The dressing is named for its tint. The most accepted theory regarding its origins points to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1923, when the hotel's executive chef Philip Roemer wanted something to pay tribute to actorGeorge Arliss and his hit play, The Green Goddess. He then concocted this dressing, which, like the play, became a hit. This dressing is a variation of a dressing originated in France by a Chef to Louis XIII who made a Sauce Au Vert (Green Sauce) which was traditionally served with "Green Eel".
In the early 1970s, salad dressing maker Seven Seas produced a bottled version of this dressing. It is still made in limited quantities, although the company has since been purchased by Kraft Foods.
Trader Joe's makes a version called simply Goddess Dressing, which is made with tahini and is beige rather than green. Annies Homegrown, a maker of natural salad dressings and sauces, makes two similar versions, an ovo-lacto-vegetarian variant called Organic Green Goddess Dressing, as well as a vegan version similar to the original called Goddess Dressing. Like the Trader Joe's product, the Annie's Naturals Goddess Dressing is also made with tahini.