Vegan Thousand Island Salad Dressing

Thousand Island dressing in a small dish

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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
116 Calories
11g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 116
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 167mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 25mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Just because you are vegan doesn't mean you have to give up on Thousand Island salad dressing. One of the key non-vegan ingredients in Thousand Island dressing is mayonnaise, which you can simply swap for vegan mayonnaise, either store bought or homemade.

In its simplest form, Thousand Island salad dressing is little more than prepared ketchup mixed together in any proportion with mayonnaise or Vegenaise if you’re vegan. Once you have whipped up these two basic ingredients, the possibilities for variations are endless. No wonder it is one of the most popular dressings and widely used condiment for virtually anything. Thousand Island dressing has many more uses than merely tossing it with a salad.

In this recipe, sweet pickle relish adds a bit of sweetness and texture to the dressing. For more tang, mix in some Dijon mustard or a little bit of vinegar. To make it spicy, add a pinch of crushed red chile pepper.

Thousand Island dressing is so versatile that you can add flavorings and condiments from a wide array of cuisines. For an Asian twist, add a bit of Srirachamisohoisin, wasabi, or garam masala. Stir in some chopped capers for a Mediterranean-style variation or chopped preserved lemon for a Moroccan-inspired dressing. For a Mexican-flavored dressing, add taco seasoning or taco sauce.

Other vegan additions that add both flavor and texture are finely chopped onions, bell peppers, pimento, green olives, or nuts. For minced fresh herbs, try parsley or garlic chives. You can even stir in some chopped almonds, walnuts, or cashews.

If you add fresh ingredients like onions or peppers, or fresh herbs to the dressing, it won’t keep that long. So, if you want to keep a jar of Thousand Island dressing ready in the fridge for whenever a fancy strikes you, it is better to stick to the basic ingredients and add other, more perishable ingredients shortly before serving.

Thousand Island dressing was invented in the Thousand Islands region in upstate New York, but there are different tales about who invented Thousand Island Dressing and when. One thing is for sure, though: The dressing was invented during an era when meat was an essential part of the American diet. However, thanks to the plant-based mayonnaise alternatives we have today, it is possible to enjoy a vegan Thousand Island dressing that is just as tasty and versatile as the original.


  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise

  • 1/3 cup ketchup

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, optional

  • Dash kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small bowl, place vegan mayonnaise, ketchup, onion powder (if using), salt, and sweet pickle relish (if using). Whisk together all of the ingredients until dressing is smooth and creamy and all ingredients are well combined. Make sure to get rid of any "streaks" of ketchup or mayo.

  3. Taste and adjust seasonings. 

Not sure what to do with your Thousand Island dressing? It can be used in place of plain mayonnaise on just about any kind of sandwich and makes a great addition to any veggie burger as a topping.