Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

Looking for a tasty condiment or just forgot to make the dressing for the salad? Thousand island dressing is here to help!

Thousand island recipe - SunCakeMomThousand island recipes are like its story of origin, a complete mess. We know that it is originated to the region between the US and Canada, called thousand islands but apart from that almost every island that has “Room Enough” for a house has its own story about it.

What’s in the name?

Some say, it’s the invention of a fishing guide’s wife who packed her husband’s lunch with this sauce. The husband shared the sauce with a visiting actress who in turn shared it with the world. Another story line credits the invention of the thousand island recipe to a chef of the Maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel who had to improvise a dressing for a salad that went out without one.

Of course, none of these stories has written evidence but they sound much better than simply assigning another sauce to the French and call it French dressing with mayo.

Who cares about thousand islands?

The dressing’s foundation rests on mayonnaise and some tomato-based puree which in its most primitive form could simply be ketchup. Mixing the two together will provide the distinctive pinkish sauce that is widely recognized all across the state’s fast-food restaurants and even beyond.

Outside of the US, nations tend to rename it for something that they can relate more to, like “Rhode Island dressing” in Sweden, “American dressing” in Germany or “Marie Rose Sauce” in the UK.

Swedes must have messed something up quite badly during Geography class but a part of the location of the island, the recipe is pretty much the same.

What’s in the sauce?

Especially because thousand island dressing doesn’t really have a real recipe, apart from being made of mayo and some tomato-based sauce. Finely chopped pickles are generally going with it but apart from that there are a myriad of ingredients that the various restaurants added during the years.

Orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, cream, chili sauce, paprika or Tabasco can all be on the list of ingredients, altering the flavor portfolio dramatically while keeping the color largely intact.

Finely cut onions, pickles, bell peppers, olives parsley, garlic, nuts, or even hard-boiled eggs are popular texture enhancers that are used widely across the tables. We can opt to use them at our convenience without fearing to fall out of the dressing limits.

Whom is thousand islands for?

If we make our own mayo and tomato sauce from scratch then we don’t really have to care for many of these additional ingredients as many of them are already included in the base sauces.

A homemade mayonnaise made from olive oil, mustard and lemon will anchor our condiment firmly on one end of the axis much like an empty boat is anchored on the sea of infinite flavors. Yet, pronounced as it can be, just like empty boats are always waiting for something to be filled up with, to start their journey, so does mayo.

Tomato sauce with slightly caramelized onion and roasted garlic seems like a perfect companion for such journeys. Add a touch of paprika, chili and vinegar, essentially making salsa brava or add green olives to make marinara sauce and it will perfectly fill the void that the mayo boat created.

Be it hastily mixed store bought mayo and ketchup or carefully constructed masterpiece of mayonnaise with tomato sauce, we can be sure that thousand island dressing will help us conquer any difficulty we may face on our journey through the wild flavorless world.Thousand island recipe - SunCakeMom

Ingredients

Beginner

  • 1 cup / 240g Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup / 120g Ketchup

Advanced

  • 1 cup / 240g Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup / 120g Ketchup
  • 4 tablespoon / 20g Pickles (diced)
  • ¼ / 25g Onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon / 15ml Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon / 3g Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon / 15ml Hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon / 3g Salt
  • ½ teaspoon / 1g Black pepper (optional)

Overkill

Mayonnaise
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • ⅞ cup / 200ml Cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard
  • ¼ Lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • Sweetener of choice (optional)
Tomato sauce

It’s hard to make so small amount of tomato sauce as much we need for a cup of thousand island recipe. We have to make a bigger batch of tomato sauce and use only as much as needed for the amount of mayo we are preparing. We can freeze the rest in batches for next time.

  • ½ cup / 125ml Oil
  • 2 medium Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 28 oz / 800g Tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • Hot paprika or any other hot pepper to taste
Extras to consider
  • 4 tablespoon / 20g Pickles (diced)
  • 4 tablespoon / 20g Bell peppers (diced)
  • 4 tablespoon / 20g Olives (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon / 5g Chives (diced)

How to make Thousand island dressing

Beginner – Advanced

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.Thousand island recipe - SunCakeMom

Enjoy!Thousand island recipe - SunCakeMom

Overkill

Mayonnaise

For more detailed instructions check: How to make mayonnaise

  1. Break and separate eggs. We will only need the yolks. Get the oil ready by pouring it into a measuring jug. Add the mustard to the egg yolks.Homemade mayonnaise recipe - SunCakeMom
  2. Whisk yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour oil very slowly into the bowl of whisked yolks.Mayonnaise-recipe-Process-5-SunCakeMom
  3. Add the lemon juice and salt. Keep whisking and adding the second half of the oil until the end.Mayonnaise-recipe-Process-9-SunCakeMom
Tomato Sauce

For more detailed instructions check: How to make tomato sauce

  1. Saute the diced onion on high heat until it gets a glassy / translucent look for about 3-5 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and saute until it gets fragrant for about a minute.Patatas-bravas-sauce-Process-3-SunCakeMom
  2. Mix in the tomatoes or the pureed tomato and add in the vinegar and/or the optional white wine.Patatas-bravas-sauce-Process-6-SunCakeMom
  3. Cook it on low heat for about 5 – 10 minutes or until the sauce gets the desired thickness. Sprinkle in the paprika and optional hot spices then cook it for another minute.Patatas-bravas-sauce-Process-7-SunCakeMom
Assembly
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.Thousand island recipe - SunCakeMom

Enjoy!Thousand island recipe - SunCakeMom

Print
5 from 1 vote

Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

Looking for a tasty condiment or just forgot to make the dressing for the salad? Thousand island dressing is here to help!
Course Condiments
Cuisine Dairy free, Gluten free, Keto, Low carb recipe, Sugar free recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 40
Calories 44kcal
Author SunCakeMom

Ingredients

Beginner
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Ketchup
Advanced
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • 4 tablespoon Pickles diced
  • ¼ g Onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black pepper optional
Overkill
    Mayonnaise
    • 1 Egg yolk
    • cup Cooking oil
    • 1 teaspoon Mustard
    • ¼ Lemon juice
    • ¼ teaspoon Salt
    • Sweetener of choice optional
    Tomato sauce
    • It's hard to make so small amount of tomato sauce as much we need for a cup of thousand island recipe. We have to make a bigger batch of tomato sauce and use only as much as needed for the amount of mayo we are preparing. We can freeze the rest in batches for next time.
    • ½ cup Oil
    • 2 medium Onion
    • 1 teaspoon Salt
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 28 oz Tomato sauce
    • 2 tablespoon Vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Paprika
    • Hot paprika or any other hot pepper to taste
    Extras to consider
    • 4 tablespoon Pickles diced
    • 4 tablespoon Bell peppers diced
    • 4 tablespoon Olives diced
    • 1 tablespoon Chives diced

    Instructions

    Beginner - Advanced

    • Mix all the ingredients together.
      Thousand island recipe - SunCakeMom

    Overkill

      Mayonnaise

      • Break and separate eggs. We will only need the yolks. Get the oil ready by pouring it into a measuring jug. Add the mustard to the egg yolks.
        Homemade mayonnaise recipe - SunCakeMom
      • Whisk yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour oil very slowly into the bowl of whisked yolks.
        Mayonnaise-recipe-Process-5-SunCakeMom
      • Add the lemon juice and salt. Keep whisking and adding the second half of the oil until the end.
        Mayonnaise-recipe-Process-9-SunCakeMom

      Tomato Sauce

      • Saute the diced onion on high heat until it gets a glassy / translucent look for about 3-5 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and saute until it gets fragrant for about a minute.
        Patatas-bravas-sauce-Process-3-SunCakeMom
      • Mix in the tomatoes or the pureed tomato and add in the vinegar and/or the optional white wine.
        Patatas-bravas-sauce-Process-6-SunCakeMom
      • Cook it on low heat for about 5 – 10 minutes or until the sauce gets the desired thickness. Sprinkle in the paprika and optional hot spices then cook it for another minute.
        Patatas-bravas-sauce-Process-7-SunCakeMom

      Assembly

      • Mix all the ingredients together.
        Thousand island recipe - SunCakeMom

      Notes

      Enjoy!

      Nutrition (per serving)

      Serving: 9g | Calories: 44kcal (2%) | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 5g (8%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) | Cholesterol: 5mg (2%) | Sodium: 19mg (1%) | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg (6%)

      Pin now, Enjoy later!

      Thousand-islands-recipe-Pinterest-SunCakeMom

      Thomas Cook
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