This lite version of Annie’s Goddess sesame dressing has about 1/7 the amount of calories as the original and 1/13th the fat!
A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me if I had a lower-fat alternative to Annie’s Goddess Dressing. Over the years I’ve heard a lot about this dressing, but I’d never tasted it. Since it comes so highly recommended, I decided to buy a bottle, test it out, and possibly try to make my own recipe.
When I looked at the bottle in the grocery store, I realized why I’d never bought it before: at 130 calories and 12 grams of fat per serving, it gets 90% of its calories from fat (from canola oil and tahini). But I bought it, took it home to try it, and immediately decided I was better off never having tasted it!
It’s so delicious, it’s almost addictive: thick with a deep, almost smoky sesame taste. My husband loved it, and I knew that I needed to find a lower-fat substitute immediately or he was going to want me to keep buying it. But I also thought that it was going to be hard to come anywhere near its flavor without using lots of tahini.
Still, I gave it a shot, and both my husband and I loved it. While my Goddess dressing doesn’t taste exactly like Annie’s, it does maintain the rich sesame flavor while managing to be significantly lighter.
Instead of using a base of canola oil, I opted instead for lite silken tofu. I used pretty much the same seasonings as Annie’s, but I cut the tahini down to one tablespoon and used 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil to enhance the sesame flavor (I realize even this small amount of oil is not an option for some people, so it can be safely omitted.)
When it’s all blended together, this whips up into a very thick dressing, but in a “fluffy” rather than heavy way. And in terms of calories, you can have almost 7 times as much of my dressing for the same amount of calories in 2 tablespoons of Annie’s. Two tablespoons of my lite goddess dressing have only 19 calories and 1 gram of fat. Check out the nutritional comparison after the recipe.
In fact, my recipe is so light that I almost wish I had used more tahini in it. I wanted to keep it very low in fat, but if you’d like a more pronounced sesame flavor, feel free to add more tahini. Just remember, for every tablespoon of tahini that you add, you increase the fat content of each serving by about 1 gram.
Update September 2, 2020
In the years since I posted this recipe, I’ve created and tested lots of low-fat salad dressings, and many have become favorites in our house. One of the hazards of food blogging is that you’re always moving forward, looking for the next great thing, and sometimes old favorites get lost in the shuffle.
That’s what happened to this recipe. In the years since I created it, my family moved on to enjoy spicy chipotle dressing and a low-fat tahini-ginger dressing, and I somehow stopped making my lite goddess dressing. But last week, I decided to pull this recipe out of the archives and make it for dinner. We all loved it so much, that I had to make it again a few days later. We’ve been drizzling it on salads and steamed vegetables and dipping pizza crust in it so much that we keep running out!
So I’ve added a few new photos to freshen up the post and encourage you to try this timeless recipe for a sesame dressing that never goes out of style.
Susan's Lite Goddess Dressing
- 6 ounces firm or extra-firm silken tofu (1/2 pkg. of Mori-Nu, lite preferred)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley packed
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil optional, but good
- 2 green onions tops only, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper optional
- Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Keep in covered jar in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Nutritional info is approximate.
Here’s a nutritional comparison of my dressing to the original:
Please pin and share!
CrystalFebruary 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm
Love this dressing! Thanks for the recipe! How long will this last in the fridge. I made it 6 days ago and I’ve noticed it has firmed up. Thanks!
JessicaApril 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm
Tried this recipe today, I was skeptical at first because I really hate tofu, but this was delicious! I added more parsley because I love it so much and omitted the salt, and it was just lovely. Thank you for the yummy recipe!
angelicaApril 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm
could you make a nutritional fact without the tofu?
BeckyMay 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm
I just made this dressing tonight, and wow! I actually like it better than the store bought version. It was a perfect fit for my creamy vegan dressing craving. Thanks again for all your recipes, I’ve tried many and loved them all, this is just the first time I have made a comment.
AinsleyMay 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm
As always I tried a new recipe from your site and LOVE it. Question: I accidentally used the white part of the onion (I need to stop and read first!), and it tastes awesome. Why remove it?
Susan VoisinMay 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Some people just don’t like the strong onion taste that the white provides, but I’m glad to hear that you liked it.
NatashaFebruary 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm
Just wondering if anyone has tried this recipe without sesame oil. I don’t have any at home, and don’t necessarily want to buy some just for this recipe. Thanks!
ilovemusicMarch 26, 2014 at 12:06 am
Love the recipes…can’t wait to try…thanks for your time and energy…hope you feel better soon!
* PamMay 26, 2014 at 4:47 am
7 years on this Lite Goddess dressing post, I see…and still going strong with new people grateful to find it! I love this dressing!! And my non-vegan hubby does, too! A real hit in our house.
CarrieJune 16, 2014 at 10:55 pm
This is a great dressing! Creamy but practically no fat. Might only use 1/2 a garlic clove next time, a little too much for me.. My new favorite salad dressing.
LouiseJuly 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm
I don’t care what the original tastes like, the light version is fabulous!!!!
Thank you so much for this recipe 🙂
JanisAugust 6, 2014 at 1:39 pm
I was wondering maybe you could incorporate an avocado in there instead of the tahini? That will still allow it to have a reamy consistency. How much would that affect the nutritional facts?
Adrienne GembalaJanuary 19, 2015 at 12:27 am
Any idea how long the shelf life is for this dressing?
Susan VoisinJanuary 19, 2015 at 7:51 am
It will keep in the refrigerator about a week, but it tastes best the first few days.
LouAnn Zenoff MelgarJanuary 26, 2015 at 11:46 am
Do you drain the silken tofu or not?
Susan VoisinJanuary 26, 2015 at 12:13 pm
Yes, but there’s usually so little water in the kind I use (Mori-nu) that it probably wouldn’t make any difference if I didn’t drain it. I just drain it out of habit.
EstherJDecember 21, 2015 at 10:45 am
This has become my go-to salad dressing these days. Many times, I’m either reserving the one or two Mori-Nu’s I have in the cupboard for something else, or I’m plain out. I’ve started sub’ing a 6 oz cup of plain non-dairy yogurt for the tofu, plus a tablespoon of flax seed meal for thickness, and it holds up fine.
B BApril 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm
This is so fab! Thanks for sharing. This is my new lunch go-to!
TD BenningtonJanuary 25, 2017 at 9:42 am
I have switched to using white cannelini beans instead of tofu because I have to limit soy because of thyroid issues. I find it has more fiber, and the taste is ok. I just drain and rinse the beans and process them in a food processor or blender with a little liquid. You can also use chickpeas, but they are higher in omega 6 than the white beans. I believe the beans are a more healthy version for those who care to try it.
VictoriaMarch 25, 2017 at 5:40 am
Hi, this looks lovely, can you tell me how long this would last in the fridge please. Victoria
VictoriaMarch 25, 2017 at 5:42 am
Just found the information I asked for. Thank you
KarenMarch 25, 2017 at 7:20 pm
Sesame oil isn’t quite in keeping with “fat-free,” is it? It’s certainly healthier than the oil-based traditional Goddess Dressing, though.
Darlad GillisNovember 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm
how long will it keep for
Susan VoisinNovember 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm
About a week.
Clare WolstencroftApril 1, 2018 at 10:44 am
Still the best salad dressing all these years later.
jillJuly 15, 2020 at 1:58 pm
thank you! i needed this
SusanAugust 2, 2020 at 7:41 pm
Delicious! Love the creaminess! Thank u Susan
DanielleSeptember 2, 2020 at 12:13 pm
What could I replace the tofu with ? Avocado ?
Susan VoisinSeptember 2, 2020 at 3:10 pm
I think avocado would be too rich on its own. A lighter option would be cooked white beans.
JainSeptember 7, 2020 at 3:22 pm
This recipe is well worth a re-post! I’ve made it countless times since first publication and always double the recipe. It’s one of my favourite recipes – of any kind – on the entire Internet.
ACCOctober 15, 2020 at 5:34 pm
Would I ruin the recipe if I used regular tofu? I just happen to have some I have use up…
Susan VoisinOctober 15, 2020 at 6:31 pm
If you have a good high-speed blender, regular tofu would probably be ok. You might try decreasing it just a little and increasing the water a little.
ClarisMay 5, 2021 at 2:35 am
Hi Susan, just found this recipe and am eager to try! One stupid question: do you cook the tofu first or use it right out of the pack? Not sure if the silken tofu here is edible right out of the pack though lol. Thanks!
Susan VoisinMay 5, 2021 at 9:32 am
I use the kind in the aseptic package right out of the pack. I’m not sure what I would do for other types. Maybe steam it first?