Thousand Island Dressing

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The best thousand island dressing has a few basic ingredients like mayonnaise, ketchup, and sweet pickle relish. Not only does it make for a great dressing on tossed salad, but also an amazing condiment for burgers and even a dip for French fries!

Just like Blue Cheese Dressing, it is fairly basic but packs a powerful flavor that goes great on nearly any kind of salad, burger, or sandwich!

Why buy store bought when you can make your own? You probably already have all the thousand island dressing ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry, so let’s get started!

Thousand island dressing in a jar with a solid in the background

I love a good creamy dressing not only for salads but for dipping veggies too! Thousand Island has always topped my list… but exactly What is Thousand Island Dressing? It can be made with a variety of different ingredients to punch up the flavors! The base always starts with mayonnaise (I add sour cream & vinegar for tang). Ketchup (or tomato paste) adds zest and color. For sweetness a spoonful of sugar and some sweet pickle relish! So good!

Of course, you can add in some of your other favorite flavors too:

  • Lemon juice
  • Chili paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Diced black olives

What is the Difference Between Russian Dressing and Thousand Island Dressing?

While both dressings have distinctive flavor profiles, thousand island dressing is far more versatile because it can be used for more than a salad dressing. Russian dressing is more tomato-based and has a thinner, smooth consistency. It is also a little bit spicier because it calls for horseradish and paprika. Russian dressing is great on tossed salads (and perfect on my Dorito Taco Salad), but not as popular as the sweeter thousand island dressing for burgers or Reuben sandwiches.


Ingredients for Thousand Island dressing on a white plate

How to Make Thousand Island Dressing

In a bowl, gently combine all the ingredients until smooth and fully incorporated. Homemade thousand island dressing will keep up to ten days in a container with a tightly fitted lid or a jar (I keep it in a mason jar).

Shake or stir before using as a salad dressing or a condiment for burgers, sandwiches, or fries! Easy to make and yummy to use!

Thousand island dressing in a white bowl with a wooden spoon

Homemade Dressings

Thousand island dressing in a clear jar with a wooden spoon
5 from 5 votes
Review Recipe

Thousand Island Dressing

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Holly Nilsson
The best thousand island dressing has a few basic ingredients like mayonnaise, ketchup, and sweet pickle relish. 


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper

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  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • Refrigerate up to 10 days.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information is based on 1 tablespoon of dressing. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 62, Carbohydrates: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 80mg, Potassium: 13mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 4mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword thousand island dressing
Course Dip, Dressing
Cuisine American

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Thousand island dressing in a clear jar with a spoon and a title

Thousand island dressing in a clear jar with a spoon and a title
Thousand island dressing ingredients in a white bowl and thousand island dressing in a clear jar with a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Sorry, this is not Thousand Island dressing. I was born and raised in the Thousand Islands in Northern NY. The dressing was originated at the Wellesley Island hotel. The ingredients consist of Mayo, Ketchup, worcestershire, relish, and the secret ingredient is hard boiled egg.

    1. Thanks for sharing Jon! This is our take on a Thousand Island Dressing, hope you enjoy it!

  2. This is similar to my mom’s recipe I’ve made for years. Ours has 1cul mayo, no sour cream and what makes it so good, it had 1 hard boiled egg chopped finely