Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing seems to be making a bit of a comeback, probably due, in part, to McDonald’s restaurants. It’s morphed over the years from a classic, but old-fashioned salad dressing to the “special sauce” on a Big Mac into all-purpose dipping sauce, popular with the younger generations.

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing


about mac sauce & thousand island dressing

A young friend refers to Thousand Island Dressing as “Mac” Sauce and has taken quite a shine to it. She’s only familiar with the dressing as the “special” sauce on a McDonald’s Big Mac. I have a bit more familiarity with Thousand Island Dressing…not only do I use it on my Reuben Sandwiches, as a teenager, I worked in a restaurant and mixed up batch after batch of Thousand Island Dressing in five-gallon buckets!

I should probably note that people seem to be very passionate about the ingredients in the McDonald’s “Mac” sauce, and it’s become kind of a “thing” on the internet. It seems the Canadian version of Mac Sauce was released, but the American version has never been. You can actually buy McDonald’s Secret Sauce if you want, or if you’re interested in an exact copycat, here are the ingredients:

Soybean Oil, Pickle Relish (Diced Pickles, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Spice Extractives, Polysorbate 80), Distilled Vinegar, Water, Egg Yolks, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Onion Powder, Mustard Seed, Salt, Spices, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Mustard Bran, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Vegetable Protein (Hydrolyzed Corn, Soy and Wheat), Caramel Color, Extractives of Paprika, Soy Lecithin, Turmeric (Color), Calcium Disodium EDTA (Protect Flavor).

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing

variations & history of thousand island dressing

Me, I’ll just settle for my simple but classic Thousand Island Dressing. Once you start delving into the history of Thousand Island, you’ll find all kinds of things can be added to the basic line-up of mayonnaise, relish, and ketchup. Personally, I like to add a bit of minced onion and a touch of vinegar. I think it’s the perfect balance of flavor and ease to toss together at home.

In other recipes, you might find onion or garlic powder,  lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce or paprika or any ingredients in this rather long list from Wikipedia. Take a peek at the article for some inspiration if you’d like to customize your very own “house” Thousand Island Dressing.

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing

money saving tips for thousand island dressing

If you’re looking for a few money saving tips, buy your condiments in the summer and follow a coupon matching site. You’ll be able to pick many of them up on sale with a coupon for free or close to it. So stock up for the year. If you miss that opportunity, there are also great sales around the Superbowl and Easter. Why Easter? It’s a mystery! At least to me.


Thousand Island Dressing

A simple but classic Thousand Island Dressing,

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: about a half a cup 1x


  • Two heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • scant two teaspoons of pickle relish
  • about a teaspoon of finely minced onion
  • a teaspoon or a bit more of ketchup (enough to make the dressing pink)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Optional: A bit of finely minced onion, a sprinkle of garlic salt, a pinch of sugar.


Mix all ingredients together. Taste and adjust. Chill. Best after a bit of time in the fridge for the flavors to meld.

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Thousand Island Dressing is making a comeback, due to McDonald's restaurants. It's morphed from a classic, but old-fashioned salad dressing to the "special sauce" on a Big Mac into all-purpose dipping sauce, popular with the younger generations. Here's how to make the real stuff! #MacSauce #HomemadeMacSauce #ThousandIslandDressing #Homemade1000Island #Homemade1000Island #1000Island #HomemadeSaladDressings #ReubenSandwiches

2 thoughts on “Thousand Island Dressing

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I like that that’s taking this back to its Russian roots! Thanks for stopping back, Linda, and taking the time to comment! Mollie

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