Best Substitutes for Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is a popular condiment that’s not only cherished for spreading on sandwiches but also for its versatility in many recipes. It adds richness to dishes like mashed potatoes, quiche, and even baked goods, and can improve the texture of steaks, bread, and salad dressings. However, there might be situations when you find your mayo jar empty or store shelves lacking this go-to ingredient. Don’t worry! There are numerous alternatives that can offer similar results.

Depending on the specific taste and texture you’re looking for, various mayo substitutes can be used in different dishes, whether cooked or raw. Understanding which alternatives work best in certain applications will ensure your recipes remain delicious and satisfying, even without the presence of mayonnaise.

Key Takeaways

  • Mayonnaise is a versatile condiment that can enhance the texture and flavor of various dishes.
  • Many alternatives are available when mayonnaise is not at hand or desired, suitable for various recipes.
  • It’s essential to know which mayo substitute works best for specific dishes, ensuring optimal taste and texture.


In case you run out of mayonnaise, a homemade version with eggs serves as an excellent alternative. The classic mayonnaise preparation involves blending oil and eggs to create a thick and smooth spread that suits every recipe requiring mayonnaise.

To create your own egg-based mayonnaise, start by separating the yolk from an egg and put aside the egg white for another dish. Afterward, pour one cup of oil gradually into the egg yolk while continuously whisking. Utilizing neutral oils, such as vegetable oil, is ideal. However, other cooking fats like olive oil and duck fat can work too. For convenience, you can also use a food processor or blender to avoid manual whisking.

Feel free to season your homemade mayonnaise with additional ingredients like lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper to enhance its flavor profile. Enjoy incorporating your egg-based spread into dishes, such as a delightful egg salad.

Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip and mayonnaise are two condiments with distinct flavors, often dividing people into different team preferences. Although they can be used interchangeably as substitutes, their ingredient blends differ. While mayonnaise consists of eggs, oil, and lemon juice or vinegar, Miracle Whip has a sweeter and more tangy flavor, with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, water, and spices such as garlic, mustard, and paprika.

The similar textures of Miracle Whip and mayo make them both suitable as binders for dishes like tuna salad or potato salad. However, keep in mind that Miracle Whip has different fat content, which isn’t ideal for searing meats or making grilled cheese. If using Miracle Whip as a salad dressing, you might want to adjust the recipe’s other components to balance the added sweetness.


Aioli, a flavorful garlic-infused condiment, differs from its close relative, mayonnaise, in taste and ingredients. While both share a creamy texture, mayonnaise boasts a neutral flavor profile with a hint of tanginess. Seasonings such as lemon juice or mustard might be added to mayonnaise, but its primary taste is derived from its rich, egg-based composition.

In contrast, traditional aioli stands out with its bold, vibrant flavor created by combining mashed garlic and olive oil. Though many recipes include egg yolks, some versions omit them. This results in a visually striking sauce, often boasting a bright yellow color from the exclusive use of egg yolks.

You can substitute homemade aioli for mayonnaise in most recipes successfully; just keep in mind that aioli brings a prominent garlic taste to your dish. It might not be the most suitable choice for desserts or baked goods, but it would certainly elevate a simple turkey sandwich, adding depth and character. Enjoy experimenting with the versatility of aioli in your culinary adventures!


You may already know about aquafaba, especially if you follow a vegan diet. It’s the liquid left behind after draining a can of beans like chickpeas. You can whip it just like egg whites and use it as an egg substitute in baking recipes. Additionally, by slowly adding oil to the whipped aquafaba, you can create a tasty and creamy alternative to mayonnaise.

To achieve the best aquafaba texture, keep an eye out for kombu on the canned chickpea ingredients list. This element aids in stabilizing the mixture and maintaining its shape. If you can’t find chickpeas with kombu, don’t fret; simply add cream of tartar or sugar to the liquid for similar results.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is a versatile ingredient that offers a light and tangy taste, making it an excellent substitute for mayonnaise in various dishes. Its texture and viscosity resemble that of mayonnaise, which can be beneficial for raw recipes.

To make the most of sour cream’s unique flavor, try using it in place of mayo for salad dressings or deviled eggs. The tanginess brings a refreshing twist to these classic recipes. For baked goods like cakes and muffins, sour cream is a great choice. It adds moisture without compromising the overall taste.

However, keep in mind that sour cream doesn’t have the same fat content as mayonnaise. You might want to add a little olive oil to enhance its richness. When it comes to heating methods like searing meats or making grilled cheese, sour cream might not be the best option, as it doesn’t transmit heat as effectively as fat-rich mayonnaise.

Crème Fraîche

Crème fraîche and sour cream have similarities that make them a fitting alternative to mayonnaise, as both originate from heavy cream and have a comparable tangy flavor. However, it’s crucial to know their distinctions since it influences the way you utilize crème fraîche as a substitute.

Firstly, crème fraîche is less thick than mayonnaise and sour cream. Its taste leans more towards a nutty, sweet profile compared to the tartness of sour cream and the creamy richness of mayonnaise. When using crème fraîche rather than mayonnaise, be aware that it adds a sweet touch to your dish. It’s best to use smaller amounts, as its flavor can dominate and possibly alter the texture of your recipe.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is noted for its delightfully thick texture, making it an excellent substitute for mayonnaise. To use it as a salad dressing, consider adding a few tablespoons of oil, particularly to nonfat varieties, as it is not as naturally rich as other dressings. It is essential to choose the thicker, strained Greek yogurt over regular yogurt for the best results. Remember to always opt for unflavored yogurt to avoid any unwanted flavor clashes stemming from added sugar or fruit flavors. Enjoy experimenting with this versatile and healthier alternative in your recipes!


Avocado makes a delicious alternative to mayonnaise on sandwiches and burgers, thanks to its healthy fats providing a creamy and rich texture. While it’s not suited for cooked dishes like grilled cheese, it excels as a spread, salad dressing, and ingredient in vegetable salads such as potato salad.

To use avocado in bound salads like potato salad or deviled eggs, you need to blend it well for a smooth consistency. This ensures a pleasant eating experience without the mushy texture. Be prepared for the color change, as mashed avocado will give your deviled egg yolks a green hue. Enjoy the taste and health benefits of using avocado or avocado mayo in place of traditional mayonnaise in your favorite recipes.


Hummus is a versatile and vegan-friendly alternative to mayonnaise for sandwiches and wraps. Made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and spices, it provides more protein and fiber compared to other condiments, enhancing its health benefits.

Though it might not be suitable for baked goods due to its spiced flavors, hummus works amazingly as a sandwich spread and in recipes like deviled egg filling. If you’re wary of potential taste clashes, simply whip up some homemade hummus without garlic and spices, catering it to your preferences.


Tahini, a well-known ingredient in hummus, is a blend of ground sesame seeds and oil. Its flavor is distinctively nutty, earthy, and slightly bitter, which sets it apart from mayonnaise. However, its texture closely resembles mayo, making it suitable for use in salad dressings or other uncooked dishes.

Keep in mind that tahini’s consistency might vary between brands. If you find it too thick, you can easily dilute it with a little water to achieve a texture similar to mayonnaise. It’s also important to consider the various types of tahini available. Unhulled tahini has a more bitter taste compared to hulled tahini, while roasted or toasted versions offer a deep, robust flavor profile. If you’re unsure, opt for raw tahini due to its milder and lighter taste.

Remember, the type of tahini you choose can greatly affect the flavor of your dish, so experiment and find the one that best suits your palette!


To enhance the flavor of potato salad, tuna salad, or egg salad, mustard can be a great alternative to mayonnaise. You have a variety of mustards to choose from, such as the tangy yellow mustard, mellow Dijon mustard, or the textured whole-grain mustard. Keep in mind that mustard’s robust taste may not suit baked desserts, but it’s perfect for most raw recipes where the flavor fits well. Additionally, mustard can be an excellent ingredient for searing meats, like mustard-crusted rack of lamb.

When creating salad dressings, mustard serves as a fantastic emulsifier similar to eggs and mayonnaise. As per America’s Test Kitchen, whole-grain mustard is the top choice for stable emulsions, but don’t hesitate to use Dijon mustard as well.

Creamy Salad Dressing

When preparing salads like potato, tuna, or chicken salad, you may want to try using a creamy salad dressing instead of mayonnaise. Although not as thick, these dressings can provide a similar texture and taste. Experiment with dressings made from ingredients such as mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt, like ranch, Caesar, Russian dressing, or blue cheese.

Keep in mind that each dressing adds its unique flavor, so choose carefully to complement your recipe. For instance, blue cheese may overpower deviled eggs, and Caesar dressing might not be ideal for a subtle tuna salad. Nonetheless, don’t be afraid to get creative and find the perfect match for your taste buds!

Cream Cheese

This dense cheese is famous for dressing bagels, yet its versatility extends to various recipes as a mayonnaise substitute. To use cream cheese smoothly, make sure to soften it by leaving it on the counter for 15-20 minutes, giving it a quick zap in the microwave, or submerging it in warm water for around ten minutes.

For ideal texture, we suggest whipping the cream cheese. You can do this manually with a whisk, but you’ll find it much simpler using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. In case you want to use cream cheese in dressings or blended salads, consider blending it with yogurt or sour cream to reach the desired consistency. Alternatively, you can opt for mascarpone, which is richer yet functions just as effectively as cream cheese.

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is created by adding acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to the remaining whey during cheese production. This results in a mildly sweet and creamy cheese that’s easily spreadable, though it retains a slightly grainy texture. To achieve the perfect texture, you can whip it using an electric mixer and blend it with yogurt or sour cream.

When using ricotta in baking as an alternative ingredient, opt for full-fat ricotta. It’s richer and creamier compared to its low-fat counterpart, which helps maintain the moisture in your baked goods, preventing them from becoming dry. This differs from cottage cheese, which has a more distinct curd texture.

Bean Puree

Bean puree offers a versatile and nutritious way to elevate your meals. Fancy adding more protein to your pizza? A bean puree topping is a perfect choice! It also serves as an excellent alternative to mayonnaise in various recipes.

White bean puree makes a fantastic spread for sandwiches or wraps, and boosts the body of dressings just like mayo. Did you know that baking with beans is possible too? Pureed canned beans provide the same moisture as eggs or mayonnaise in cakes, as confirmed by The Bake School. Your only decision is selecting the bean variety – mild-tasting white beans or flavorsome lima beans. Enjoy experimenting with bean puree in your culinary creations!

Cashew Cheese

Cashew cheese, sometimes known as cashew cream, is an amazing egg-free alternative to traditional mayonnaise. This delightful vegan spread is created by blending soaked cashews with flavorful ingredients such as nutritional yeast, transforming the firm nuts into a smooth, spreadable treat.

One fantastic aspect of cashew cheese is that you can control its consistency. Make it thick like cream cheese or thin like queso by simply adjusting the amount of water in the recipe. However, if you’re cooking with cashew cream, remember that it thickens as it cooks, so ensure it’s slightly thinner than mayonnaise before incorporating it into your dish.


Did you know tofu can be used in unconventional ways? For instance, you can replace mayonnaise with silken tofu. Simply blend it until smooth, and you have a tasty vegan mayo. This works especially well in baked goods where you might need an egg or mayonnaise substitute. Typically, use 1/4 cup of tofu for each egg or every three tablespoons of mayo.

However, not all tofu types are suitable for this purpose. Firm and extra-firm tofu, due to their moisture-free texture, are more suitable for pan-frying or crumbling. To achieve the ideal consistency for replacing mayonnaise, your best choice is soft or silken tofu with its naturally custard-like texture. Experiment with tofu in your plant-based recipes and enjoy the versatility it offers!


Tzatziki is an excellent alternative to mayonnaise, pairing well with sandwiches and other dishes. Mixing Greek yogurt, cucumber, lemon, garlic, mint, and olive oil creates a flavorful and tangy sauce. However, since cucumbers tend to become watery when heated, it’s not recommended for cooked recipes. Instead, try incorporating tzatziki in raw mayonnaise-based dishes for a delightful Mediterranean taste. Imagine the unique flavor it would provide in deviled eggs!

Tartar Sauce Delights

Tartar sauce, typically enjoyed with seafood dishes like fish and chips, brings a delightful taste to a variety of dishes. Made primarily with mayonnaise, aromatic herbs, tangy lemon juice, and relish or chopped pickles, tartar sauce can enhance your culinary experience.

For a different spin, try using tartar sauce on a sandwich as an alternative to regular mayonnaise. Its rich flavors also complement salads, such as tuna or egg salad. However, keep in mind the chunky pickles in the sauce may not suit recipes that call for a smoother condiment. So go ahead, treat your taste buds with some delicious tartar sauce pairings!

Olive Oil

Olive oil serves as an essential ingredient in making mayonnaise, and for this reason, it can be a handy substitute in various recipes. While it doesn’t provide the creamy thickness of mayonnaise for sandwich spreads, it does contribute moisture and a rich flavor to dressings, marinades, and salads.

In baking, you can use olive oil as an alternative to one egg or three tablespoons of mayonnaise by adding 1/4 cup of olive oil. Keep in mind that excessive olive oil might lead to greasy baked goods, so use this substitution sparingly for the best results. Enjoy experimenting with these olive oil swaps in your cooking adventures!


When making grilled cheese sandwiches, consider using butter instead of mayonnaise for a crusty exterior. Due to the similar fat content, butter can promote the Maillard reaction, giving your sandwiches a delicious, crispy brown texture. Keep in mind that this swap is suitable for cooked dishes, as butter’s consistency doesn’t work well in raw recipes, either being too hard or too soft. Enjoy experimenting with butter in your cooking adventures!


For a delightful alternative to mayonnaise, consider using pesto in your sandwiches and salads. Crafted with herbs, garlic, oil, cheese, lemon juice, and nuts, pesto boasts a vibrant flavor and rich texture. Its signature ingredients are basil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts, making it a fantastic substitute when color isn’t an issue.

However, pesto might not be the best substitute for sweet treats or heated cooked meals. Its strong flavors don’t mix well with desserts, and the beautiful green hue of the herbs may darken when heated. Nonetheless, give pesto a try in your sandwiches and salads, and enjoy its fresh, herbaceous taste!

Coconut Cream

You might be delighted to discover that coconut cream can serve as a fantastic plant-based alternative to mayonnaise. Its rich texture and subtle tropical taste may not pair well with a roast beef sandwich, but it can undoubtedly create an exciting twist on a chicken salad.

Keep in mind that there is a significant difference between various coconut-based products found in stores. To successfully substitute mayonnaise with coconut cream, be sure to choose a product specifically labeled as “coconut cream.” Regular coconut milk won’t work as it is too watery, while coconut cream contains less water and more fat, providing the ideal consistency. Also, remember to avoid “cream of coconut” as it typically contains added sugars.

How to Make Mayonnaise

Grab your immersion blender and whip up delicious mayonnaise in minutes, perfect for enhancing your favorite baked goods
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitute
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 102 kcal


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cup neutral flavored oil


  • Place egg yolk, vinegar, water, mustard, and a pinch of salt in a tall jug.
  • Pour in oil.
  • With your stick blender head on the bottom of the jug, blitz on high speed. As you start to see the emulsion forming, slowly raise the stick blender so the upper layers of oil get emulsified too.
  • Taste and season with extra salt if needed or a little extra vinegar if the flavor is too flat.
  • If the mayo is too runny, carefully add oil in a thin stream while mixing with the stick blender. If too thick, stir in a little water using a spoon, one tablespoon at a time.


If your homemade mayo splits or doesn't form a creamy, thick emulsion, don't worry! Start again with a new egg yolk, vinegar, water, and mustard. Pour the split mayo on top in place of the oil and try again.
For an egg-free alternative, try using a different emulsifier like aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas).


Calories: 102kcal
Keyword how to make mayonnaise, mayonnasie substitute
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

Healthy Mayonnaise Alternatives for Salads

  • Greek yogurt: A healthy and creamy substitute for mayo; add herbs for extra flavor.
  • Hummus: Adds creaminess along with a great taste. Works well with different salad types.
  • Vinaigrettes: Light and tangy, perfect for giving salads a fresh and zesty twist.

Best Mayo Replacements in Pasta Dishes

  • Ricotta cheese: Creamy and mild — pairs wonderfully with various pasta dishes.
  • Pesto: Flavorful and rich alternative, transforming any pasta dish.
  • Olive oil and lemon juice: Light option that complements the pasta without overpowering it.

Mayonnaise Substitutes for Baking

  • Applesauce: Great for moistness and adding natural sweetness to baked goods.
  • Yogurt: Keeps baked goods tender and moist while cutting down on fat content.
  • Sour cream: Adds moisture and a mild tangy flavor to cakes and breads.

Sandwich-Friendly Mayo Replacements

  • Avocado: Creamy and nutritious spread that enhances any sandwich.
  • Mustard: Adds a tangy kick, available in various flavors.
  • Tahini: Nutty and creamy sesame seed paste, pairs well with different ingredients.

Tuna-Friendly Mayonnaise Alternatives

  • Greek yogurt: Mix with lemon juice and seasonings for a healthy tuna salad.
  • Mashed avocado: Creamy and rich, works well with tuna for a satisfying salad.

Mayo Substitutes for the Mediterranean Diet

  • Olive oil: A staple of the Mediterranean diet, perfect for dressings and sauces.
  • Tzatziki: Greek yogurt, cucumber, and fresh herbs create a refreshing and tangy spread.
  • Baba ganoush: Smoky eggplant dip that pairs well with crackers, veggies, and sandwiches.
Follow Us
Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
Follow Us
Latest posts by Cassie Marshall (see all)