Western Dressing, Two Variations

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I’m staying with my in-laws for a couple of weeks way up in the Lakes Country of Minnesota, posting may be sporadic over the next couple of weeks as my internet connection is tenuous at best. At least I’m getting a break from sweating, right?

Heather says:

My friend Heidi was recently lamenting that there is no Western Dressing to be found in the state of South Carolina, except for the occasional overpriced bottle in the fancy supermarket. This morning, I was perusing my mother-in-law’s cookbook collection and in a community cookbook, The Kugler Cookbook, I stumbled upon these two recipes1. I hope they at least give Heidi a good starting point in her search for authentic western dressing.

Western Dressing 1

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP minced -very finely chopped- onion
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup salad oil -extra light olive oil would work
  • 1/2 tsp crushed celery seed -optional

Mix together all ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Cool before serving.
Darlene Bauman Lee, Granddaughter of Tillie Shol

Western Dressing 2

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/3 tsp celery seed
  • 1 (12oz) bottle chili sauce -this is found near the ketchup
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Blend well in a food processor. Refrigerate.

Sharon Swanson, Granddaughter of John

1 For those concerned about copyright: in the US a list of ingredients and basic directions are not copyrightable, on the other hand collections of recipes, photographs, and narratives are. I have saved the ordering information for anyone interested in buying their own copy of The Kugler Cookbook. I’m not an affiliate, I just happened upon this neat old cookbook full of authentic and very Minnesotan recipes.

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9 thoughts on “Western Dressing, Two Variations”

  1. My mother-in-law, who lives in northern Wisconsin's recipe is very much like both of yours. And it is delicious. I tend to make it with a little less sugar and it is STILL declicious.

    It's important to make it several hours or a day ahead to aloow the flavors to meld and mellow.

    Have a fabulous time in Minnesota. Watch out for the mosquitoes!

  2. I think I'll be trying the first one. An MSG allergy sucks as most of the dressings contain it. LOL, be glad you are here in MN this week and not last, when it was like being trapped in a sauna!

  3. "Western" is all you see on the bottles, up to one quart (swoon) in size. Here, we get them, marketed through Wishbone, in 8 ounce bottles. (frown)

    Thank you, so much, for posting these. I'll have to try them. I'm excited! Yay! 🙂

  4. @CarolinaDreamz

    My mother-in-law calls this Russian dressing.

    1 can of tomato soup
    1 cup sugar (I use a scant 2/3 cup)
    1-1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 Tbs. salt
    1 tsp. paprika
    1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (the amount depends on the strength of the onion, but it's roughly 1/3 cup)
    1 very small clove garlic (optional)
    1 cup white or cider vinegar

    Place all the ingredients except the vinegar in a blender and blend well. Add the vinegar and blend until well incorporated. Refrigerate at least four hours. Shake/stir before using. Keeps for several weeks refrigerated.

    *optional- 1/2 tsp. celery seed


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