Homemade Thousand Island Salad Dressing Recipe

Ever since I was a little kid, Thousand Islands was always my favorite dressing for a salad. I loved the creamy texture with the combination of sweet and tart.  Just like most kids, salad did not thrill me, but with some of this pink colored dressing, I was more than happy to eat it.

I am not sure where the name for this salad dressing comes from, but I assume it is in relation to the Thousand Islands which is on the St. Lawrence River, in between Canada and the United States.

Today, I still enjoy this dressing for salad. I am surprised it has taken me this long to make my own recipe. A few weeks ago, I made the Big Mac Secret Sauce and, ever since, I have wanted to try thousand island salad dressing. They are similar to each other, with just a few differences.

How to make homemade thousand Island Salad Dressing

Thousand Island dressing is not just great on salads. It is great on a burger (can we say Big Mac!), or on a sandwich. One of the best ways to use this dressing is on a reuben sandwich.  Corned beef, sauerkraut, cheese and thousand islands dressing, grilled on a panini press – now we are talking! Totally delicious.

Some people asked what kind of jars I use and where I got them. They are a brand called Weck jars and they can be seen here. They can be contacted for a list of retailers. I love the old style that these jars have with the rubber ring and glass lids. There are steel clips that hold the rings and lids tightly on the jar.

How to make homemade thousand Island Salad Dressing

Making salad dressing at home is not very difficult and the flavour issue good. Here is a list of recipes for some other salad dressings that I make:

How to make homemade thousand Island Salad Dressing

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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Thousand Island Salad Dressing Recipe

How to make Thousand Island dressing made with mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, relish and spices, Perfect for lettuce salads, use like a Big Mac sauce for burgers, sandwiches, Rueben and more!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword dip, dressing, salad, Thousand Islands
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Steve Cylka


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • few drops Worcestershire sauce
  • few drop hot sauce (ex: Tabasco)


  • Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Use on a salad, burger, sandwiches or even as a dip.

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. Yay… we love thousand island dressing. My kids love to dip chicken nuggets with it. 🙂

  2. Virginia Anderson

    This sounds good. I would like to also add a tsp of smoked paprika and the same with sugar.

    • Sweet relish is plenty of sugar in this. It is really quite sweet with the relish and the ketchup . I used a bit more hot sauce though.

  3. Thousand Islands is one of my favorite dressings, can’t wait to try the recipe. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

  4. So delicious! What kind of pickles do you typically like to use? I prefer those that are lacto-fermented with no vinegar, like Bubbie’s! This turned out great, I’m using it on everything! Thanks for sharing!

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