Checked the cupboard and there’s no mayo? Or doesn’t fit your diet? Here’s the best mayonnaise substitute to use in all your cooking.
Realized you don’t have mayo on hand? Or trying to work around it in your diet? Mayonnaise is made of egg yolk, oil and vinegar, and it’s one of the most popular creamy condiments around. It was extremely popular in recipes from the 1950’s and 1960’s, but because of its richness and high fat content modern recipes use less of the stuff. Whether you’re looking for a healthier option or simply ran out of the stuff, we’ve got your back.
For the record: we’re mayo lovers around here! But we have a few tricks for cutting back on the richness, and a few vegan mayo recipes as well.
Best mayonnaise substitute
Note: Each of these substitutes fills a different function and works in specific situations, so the list below is not in order of preference.
1. Cashew cream
A great mayonnaise substitute? Cashew cream. This is a plant-based alternative to mayo that you can make at home using cashews and water. It comes out rich and creamy, with a similar flavor to actual mayonnaise. Spread it on a sandwich, or even use it in potato salad (try this no mayo potato salad).
2. Greek yogurt (partial substitute)
Here’s a trick we use often as a mayonnaise substitute: substitute ½ to 2/3 of the original mayo quantity with Greek yogurt! The Greek yogurt cuts the calories back but keeps the recipe creamy. This works great in mayo-based salads like Classic Tuna Salad, Classic Egg Salad or Classic Shrimp Salad. You can also use this concept in creamy salad dressings like Homemade Ranch Dressing or Caesar Dressing.
Another mayonnaise substitute? Homemade aioli! Aioli is very similar to mayonnaise: in fact, sometimes flavored mayo is labeled as aioli in grocery stores. Aioli is a sauce that comes from the South of France and Spain. You can easily make it at home using an egg yolk, vinegar and olive oil. Use aioli any way you would a classic mayo: you will notice the color is brighter yellow because of the olive oil. Go to Classic Aioli Recipe.
4. Avocado mayo
A vegan mayonnaise substitute? Avocado mayo! This is a a fun healthy alternative to mayo made from real avocados, which gives it a brilliant green color. It’s totally plant-based, which makes it a vegan and egg free mayo too. Avocado mayo is best for using as a sandwich spread: it’s not suited for mayo-based salads or dressings. Go to Avocado Mayo Recipe.
A final mayonnaise substitute? Hummus. Hummus is not nearly as rich and creamy as mayonnaise, so it’s not great for using in mayo-based salads or dressings. But it’s great as a sandwich spread! Try it on this Chickpea Salad Sandwich.
Here are some of our favorite recipes featuring mayonnaise:
- Creamy No-Mayo Potato Salad
- Spicy Mayo
- Garlic Mayo (Mayo Aioli)
- Grilled Cheese with Mayo & Egg
- Grilled Mexican Corn with Mayo
- Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla Española)
- Classic Shrimp Salad
- Cilantro Lime Sauce
- Ultimate Egg Salad Sandwich
- Amazing Tomato Pie
- Perfect Caesar Salad
Checked the cupboard and there’s no mayo? Or doesn’t fit your diet? Here’s the best mayonnaise to use in all your cooking.
For the cashew cream
For the aioli
- 1 small garlic clove (⅛ teaspoon finely minced)
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup olive oil OR 3 tablespoons olive oil plus 2 tablespoons neutral oil*
For the avocado mayo
- 1 ripe avocado*
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- For the cashew cream: Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Soak for at least 1 hour. For preparation in advance, you can soak the cashews overnight, which is even better. Drain the cashews. Add the cashews, broth or water, and salt to a blender, then blend on high for 1 minute. Stop and scrape, then add additional liquid if necessary to come to a creamy consistency. Blend for several minutes until creamy and smooth. (Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for several months.)
- For the aioli: Place a medium flat-bottomed bowl on top of a folded dish towel to keep it secure while whisking. The size of the bowl is important; it must be large enough to allow for whisking vigorously. Add the garlic, egg yolk, white wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard to the bowl and whisk until thick and creamy. Pour the olive oil into a liquid measuring cup. Starting one drop at a time, slowly add the olive oil into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Allow the olive oil to become completely incorporated before continuing to add more olive oil; the drizzling can become gradually faster as you add more oil. Whisk until all of the oil is fully incorporated and the aioli is thickened. Store the leftover aioli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks; bring to room temperature before serving.
- For the avocado mayo: Pit the avocado. Add all ingredients to a small blender, small food processor, or cup of an immersion blender and blend. If you don’t have a small blender, you can make a chunkier version of the sauce by grating in the garlic and then whisking very vigorously to get it as smooth as possible. You also can use a standard-size blender or food processor, but you’ll need to make double the mayo to get it to blend. Store 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator and place plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the mayo to prevent browning. If the very top layer does get browned, you can simply scrape it off.
*Using a mix of neutral oil and olive oil the smoothest flavor and lighter, creamier look. Using all olive oil is brighter yellow and has a hint more bitterness (but is just as tasty!).
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Mayonnaise Substitute