Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

by Renee on February 7, 2013

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

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Thousand Island Dressing

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle cubes
  • 3 round dill pickle slices (about a tablespoon)
  • 1/2 X 1 1/2-inch slice roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 hard-boiled egg yolk
  • Fresh ground pepper

In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce, ground mustard, lemon juice and vinegar until combined.

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.

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.

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

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen February 7, 2013 at 5:23 am

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.


Renee February 9, 2013 at 6:41 am

I have been wanting to get the Joy of Cooking for the longest time. I can’t believe I don’t have it yet.


Family Foodie February 7, 2013 at 6:02 am

Oh yum! Can’t wait tot try making this!


Renee February 9, 2013 at 6:42 am

Thank you Isabel!


Donna February 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

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.


Renee February 9, 2013 at 6:43 am

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.


Jennie @themessybakerblog February 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I love homemade thousand island dressing. It’s so much better than the store-bought dressing, which I refuse to eat. That salad looks so fresh!


Renee February 9, 2013 at 6:45 am

Thanks Jennie! The lettuce looked so good in the store and I knew it would be perfect for a salad photo (and to eat too).


Linda | The Urban Mrs February 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm

How lovely! I love homemade salad dressing. That way I can control the portion (because I know all the ingredients) and the saltiness. Can’t wait to have this….croutons, please. :)


Renee February 9, 2013 at 6:45 am

Oh yes! Crunchy croutons are a must. I love making them from day old bread.


Anita at Hungry Couple February 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

I only eat homemade dressings and I love playing around with the ingredients and seeing how it affects the flavor. This sounds great!


Renee February 9, 2013 at 6:47 am

Thanks Anita!


Eileen Gross | Wine Everyday February 10, 2013 at 9:35 am

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!


Renee February 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Thanks Eileen. How interesting you always made your own salad dressings. It is rare to see that these days.


Susan April 29, 2013 at 12:39 am

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.


Renee April 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Oh yes! A blue cheese and garlic vinaigrette sounds wonderful to me too. I’ll get to working on that one.


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