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Thousand Island dressing help, please

I had a craving for Thousand Island dressing. Having never made it before, I searched for the easiest recipe.....

which I didn't follow exactly; used what I had on hand, and it's not very good. It's not bad, but not wonderful by any means.

Any suggestions? I am wondering if a chopped hard boiled egg would help.

I mixed
half cup each of mayo and chili sauce
one teaspoon Worcestershire
several tablespoons chopped bread and butter pickles.

I would like to add onions, but onions are a nono for a family member.

The recipe called for sour cream but I didn't have any on hand.

Thanks for your ideas.

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  1. My mother's recipe: twice as much Hellman's mayo as Heinz catsup, as much sweet pickle relish as you like. Keep it simple.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      My recipe is close. Three parts mayo, one part mustard, mix well (mixing these two first prevents curdling), two parts catsup, then one part pickle relish. Mix well again. Yum.

      1. re: pikawicca

        This pretty much about sums it up.

      2. I'd add a shot of pickle juice and a dash of lemon juice to the dressing you have and maybe a tot more mayo than equal parts - more like 3/4-1/4.

        1. I agree with both suggestions. A simple combination of mayo (Hellman's or Best Foods) and catsup as a foundation is a good start. The amount of pickle juice, lemon juice, etc. depends on your individual taste. But with that foundation and a little experimentation and a dash or two of salt and pepper and you'll find what you're looking for. Chili sauce? Worchestershire? Bread and butter pickles? Nah!! But maybe a pinch of onion powder; if you can get that past your "onion nono" family member.

          1. Thanks, everyone.
            I guess my first mistake was chili sauce, not catsup.

            I will try doctoring with more mayo, lemon, if I have any, and pickle juice.

            Lol, todao, on your distaste for the sweet pickles. I laughed. Believe it or not, I think they were the best part!

            I have an aversion to pickle relish - there's some flavor that I really don't like in it.

            Apparently no one uses boiled eggs? I ran across that in several recipes.

            Thanks so much, everybody. I appreciate and enjoyed your help.

            3 Replies
            1. re: laredo

              Apparently no one uses boiled eggs?...

              Actually.....I do. When I make it I use sweet gherkins or sweet relish. for the boiled eggs, I like to cook them slightly under hard so the yolk is soft and bright yellow. I then put through a fine hole box grater and shave them. The softer yolks seem to make the texture a little silkier or creamy, if that's possible.

              For a twist, if there are things like olives or capers in the fridge....and the jars are low, then I empty them onto a a cutting board and chop them to add to the dressing.

              1. re: laredo

                Many commercially-prepared relishes have a heavy amount of clove in them, which can be off-putting. It's why I don't use commercial relish, but chop b&b's instead. And AFAIK, "Original" Thousand Island did contain hard-boiled eggs....it's all the little bits in the dressing that are the "Islands..."

                1. re: mamachef

                  I usually put Thousand Island dressing on a hamburger or shrimp salad, so I don't put egg in it.

              2. Sorroy, todao, meant to type bread and butter pickles.

                1 Reply
                1. re: laredo

                  OK - that's a relief. Try Mt. Olive sweet gherkins. The sweet pickles (or juice) seems appropriate but, as you detected, I HATE bread and butter pickles. My grandma used to make me sandwiches with buttered bread and her home made dills - loved the stuff (still do) but B&B - just the idea causes me to shudder.

                2. I make it with Crosse & Blackwell Seafood Cocktail Sauce instead of ketchup, for use with Crab Louis. This has onion in it, however.

                  1. My Copycat Kraft Thousand Island Dressing

                    I never buy thousand island dressing anymore.
                    This is the recipe I always use.

                    1 cup mayonnaise
                    4 Tbs ketchup
                    2 Tbs distilled white vinegar
                    4 tsp granulated sugar
                    4 tsp sweet pickle relish
                    2 tsp onion, minced
                    1/4 tsp table salt
                    dash black pepper

                    Mix well. Place in fridge for a few hours to allow flavors to develop.

                    Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

                    1 Reply
                    1. I just mix Best Foods mayonnaise with ketchup until it is the right color pink, then shake in some chili powder. Excellent on a wedge of plain light green lettuce :)

                      1. A little shot of Tabasco. Not exactly detectable, but makes a big difference.

                        1. I think the recipe you used is basically sound -- but the mayo-chili sauce ratio is off. I would use 1 c mayo, 4 Tb chili sauce, 2 tsp Worchester., and ease up on the pickles. Onions are a no-no as is sour cream. A bit of whole cream if needed to thin things out. Don't forget the s&p.

                          1. Ahhhhh, mamachef. I think you have diagnosed the reason for my aversion to sweet pickle relish: too much cloves!

                            All your suggestions and variations sound good; I may spend the summer making Thousand Island!

                            As for my first batch, I added a dollop of mayo, a squirt of catsup, a squeeze of lime (no lemon available), and some salt, and it was improved as you suggested. Pretty good!

                            Thanks, everybody, for your help!

                            1. Saying they are a nono are they a health issue? Or a taste of a large bite? I know three people that have issues that are not health issues. So I cook the onions and put them in the food prossesor and they like what they are eating but have no issues from what they do not bite into or see. I have also put the chopped onion in a teballer and infused soups and sauces with the onion and then take it out. You could do that with the thousand island dressing just a few large chunhs in for a while before you use it take out or dip out some dressing leaving in the onion. Maybe add chives?

                              Just a thought.

                              1. Coincidently my go to 1000 Island recipe is a Chow recipe...


                                Surprisingly I thought the black olives were intergal to the dressing.

                                good luck & bon appetit!

                                1. Thousand Island dressing is the only thing I use Miracle Whip for. I use chili sauce rather than ketchup and use hard boiled eggs which have been grated. A little Tabasco, garlic salt and grated onion complete it.

                                  I do think the onion flavor is necessary. Perhaps you could substitute some asafetida?