5-Ingredient Thousand Island Dressing with Avocado Oil Mayo
This easy homemade Thousand Island dressing is the perfect lightened-up alternative that tastes even BETTER than store-bought! It’s thick, creamy, sweet, & tangy like the classic dressing—but less-processed, lower in sugar, & even more flavorful. I’ll walk you through how to make 1000 Island dressing at home to serve on salads, burgers, as a dip, or any way you like!
For more lightened-up copycat dressings you can make at home, try my easy Italian salad dressing or honey mustard dressing!
What is Thousand Island dressing?
Thousand Island is a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing with ketchup (or tomato puree), relish, vinegar, and flavorings like onion & paprika. It’s sort of like a bunch of tasty burger toppings packed into a salad dressing! Typically, 1000 Island dressing also contains a decent amount of sugar—giving it the tangy, tomatoey, sweet flavor it’s known for. And that sweetness is part of what makes it so freaking good!
So, instead of making a totally sugar-free or keto Thousand Island dressing recipe, my lightened-up version has no added sugars. I still used sweet relish & regular ketchup (which both have sugar in them), so that satisfying sweetness is still there. But, compared to store-bought, this lower-carb Thousand Island salad dressing has ⅓ as much sugar per serving! And of course, you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your needs.
Lower-Sugar Homemade Thousand Island Dressing Ingredients
- Avocado Oil Mayonnaise. You can really use any mayonnaise you want here: avocado, olive oil, or classic. For a less-processed option, I like to make this Thousand Island dressing recipe with avocado oil mayo instead of classic mayo (which is made with refined vegetable oils like soybean & canola oil). And I typically use my homemade avocado oil mayonnaise because it honestly just tastes the best!
- Ketchup. For the best Thousand Island dressing possible, I recommend using real ketchup with real sugar! I love classic Heinz or Heinz “Simply” ketchup, which has no high-fructose corn syrup. Or if you’d like to make a Whole30 or keto Thousand Island dressing, you can use a sugar-free or Whole30-approved ketchup.
- Onion. A bit of finely minced onion gives this dressing a subtle but refreshing bite, and a slightly chunky texture that I love!
- Relish. For me, sweet relish makes all the difference in this recipe, and that tangy sweetness is part of what makes 1000 Island unique. Plus, sweet relish combined with real ketchup makes this homemade version plenty sweet, with no need for added sugar. And still only 1.3g sugar per 2 Tbsp! If you want an even lower-carb, keto, or Whole30 option, use dill relish or chopped pickles instead.
- White Vinegar. The acidity of white vinegar ties all these sweet, tangy, creamy ingredients together into a flavor-packed dressing I want to drizzle onto everything! I like the sharp sourness of white vinegar, but you could also use apple cider vinegar for a sweeter taste.
- Paprika & Salt. Pack more flavor into this 5-ingredient Thousand Island dressing with a few bonus seasonings. A dash of salt helps all the flavors shine. And sweet-and-smoky paprika adds a subtle kick that makes this copycat even tastier than store-bought!
Can I use yogurt instead of mayonnaise?
Many recipes try to lighten-up 1000 Island by replacing the mayonnaise with plain Greek yogurt, but I recommend sticking with mayo here. I’ve made other homemade dressings with yogurt—like my copycat ranch dressing & white cheddar salad dressing—but the sharpness of plain yogurt works really well in those recipes. Even a light Thousand Island dressing is supposed to taste sweet! And I’ve found that the sharp tang of plain yogurt just takes away from that sweetness.
How to Make a Quick Thousand Island Dressing at Home
- In a bowl, whisk together avocado oil mayonnaise (or mayo of choice), ketchup, finely minced onion, relish, white vinegar, paprika, and salt.
- Once the mixture is integrated, transfer your dressing to a bottle or jar and seal it with a lid. (I love this dressing bottle with a spout for pouring in the lid.)
- Serve over mixed greens, a simple arugula salad, a cobb salad, or whatever you like!
- Store homemade Thousand Island in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (It’ll taste even better after sitting overnight!)
Check out my Salad Dressing Remakes video for more ideas like this copycat 1000 Island dressing!
Easy 5-Ingredient Thousand Island Dressing (Low Sugar)
- 1 cup avocado oil mayonnaise, (or mayo of choice)
- 3 Tbsp ketchup
- 3 Tbsp white onion, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp relish
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ½ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Add all ingredients to a bowl or measuring cup and whisk well to combine.
- Transfer to an airtight jar or bottle to store. Will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Yields ~1½ cups thousand island dressing.
Nutrition NotesPer 2 Tbsp Thousand Island made with store-bought avocado oil mayo:
141 calories | 16g fat | 1.7g carbs | 0g fiber | 1.3g sugar | 0g protein
243mg sodium | 20mg cholesterol Per 2 Tbsp Thousand Island made with my homemade avocado oil mayo:
174 calories | 18.6g fat | 1.9g carbs | 0g fiber | 1.3g sugar | 0.5g protein
139mg sodium | 15mg cholesterol