Russian Dressing

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Russian dressing makes a delicious sandwich spread, salad dressing, burger topper, or dip for fried seafood.

Small bowl of Russian dressing.

Russian dressing is a creamy, slightly spicy, salmon-hued spread made from mayonnaise, ketchup, sour cream, prepared horseradish, and dill relish. Contrary to its name, it did not originate in Russia but rather was supposedly created in New Hampshire in the early 20th century and called “Russian dressing” because it originally contained caviar, a staple of Russian cuisine. It’s wonderful slathered onto rye bread as one of the key components of the classic Reuben sandwich, but it complements pretty much any deli sandwich. It also makes a flavorful salad dressing, burger topper, or dip for fried seafood or french fries.

Russian dressing is similar to Thousand Island dressing, in that they are both made with a mayonnaise and ketchup base. The key distinction between the two sauces is that Russian dressing contains horseradish, which gives it a little kick, whereas Thousand Island dressing tends to be a bit sweeter and also sometimes calls for chopped hard boiled eggs.

What You’ll Need To Make Russian Dressing

Russian dressing ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, relish, horseradish, and shallot.

Russian dressing ingredients in bowl

Whisk well, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Whisked Russian dressing in bowl

The dressing will keep nicely in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Small bowl of Russian dressing.

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Russian Dressing

Russian dressing makes a delicious sandwich spread, salad dressing, burger topper, or dip for fried seafood.

Servings: 1½ cups
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes


  • ½ cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann’s or Duke’s
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup or chili sauce
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons dill relish
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely minced shallot


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup (or chili sauce), relish, horseradish, and shallot. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 156
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 297 mg
  • Cholesterol: 13 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • This sauce is awesome! I used a crunchy chili and garlic sauce, also added 1 garlic clove (pressed) and a “smidge” of dill pickle juice as well as the relish, but changed nothing else. I made it for reuben sandwiches, and everyone liked it so much it’s now a dip for fries, chips, chicken tenders and vegetables. It’s also really good to use as a dressing for salads.

    • — Ri on May 28, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this just as you shared it – except I substituted plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream. As is everything I make from your site, it was absolutely delicious on our “big-everything-but the kitchen-sink salad.

    • — Bobette G on May 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • This is delicious. I didn’t have chili sauce so I used ketchup as suggested and added a teaspoon of hot sauce. Great recipe. Thank you.

    • — Joan on April 1, 2024
    • Reply
    • What are your thoughts on using one teaspoon onion powder instead of the shallots?

      • — Matt on May 20, 2024
      • Reply
      • Hi Matt, I’d definitely opt for shallots if possible, but in a pinch, I think you can get away with onion powder (keep in mind that I haven’t tried it myself).

        • — Jenn on May 20, 2024
        • Reply
    • Added 1/2 T worcestershire,
      a dribble of hot & sweet jalapeno juice, 1/4 t onion powder, and 3 splashes of tabasco, as horseradish wasn’t very hot. Yum!

      • — Carol Vilevac on May 30, 2024
      • Reply
  • Fabulous. Definitely recommend.

    • — Gail on March 17, 2024
    • Reply
  • I make this using sweet pickle relish because it’s always all I have on hand…. Absolutely delightful

    • — Norine Thibault Ocean bay Park on January 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • My son’s favorite way to eat leftover Thanksgiving Turkey breast is in your “Rachel” sandwich and this Russian dressing is key. It’s so simple and so delicious. (Being from Omaha, the Rueben/Rachel is a big deal… you nailed it!)

    • — Mindy on November 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • “… a burger topper, or dip…” This recipe might be Russian, might be 1000 island, might be your own. I’m surprised that there are not more comments. But, much like a guitar rif, these fewer ingredients allow much interpretation without going wrong. I will secretly work on my personal version while thanking you for this one. I loved my veg burgers and crudites with the original version! My only thought is to prepare it in advance with extra quantities.

    • — Keith Taylor on October 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious and easily halved. My horseradish had turned so I used Dijon mustard and tobasco and also subbed red onion for shallots. Authentic and perfect for sandwiches! Thank you.

    • — Jessica on October 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi there. This sounds wonderful but I really wish ‘you guys over the pond’ would cater for the poor metric people over in the UK and put weights for the ingredients, I’ve no idea what a ‘cup’ is in gms or a ‘stick’ of butter. Anyway I’m going to have a go, I need something different for my salads lol. Thank you for the recipe.

    • — Richard Green on November 24, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Richard, The great majority of my recipes include conversions to metric/weight measurements (this one didn’t but I just added them). To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2022
      • Reply
  • I want to try this but not sure what kind of horseradish to use. The ingredients photo shows Silver Spring’s Fresh Ground Horseradish but the recipe calls for Prepared Horseradish (which is a separate Silver Spring product). Which would you recommend for this recipe?

    • — Larry on November 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Larry, I’d recommend the prepared horseradish. Hope you enjoy the dressing!

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Delicious! Well balanced flavors that worked wonderfully on our Reuben sandwiches. A keeper!

    • — Cathy Wagner on June 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made this, slathered on pastrami sandwiches and as dressing for the accompanying coleslaw – great balance of flavors!

  • Hi, would love to try your Rachel sandwich and Russian dressing.
    I live in Canada and I have not seen the Vlasic Dill Relish, what other relish can I use?

    • Hi Deborah, Any brand of pickle relish is fine. Hope that helps!

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