Healthier Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing in a small glass bowl

James and James / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Total Time: 5 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Servings: 8 (2 tablespoons each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

34 calories
3g fat
5g carbs
1g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 (2 tablespoons each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 34
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 108mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 3g  
Includes 1g Added Sugars 2%
Protein 1g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 48mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This healthier version of Thousand Island dressing can be used for so many things—on burgers (many restaurants use it as their "special sauce"), with shrimp, or, of course, on a veggie-filled salad. Most Thousand Island dressings have quite a lot of fat and sugar, but this healthier version is just as good.

The oil in a salad dressing can actually make some of the nutrients in the salad—particularly the fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemicals—more accessible to your body. But the problem with store-bought salad dressings falls into four categories: serving size, added sugars, less-than-great oils, and other ingredients that can be problematic.

By making your own salad dressing, you can avoid these pitfalls and control ingredients for your specific diet goals and preferences. Try this healthier version of Thousand Island dressing.


  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free ketchup
  • 3 tbsp sugar-free relish
  • 1 tbsp mustard


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, relish, and mustard. Adjust amounts of ingredients to taste.

  2. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Variations and Substitutions

One of the great things about this dressing recipe is that measurements don't need to be precise. In fact, you can easily vary the proportions to change the balance of flavors to suit your taste.

That said, this healthier version of Thousand Island dressing relies entirely on what's in each of the ingredients. For best results, look for high-quality products with simple ingredients. Most ketchup and relish products contain added sugars; to keep sugar counts low, look for no-sugar-added options.

If you don't have relish, you can substitute finely diced dill pickles. For added protein and probiotics, try replacing the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Try using homemade Thousand Island Dressing on any garden salad, burgers, or in a Rueben sandwich.
  • You can also use it as a dip for your favorite veggies.

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Melody J Brown, Mario G Ferruzzi, Minhthy L Nguyen, Dale A Cooper, Alison L Eldridge, Steven J Schwartz, Wendy S White, Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detectionThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 80, Issue 2, August 2004, Pages 396–403, doi:10.1093/ajcn/80.2.396

  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Is Your Salad Dressing Hurting Your Healthy Diet?. May 1, 2017.

By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.