Homemade Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

If you're looking for a salad dressing that is "a little sweet, but tangy," then look no further than this homemade Thousand Island dressing recipe, courtesy of wellness coach Miriam Hahn. Hahn herself loves the sweet and tangy flavor of the dressing, but that's not the only reason why she loves it. "There is something about Thousand Island dressing that takes me back to childhood," she says. "Such a classic recipe and super easy to make at home."

With this recipe, you can expect a flavorful dressing, and it may even strike up that same nostalgia factor — but there are even more reasons to love it! "I love making dressings and sauces homemade because you avoid food additives and artificial colors," Hahn explains. Indeed, you're in complete control of what goes into a homemade dressing, and more specifically, the quantities you might add. However, for a dressing that's perfectly balanced, tangy, and delicious on any salad, you'll want to follow Hahn's recipe closely.

Gather the ingredients for homemade Thousand Island dressing

To make this dressing, you'll need some finely minced red onion, finely minced garlic, mayonnaise, ketchup, sweet relish, apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar), and a little bit of salt. These ingredients will yield a flavorful dressing, but Hahn does note that you could make some swaps and additions. "If you want to add some heat, you can add a teaspoon or two of sriracha and it is deliciously spicy," she suggests. She also notes that you could easily use vegan mayo and it would maintain the flavor of the final product. 

Mix up all of the ingredients

Make sure you have 2 teaspoons red onion and 1 clove garlic very finely chopped — we're talking as small as you can possibly chop them — then add them to a small bowl. Additionally, add the mayo, ketchup, relish, vinegar, and salt, then give everything a good stir. Now, pop the mixture into the fridge to chill for at least an hour. 

Serve this Thousand Island dressing with salad

One of the best ways to put this Thousand Island dressing to use is on a salad. "I think that romaine or iceberg is the best lettuce to pair this dressing with," Hahn says. "The heartiness and crunch of those types of lettuces work best with this flavorful dressing." Hahn keeps it simple and dresses her salads up with tomatoes, but there really is no limit to the variety of salads that this dressing would complement. 

You can also enjoy Thousand Island dressing as a dip

Much like the ever-popular ranch dressing, there are more uses for Thousand Island than simply dressing up a salad. "It is great for a dip with fries, buffalo wings or buffalo cauliflower, hush puppies, [and] onion rings," Hahn suggests. "Or it is really good on a sandwich or panini. It is even good on tacos!" This dressing is incredibly versatile, so don't limit it to only salads. The sweet, tangy goodness pairs well with countless foods, so get creative as you enjoy this homemade Thousand Island dressing

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing Recipe
5 from 49 ratings
You don't need to buy Thousand Island dressing to enjoy it on salads. This simple recipe tastes as good (or better) than store-bought, and is ready in minutes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
thousand island dressing on spoon
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons red onion, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Mince the onion and garlic as small as possible.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the red onion, garlic, mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, vinegar, and salt.
  3. Chill for 1 hour.
  4. Serve as a salad dressing or a dip.
Calories per Serving 147
Total Fat 14.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 7.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 3.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Total Sugars 2.7 g
Sodium 203.2 mg
Protein 0.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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