Homemade Russian Dressing

This classic Russian dressing recipe is a wonderfully spicy spread to slather on your favorite sandwiches (especially Reubens!) or drizzle on a salad. With less than 10 minutes to prep time, it’s easy to always have a batch on hand!

A bowl of Russian dressing with a spoon lifting some out of the bowl.

The Background

Russian dressing is creamy and smooth, slightly spiced, and full of flavor; a perfect accompaniment to any sandwich or salad.

Its history dates back to the early 1900s in the U.S.; the original version included caviar, which was a staple in Russian cuisine, hence the name “Russian” dressing.

Russian Dressing vs. Thousand Island vs. French Dressing

All three of these dressings are similar in that they share a number of ingredients, but have some distinct differences:

  • Thousand Island dressing uses pickle relish and has a creamier, sweeter flavor.
  • French dressing, while also reddish in color from ketchup and paprika, is more of a traditional vinaigrette with a base of oil and vinegar.
  • Russian dressing is spicier and more piquant thanks to the addition of chili sauce, horseradish, and hot sauce.

Ingredients

All of the ingredients for Russian dressing in a bowl with text labels.

The list of ingredients isn’t long, and each one gives this dressing a special pop of flavor!

  • Mayonnaise – Use your favorite!
  • Chili sauce – I buy the Heinz brand (it’s what my mom always used in these chipped ham BBQ sandwiches!).
  • Shallot – Grated, so that it more easily blends into the dressing. You can substitute grated onion.
  • Horseradish – I use the “prepared horseradish” for this dressing.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Use your favorite brand.
  • Hot sauce – I use Tabasco, but you can also use Frank’s Red Hot, Sriracha, or your favorite blend. If you prefer a spicier sauce, you can increase the amount to 1 teaspoon.
  • Paprika – Reach for the “regular” or “sweet” paprika; do not use smoked paprika, as it will alter the flavor greatly.

How to Make It

It could not be simpler!

Just add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until they are thoroughly combined.

You can use it immediately, but the dressing will taste even better if you let it sit for at least 1 hour before using.

A bowl of Russian dressing that has been stirred with a spoon.

How to Use It

Hands-down, my absolute favorite way to use Russian dressing is on a Reuben sandwich!

Slather it on rye bread, then pile it high with corned beef or pastrami, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut or coleslaw.

Here are more ideas for serving Russian dressing:

  • As a salad dressing
  • Spread on a burger
  • Spread on any of your favorite deli sandwiches
  • Add it to your quesadillas!
A Reuben sandwich cut in half on a plate.

How to Store It

Kept in an airtight container, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Freezing is not recommended.

More of My Favorite Dressings

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Russian Dressing

Servings 8 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Total 10 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American, Russian
Author: Michelle

This classic Russian dressing recipe is a wonderfully spicy spread to slather on your favorite sandwiches (especially Reubens!) or drizzle on a salad. Only 10 minutes of prep!

Ingredients:

  • 1
    cup
    mayonnaise
  • ½
    cup
    chili sauce
  • 1
    shallot
    (grated)
  • 1
    tablespoon
    horseradish
  • 1
    teaspoon
    Worcestershire sauce
  • ½
    teaspoon
    hot sauce
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper
    (to taste)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

Recipe Notes:

  • Shallot: You can substitute 1 tablespoon of grated onion for the shallot.
  • Hot Sauce: Use your favorite, i.e. Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot, Sriracha, etc. For a spicier sauce, you can increase the hot sauce up to 1 teaspoon.
  • Sandwiches: This is enough dressing to make about 8 Reuben sandwiches.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Freezing is not recommended.
Nutritional information based on ⅛ of recipe.

Nutrition:

Calories: 46kcal
Fat: 1g
Saturated fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 3mg
Sodium: 478mg
Potassium: 100mg
Carbohydrates: 9g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A: 148%
Vitamin C: 4%
Calcium: 8%
Iron: 1%

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Photography by Lauren Grant

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