Easy Russian Dressing Recipe

The key ingredient in a Reuben sandwich, this Russian dressing adds a creamy, savory pop to any sandwich. Here’s how to make Russian dressing.

Russian dressing | How to make Russian dressing

EIf you’ve had a Reuben sandwich, you know that creamy, savory sauce that makes you unable to stop inhaling it? Yes, that’s Russian dressing. It’s very easy to make at home, and a slather of it makes any sandwich undeniably delicious. It’s made of mayonnaise, ketchup, and a few other key tangy and savory ingredients that work together to make it altogether addicting. Alex and I have a vegetarian Reuben sandwich recipe that features it, and our new favorite is our Coleslaw & Swiss Reuben. Here’s how to make Russian dressing at home!

Russian dressing | What is Russian dressing

What is Russian dressing?

So what is Russian dressing? Russian dressing is an American dressing made of mayonnaise, ketchup, and a few other savory ingredients. It’s the main condiment on a Reuben sandwich, which is its claim to fame. Of course as you might expect, there is nothing Russian about it! It was invented in the early 1900’s in America.

These days, Russian dressing has mostly been supplanted by Thousand Island dressing, which is sweeter and not as spicy. Alex and I don’t eat it as a salad dressing, but instead use it as a sandwich spread, which is a common use for it.

Russian dressing | What is Russian dressing

How to make Russian dressing

Russian dressing is very simple to whip up at home: you might even have some of these ingredients in your refrigerator already! Simply combine mayonnaise and ketchup for the dressing base, then stir in some minced shallot and dill pickles, and a few shakes of hot sauce. While some Russian dressing recipes are spicier and call for horseradish, we’ve chosen to simply use hot sauce here. Use as much as you like for your taste (though we love spicy food, we don’t make our Russian dressing too spicy).

That’s it! You can use Russian dressing as a Russian salad dressing instead of Thousand Island. Or you can do what Alex and I do and use it as a sandwich spread! There are so many different sandwiches it would work well on: it would even add a super savory flair spreading a little in a quesadilla. Here are the sandwich recipes we’ve used it on:

  • The Vegetarian Reuben
  • Swiss & Coleslaw Sandwich (The Rachel)

Alex and I are obsessed with the hearty, savory quality of savory sandwiches like the Reuben, which is why we created a vegetarian version of the sandwich that we make at home. This sauce in particular brings that signature tang and creaminess to a Reuben or our new Swiss & Coleslaw Sandwich — and brings in something it totally nostalgic. In Alex’s words, it makes it taste like a Big Mac! While it’s not a “healthy” food, a little bit of it goes a long way. Just a small hint can really amp up the flavors in a humble sandwich!

Related: Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

Sandwich with Russian dressing

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This recipe is…

This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free. For vegan and plant-based, use vegan mayo.

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Russian dressing | How to make Russian dressing

Russian Dressing Recipe


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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 3/4 cup 1x

Description

The key ingredient in a Reuben sandwich, this Russian dressing adds a creamy, savory pop to any sandwich. Here’s how to make Russian dressing.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegan, as necessary)
  • A few dashes hot sauce, to taste

Instructions

Mince the shallot and the dill pickles. Stir them together with the ketchup and mayonnaise. Add hot sauce to taste. Store refrigerated for several months.


  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Russian dressing, Russian salad dressing, What is russian dressing, How to make russian dressing, Reuben sandwich sauce, Sauces

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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