Tap here to get 5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners

Russian Dressing

5 from 1 vote

posted: 08/14/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Russian Dressing is such an easy condiment to make. Whether you want it for a salad or a Reuben Sandwich, whip this easy salad dressing up in minutes.

Russian dressing being spooned up from a mason jar

I love making my own salad dressings. They come together so quickly, and they are very easy to customize any way I like. I can add more of the flavor profiles I like, and use lower fat ingredients.

What is Russian Dressing

Russian Dressing is an American made salad dressing that originated in the early 1900s. It is named “Russian” because it originally contained caviar, a staple of Russian cuisine at that time.

It is rich and creamy from mayonnaise with a kick of spice from horseradish and hot sauce. Some versions of it skip the the mayonnaise and it more closely resembles French dressing.

overhead of Russian dressing being broken up by ingredient

How to Make Russian Dressing

To make Russian dressing, combine the following ingredients (for all of the measurements, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Grated Onion: I like to use the fine side of a cheese grater so the onion is very fine.
  • Low Fat Mayonnaise: Using low fat mayo is a really easy way to cut back on the calories in dressing without sacrificing flavor.
  • Ketchup: This is part of what gives Russian dressing it’s signature red hue.
  • Freshly Ground Horseradish: This is different than prepared horseradish, so make sure you buy the right ingredient. You can read more on this below.
  • Hot Sauce: Any cayenne pepper based sauce will work very well here. I used Frank’s RedHot.
overhead picture of Russian dressing in a bowl whisked up

Buying Horseradish

When you look for horseradish in U.S. grocery stores there are two different kinds being sold. One is labeled “prepared horseradish” or “horseradish sauce,” and is sold near the BBQ sauce and ketchup. This is not the kind that you want. You want to look for the second variety that is labeled “Fresh Ground Horseradish.”

Fresh Ground Horseradish can be found in small jars in the refrigerated section of U.S. grocery stores. Usually it can be located near the refrigerated pickles. When you look at the ingredients, it should only say horseradish. You’ll be happy you picked this up because you can also use it to make my Shrimp Cocktail Sauce.

side view of a salad with Russian dressing

Russian Dressing vs. Thousand Island

Though Thousand Island dressing and Russian salad dressing are very similar, and both are often used on Reuben Sandwiches, there is a difference between them. Russian dressing is more on the spicy side, getting a kick from both horseradish and the hot sauce. Thousand Island, on the other hand, is a little sweeter with it’s use of sweet pickle relish.

Reuben Sandwich

Nothing is quite as satisfying as a Reuben Sandwich. This simple corned beef sandwich comes together with just a few ingredients, and is so delicious. Don't want for St. Patrick's Day, make this delicious sandwich recipe year round.
three halves of a Reuben Sandwich stacked

Russian Dressing for Reubens

If you are a fan of Reuben Sandwiches, or my Reuben Dip, this is a great recipe to have on hand. While you can also use Thousand Island, I love the kick in Russian dressing. I think it balances the other ingredients so well.

Reuben Dip

This easy Reuben Dip is just a few simple ingredients and makes the perfect party appetizer! It can be made in the oven or in the crock pot, and your guests will love it.
reuben dip being scooped up by a ritz cracker


This dressing should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should be used within a week of being made. As always, use your best discretion when it comes to leftovers.

Because of the mayonnaise in this recipe, I do not recommend freezing this dressing.

overhead view of a salad with Russian dressing

Other Delicious Sauces

If you want to expand your sandwich world, here are more great options.

If you make this Russian dressing recipe or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I always love hearing from you.

Russian dressing being spooned up from a mason jar
5 from 1 vote

Russian Dressing

Serves: 10 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Russian Dressing is such an easy condiment to make. Whether you want it for a salad or a Reuben Sandwich, whip this easy salad dressing up in minutes.


  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground horseradish (read here where to find that)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • dash kosher salt


  • Whisk together all of the ingredients.
  • Use right away on a salad or in a Reuben Sandwich or a salad. Or store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Russian dressing being spooned up from a mason jar

did you make this

Russian Dressing

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Terry says

    Have you seen the Russian dressings made with a dill pickle? I made that recipe once for my brother in law. He didn’t like it. All all. It had horseradish also. Mayonnaise, ketchup, the rest, I do not remember. He always wants Honey Mustard, which is easy, but I thought, how about some variety. Tasting it, eh, it was okay, I wouldn’t have wanted it, but then again, I’m super picky too! I don’t believe he finished the bottle of the one with a pickle. I was given an empty bottle…ha Yours sounds a lot more like something he would like. If it’s a yes, I’ll come back and review after I’ve made and he’s eaten.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope he loves it!

  2. Clare says

    I just made your blue cheese dressing, I am in love with it, and hubby as well.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad to hear that!

Broccoli Pasta"Omg! I didn’t think anything so simple could be so good!"
overhead of skillet of Cajun Shrimp Pasta ingredients on a cooling rack with toasted bread sitting beside
Cajun Shrimp Pasta"My family absolutely loved this recipe. Even my finicky eaters."
overhead photo of a gray skillet filled with beef and broccoli recipe, garnished with sliced green onions
Beef and Broccoli Recipe"I have made this a couple or more times. It’s easy & quick to prepare. I like this for a quick meal. It will be my go to recipe."


5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners