Healthy Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

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
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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 healthy 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 salad. Most Thousand Island dressings have quite a lot of fat and sugar, but this healthier version is just as good. Feel free to vary the balance of flavors to suit your own taste.


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (reduced-fat)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (reduced-fat)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (sugar-free)
  • 3 tablespoons relish (sugar-free, such as Mt. Olive Brand)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard


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

  2. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Salad Dressing Pitfalls

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.

  • Serving Size: An easy way to make what would normally be a healthy salad unhealthy is to drown it in dressing. It only takes a small amount of an oil-based dressing to coat the leaves of a salad. Put a small amount of dressing in the bottom of a bowl, add the salad ingredients, and toss the salad very well. This uses less oil and it tastes better when the salad has an even coating of dressing.
  • Added Sugars: In general, reduced-fat dressings have more sugar than "regular" dressings. Try to find dressings that have 0 or 1 gram of carbohydrate per 2-tablespoon serving, as well as no sugary ingredients, especially in the first four ingredients on the list. Note also that balsamic vinegar tends to have some sugar in it.
  • Type of Oil: The best oils for salads dressings have high amounts of monounsaturated fats and low amounts of omega-6 fats. Olive oil is probably the best choice, at 73% monounsaturated fat and 9% omega-6. Also, look carefully for partially hydrogenated fat, which is almost entirely trans-fat.
  • Other Ingredients: There are quite a few salad dressings on the market whose first or second ingredient is water. Those dressings tend to have a lot of vegetables, gums, and other ingredients to add "body" creating a goopy dressing.

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