Healthier Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

Thousand Island Dressing on White
Thousand Island Dressing for everything from burgers to salads. James and James/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Total Time 5 min
Prep 5 min, Cook 0 min
Yield 1 cup (271 calories)

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