Homemade Thousand Island Dressing (Fermented)

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

homemade thousand island dressing

One of my very favorite salad dressings is Thousand Island. Unfortunately, the bottled versions purchased from the grocery store don’t do it justice.  Not by a long shot.

Homemade thousand island dressing is definitely the way to go!

The rancid vegetable oils like soy or canola, chemical additives, artificial thickeners and even high fructose corn syrup in store versions can quickly turn your healthy salad into a bowl full of indigestion and inflammation!

Even organic salad dressings leave much to be desired as canola (short for “Canadian Oil”) is typically used – a hybridization of the poisonous rapeseed oil.   Why bother paying the premium for organic salad greens if the dressing is unhealthy?   It would be better to buy non-organic salad greens and get the dressing right.

If salad enthusiasts only knew that these rancid, free radical loaded vegetable oils in their beloved organic store salad dressings were contributing to skin wrecking brown spots and wrinkles, they would be horrified. It is so worth it to make your own with healthy fats!

Fortunately, homemade thousand island salad dressing is quite easy to make yourself and recently, I have started making a fermented Thousand Island dressing which adds beneficial enzymes and probiotics to the mix.

My husband and I particularly enjoy this probiotic rich, fermented, homemade thousand island dressing on our grassfed burgers too.   Talk about delicious!

The truth is that this homemade thousand island dressing tastes good on just about everything.  I was dipping a grilled cheese on sourdough sandwich in it just the other day and it was just as yummy!

All you have to do to make homemade thousand island dressing that is fermented and probiotic rich is make fermented ketchup and homemade mayonnaise and mix them together in a 50-50 ratio.   Since I already make ketchup and mayonnaise myself, I don’t have to do any additional work to make homemade thousand island dressing!

Anything that saves me time and effort in the kitchen is ok by me!

I’ve posted written recipes for both the lacto-fermented ketchup and mayonnaise in the past.

I’ve also posted videos of both recipes. For those who are more visual learners, here they are for your convenience:

Videos to Make Homemade Thousand Island Dressing (Fermented)

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Skin Deep

Picture Credit


Comments (33)

  1. Hi Sarah- your blog is definitely one of my favorites!! :) I am starting GAPS with my little one. Maple Syrup is not allowed on the protocol- only honey. I was wondering if you’ve ever tried this with honey? Will it work as well? I may be able to use maple extract?… I am highly sensitive to dairy as well- it seems the sensitivity is to the casein. Would all the casein be used up in the process? or should I try some other starter? Once on GAPS for 12weeks I’m supposed to be able to reintroduce dairy- maybe I should just wait till that point instead?

    Thank you for your blog :) I look forward to your ideas.

  2. I have sat here for the last hour, watching your wonderful recipes and tips! Thank you for contributing to the health of so many families and individuals! I was wondering, with both the mayo and the thousand island dressing, how long can they be refrigerated before going bad? Is it possible to can them?

  3. Sarah, I’m wondering if you had seen this article regarding the MSG which is apparently naturally present in fermented foods? I had no idea . . .


    Do you think he’s right or is he full of baloney? Every time I think I’ve found something healthy to do for my body (been makin’ sauerkraut for years with no problem) then I see something negative. Arg.

  4. Isabella Papineau May 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I love your ketchup recipe,and am gonna make it ,but I was wondering is the texture of it smooth?

  5. Pingback: Weekly Recipe Wrap Up – The “I’ve Been a Slacker Edition” | Delicious Obsessions

  6. I am going to try these recipes in the next few days, but I cannot use liquid whey for various reasons. Is there any alternative to this ingredient? Can I just leave it out?

    Sarah :c)

  7. I’ve been using grapeseed, walnut and sometimes extra light olive oil for homemade mayo. tastes great but I’m still concerned about too much omega 6 and the quality of extra light olive oil. I use the LA Tourangelle brand of grapeseed and walnut oil if that makes any difference. Does anyone know pro’s & con’s of these oils?

  8. In Utah, half Mayo and half Ketchup is called “Fry Sauce.” It is the state’s official dipping sauce and in most restaurants. Great on homemade fries!

    • Here where I live when you mix mayo, ketsup and french dressing together it’s called “goop” and you use it for dipping french fries and onion rings. I also use it on a burger patti.

  9. It took me a while to find it too only b/c I can be guilty of scanning articles. The recipe is simply half mayo and half ketchup as she mentions in the article which is why she has the videos for those recipes. This recipe is going to help with much needed variety in our homemade dressings.

    Sarah, I cannot wait to try the mayo with sunflower. I have always used olive oil and it did indeed taste too strong. I have always made the cultured mayo but I see you do not culture yours. I like the idea of instant mayo when I want it and also the culturing that I did before I believe led to thinning of the end product, and your looks nice and thick.


    • Hi Nickole, yes my mayo is very thick and spoonable. I love it! I am experimenting with some other oils for mayo and will likely be doing another mayo video soon for those who dislike olive oil and don’t want to use sunflower oil. Stay tuned!

  10. I didn’t see a recipe for 1,000 Island Dressing in this post. Did I miss it? In the video Sarah is making honey mustard dressing.

  11. The sesame oils I’ve used are all quite strong tasting. The toasted sesame is very strong. I make mayo with a cooked white sauce.

    Also, here’s my recipe for 1,000 Island:

    Thousand Island Dressing

    1/2 cup mayonnaise (homemade is best)
    2 TBSP organic ketchup (homemade, if possible, but I don’t know about using lacto-fermented)
    1 TBSP white vinegar
    2 tsp sugar (stevia works but you need a lot less – just flavor to your own taste)
    2 tsp sweet pickles and baby dills, chopped and mixed together
    use just a little of the juice from each jar of pickles
    1 tsp finely minced white onion
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    dash of black pepper

    1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well.

    2. Place dressing in a covered container and refrigerate for
    several hours, stirring occasionally.

    This makes a small amount, which is perfect in order to try it out. If you like it, you can always increase the amounts. Play with the recipe.

  12. Thanks for posting the recipe for homemade mayonnaise. I have made it with a mild tasting olive oil and like it. My issue is finding an olive oil that isn’t compromised with rancid oils. I don’t know if any olive oil in my stores are good quality, even the organic. Is your sunflower oil organic or does that matter? At least I can try it with sesame oil and coconut oil. I would like to know what kind of extra virgin olive oil you use.

  13. I hate to be contradictory but Thousand Island got its name from the ‘islands’ of pickles in the dressing. In culinary tradition, some things need to be present to use a pre=established title. If you make a “Reuben” with ketchup, mayonnaise, swiss cheese and corned beef on rye you have a ketchup, mayonnaise, swiss cheese and corned beef on rye sandwich. It is, technically, not a Reuben. Same goes for Thousand Island dressing. It needs ketchup, mayonnaise and chopped pickles.

  14. Thanks, Sarah! I am fairly new to healthy whole foods and am taking baby steps in learning how to make my own version of everything I used to buy processed from the store. I have been reading your blog for about 6 months and really appreciate all your tips and recipes. I would be lost without them! Salad dressing has been on my mind a lot lately, too, now that warmer temperatures are finally arriving. I have a problem, though! I REALLY do not care for the strong taste of olive oil. I hated my homemade mayo! I tried it with 3/4sunflower oil and 1/4 olive oil and I still hated it! I am also trying to limit sweeteners as much as possible to keep Candida far away so I can’t always just cover it up! Do you know of any other ideas for mayo and dressings? I once heard about avocado oil. What do you know/think about that? Any suggestions for dressings that are not-mayo based as well?

    • Hi Julie,

      I don’t like the strong taste of olive oil in mayo either. So I’ve been making mayo with sesame oil (organic, unrefined, NOT toasted) and coconut oil (also unrefined). You can do either a 1:1 ratio, or a 2:1 sesame to coconut oil. The flavor is much milder. I also use ground mustard powder instead of prepared mustard. I really like the taste!


    • I use avocado oil every time I make it. It’s gives a wonderful mild flavor which is great since I so often add other stuff to the mayo to make dressings, sauces, etc..

  15. That sounds awesome!! We’ve made the lacto fermented ketchup before and really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to make a fresh batch. And the homemade mayo is awesome too! Thanks for posting. I rarely purchase storemade dressings – mostly I use the recipes in Nourishing traditions, which are awesome. I just need to find a healthy replacement for French dressing…….. :)


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