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Thousand Island Dressing (Gluten-Free, Corn-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Gum-Free and Refined Sugar-Free)

Thousand Island dressing has always been one of my favorites, a full bodied, creamy dressing with just the right amount of sweetness and tang.  The name presumably comes from the Thousand Islands, which lie between the United States and Canada, in the St. Lawrence river and there is some debate as to when and where the dressing originated (to read more, visit Wikipedia).

Either which way, gastronomes everywhere would be lost with out this condiment/dressing.  What would a Reuben sandwich be without this very important component?

And there certainly could not have been this (which probably would have been a good thing):


Gosh, I remember singing that darned jingle all the time when I was a kid, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”  Cripes, now it’s stuck in my head again!

If you have never made your own dressings before, listen up!

DO. NOT. BUY. store-bought dressings!  They taste hideous by comparison.  Really, it should be a sin.  If I have one thing to be thankful for my corn allergy, it’s that I had to start making my own salad dressings (many contain distilled vinegar which is usually derived from corn and xanthan gum is one of those “fuzzy” corny ingredients (you can read about that more here).

I won’t even mention how much money you’ll save by making your own and they are so simple to make.  I feel like a nincompoop for it having taken so long for me to start doing this.

And now I’m here to save you from following in my footsteps! 😀

Thousand Island Dressing

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1 1/4 cup dressing

As written, this recipe is free of: gluten, corn, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, gums and refined sugars.


  • 1 cup Mayonnaise (I use soy-free Vegenaise, which contains brown rice syrup. You can also make your own corn-free, egg-free, soy-free mayo, that way you can use your preferred sweetener).
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup (I make my own Corn-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Ketchup)
  • 2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 tsp. Agave Nectar
  • 4 tsp. Sweet Pickle Relish (for corn-free and refined sugar-free, see recipe below)
  • 2 tsp. finely minced White Onion
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper


  1. Combine all of the ingredients (except for the relish) in the container of a blender or food processor, blend well.
  2. Transfer dressing to a small bowl and add relish, mix to combine.
  3. Store in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator for about a week.

Sweet Pickle Relish (Corn-Free and Refined Sugar-Free)

(adapted from Gourmet)

printable recipe

2 cups finely chopped Cucumber (about 3 Kirby cucumbers, or you can use regular cucumbers, just be sure to seed them first).

1/2 cup finely chopped Onion

1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp. Sea Salt, divided

1/4 cup Agave Nectar

1 tsp. Arrowroot dissolved in 1 tsp. Water

Toss the chopped cucumber and onions with 3/4 tsp. Sea Salt and place in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl for about 3 hours (this will draw the water out so your relish isn’t too wet), discard the liquid from the bowl, rinse the salt from the cucumbers and onions then wrap them in a cloth to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Bring apple cider vinegar, agave nectar and 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Boil until mixture is reduced 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.

Add cucumber/onion mixture to the brine and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.

Stir in the arrowroot/water mixture and simmer while stirring for 1 minute.

Transfer relish to a bowl, uncovered and chill until cold, about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Relish should keep for 1 month in an airtight container in the fridge (I find the Pint-Size Glass Mason Jars to be perfect for this and I like using the Plastic Storage Caps instead of the metal lids, they’re not as messy and are easy to open).

If Thousand Island Dressing isn’t your cup of tea, how about French Dressing?  My pal Alexa over at Lexie’s Kitchen has a recipe for THE BEST French Dressing I have ever tasted in my life (and it just so happens to be free of all the top 8 allergens and can be easily made corn-free with my corn-free ketchup recipe!  Mike actually walked in on me licking the bowl one afternoon.

That sounded a little weird, didn’t it?

What is your favorite way to use Thousand Island (and/or French) dressing?


  1. Oh WOW! This looks absolutely amazing!! Of course, anything gluten-free is amazing, but Thousand Island used to be one of my favorites and now that there's a gluten-free way to make it, I am DEFINITELY going to be trying this! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  2. I love how you make the things people want to eat and you make them way better than the original.

    I used to sing that darn song all the time and now thanks to you it's stuck in my head.

    • You summed up my modus operandi perfectly!

      And I'm glad the jingle is stuck in your head too, misery loves company…now all you have to do is add the Smurf theme song to the mental lineup, LOL!


  3. Do you think I could make this french dressing by leaving out the pickle relish? Or does french dressing need more spices? And thank you for the heads up about soy-free Veganaise. I didn't know they made a soy-free version. I can't do much of anything with vinegar, but a little bit of safe mayo (besides the vinegar) would be nice in recipes sometimes. We are gluten, dairy, corn and soy-free and I am low-sulfites, so all bottled salad dressings are out for us. My daughter (celiac, corn allergy, dairy intolerance) uses Annie's french dressing and the xanthan doesn't seem to react if she only eats it occasionally, but she's moving to a warmer climate for college and salads will be more frequent.

  4. Wahoo just stumbled onto your site by accident when I was looking for a thousand island dressing and I found a piece of Heaven! Thanks 🙂


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