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Lovin’ Mayonnaise (Or Not)


If you ask me, a sandwich without mayonnaise is like a salad without dressing. It’s just missing something. Still, there are plenty of mayo haters and others for whom any amount of egg can pose a problem. For all you “no-mayo” and “love-the-mayo-but-not-the-egg” peeps, I have some options I think you may well appreciate.

Mayonnaise (mayo, for short, of course) is an emulsion of oil, egg yolks (and sometimes a whole egg) and something acidic such as vinegar or lemon juice. There are plenty of variations, including mayo made with herbs, paprika or mustard, and a variety of different oils. When egg yolk is slowly blended with oil, it acts as an emulsifier, holding the mayo together and providing creaminess, flavor and texture. Yet, perfectly delicious mayonnaise can be purchased or made without any egg at all. Milk is sometimes used in place of egg yolk as the casein (milk protein), which acts as an emulsifier and stabilizer, producing a similar result.

Mayonnaise, made without or without egg, makes a delicious addition to salads and main dishes. Here are some delicious ideas:

  • Spread it on your sandwich bread! Try our tasty TLC Sandwiches.
  • Add mayonnaise to coleslaw, potato salads and ambrosia salad. This Tangy Coleslaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts is superb! This Potato and Egg Salad is made with Piquillo peppers and dill.
  • Toss with chopped tuna, egg, chicken, turkey or shrimp; serve over greens, or in an avocado half or a seeded papaya half.
  • Serve a dollop with cold roasted beef, cold chicken, steamed tofu or tempeh.
  • Try this Homemade Mayonnaise with fresh herbs.
  • This recipe for Tarragon Mayonnaise would be equally wonderful if made with other herbs such as basil or chives.
  • Mayonnaise is a perfect dressing for pasta. Try this Macaroni Salad.
  • Stir into a hearty bean salad.
  • Make Mediterranean Deviled Eggs.
  • Serve with boiled eggs, cold beets and radishes.
  • Mix with yogurt, spices, lemon juice and herbs for wonderful ranch-style dressing.
  • Mix with grated or blue cheese; serve with a green or fruit salad.
  • Make an old-fashioned gelatin mold with veggies such as carrots, beets and celery. Serve with a dollop of mayo.
  • Spread a thin layer over fish and bake. Delicious when sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese.
  • Make salmon patties or tuna burgers; top with mayo and a favorite mustard or hot sauce.
  • This Sautéed Shrimp with Wasabi Mayonnaise is made with fresh ginger, garlic and wasabi paste and this Shrimp and Grape Salad is made with celery, chives and green grapes.

If you’re a “hold the mayo” kind of a person, give these alternatives a try:

  • Hummus and/or Baba Ganoush are wonderful bread-spreads.
  • Ricotta and/or cottage cheese, puréed with herbs and spices, a little olive oil or milk works as a wonderful spread or dressing.
  • Puréed tofu with herbs, spices and a little olive oil works in many cases.
  • Mashed avocado makes a creamy-type spread.
  • Coconut milk is delicious in fruit and vegetable salads.
  • Sour cream, whipped cream cheese and Cashew Sour Cream make three great alternatives.
  • Yogurt, dairy or non-dairy and especially Greek, makes a great substitute.
  • Pesto, made with or without cheese, is a delicious alternative.
  • There’s always mustard!

Have you ever made mayonnaise? Got a favorite recipe or idea? Let us know.

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Daniel Smith says …

Pfft, I can't believe you did this whole article on Mayo alternatives, but, failed to mention Vegenaise, shame on you! Daniel

Cam Kay says …

imix non fat yoghurt with olive oil garlic and white pepper tastes better than mayo

Llepke says …

It's the sugar(diabetic) and icky vegetable oil. I'd like to make my own mayo with all olive or nut oil, but I live in an itsy bitsy teeny tiny efficiency apartment.

Marlea Haugen says …

My favorite mayonnaise: make mayo, I prefer olive oil. reduce 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar until thickened In high speed blender add 1 or 2 minced finely garlic cloves (careful, the garlic is uncooked and strong!) add to 1 cup homemade mayo, 3 tbs of reduced balsamic vinegar and mix in blender or by hand. This is a terrific sauce for beef or pork.

Tracy says …

Geat timing. Important question. Can you buy Chipolte mayo anywhere? If not, how could I make it? I use (and love) 365 brand mayo - but I really would like to find -or make Chipolte mayo for a southwestern pasta salad idea I have. Thanks to anyone who can help!

Debbie Sowell says …

Way to go, Daniel! I grew up on Dukes Mayo, but after trying Vegenaise I became a fan.

Diana Piazza says …

I'm glad there is someone else out there that discovered Veganaise it is best thing. I don't miss Hellmann's at all Veganaise is so tasty I use it all the time and my family love it also. Its a healthy replacement to regular mayo.

Mona says …

Today we had the opportunity to visit your West Vancouver store. We took home an amazing curry tofu salad and wonder if I could get the recipe? thank you

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MONA - I wasn't able to find that recipe on our National site so I'm guessing this was a delicious creation by one of the talented chefs at that particular store. I would suggest that you reach out to the West Vancouver store at 604.678.0500 to see if they can give you the recipe!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TRACY - I would encourage you to check with your local store to see if they offer a chipotle mayo for sale since our products vary at each location. In the meantime, I was able to find this recipe to make your own...http://www.food.com/recipe/chipotle-mayo-18942. Good luck!

ThatPYT says …

Lay on the mayo baby....

KK says …

Love this! I am a big mayo lover and if truth be told have been know -more so when I was much younger, but would simply eat a small spoonful of it! I've always eaten Hellman's but think I may try the herbed kind!

nakiaburke says …

Just wondering would Whole Foods in Columbia sell Just Mayo?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@NAKIABURKE - I spoke with the Columbia, SC, store and they do carry Just Mayo and it will be in the refrigerated vegan section in Dairy.

Jose says …

are the eggs in the 365 mayo pasterized?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JOSE - Yes, the eggs in our 365 mayos are pasteurized.