Vegan Thousand Island Salad Dressing

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A thousand standing ovations for this vegan thousand island dressing! Here is where dressing gets real!

I grew up in Upstate New York, and in the summertime, we would take weekend family road trips to explore the area. One summer, we visited the Thousand Islands Region, located along the upper St. Lawrence River, between the United States and Canada. It seemed that everywhere we stopped, and no matter what we ordered to eat, it came with a different variation of a condiment called Thousand Island dressing. If you like pink/orange salad dressings such as French or Russian—and maybe even if you don’t—you’ll enjoy Thousand Island. While other dressings are typically smooth, this one is characterized by a chunky texture, the result of stirring chopped pickles into the final sauce.

Traditional Thousand Island is made from a mayonnaise base and ketchup; it may also include Worcestershire sauce. With its popularity no longer confined to Upstate New York, regional variations of the dressing abound. Besides pickles or pickle relish, the classic version may also contain minced garlic, chives, pimento, parsley, olives, red pepper, onion, or a hard-boiled egg. I wanted to create a vegan Thousand Island, and I personally like the clean flavor of using only one “chunky” addition.

Whatever you add to your rendition of this recipe, you’ll likely think it has a “familiar” taste. This may be because Thousand Island Dressing, or some version of it, is often the “secret sauce” used by restaurants.

Vegan Thousand Island Salad Dressing



  • 1 cup cashews, soaked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or liquid sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickles, preferably homemade
Total Time

Prep Time

10 min


Drain cashews and place in blender. Add all remaining ingredients except pickles. Blend until smooth. Stir in chopped pickles. Stored in a sealed container, Thousand Island dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes 3 cups of dressing.

Vegan Thousand Island Salad Dressing

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