Lighter than bottled dressing, this Easy Thousand Island Dressing recipe is quick and simple to throw together at a moment’s notice with ingredients you readily have on hand. Perfect for topping your classic “house salad” and fantastic as a sandwich spread.

Quick and Easy Thousand Island Dressing recipe made completely from scratch. |

I didn’t realize it until now but I’ve always had my hand in some sort of food job almost my entire life.  When I was little, I used to help my grandfather make pierogi from scratch by spilling orange juice in the filling. (That wasn’t well received…fyi.)

And I became a chocolatier during the easter season when my mom decided to run a full fledge candy operation out of our little kitchen…chocolate hollow eggs and chocolate covered peanut butter eggs were the hot items.

Then, when I was older, I bussed tables at one of the areas hottest (and most historic) restaurants, Seven Stars Inn, carrying giant bins of leftover lobster and prime rib back to the kitchen….weeping silently while I tossed barely eaten lobster and prime rib into the trash. GAH!

THEN, I became a hostess at the local Pizza Hut when I was 16. This job was the absolute worst.  I was in charge of the salad bar and seating people which were two odd jobs to pair together but whatever….the restaurant was near our local ski resort and was convenient for my friends to pick me up when I suddenly would {cough, cough} become sick and need to leave.

Quick and Easy Thousand Island Dressing recipe made completely from scratch. |

One of my jobs as salad bar filler, was to make sure the little containers were stocked with fresh ingredients and top off the dressings when they became low.  I took a lot of pride in my salad bar duties becoming somewhat obsessive about the cleanliness of the containers and freshness of the ingredients.

I could tell you things about salad bars that would make you order a large meat lovers pizza instead even if you were vegetarian. But, when I was in charge….that salad was the freshest place on the planet.

AND SOMETIMES….when it wasn’t that busy and there wasn’t much left to do, I’d take my job to a new level and ENSURE the ingredients were fresh by taste testing everything after dipping it generously in Thousand Island Dressing.

Quick and Easy Thousand Island Dressing recipe made completely from scratch. |

I’d spend quite a bit of time in the walk in fridge until someone would come barging in to see if I died in there as I was stuffing a perfectly coated broccoli floret into my mouth. Who knew I’d become a salad addict….or was it that Thousand Island Dressing?  Which always seemed kind of weird to me until that Pizza Hut stint…and ever since then, I’ve craved it.

I think it’s the tangy, creamy, slightly sweet flavor that I love…..and it’s super thick, more like a sandwich spread than a dressing but it coats salad greens in kind of a nostalgic way.  Sort of making my salad a bit more like comfort food…not quite Mac and cheese but definitely not a light, healthy salad.

Quick and Easy Thousand Island Dressing recipe made completely from scratch. |

So, I decided to start whipping up my own version….and easy Thousand Island Dressing recipe that’s a bit lighter and less “damaging” than the bottled, full fat dressings.

What is Thousand Island Dressing?

Thousand Island Dressing is an American salad dressing with a mayonnaise base.  It’s commonly used to top salads and as a sandwich spread because of it’s thick, creamy consistency.

And when I was working on the recipe, I did a little research, did you know that the original Thousand Island Dressing has hard boiled egg in it?  And not a chopped egg, one that’s been pressed through a sieve?

That just seemed like a lot of work…and mess, so I skipped it but feel free to add that to your recipe and let me know what you think.

Quick and Easy Thousand Island Dressing recipe made completely from scratch. |

How do you make 1000 Island Dressing?

How to make Thousand Island Dressing is incredibly easy….even if you decide to go with a recipe that uses the hard boiled egg. Homemade Thousand Island ingredients are easy to find and can be whipped together in a bowl.

  1. In a medium bowl, add the yogurt (or sour cream), mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, relish, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Dressing is good for up to 5 days in a sealed container.

What is the difference between Russian Dressing and Thousand Island Dressing?

Everyone always asks me if Russian Dressing is the same as 1000 Island Dressing and the answer is just so simple….they’re basically the same except Russian Dressing is usually smoother and slightly spicier than Thousand Island. Thousand Island dressing has more relish, onions and other seasonings giving it a chunkier texture and sweeter taste. Oh….and there’s that egg, too. 🙂

Here are my favorite ways to use Thousand Island Dressing:

Looking for a few more easy salad dressings? You HAVE to try these:

To lighten up my easy Thousand Island Dressing recipe, I used low-fat plain greek yogurt to keep the consistency kind of on the thicker side.  It’s a lot thicker than the Blue Cheese Dressing which I like to mix things up a bit but not so thick that you could stand a spoon in it. The pickle relish adds some tart sweetness to it and sometimes I’ll even add a bit of the juice if I want to thin things out. This Thousand Island Dressing is simply amazing and ready in minutes…..great on any greens you like!

Get the Recipe: Light and Easy Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

Better than the bottle! This Thousand Island Salad Dressing is rich, creamy and doesn't have one fake ingredient in it!
4.85 from 13 votes


  • 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, relish, hot sauce, salt and pepper to combine.
  • Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Serving: 0g, Calories: 92kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 248mg, Potassium: 41mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 90IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 0.1mg