6 Best Russian Dressing Substitutes You Can Try At Home

Note- This post may contain affiliate links, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

Russian dressing is a tasty and appealing condiment that adds a unique flavor to various salads. It is a very popular American salad dressing but is also used in other dishes.

Russian dressing in a bowl

The challenge to Russian dressing is that it’s not usually something you’ll find in a kitchen. Also, you don’t find Russian dressing readily available at restaurants either. So you would definitely require a Russian dressing substitute.

The best Russian dressing substitutes are sweet Catalina dressing, French dressing, honey mustard, Thousand Island dressing, and fry sauce.

Let’s find them out in this article. But before that, let’s find out what Russian dressing is, shall we?

Quick Peek: Russian Dressing

Russian dressing

The following sections tell you what Russian dressing is, its flavor, texture, uses, and health benefits.

What Is Russian Dressing?

Russian dressing is an American staple with a delicious, aromatic relish that adds a unique flavor to various dishes. Contrary to common belief, it never came from Russia. It is an American creation that has its origin in the 1910s in New Hampshire. 

The earlier versions of Russian dressing included caviar, which was a prominent ingredient in Russian cuisine, and that could be the reason behind the name, Russian dressing.

Russian dressing is most commonly associated with salads, but it may be used in various cuisines. It is commonly made with ketchup and mayonnaise. It also includes other ingredients such as mustard, horseradish, pimentos, and other spices.

Describing Russian Dressing: Flavor and Texture

Russian dressing is a creamy, pinkish sauce based on oil and vinegar. It has a piquant spicy flavor due to the presence of chili sauce and horseradish. It has a rich, creamy texture with a syrupy consistency. 

Uses of Russian Dressing

Do you know what made Russian dressing famous? It is an important ingredient for Reuben sandwiches. Reuben sandwiches are made using corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and rye bread.

You can use Russian dressing as a spread on bread or as a dipping sauce. It complements green salads, spinach salads, and hard-boiled eggs and does the job as a salad dressing perfectly well. 

Russian Dressing on The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Russian dressing is not a total disappointment on the health radar. It is a good source of vitamins A, C, and E. It can also offer small amounts of calcium, iron, and magnesium.

If you choose to consume Russian dressing without mayonnaise, it can help you with your weight loss journey. The presence of antioxidants from vitamins C and E can reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.

Why Should We Substitute For Russian Dressing?

Russian dressing is a versatile, flavorsome ingredient. So, why should you bother with its substitutes? There are a few reasons. 

Calorie Content – Russian dressing has a high-calorie count. This may not be an optimum choice for weight- or health-conscious people. Most people nowadays have started keeping track of their calories.

If not, they have become extra particular about their children’s calorie intake. These lifestyle changes make it necessary for some people to find substitutes for Russian dressing.

Unavailability – Russian dressing isn’t something that you’ll commonly find in people’s pantries. Restaurants don’t always have it readily available. It’s also hard to find at every grocery store. So because of its unavailability in many places, people resort to finding a substitute for it. 

So, shall we find out what the best Russian dressing substitutes are?

6 Best Russian Dressing Substitutes

I have made a neat list of Russian dressing substitutes for you. Here’s a list of five best substitutes for Russian dressing.

1. Sweet Catalina Dressing

Sweet Catalina Dressing

Sweet catalina dressing is the overall best substitute you can find for Russian dressing. That’s not it, and there are many shared ingredients, too, between sweet Catalina dressing and Russian dressing.

Both of them have the same major ingredients, such as – Ketchup or Tomato Sauce. Sweet Catalina sauce also contains other ingredients like Worcestershire sauce or Paprika.

It is also very easy to make. There’s a very slim chance of going wrong with it, even if you’re making it for the first time. Its sweet and tangy taste is a great enhancer in meals. The only difference between the two is that Catalina sauce is usually thinner than Russian dressing.

It’s because it contains oil in place of mayonnaise. As told, Sweet Catalina Sauce comes with a tangy and creamy base. This makes the best fit for dishes like chips, tortillas, pasta salad, and many more.

2. French Dressing 

Classic French Dressing

If you’re looking for a Russian dressing substitute that tastes the best, French dressing is your go-go. This is one of the most popular Russian dressing replacements and is quite a remarkable item to have. Capturing the creamy taste quite well, it is made up of tomato sauce, sugar, wine, and vinegar.

If you prefer a strong taste, you might want to add some chili powder or chili sauce according to your taste. However, it can also get too hot. With the side of a salad or a healthy dish, it would be a mouth-watering delight.

It can be made at home with ease as the ingredients are very commonly available and present in every kitchen. It also adds a very pleasing color to the dish. If you want to make it at home, here’s the recipe for honey French dressing for you!

3. Honey Mustard 

Honey mustard

Honey mustard is a great choice for kids. This sweet and low in calorie content substitute is a win-win all the way. As mentioned, it has fewer calories than French dressing or other substitutes and is also very easy to make.

It goes best with sandwiches and chicken, but you can always experiment and eat it with what your heart desires. If you want to make some honey mustard at home, just click here and you’ll be taken to the recipe!

4. Thousand Island Dressing 

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island dressing is very popular among Americans. Need a bit of splash in your food, just add some of it in there. It is made up of very common everyday ingredients like mayonnaise, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.

Thousand island sauce has very similar ingredients as Russian dressing, but the additional pickles really make it creamier, and paprika adds that hint of spice.

 It is great with salads, Reuben, sandwiches and as a condiment with various foods. It is very similar to the taste of Russian dressing and is almost its replica. 

Worried about how you’ll make it? Don’t worry! Here’s the recipe for the best Thousand Island dressing.

5.  Fry Sauce

Fry Sauce

Fry sauce is not a dressing but a dipping sauce. It is very similar to a dressing and tastes very much like thousand islands and Russian dressing. The brand of your fry sauce may cause its taste to differ; one of my personal favorites is Freddy’s Famous Fry Sauce.

It is made using ketchup and mayonnaise with extra seasoning according to taste. It is a very popular sauce among restaurants. It is usually used in burgers, French fries, and other fast food items.

One great dish made with fry sauce is Animal style fries. The animal-style fry sauce is the star of the show. Well, here’s how you can make the animal fry sauce and the animal fries.

6. DIY Russian Dressing

You need not bother with any of the substitutes for Russian dressing if you can spare some time. You may not get an authentic Russian dressing flavor, but you can enjoy a close flavor.

Get hold of these ingredients – mayonnaise, chili sauce, chopped chives, pimiento, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika. Using a food processor or blender, blend these ingredients well, and your Russian dressing is ready.

A Short Recap

If that was an extensive take on the best Russian dressing substitutes, the following points sum up the whole article in a gist.

In terms of flavor, the best Russian dressing substitutes are

  1. Sweet Catalina dressing
  2. French dressing

In terms of availability, the best Russian dressing substitutes are

  1. Honey mustard
  2. Fry sauce.

How To Substitute Russian Dressing In Your Recipes

Russian dressing in a bowl

Russian Dressing Substitutes

The best Russian dressing substitutes are sweet Catalina dressing, French dressing, honey mustard, Thousand Island dressing, and fry sauce.
5 from 1 vote


  • Sweet Catalina Dressing
  • French Dressing 
  • Honey Mustard 
  • Thousand Island Dressing 
  • Fry Sauce
  • DIY Russian Dressing


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


There’s no doubt that Russian dressing tastes heavenly and brings a distinct taste to a variety of cuisines. Its creamy texture, along with its spice, is what makes people drool.

But let’s face it, you can’t just get a hold of it that easily. It’s mostly unavailable and also has a high-calorie count. But fret not, as there are amazing substitutes like Sweet Catalina and Thousand Island dressing for it.

So next time you want to spice up your food with Russian dressing without actually using it, you’ll know what to do. See you next time!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is French and Russian Dressing the same?

French and Russian dressing are not the same. Russian dressing comprises mayonnaise, ketchup, spices, and horseradish, while French dressing comprises mayo, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, onion, and garlic.

Is Thousand Island Dressing the same as Russian Dressing?

Thousand Island dressing is often considered similar to Russian dressing. Though both are ketch-up and mayonnaise based dressings, they differ in their flavor profiles. 

What is Russian Salad Dressing made of?

Russian Salad dressing is made of mayonnaise, ketchup, pimento peppers, chili sauce, and horseradish.

Why is Russian Dressing called Russian?

Russian dressing is called Russian because earlier, it used to contain caviar, a prominent ingredient in Russian cuisine.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating