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Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

This Homemade Thousand Island Dressing is creamy, slightly sweet, tangy and so delicious. And it’s quick and easy to make with just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

It’s great on salad (of course!), but you can also use it on sandwiches, burgers, for dipping, and lots more. And, just like all salad dressings, nothing beats homemade!

Now, right up front, I’ll admit that I had two ulterior motives for making and sharing this Thousand Island salad dressing recipe today, which you’ll be seeing in my next two posts.

One: Big Mac Salad (so incredibly good…the “special sauce” on a Big Mac is a variation on Thousand Island dressing).

Two: Turkey Reubens (one of the best sandwiches ever).

There are a few different origin stories for this classic dressing, but they all seem to agree on it being invented in the late 1800s/early 1900s somewhere in the Thousand Islands region located along the St. Lawrence River between New York State and Canada (fun fact: there are actually 1,864 islands).

There are many different recipes for this dressing, but the base ingredients that you’ll usually find are mayonnaise, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, onions, and some vinegar for a little tang.

Traditionally, finely chopped hard-boiled eggs were added and used as a thickener, but I actually prefer this dressing without the eggs, and so I don’t use them (and I don’t think you’ll miss them either).

I stick with just those base ingredients. They’re really all you need for an excellent batch of homemade Thousand Island dressing that you can use in so many different ways!

small bowls of the ingredients needed to make homemade Thousand Island dressing (mayonnaise, diced onions, sweet pickle relish, ketchup, vinegar) and salt and pepper shakers

Ingredients you need:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Onion
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Here’s a look at how to make Homemade Thousand Island Dressing:

2 images; one of mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, onions, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl with a whisk on the side with text that says place all of the ingredients in a bowl; the other of the ingredients being whisked in a bowl with text that says whisk until well-combined
two images; one a graphic of a refrigerator with text that says cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors meld; the other of the finished dressing in a bowl with a spoon with text that says enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Since the base of this dressing is mayonnaise, make sure you use a really good one (my favorite is Hellmann’s (#notsponsored)).
  • Chili sauce could be used in place of the ketchup.
  • For that little bit of sweetness, be sure to use sweet pickle relish and not dill pickle relish.
  • Finely dice those onions so they get nicely distributed throughout the dressing. You don’t want big pieces of onion in there.
  • Whisk or stir gently but thoroughly just until the dressing is well-combined.
  • Although you could serve this dressing immediately in a pinch, it is so much better when you let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before you serve it so that all those flavors can blend and meld. You could even make it the day before.
  • Want a little spicy heat? Add a little cayenne pepper, sriracha, or hot sauce.
  • Keep the dressing stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days.
homemade thousand island dressing in a white bow with a spoon and lettuce on the side

If you’ve only ever had the bottled version of this dressing and maybe haven’t been the biggest fan, I’m telling you, whip up a batch of this homemade version and see if it doesn’t change your mind.

It’s so much better, and it might even become a new favorite!

And don’t forget to come back and check out how I use this dressing in my Big Mac Salad and Turkey Reubens.

I hope you try this recipe for Homemade Thousand Island Dressing and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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homemade thousand island dressing in a white bowl with a spoonful being lifted out

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

This Homemade Thousand Island Dressing is creamy, slightly sweet, tangy and so delicious. And it's quick and easy to make with just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration/Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 (about 2 tablespoons each; recipe makes about 1½ cups total)
Estimated Calories: 128

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onions
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk or stir gently just until well-combined.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or longer) before serving to allow the flavors to blend and meld.
    Note: You can transfer the dressing to a jar, bottle, etc. before putting it in the fridge if you'd like.
  • Enjoy on salads, sandwiches, burgers, as a dip, and more!

Notes

  • Want a little spicy heat? Add a little cayenne pepper, sriracha, or hot sauce.
  • Keep the dressing stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
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