

  29. What salad dressing do you use? - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community South Beach Diet said,

    [...] I also usually only use 1 Tablespoon instead of 2. The flavor is intense (in a goooood way!). Here is a post about replicating the recipe – then you could make it with whatever oil you like . I think I will try this as well! The post is [...]

  30. enjangada said,

    we gave an effort today at #9 all the way out here in central brazil — unanimously enjoyed (all two of us)! muitas obrigadas, das suas enjangadas!

  31. Bonnie said,

    Love the energy that has gone into all of this-Awesome and hilarious-that’s commitment. Made 9# tonight. Can’t find Annie’s anymore at our local health-food store in Montreal. Thought it tasted exactly like Annie’s goddess and everyone in the house loved it. Except for the first try when I accidently made it with 2 2/3 cups of tahini instead of 2 2/3 tablespoons! (gone are my fantasies that I can multitask while cooking). I was able to fix it by increasing everything else. Now we have 2 big mason size jars of dressing-but it’s so good I know we will eat it up. So glad you posted this.

  32. Chris Sereque said,

    Tried your #9 and it is really superb! And it fit right back into the Annie’s jar, what could be better!

  33. Carrie Ann said,

    I mixed tahini and lemon juice this week ~ just to try the combo, and I’m like “dang, this tastes like Annies goddess (minus some stuff).” So, I came here, on the search, and you obviously worked hard to get it close. Can’t wait to try your version! Nothin’ better on cukes! thanks for your hard work. YEAH salad potion number 9!

  34. supahstar5550 said,

    I too have obsessed over this. Its almost a crime to make something so delectable and sold in such small bottles. I think if they sold by the gallon i would have a weeks supply.

  35. Rastaco said,

    Just made your dressing #9 for the second time. It’s a delectable go-to, my favorite! I like it better than the bottle, of course, it is fresher. I’ve left out the xantham gum – too expensive, but everything else is easily obtainable. Thank you so much for figuring this out and sharing!!!

  36. Recipe: Copy-Cat Annies Goddess Salad Dressing « Road to an R.D. said,

    [...] Note: This recipe is NOT mine, I found it from another WordPress blog ‘The Captious Vegetarian’, original post can be found here: http://captious.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/annies-goddess-dressing/ [...]

  37. sarah said,

    Just wanted to thank you for your recipes! Tried out #8 tonight, with a few substitutions, since I was making it up before bed, and without getting to the store for fresh herbs. Came out sort of intense, but I think that’s due to the fact that I left out the water and xanthan. Might add the water, and use guar gum, which I have (for some reason) in my cabinets :) The husband and I love Annie’s Goddess dressing, so I’m glad to find this! Thanks again.

  38. What I’ve been eating lately « The captious vegetarian said,

    [...] dinner party in which I served steamed green beans, roasted beets, and four different dressings (Annie’s tahini dressing, carrot ginger dressing, a sweet wasabi dressing, and a lemon mustard dressing).  I also made my [...]

  39. Elizabeth said,

    For anyone who is vegan, I saw that Xanthan gum usually is derived from whey and just highly processed in general. I left it out and also didn’t use the extra water and it’s still wonderful! Thanks for the recipe! I’m already on to the double batch recipe in my 3rd time making this.

  40. ElizaS said,

    I also add fresh grated ginger, toasted sesame oil, and honey. And lots of fresh parsley. It’s different from Annie’s, and yummy! Thank you! Also, if the tahini is too bitter, make sure that it isn’t actually rancid. It needs to be refrigerated once opened.

  41. David said,

    Wonderful recipe (just tried #9 minus xanthan gum and water ((thanks for that tip))). And thanks for sharing your R & D on this too. Added a pinch of sugar to balance out the intensity of salt/vinegar. Wonderful stuff! Now to work on a lower fat version. Maybe the xanthan gum could/would add some body that is lost by lowering the oil amounts?
    Great recipe. Thanks again!

  42. Best Homemade Dressing In All the Land: Goddess Dressing (and it’s dairy-free and gluten-free) « Mostly Crunch said,

    [...] and I definitely prefer the homemade version. You simply cannot beat FRESHLY MADE REAL FOOD. This wonderful lady made 10 versions to match the original. We tried version 9 and haven’t looked back. [...]

  43. Sharon said,

    If you live near a Wegmans grocery store (originally western NY, but they have spread out a bit), they have their own store brand dressing that tastes similar to Annie’s called Organic Greek Dressing.

  44. David said,

    How to store this dressing and for how long?

    • captious said,

      I usually store it in an old Annie’s bottle in the fridge. It seems to last quite a while without any signs of going bad. (Maybe because it contains a lot of salt and acid, both of which will slow down the growth of bacteria?) But I’ve never actually timed it to see how long it lasts. Anyone else know?

  45. austingardener said,

    Mine lasts for at least a week. I don’t know if it lasts any longer because it always gets eaten up.

  46. Tiffannie said,

    You are so awesome! Thank you for all your hard work so that the rest of us can enjoy home made versions of this delicious dressing.

  47. Jonny Peeknuckle said,

    We were about to serve supper one night and realized we were out of Annie’s dressing. I whipped up a quick approximation going by the ingredient list, much as you did. My mistake was in adding the water too soon and the dressing ended up too thin. With our guests waiting to have salad I made a last ditch effort by adding peanut butter, the chunky kind. It was fantastic! The added flavor really rounded things out and the occasional crunch from the nuts was a delightful surprise.

  48. sam said,

    thank you…AMAZING

  49. Brenda said,

    I appreciate the hard work everyone went through. I think I will just go buy some though. Not sure, but I think buying all of the ingredients is going to be much more expensive than buying the bottle of dressing.

  50. Judit said,

    Hi, thanks for the recipe! Tried Trader Joe’s Goddess last week and am pretty positive that that dressing is vinaigrette-based (I actually didn’t like it because it was too vinegary), So I’d suggest to make a vinaigrette first from the acids and oils and then mix that with tahini, rather than adding the ingredients one by one. Sound like a small change but will make a difference. That’s what I’m doing: had TJ’s champagne vinaigrette and mixed that with tahini.

  51. My favorite raw veggies and accompanying dips | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] Annie’s tahini dressing (yes, this is a dressing, but I love it so much I decided to include it anyway) […]

  52. The summer of pasta salad | Extra Snark, Hold the Mayo said,

    […] you can for real salads (but whooaaa, I just found the world’s most glorious attempt at recreating Trader Joe’s/Annie’s Goddess Dressing online!), but most pasta salads call for either an olive/canola oil blend or store-bought Italian […]

  53. judifitzpatrick said,

    Thanks so much for all your efforts – you rock!

  54. Tiffannie said,

    I just made a double batch of #10. I used a stick blender and made it right in a wide-mouth mason jar to minimize clean-up. I LOVE THIS RECIPE!

  55. Seruchi said,

    I’m SO glad there are others who feel the same way about Annie’s Goddess Dressing… I love the stuff so much I should have bought stock shares! The thrifty side of me just knew it could be duplicated homemade but my attempts just did NOT cut the mustard!! until your recipe…ThAnK yOu!!
    I made #10 without the water or xantham gum. I added 2 tsp mayonnaise and a 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard. Blended all ingredients except oil in my food processor…then added oil slooowwly while continuing to mix to get the emulsion factor. Tastes incredible off the spoon! Cant wait to try it on my salad tomorrow. SOOOO EXCITED!!! tHaNk YoU again for mastering the recipe :)

  56. Joe said,

    I made #10 using cilantro and green onion tops instead of parsley and chives–it still turned out great!

  57. goddess dressing | fried sig said,

    […] incredible blogger modified this recipe ten times in an attempt to perfect it. Combined with legumes like […]

  58. Jennifer said,

    I’ve just moved from Massachusetts to the UK and am missing a lot of little day-to-day items from home. Thank you for helping to make the transition a little easier! I made this today; it was PERFECT. You certainly nailed it better than any of the store-made variants I tried in the US. For what it’s worth, I didn’t bother with the xantham gum and didn’t notice anything amiss, texture-wise. Thank you thank you thank you!

  59. Monica said,

    Thank you so much for putting so much effort into this recipe!! I also substituted cilantro for parsley and cut down on some of the oil. The first time I made it, I about swooned. The bottle lasted a couple of days. I just made it again and my partner and I discussed simply drinking it. ;)

  60. captious said,

    An interesting article about xanthan gum: http://chriskresser.com/harmful-or-harmless-xanthan-gum

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