Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing | Magnolia Days

Thousand Island is one of my husband’s favorite dressings. When it comes to a “regular” salad he will choose it or Ranch. Regular salad being a simple one with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Sometimes cheese and grilled chicken are on there too. I’m more of a vinaigrette gal. The only time I use 1000 Island is on a turkey reuben. Because I prefer homemade I finally got around to making it. It was about time. No more store-bought.

This dressing is thick and a little tangy. You could make it milder if you use more mayonnaise (probably a 1/4 cup or so) or reduce the amounts of some of the ingredients. Like any dressing, you can adapt it for your taste. A little more of this or a little less of that can make a difference. I have fun in the process. Sometimes it takes me a few times before I get it exactly how I want it. Then my tastes change or I want to use it for something else and the experimenting beings.

Is it worth making it at home? Of course it is. It does take more time than opening a bottle. However, the flavor is what it is all about. Any salad or sandwich is better with homemade dressing. Being able to customize it to your own taste is a bonus. I still have a few more to tackle too. Well, more than a few actually.

What’s your favorite dressing? Let me know and perhaps I will feature it in a future post. I really like the inspiration. Who knows, I might discover a new favorite too.

Thousand Island Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: Makes about 1¼ cups
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle cubes
  • 3 round dill pickle slices (about a tablespoon)
  • ½ X 1½-inch slice roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 hard-boiled egg yolk
  • Fresh ground pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce, ground mustard, lemon juice and vinegar until combined.
  2. In a small chopper or food processor, add the sweet pickle cubes, dill pickle slices, roasted red bell pepper, capers, onion, and egg yolk. Process until finely chopped.
  3. Add chopped mixture to the mayonnaise mixture. Season with fresh ground pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve as a salad dressing or sandwich topping. Refrigerate leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.

Recipe created by using inspiration from three recipes on About.com, Food Network/Ina Garten, and Food Network Kitchens websites.

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  1. says

    I remember making this ages ago when Joy of Cooking was the only book I had. It didn´t have the chili sauce, but I bet it tastes much better with it! I love homemade dressings, there´s so much to do with them.

  2. says

    I love thousand island dressing. When we lived in Chicago, every restaurant served it. When we moved to Colorado, it became rare.

    Want a confession? Sometimes I skip the extra ingredients and just mix mayo and chili sauce when I’m making salad just for me.

    • says

      I could see using only the mayo and chili sauce for a quickie version. All the other ingredients sure do give it much more flavor and texture too.

  3. says

    Growing up we always made our salad dressings, no store bought. But that’s not to say they were anything great – to the contrary. My Thousand island dressing was: mayo/ketchup/relish – BLAH!

    Since I too love Thousand Island on Reuben Sandwiches, next time, I’ll be making your version! Looks wonderful!
    Cheers Renee!

  4. Susan says

    Would love a blue cheese and garlic vinaigrette. Used to eat something like this in San Diego at a place called the Silver Dollar.

    Wooden bowl
    Mince garlic and salt in bowl, then add other ingredients to complete dressing then add lettuce etc. and salad is done. Bowl smells wonderful after multiple re-makes in the same bowl.


  1. […] in the salad dressings sold in the stores. So I was excited to find this a healthier version of Homemade Thousand Island Dressing. Being able to customize it to your own taste is a bonus. This dressing is thick and a little […]

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