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Condiments

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

This homemade thousand island dressing recipe can be made with ingredients you already have in your fridge & pantry. It’s so easy, and it’s way better than bottled. Try it on your favorite salad or use it on a reuben sandwich. It’s naturally dairy free, but it can easily be made vegan with one simple swap. Makes about 2 cups.

overhead shot of a homemade thousand island dressing recipe on a salad of romaine with cucumbers and tomato wedges

Why I love this thousand island dressing recipe

I’ll admit that thousand island dressing has never been at the top of my list for topping my salads, but I love it on a Reuben so I knew I had to try making it myself.

Not because it typically has dairy in it, because it doesn’t. In fact, most bottled thousand island dressings don’t. I just wanted to know if I wasn’t giving this classic dressing a chance because I can’t handle the flavor of the preservatives in those bottles.

And, I was right. After I made my first batch of this 1000 island dressing recipe, I knew it was something I would make again. It’s tangy, but the little punch provided by the onion makes it so much better than I imagined.

The best part? It’s made with ingredients I almost always have in my fridge like pickle relish, ketchup and mayo.

homemade thousand island dressing recipe in a mason jar, with a spoon covered in the dressing sitting next to the jar on a gray surface with a salad in the background and a striped linen napkin to the side

Here’s what you’ll need to make 1000 island dressing

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two image collage of thousand island dressing recipe (1 ingredients shot, 1 closeup on 1000 island dressing in a jar)

How to make homemade thousand island dressing

Mix the dressing ingredients. There isn’t much to making this recipe. You literally mix everything together in a bowl. Try not to whisk too vigorously because you don’t want to “break” the mayo as you stir it.

Don’t have pickle relish? No problem. Try chopping up your favorite pickles until they’re nice and small. That’s what I did for the batch in the photos (because I used the rest of my relish making burger sauce).

To make this dressing vegan, simple swap vegan mayonnaise for the mayo.

overhead image of homemade thousand island dressing recipe in a mason jar, with a spoon covered in the dressing sitting next to the jar on a gray surface with a salad in the background and a striped linen napkin to the side

FAQs and Tips for making 1000 island dressing

Why do they call it thousand island dressing? 1000 island dressing is named after its place of origin – Thousand Island, NY. It was later put on the menu at Waldorf Astoria Hotel where it was made famous.

What does thousand island dressing taste like? 1000 island dressing is tangy, slightly sweet and creamy. It also tastes very similar to and is compared with McDonald’s Big Mac sauce.

Do you have to refrigerate thousand island dressing? Yes. Since this dressing contains mayonnaise, which contains eggs, you will want to keep it refrigerated. See also: are eggs dairy?

How long is thousand island dressing good? This 1000 island dressing will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but always use your best judgment. If you don’t use fresh ingredients, you’re dressing won’t last as long.

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close up shot of thousand island dressing recipe on a salad of romaine with cucumbers and tomato wedges

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overhead shot of thousand island dressing recipe on a salad of romaine with cucumbers and tomato wedges

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing Recipe


  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dressing
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing | This easy recipe can be made with ingredients you already have in your fridge & pantry. It’s better than bottled and the best for salads and Reubens. Dairy free and vegan option. #dressing #salad


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise*
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together ingredients until evenly combined.
  2. Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

*To make this recipe vegan, swap vegan mayonnaise

Keywords: easy, vegan option, dairy free, 5 ingredient, gluten free

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