With the heat barreling down on us this late July, eating salads seems like the perfect solution for keeping the kitchen cool. Thousand Island Dressing brings back childhood memories for me. It’s one of the first dressing I remember eating. I also remember using it on burgers and of course, Reuban sandwiches. And, it’s still as delicious as I remember.
Since we’re eating a whole-food, plant-based diet, this version is going to be much healthier than any store-bought variety. There is one vegan version I know of from Follow Your Heart. It uses Vegenaise, a vegan mayonnaise, and will have oil.
So stick with my version which starts with 1/2 cup tofu… You heard that right. Tofu is a great creamy substitute for mayonnaise and will keep the calories lower. You could also use 1/4 cup soaked unsalted raw cashews plus 1/4 tofu for a different take.
Make sure to quick-soak the cashews before trying to blend them by adding very hot or boiling water over them and letting them sit for about 10 minutes. The cashew-tofu version will have more fat. If you’re avoided fats, stick with tofu.
Making Vegan Thousand Island Dressing
When creating the recipe, I experimented with different ingredients. I stuck with those that you’d more likely have on hand… ketchup, apple cider vinegar, pickle relish, and Tabasco. No one wants to have to run to the store to find something unusual, especially these days of coronavirus.
For example, vegan Worcestershire sauce could be added, but, #1… it turns the dressing a darker color and #2… it’s harder to find in the market.
That said, if you have Worcestershire on hand, by all means, try a little in the recipe. Everyone’s tastes differ and I hope you experiment to make it your own. I tend to like more vinegar, but if you don’t, start with less than the recipe calls, then taste and add more if needed.
Or, instead of ketchup, you can use tomato paste. Since tomato paste is plain and ketchup has other ingredients, you may need to pump up some of the other ingredients in this recipe.
Pair with a Lettuce Salad
Of course, thousand island dressing pairs perfectly with a simple green salad. Make one with your favorite lettuce. I like Romaine or a combo of Romaine and baby kale. Add sliced cucumbers, shredded carrot, thinly sliced red onion, and halved cherry tomatoes. Simple and delicious!
Here are a few other recipes you might enjoy with this Thousand Island Dressing:
- Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Tempeh Reuben Sandwich
- Black Bean Mushroom Burger
- Macaroni Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
Having a fridge full of delicious oil-free plant-based salad dressing is a great way to get excited about eating salads which we know is important for reaching optimum health. What’s one of your favorite salad dressings? Tell me in the comments below. 💓
Make Oil-Free Dressings
If you’d like to find out how to make oil-free dressings, be sure to check out my article, How to Make Oil-Free Salad Dressings, which includes a handy formula.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Thousand Island Dressing recipe! If you have a photo, post it on my Instagram page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking
Thousand Island Dressing
- 1/2 cup firm tofu drained and not pressed (Silken or regular)
- 4 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp yellow onion finely grated
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 2 1/2 tbsp pickle Relish (or sweet pickles)
- 3-4 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)
- If using regular tofu, use a small blender for smoothness and combine all ingredients except pickle relish and only 1 tablespoon of water. Blend well. Also, you may want to start with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and taste before adding more. You may not need a blender for Silken tofu so in that case, whisk everything in a small bowl.
- Add pickle relish and stir to combine. The relish may add liquid but if the dressing is too thick, add a few more tablespoons of water. NOTE: if you want to use the dressing for sandwiches or burgers, don't thin as much.
- Refrigerate in a covered container and chill for several hours to blend flavors. Can be stored up to a week.
- Serve on salads, as a dressing for burgers or a Reuben sandwich. Note: don't add the extra water if you want to use if on a sandwich or burger.