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This Thousand Island dressing recipe is simple to whip up and tastes so good! Here’s how to make Thousand Island dressing at home.

Thousand island dressing recipe
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See Also: All Homemade Salad Dressings

Are you a Thousand Island person? I remember growing up, my sister and I would opt for ranch. But my dad would always have Thousand Island on his salads. So to me, Thousand Island has a retro feel! (Anyone else?) Either way, Thousand Island dressing is a delicious salad dressing that’s easy to make at home. Homemade salad dressings are 1) very tasty, 2) don’t have preservatives or added ingredients, 3) are pretty quick to make! Here’s how to make 1000 Island dressing at home.

How to make thousand island dressing

Thousand Island dressing ingredients

First of all, what is Thousand Island dressing? It’s a salad dressing and condiment, sometimes used on a Reuben sandwich if you’re not using Russian dressing. Did you know that the Big Mac sauce is even a variation on this dressing? Thousand Island dressing ingredients include mayonnaise, ketchup, and spices. It typically includes finely chopped ingredients like pickles, onions, bell peppers, and so forth.

Where did the name Thousand Island come from? There’s some contention on exactly how it originated. But popular belief is that the dressing was a traditional sauce from the late 19th century in the Thousand Islands region, located along the upper St. Lawrence River between the United States and Canada.

Related: 10 Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes | The Best Tahini Sauce | Creamy Avocado Dressing

1000 Island dressing ingredients

How to make Thousand Island dressing

Most 1000 Island dressings are made with a lot of mayonnaise. To make a healthy spin, we’ve cut the mayo with a bit of plain yogurt in our Thousand Island dressing recipe. This helps it to be a little lighter, and adds a bit of those lovely yogurt probiotics. We have used a bit of mayonnaise, but less than the standard Thousand Island dressing recipe. The mayo is important to add the richness and so that the dressing sticks to the lettuce and vegetables (you don’t want a watery dressing!). When making a “healthy spin” dressing, it’s still got to bring big flavor and stick to the salad in the right way.

Add to the mayo and yogurt some spices and vinegar, and then of course those signature finely chopped ingredients! I always thought that those were the “islands”, but according to the origin story above, I guess not! In this recipe, we’ve used finely chopped shallot, dill pickles, and jarred red pepper. It adds a delicious tangy element to all the bites.

Related: Homemade Italian Dressing | Vegan Ranch Dressing

Thousand island dressing recipe

How to serve this Thousand Island dressing recipe

This homemade Thousand Island dressing recipe is perfect on any type of salad that you throw together! Here are a few of our salad recipes where we’d use it:

As we mentioned above, this Thousand Island recipe also works as a sandwich spread! Here are a few sandwiches that would be delicious with a slather:

How would you use this 1000 Island dressing recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

1000 Island dressing recipe

This recipe is…

This Thousand Island dressing recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Thousand Island dressing recipe

Thousand Island Dressing

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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup 1x


This Thousand Island dressing recipe is simple to whip up and tastes so good! Here’s how to make Thousand Island dressing at home.


  • 2 tablespoons minced dill pickle
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced jarred red pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt*
  • ¼ cup high quality mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup organic ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


Mince the dill pickle, shallot, and red pepper (if using). 

Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the minced vegetables and stir to combine. Store refrigerated (keeps for at least 1 week). 


*Make sure the yogurt has a creamy consistency. Most yogurt brands we’ve used work, but we found one brand that was very runny which didn’t work well for salad dressing.

  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. leo stegg says:

    Add olives and top a burger