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Dairy-Free Thousand Island Dressing (With No Mayo!)

By Thepickyeater @pickyeaterblog

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My vegan, dairy-free thousand island dressing has the best flavor ever with the perfect balance of tang, savory, and sweet! I use easy-to-find whole food ingredients like raw cashews and dairy-free milk to make it incredibly creamy without any added mayo. It's great for anyone looking for a classic thousand island dressing that's 100% plant based. Mix my recipe up in minutes and keep it on hand to add tons of flavor to all your snacks and meals throughout the week!

Dairy-Free Thousand Island Dressing (With No Mayo!)

You're probably familiar with traditional thousand island dressing - it's pretty common at restaurants and grocery stores. But when I realized that this dressing wasn't vegan-friendly, I actually had to search for what thousand island dressing is, to figure out how to modify it to be plant-based!

What I found is that generally this dressing is made with mayonnaise, ketchup, and often relish, along with some spices, onion, or other acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar. Unfortunately, I also found that many store bought options also contain added sugar, soybean oil, canola oil, natural flavor, or even maltodextrin. Additionally, it is not vegan-friendly since it includes egg.

And that is where my recipe comes into play! I prefer homemade dressings so I can adjust the taste to my preference and ensure all of the ingredients are high-quality and healthy.

There are endless ways to enjoy my no mayo thousand island dressing, whether serving as a dip alongside tofu nuggets, drizzling over your favorite salad or vegan buddha bowl, or smearing on the toasted bun of a southwest pinto bean burger!

🥘 Ingredients

I was able to easily find all of the vegan thousand island dressing ingredients at my local grocery store! Here is what you'll need:

Dairy-Free Thousand Island Dressing (With No Mayo!)

Raw Cashews: To get the perfect thickness and creamy consistency without any mayo, I use raw cashews! Find more information on how to prepare the cashews in my expert tips section.

Dairy Free Milk: I prefer to use an unsweetened, neutral plant-based milk in this recipe. Almond milk and cashew milk work great! Coconut milk or oat milk could be used but they do have a sweeter taste.

Ketchup: This is a key ingredient to achieve that classic flavor, so I do not suggest skipping or swapping the ketchup. However, in a pinch you can try tomato paste and additional salt to taste. You might need a little touch of sweetener - like maple syrup or honey - to compensate for the sugar found in most ketchups (if preferred).

White Vinegar & Lemon Juice: I've found that white vinegar and lemon juice add acidity and tanginess that balance this dressing. If you don't have white vinegar, you could try apple cider vinegar as a substitute.

Relish: Pickle relish is a staple in most thousand island dressing recipes, and I knew I had to include it in my version!If needed, you can use finely diced pickles.

Red Onion: Finely chopped red onion adds nice texture and a little kick to my thousand island dressing without mayo.

Hot Sauce: I prefer some spice in this recipe so I add one teaspoon of hot sauce! Use whatever hot sauce you prefer, or omit it for a mild dressing.

Paprika & Salt: Adding in paprika gives a subtle dynamic to the overall taste, while also boosting the pretty color of the dressing! The amount of salt needed will depend on the ingredients you use so mix it in to taste.

🔪 How To Make Vegan Thousand Island Dressing

My dairy-free thousand island dressing recipe is so quick and easy to make! Gather all your ingredients, grab your blender, and follow along with my simple steps below:

Blend Ingredients: First, I place cashews, milk, ketchup, vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce, paprika and salt into my high-speed blender, blending on high until nice and smooth.

Dairy-Free Thousand Island Dressing (With No Mayo!)

Mix In Relish & Onion: Next, I add in the relish and onion and pulse only until incorporated.

Dairy-Free Thousand Island Dressing (With No Mayo!)

Blend until smooth.

Dairy-Free Thousand Island Dressing (With No Mayo!)

Serve! That's all there is to this easy egg-free thousand island dressing! Serve in your preferred way and enjoy!

Dairy-Free Thousand Island Dressing (With No Mayo!)

📖 Variations

I already know you will love my vegan thousand island dressing recipe just as it is, but when you're in the mood to switch things up give these variations a try:

Adjust The Heat: Depending on the occasion, I make this dressing with different levels of spice! When I want more of a kick I add extra hot sauce. When I know my kids will be eating this, I leave out the hot sauce for a completely mild dressing.

Sugar-Free Dressing: To make my dressing sugar free, you will want to use unsweetened milk and sugar-free ketchup and relish!

More Mix-Ins: If you love those little bits of texture from the sweet relish and onion, I think you'd enjoy occasionally mixing things up with some finely chopped celery, dill, red pepper, or shallots! You could also add even more creaminess with a little bit of vegan mayonnaise as well.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

I use this vegan dressing recipe for all of my drizzling, dipping, and spreading needs! Here are some of my favorite plant based pairings:

On Sandwiches & Burgers: My thousand island sauce is a classic addition to any burger or sandwich! I love adding a generous spread of this dressing on my vegan reuben sandwich or swapping out the ranch on this vegan chicken sandwich! It also makes a tasty pairing with my high protein veggie burgers.

With Dippers: One of my favorite ways to serve this sauce is as a hearty, healthy snack with yummy dipper options. Try carrot sticks, celery, jicama, french fries, air fryer tortilla chips, and more!

As A Drizzle: While this makes for a delicious dressing on any salad like my spinach and arugula salad, I also love to smother this special sauce over Greek fries, corn fries, or even sweet potato tacos. Yum!

🫙 Storage Instructions

My dressing is so easy to store! I simply pour the dressing into an airtight container or mason jar, and seal tight. I keep it in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, since I use fresh ingredients in this recipe. Before serving from the fridge, I give it a little stir just to make sure the sauce hasn't separated. I don't recommend freezing this dressing as it doesn't defrost well.

❓Recipe FAQs


If your dressing is too thick in consistency, it is possible that the ingredients were not measured out correctly. If you prefer a thinner consistency, simply mix in additional dairy free milk or a dash of water. I recommend adjusting seasonings to taste as the milk could dilute the original flavors a bit.

How finely should I chop the red onion before adding it to the dressing?

This is really a matter of personal preference! I like to chop my red onion on the finer side, so that the flavor doesn't take away from the rest of the ingredients in the dressing. I try to match the size roughly to that of the relish for the best consistency!

Dairy-Free Thousand Island Dressing (With No Mayo!)

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