Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

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This is unlike ANY Thousand Island Dressing you will find in a bottle.  Homemade is the way to go!

 Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

I will confess, I have never been a lover of Thousand Island Dressing.  That was until now.

I make a lot of Reuben themed recipes.  We love them, but I typically left the dressing off of them.  Feeling like I was cheating and not getting the whole experience.

Why Is It Called “Thousand Island Dressing?”

If you ever wondered why it is called Thousand Islands dressing, then the mystery is no more! Thousand Islands dressing is actually named after an area in upstate New York which is a cluster of little islands in the St Lawrence River at the border with Canada. It is a stunning area, especially in the Fall! The dressing was invented by a fisherman’s wife, but once a famous actress of the day passed in on to the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria, then history was made!

I think I was never a fan of the store bought stuff or the messy dressing container at the restaurant salad bars because it was either too sweet or felt it sat out too long in the salad bar. 

Once I tried making homemade though, that quickly changed. Homemade tastes fresh, and not too sweet, and of course you know it hasn’t sat out too long. 

What Does Thousand Island Dressing Go With?

Of course, thousand island dressing goes on top of salads, or makes a convenient dip for veggies or just about anything. But, where thousand island dressing really makes a statement is anything and everything Reuben. A Reuben sandwich stacked high with corned beef just isn’t the same without the thousand island dressing in there. 


Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

I made this up when I made Reuben Pinwheels, I used it in the pinwheels itself as well as a dipping sauce.  Holy smokes, was it amazing.

1000 island

My kids were eating it with a SPOON.

I will never buy the bottled stuff again.

What Goes Best With Thousand Island?

There are dishes like Reuben sandwiches which demand Thousand Island, then there are things just like veggies that taste better with it, like raw broccoli. I like to “reubenize”. Instead of trying to explain it to you, I think it is best if I just shower you with some examples:


Homemade Thousand Island Dressing - An Affair from the Heart

overhead of dressing in a white bowl with text 'Homemade Thousand Island Dressing"
4.48 from 36 votes
Print Recipe

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

This is unlike ANY Thousand Island Dressing you will find in a bottle. Homemade is the way to go!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
Servings: 1
Calories: 1287kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 1/2 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 hard boiled egg finely chopped
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  • Whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate covered and use within 2 days.


Original Recipe: Food Network


Serving: 1g | Calories: 1287kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 127g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 103g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 2894mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g

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  1. I can’t wait to make this Thousand Island dressing. There are so many more ingredients than I expected but it sounds perfect.

  2. I didn’t have all ingredients at 9pm BUT I did use what I had.. mayo,ketchup, onion,sweet relish, garlic,(sriracha instead of chili sauce).. it served the purpose on the Reuben sandwich and the taste was yummy..will use chili sauce next timethx

  3. I have the same opinion of Thousand Island dressing as you. I would only buy it when we wanted Reubens. Until I found your recipe. It is FABULOUS and easily made. I am curious why you recommend only keeping it 2 days.

    1. I am so happy that you loved it, too! Hard-boiled eggs keep in the fridge for one week if they are NOT peeled. If they are, they should be consumed within 48 hours as the moistness of the egg white surface is exposed and there is a potential of microorganism growth. Unlike store Thousand Island dressing, there are no preservatives, so it’s best to consume it within 48 hours.

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