Spicy Russian Dressing Recipe

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Russian Dressing is my spicier and sassier relative to Thousand Island Dressing. It is my go-to for my Reuben Sandwich recipe, and I love the kick that it brings to the more mild Thousand Island.

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Spicy Russian Dressing Recipe

Russian Dressing

When I ask for Russian dressing, either at a grocery store or restaurant, it seems that it is assumed that the dressing is interchangeable with Thousand Island Dressing. I would like to make that fine line between the two a bit more clear. Both dressings are tasty, in their own right, and deserve to have their own place in the food world. And yes, you can use Thousand Island in place of Russian dressing on your Reuben sandwich, or vice versa, but there IS a difference! Russian dressing has more of a spicy flair and is much less sweet than Thousand Island.

Just to be fair, I actually tried both my Thousand Island Recipe and this Russian Dressing Recipe on my Reuben Sandwich, and the Russian Dressing was the easy choice to layer on the sandwich, hands down, no contest, not even close. In addition, I must say I actually loved it on my lettuce salad as well, so maybe I spoke too soon–they ARE interchangeable, but be prepared to support each one independent of the another. Right now, I am Team Russian Dressing, since it seems to need a boost here in the Midwest!

Spicy Russian Dressing Recipe

Russian Dressing Recipe

My Russian Dressing Recipe has a few more ingredients than my Thousand Island, which makes sense since I needed the extra ingredients to give the dressing that classic Russian Dressing taste. Here are the ingredients you need on hand to make this delicious, needs to be promoted, dressing.


  • onion
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • lemon juice
  • horseradish
  • sweet pickle relish
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • hot sauce
  • paprika
  • kosher salt

This recipe calls for you chopping the onion and making onion paste. What is onion paste, you may ask? It is simply mashing chopped onions until they are a paste. If you never thought you needed a mortar and pestle set, I am giving you a reason to get one. It’s one of those ancient, tried and true tools that have stood the test of time in the kitchen! You can find an inexpensive set for under $20. But, there are some options that sell for over $1000! Your choice–I wouldn’t judge either way!

You will use this tool more than you ever thought you would. This is not just for the onion paste you need for this Russian Dressing recipe. The mortar is the bowl, and the pestle is the tool, and that’s all you need to crush whatever you need ground down. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about how fun this can actually be! Anyway, I digress…the point is, my recipe calls for onion paste, which is made by using that mortar and pestle set to mash the onion until it is a paste. Get into it!

Spicy Russian Dressing Recipe

How to Make Russian Dressing

Once you have made your onion paste and enjoyed using your mortar and pestle set ?, you simply mix in the rest of your ingredients. Stir in the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, relish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, paprika, and salt. The Russian Dressing is now ready to be served over a salad, on a sandwich, or on the Reuben Sandwich, of course! This dressing should last about two weeks, refrigerated in a sealed container.

Spicy Russian Dressing Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 cup (232g) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (60g) ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Mash the onion to get an onion paste. We used a mortar and pestle.
  2. In a small bowl combine onion, mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, relish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, paprika, and salt.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Spicy Russian Dressing Recipe

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