- For salad dressings, try Greek yogurt, tahini yogurt, or sour cream. Butter, pesto, or low-fat cottage cheese can replace mayo in sandwiches.
- For dips, consider tahini sauce or hollandaise. Egg-free options include mashed avocado or hummus, while vegans can opt for cashew cream or homemade vegan mayo with tofu.
- Each substitute brings a unique flavor and texture to the dish, so choose the best one based on your preferences and dietary requirements.
With its savory, tangy flavor and smooth, creamy texture, mayonnaise is a popular addition to salads, sandwiches, and dips.
If you’ve reached the bottom of the jar, don’t worry because there are several other ingredients you can use as a substitute for mayonnaise that will add just as much flavor and creaminess.
Some alternative options may not taste quite the same. Decide whether the flavor or texture (or both) are more important in your dish and choose a suitable mayonnaise substitute from the list below.
Types of Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is a thick creamy sauce made by emulsifying egg yolks, oil, and vinegar. Lemon juice is sometimes used as the acid component instead of vinegar. The sauce is usually served cold and has an off-white or light yellow color.
Store-bought mayonnaise comes in different varieties including egg-free, full-fat, and reduced-oil. Its most popular uses include spreading onto sandwiches, making deviled eggs, salad dressings, or dips. It is also included as an ingredient in marinades, baked dishes, pasta, and pie recipes.
Best Homemade Substitute for Mayonnaise
1. Homemade Mayonnaise
If you’ve run out of store-bought mayonnaise, why not make your own? It’s quick and easy.
To make one cup of mayonnaise place one egg yolk, one tablespoon white wine vinegar, one tablespoon boiling water, and one tablespoon dijon mustard into a tall jug. Add a pinch of salt. Pour one cup of neutral oil into a separate measuring cup.
Place your stick blender in the bottom of the jug and blend the egg mixture at high speed while slowly adding the vegetable oil. An emulsion will form.
If the mayo splits start again with new egg yolk, vinegar, water, and mustard mixture. Pour the split mayonnaise into the jug while blending instead of oil. Season to taste.
Best Mayo Substitutes for Salad Dressing
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt provides the same creamy tang as mayonnaise. Season it with salt, pepper, or herbs. Not only is it light and fresh, but it is also an egg-free mayonnaise substitute.
Substitute quantity: Replace mayo with the same amount of Greek yogurt.
Best for: Creamy potato salad, slaw, and marinades.
3. Tahini Yogurt
To liven up your yogurt dressing, mix equal parts tahini and plain Greek yogurt. Season well with salt.
Substitute quantity: Replace the same amount of tahini yogurt for mayonnaise in a 1:1 ratio.
Best for: Egg and potato salad, slaw, wraps, and dips.
4. Sour Cream
Sour cream brings a great deal of creaminess to dishes with a sour tangy taste. If the sour cream is too thick, thin it out by adding one or 2 tablespoons of milk. Add herbs such as chives to bring another flavor dimension.
Substitute quantity: Replace the same amount of sour cream for mayonnaise in a 1:1 ratio.
Best for: Potato salad, pasta salad, and incorporating as part of salad dressings and dips.
Best Mayonnaise Alternatives for Sandwiches
Butter doesn’t offer the same acid punch as mayo, but a good spread of soft butter will add the same creamy consistency to your sandwich.
Substitute quantity: Replace 1 tablespoon of butter per tablespoon of mayo on a sandwich.
Best for: Spreading onto rolls, bread, toast, and sandwiches.
Pesto doesn’t look anything like mayo but can bring a whole new flavor dimension to your sandwiches. It is a bright green sauce with a salty, herbal flavor, and often contains garlic.
Substitute quantity: It has a bold flavor so use it sparingly. Spread a thin layer onto sandwiches.
Best for: Sandwiches, bruschetta, and mixing into dips or dressings with sour cream, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt.
7. Low-fat Cottage Cheese or Cream Cheese
Cottage cheese provides the same saltiness and creamy texture as mayo. It is versatile and pairs well with various flavors. This allows you to add peppers, lemon juice, or herbs to spruce it up. Low fat cottage cheese is healthier and thinner than full-fat cottage cheese.
Substitute quantity: Replace the same amount of cottage cheese for mayo in a 1:1 ratio. If using cottage cheese in a salad or as a dip, thin it out slightly with 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk, lemon juice, sour cream, or cream.
Best for: Sandwiches, dips, potato salad, and tuna salad.
Best Mayonnaise Substitutes for Dips
8. Tahini Sauce
Tahini is made from sesame seeds blended into a paste. Unlike mayo, it has a nutty flavor but can be a successful substitute for mayonnaise in recipes when mixed with other ingredients.
To make a tahini dipping sauce mix equal parts of tahini, lemon juice, and water. Optionally add a little garlic. The lemon proves the acid punch while tahini brings the creamy texture.
Replacement quantity: Replace the same amount of tahini sauce for mayonnaise in a 1:1 ratio when using it as a dip.
Best for: Using as a dip, sauce, or on a wrap.
Hollandaise sauce is the closest mayo substitute you will find. It is made with the same ingredients, using the same method, except that the oil is substituted for melted butter.
Replacement quantity: Use the same amount of hollandaise to replace mayonnaise in a 1:1 ratio.
Best for: Any application where mayonnaise is included in the recipe.
Best Egg-free Mayonnaise Substitutes
10. Mashed Avocado
Avocado can provide a healthier, creamy alternative to mayonnaise.
To turn avocado into a suitable mayonnaise replacement, make sure it is fully ripe and mash or blend it until smooth. Stir in a few drops of lemon juice and salt to taste. To thin out the avocado mash you can also add a little sour cream or cottage cheese.
Replacement quantity: Replace the same amount of avocado mash for mayonnaise in a 1:1 ratio.
Best for: Sandwiches, dips, wraps, egg salad, and chicken salad.
Hummus is made from pureed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. It is a healthy substitute for mayo and has a lush creamy texture.
Substitute quantity: Replace the same amount of hummus for mayonnaise in a 1:1 ratio.
Best for: Wraps, dips, sandwiches, and salads that can hold up to a thick dressing (e.g potato salad).
Best Vegan Mayo Substitutes
12. Cashew Cream
This is the best mayo substitute for vegans. By blending soaked cashews in a blender or food processor you can make your own cashew cheese or cream at home.
It is best to soak cashews overnight. Then blend them until they have a creamy and smooth consistency. Add some of the soaking liquid to thin it out if needed. Season to taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice for tang if desired.
Cashew cheese recipes often include some nutritional yeast and onion powder to add a more punchy, cheesy flavor which is great as a sandwich spread.
13. Homemade Vegan Mayo With Tofu
Another good may substitute for vegans is an easy DIY blend of silken firm tofu, a squeeze of lemon juice, and pinch of salt. You can also add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard if desired.
Blend until smooth and creamy and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This is great for sandwiches and wraps as well as salads.
Healthier options with reduced calories include low-fat cottage cheese, hummus, avocado, and Greek yogurt.
No, typically mayonnaise includes egg yolk which makes it non-vegan. There are, however, several egg-free, vegan-friendly brands of mayonnaise that use alternative ingredients. Use hummus, cashew cream, or avocado spread as a vegan mayonnaise substitute.
Since olive oil has quite a pronounced flavor compared to other vegetable oil, it will affect the taste of your mayo. If you don’t mind an olive-oil-flavored mayo, go right ahead and use it.
A dressing similar to mayonnaise is aioli. Aioli is made with garlic, olive oil, and egg yolks, giving it a creamy and rich texture similar to mayonnaise. However, aioli often has a more pronounced garlic flavor than traditional mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise provides a creamy, rich, smooth, salty, and tart addition to many dishes. Adding it to a salad, wrap, or pasta is an easy way to incorporate loads of flavor into a dish without much effort. There are many alternatives to mayonnaise that can be tailored to your taste buds and dietary preferences. When you run out of mayo a little culinary creativity is all you need.