Thousand Island Dressing

Creamy, sweet and tangy—Thousand Island Dressing is so good made from scratch. Use it on burgers, Reubens, salads, and more.

Thousand Island Dressing
Elise Bauer

If the craving for a Reuben sandwich strikes or you need a "secret sauce" for your next burger, you probably have all of the necessary ingredients around to make this quick, creamy and delicious dressing.

Homemade Thousand Island dressing takes just minutes to whip together, and like most food, the flavor of homemade outperforms even the best bottle of store-bought.

Traditional versions of this dressing are often made using a hardboiled egg, but I decided to leave it out for two reasons. First, of the four versions I created, my taste testers liked the one with egg the least.

Second, hardboiled eggs have a strong odor, even when mixed with other ingredients, and they overwhelmed the dressing.

Use thousand island dressing on iceberg lettuce, or on burgers for a homemade Big Mac
Elise Bauer

I found a few versions online that use plain yogurt instead of mayo. I tried that, too, but when it comes to Thousand Island, I think it’s best to use mayo. This is traditionally a fairly sweet dressing intended to temper the bitterness of certain salad greens. With that in mind, the sharpness from plain yogurt interferes too much with the sweetness of the dressing.

Thousand Island is most famous for being the secret sauce on McDonald’s Big Macs and the creamy spread on tangy, cheesy, meaty Reuben sandwiches, but it’s also a fantastic dipping sauce for vegetables—or, as one taste tester suggested, crispy French fries.

Surprise your guests with some zippy homemade Thousand Island dressing on the relish tray!

Homemade Thousand Island dressing in a bowl
Elise Bauer

Thousand Island Dressing

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 8 servings

This dressing is ready to eat as soon as you mix it, but the flavors meld together and the onions soften creating a more complex flavor after 24 hours in the fridge. For a sweeter dressing, add a little more pickle relish.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, minced

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl
    ingredients in thousand island dressing
    Elise Bauer
    What's in Thousand Island Dressing
    Elise Bauer
  2. Transfer to a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator until needed:

    For best flavor, wait 24 hours for the flavors to meld. The dressing will keep for about a week.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
200 Calories
21g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 200
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 281mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 33mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.