Thousand Island Dressing

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 6 reviews

Dips and Spreads Recipes Sauces Dressings Marinades

Last updated on June 18th, 2021 at 09:44 pm

Thousand Island Dressing is everyone’s favorite! It is versatile and this homemade version tastes much better than the store-bought ones!

If you looking to expand your sauce repertoire, then, you will love this recipe! It is as easy as my recipes for Basil Pesto and homemade dressing for Greek Salad!

Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

Thousand Island Dressing is so popular that you can just buy it in the grocery store. You can always buy it, but I love my homemade version because it tastes fresh and more delicious in my opinion.

Partly, it is because you can customize it! And it tends to be cheaper when you want to make a huge batch to last you for days, or if you are serving it for a huge crowd.

It is a party favorite that tastes great in salads, burgers, or even as a dip for your favorite snacks. No need for fancy ingredients, but the outcome will make everything taste amazing!

It is so well-loved that even your favorite Big Mac was rumored to have this as the sauce. I like how it could taste savory and yet you can still discern sweetness in it.

With this kind of balance in flavors, it pairs well with many dishes. No wonder that it has been around for centuries!

You get to make it at home with this easy recipe. And you get to avoid the preservatives that store-bought ones have.

And the best thing is that it is so easy you can make this in 5 minutes! Check out this recipe and for sure, you’ll love it!

What is Thousand Island Dressing?

It is made with mayonnaise seasoned with aromatics, spices, and a tomato-based product like the ketchup. It has acids in it that provide a balance, too.

There are numerous claims on how it originated. Although it is presumed that the origin is the region called Thousand Islands. And this is such a classic that stories have been told that it could have been invented as early as the 19th century.

Early on, it is thought of as a dressing fitting for the prominent people. But in the 1970s, its commercial mass production started. It became a more common condiment available for everyone.

Thousand Island Dressing Ingredients:

  • base: mayonnaise
  • aromatics: garlic, yellow onion
  • acids: white vinegar, lemon juice
  • condiments: ketchup, sugar, kosher salt, sweet pickle relish
  • spice: sweet paprika

How to Make Thousand Island Dressing?

Simply combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. It is that simple!

What does Thousand Island Dressing taste like?

Overall, it is tangy and a little sweet at the same time. Since this recipe is highly customizable, you can make it spicy, sweeter, or zestier if you like.

What does Thousand Island dressing go with?

It can go with a lot of dishes like:

  • steaks
  • veggie sticks
  • wedge salad
  • Reuben sandwiches
  • cheeseburgers
  • boiled shrimp
  • hardboiled eggs

How to Store Thousand Island Dressing:

Keep it in an airtight bottle in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe Tips:

  • You can also egg as a thickener. Simply boil the eggs. Then, remove the shells. Push the eggs through a sieve or chop into fine pieces, then stir them in.
  • Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or longer to allow the flavors to distribute throughout the dressing. It even tastes better the next day.
  • Here are some substitutions that you can make: vegan mayonnaise for the mayo, tomato puree in place of the ketchup, apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar, and sour pickles instead of the sweet ones.
  • You can add more ingredients for added flavors like Tabasco sauce, pimientos, chili sauce, or chives.
Image of homemade thousand island dressing.

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing is everyone's favorite! It is versatile and this homemade version tastes much better than the store-bought ones!
5 from 6 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 311kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion (finely minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir until well mixed.
  • Cover and refrigerate.


Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 289IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
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Leave a reply

Myrah Duque

There is no comparison to fresh dressing made at home. I need to make this recipe.


Fatima Torres

I've always loved using Thousand Island Dressing on my salads. It's the perfect sweet and savory mix.


Gervin Khan

This is one of my favorite salad dressing and I am glad that I can now make my own thousand island salad dressing at home. Thank you!



This is great! I love how easy this is to make!



Homemade dressings always have such better flavor and consistency. THis would be great for a bbq day.


Lyanna Soria

I've never tried Thousand Island dressing before but that looks quite tasty. I wonder what it tastes like.


Amanda R Freeman

There is. Substitute canola mayo, apple cider vinegar rather than white vinegar and sugar, and sugar free ketchup. Everything else is the same. I hope that helps! :)


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