Tangy and Zesty Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

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Homemade dressings are always the better choice over store-bought dressings, and my Homemade Thousand Island Dressing is no exception! This is a tangy and zesty dressing that can be used for much more than a lettuce salad and it’s easy to make! If you are sold on homemade dressings like I am, be sure to try my Homemade Ranch Dressing.

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Tangy and Zesty Homemade Thousand Island Dressing


Every time I go to a restaurant and order a salad, the first question I ask is if they have Thousand Island dressing since it is one of my favorite dressings. If they do have it (which is hit or miss), I get super excited! Then, the big question…Is it homemade or do you make it in-house? If the answer is yes, again, I get even more excited! (Hey, sometimes it’s the little things that make me the happiest!) It actually seems to be gaining some steam in restaurants because I have noticed it is not just for the supper clubs and salad bars anymore, and I have to admit that I have tried some decent Thousand Island at a couple of my favorite spots.

However, I am not going to go out to eat every time I want a decent dressing! I have purchased so many brands of Thousand Island dressings in the past, and they just never lived up to what I expected. Either they were too runny (I have always preferred a thicker Thousand Island dressing, especially for dipping my croutons), or they just lacked the flavor I was expecting. Well, it made total sense to make my own!

Tangy and Zesty Homemade Thousand Island Dressing


To me, Thousand Island is the perfect name for this dressing that was named after the beautiful Thousand Islands region located between the United States and Canada, since it has such a lovely taste. (At least, that is the romantic version of the history of Thousand Island Dressing I like to go with.) Here are the ingredients you will need.


  • Mayonnaise: You could substitute plain yogurt for the mayo, but I prefer to use mayo.
  • Sour cream
  • Ketchup
  • White vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Pickle relish
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper


To make Thousand Island Dressing, start with a medium-sized bowl and add in all of your ingredients. Whisk them all together and cover the dish. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving. The chill time allows all of the flavors to marinate together. Once chilled store in an airtight storage bottle. We like to use the squeeze bottles with a lid.


You should be able to store this in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I typically look at the expiration date of the sour cream (since that would be the first to spoil). Use a permanent marker and make a note on the storage bottle so that you don’t run into issues down the road.

Tangy and Zesty Homemade Thousand Island Dressing


The most obvious way to use Thousand Island Dressing is over your lettuce salad. But, you can use it in other ways as well! Try it for the following:

Reuben Sandwich: Putting Thousand Island on a Reuben Sandwich is somewhat controversial…well, as controversial as dressings can be, I suppose. The great debate is ‘Should a Reuben be served with Thousand Island or Russian Dressing?’ I used my Homemade Russian Dressing for my Reuben recipe, but it is all about your taste buds or loyalty to the original on this one. How about trying the Thousand Island on my Reuben Sliders?

Dip In: Thousand Island is a great dip! Use this recipe for vegetables like cauliflower, celery, carrots, and broccoli. Take it a step farther by using this to make my Reuben Dip! Have you tried it with your french fries??? (That question means to go for it!)

Sandwich Spread: Thousand Island is not just ‘sandwiched’ in-between Reubens anymore. It is worth trying on any burger or sandwich!

Tangy and Zesty Homemade Thousand Island Dressing


  • ½ cup (116g) mayo
  • 1/2 cup (115g) sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk until smooth.

Tangy and Zesty Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

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