Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Thousand Island salad dressing that really is better for you than the sugar- and fat-laden versions you find in the supermarket. An immersion blender makes quick work of this recipe but a strong whisking arm is all you really need.


Have you ever looked at the amount of sugar in salad dressings? Never mind all the other creepy ingredients. I decided it was time to stop being lazy and start making my own dressings so I can control the amount of fat and sugar I put on my salad. Since we eat salad almost every night, we’re talking about a lot of fat and sugar. Especially since I’m a fool for Thousand Island dressing. I love it on burgers and sandwiches. I have a hard time not ordering a Reuben when I’m in a brewpub or beer bar, probably because of the Thousand Island dressing that will be slathered on the rye bread.

At one of my waitressing jobs in college, the house dressing was Thousand Island with crumbles of blue cheese in it. Oh, how I loved that dressing. I still top my salads with my Better-for-You Thousand Island dressing and gorgonzola crumbles.

I used to make this with a bit of chipotle en adobo but I got tired of that flavor – even a little bit seemed overwhelming, and I love chipotle. So I switched to ground chipotle powder. But lately, I’ve been leaving out the chipotle and adding horseradish instead. Perfect! Doctor up this dressing according to your taste. An immersion blender makes quick work of the whole process.

Better-For-You Thousand Island Salad Dressing | Grabbing the Gusto

Better-For-You Thousand Island Salad Dressing | Grabbing the Gusto

Better-For-You Thousand Island Salad Dressing

You’ll need an immersion blender with cup or a blender.

  • 1 cup plain low-fat or full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon (or more) horseradish
  • 1/4 cup + optional 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish – try to find low sugar brands, like Mt. Olive (or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons minced fresh or roasted red bell pepper and/or pimentos (or less, to taste)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or cup of an immersion blender. Pulse until smooth, about 1 minute.

Makes 2 cups.

2 thoughts on “Better-for-You Thousand Island Salad Dressing

  1. I love making my own salad dressings. Thanks for sharing!

  2. deirdrereid says:

    You’re welcome, Jenn. Do you have any favorites to share?

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