Homemade Thousand Island Dressing ♥

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing, another easy homemade salad dressing ♥ A Veggie Venture
graphic button small size size 10 Today's easy-easy and delicious-delicious salad dressing recipe, Thousand Island. Yes, you really can make it at home. And it's not just as good as what you can buy in the grocery stores, it's better! Low Carb. Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

~recipe updated, first published way back in 2007~
~more recently updated recipes~

Thousand Island is the stuff of my childhood, draped thick across a fat wedge of crisp iceberg lettuce, topped and sided with croutons and "the salad" at the Country House, the steak place at the edge of town and the only place to eat out at night in the small Minnesota town where I grew up and still call "home".

The Country House is still there, though now sporting a new name three or so owners ago. The beer signs portraying fluorescent dreams of sky-blue water and five-pound walleye still light the bar, too. And the door from the kitchen still swings straight into the main room where the tables remain arranged exactly the same as f – – – um, let's just say, some years back.

Then, the menu was sheathed in plastic and short: steak (served with fries or foil-wrapped baked potatoes) and deep-fried shrimp (so exotic!) and the house specialty, fresh walleye from the Lake (ordered only by tourists since locals could catch their own for free).

Still, what I remember most is the relish tray (fry-cut carrots; black olives from cans, no doubt; and candied apple rings, my sister reminds me) and the iceberg wedges that served for salad.

At home, there was no choice of dressing, just whatever Mom put on the table. But at the Country House – la-di-la – we got to choose, to decide for ourselves: Italian vinaigrette ("that's just oil and vinegar and some spices," my mom coached) or creamy Italian ("you'd like this, Lon," she'd encourage with only small signs of growing impatience) or French or the oh-so-travel-inspiring Thousand Island.

Still it's been years and years since I've tasted the déclassé Thousand Island. But it won't be long til the next time, now that I've learned how easy it is to make homemade Thousand Island, and how good it is, in 2007 as well as, well, 19x7. (Sorry, that key just sticks ...)

UPDATE It turns out, I make Homemade Thousand Island Dressing again and again, especially in summer. We especially like it with iceberg lettuce. Here's how we do it, try Loaded Iceberg Steaks with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Makes 1 cup

1/3 cup low-fat or regular mayonnaise (Hellman's is my favorite brand)
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I think vinegar might work too)
2 tablespoons fresh or roasted red pepper, chopped a bit
1 tablespoon onion, minced a bit
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons water (or less or more to achieve consistency you like, don't feel the need to replicate the gloppy globby dressings from the store)

Whiz in a mini food processor. Alternatively, skip the food processor and just combine all the ingredients with a whisk, you'll just need to finely chop the bell pepper, onion and parsley before adding. Serve! Keeps for a couple of weeks. I store it in a re-cycled glass salad dressing bottle, easy to pour!

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Still Hungry?


~ Homemade Greek Salad Dressing ~
~ Apple Cider Vinaigrette ~
~ Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing ~
~ Homemade Thousand Island Dressing ~
~ German Salad Dressing ~
~ Never Buy Salad Dressing Again ~
~ more salad dressing recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing ~
~ Orange & Cumin Vinaigrette ~
~ Warm Bacon Dressing ~
~ more salad dressing recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column


Leeks & Asparagus Poke Sallet Mashed Rutabagas & Apple Summer Vegetable Stew (< Pinterest loves it!) Swedish Beets (< a kitchen staple) Broccoli with Rice Wine & Oyster Sauce Beet Carpaccio Golden Beets with Brussels Sprouts Homemade Thousand Island Dressing (< so so good!) Bubble & Squeak Baba Ganoush (Middle Eastern Eggplant Spread) Party Asparagus with Aioli (< this week's favorite!) Asparagus Risotto Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie Miss Jennie's Famous Benedictine Spread Greek Spinach-Asparagus-Potato Gratin (Spinaki me Sparaggia Orgraten) (< so impressive looking) Paleo Carrot Soup Simple Zucchini Ribbon Salad

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Iceberg lettuce with thousand island dressing was a childhood favorite of mine, too!

  2. Well, that key should be stuck!
    What's old is new again ... it's always fun to find the old things over again, like Spike flavoring at Kalyn's the other day and now you.
    Oops I don't me we're old things, well, I think actually I am. Enough silly.
    There was a dressing I used to make before I was married even ... I'll have to see if I can retrieve that one.
    Your Thousand Island reminds me of it except the one I used had an egg I think. Yours look great. May try it before I find the other.

  3. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    A nice post, nicely written! I love that deep-fried shrimp was exotic. Growing up in St. Louis during that same key-sticking period [I'm guessing], I certainly felt sophisticated ordering it as a teen.

    Sometimes déclassé pleasures are the best, aren't they? Thousand Island was my go to dressing for the longest time.

  4. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    And pickled herring was on the relish tray, too. Yum! I think Alanna and I are the only people I know who grew up eating pickled herring.

    The Sister

  5. Hmm .. Thousand Island dressing is called "De 1000 öarnas salladssås" in Swedish.

    I found a recipe in a cookbook from 1963. This recipe calls for chili sauce (like ketchup), lemon juice, a few drops of oil and some mayo. (Serve with seafood).

    Since i am interested in history, this dressing must have a history, I thought.

    Googling, I found several sites: "The history of Thousand Island Dressing dates back to the early days of the 20th century and centers in the small resort village of Clayton, New York...."

    "...In the early 20th century, Sophia LaLonde of Clayton, N.Y., served the dressing at dinner for guests of her husband, who was a popular fishing guide. One of the dinner guests was leading actress May Irwin. It was Irwin who christened the dressing with the Thousand Island name, and the dressing was served by Irwin's request at the Herald Hotel in Clayton. The actress also introduced the dressing to the wider world when she gave LaLonde's recipe to the owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City."

  6. Lydia ~ This is feeling like a xxty-something reunion!

    Tanna ~ Would love to see your dressing. Homemade salad dressing are SO UNLIKE the bottled versions.

    Terry B ~ Ah yes, the shrimp. I loved to order it at the Country House because it was never ever served at home. PS Thanks!!

    My Dear Sister ~ Ah yes, the herring. And of course, now that you mention it, it was over the Christmas herring that we had this reminiscence. No doubt, herring on the appetizer platter was the result of all the Scandihoovian influence in the northern reaches of Minnesota.

    Karin ~ Thanks for all the information! It's one of the things I love about your site!

  7. AnonymousMay 03, 2007

    Sounds lovely, gonna make a point of adding to my shopping lis all the bits i need for next week!

  8. Mmm, that does look good. Loved your story about the restaurant, too.

  9. That reminded me of eating out at the Green Lantern as a child. When it came time to order their dressing, my brother ordered 1000 Island and my nephew said he only wanted one island on his please! Thanks for that memory Alanna!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna