Making your own mayonnaise is one of the easiest homemade recipe swap-outs for store-bought you can do. You save money by making it yourself and know exactly what’s in it. The last time I went to the grocery store to buy some mayo I was shocked at how much it cost, even the cheap stuff.
And more importantly, most store-bought mayos have all kinds of extra preservative and additives I don’t want like calcium disodium EDTA, modified food starch, maltodextrin, lactic acid, high fructose corn syrup, potassium sorbate, etc… Grandma didn’t put those things in her homemade mayonnaise! Many also use soybean oil which is not my first choice. And don’t get me started on low-fat mayonnaise. You prefer to eat cellulose gel, modified corn starch, xantham gum and sorbic acid? Moderation is better, or if you must, you can make your own low-fat mayonnaise with egg whites.
Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe
You can make mayonnaise with a food processor (my preferred method), but also with a blender, hand mixer or if you want a work-out, have the time and rather not use electricity, you can make mayo using the hand-stirring method. I believe culinary students are subjected to this kind of brutality at some point in their training. Here is the basic mayonnaise recipe from which you can tweak to your own liking. Homemade mayonnaise doesn’t last as long as store-bought because there are no added preservatives. But just make small batches like this recipe and since it’s so easy, it’s not a big deal to make more when you run out.
Making Mayonnaise with a Food Processor
This recipe will make approximately 1 3/4 cups of mayonnaise.
- 1 egg*
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar – I’ve used white and apple cider vinegar. Try the lemon juice and different vinegars to see what you like best for taste.
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper, freshly ground is best
- 1 1/2 cups oil – I’ve used extra virgin olive oil, virgin Mediterranean olive oil, canola oil and a mix of both olive and canola oils, but you can use whatever oil you prefer: sunflower, grapeseed, peanut, vegetable, etc… If you make 100% extra virgin olive oil mayonnaise, it will have a fruity taste as opposed to using a more bland-tasting oil like canola or vegetable.
*It is possible to make mayonnaise with only egg whites if you want to eliminate the cholesterol and saturated fat calories from the egg yolks. Just FYI, a large egg has 210 mg of cholesterol, 55 total calories, 4.5 g total fat and 1.6 g of saturated fat. If you want to use something like Egg Beaters (pasteurized egg whites) you can, but just be aware that there are added ingredients (i.e., maltodextrin, guar gum, etc.) which to me kind of defeats the purpose of making homemade mayonnaise.
- With the blade already in place, add the egg, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper to the processor bowl.
- Pulse a few times until ingredients have blended together.
- Turn on the processor and SLOWLY start dribbling the oil through the feed tube. It’s important that you start adding the oil as slowly as possible, in a slow, steady, thin stream so that the mixture doesn’t curdle or separate*. If you don’t have a small feeder tube hole, sometimes the mix will start to splatter out of the hole. But this is just in the beginning, before the mayo thickens. I just cover it with my other hand while pouring.
- Continue pouring the oil in. You can pour faster as the mayo begins to thicken and emulsify which you notice by sound, until all the oil has been incorporated. When the last drop has been blended into the mixture, stop the processor. Do not overblend.
- Transfer your mayonnaise to a covered container and into the refrigerator. The mayo will last for 7-10 days.
*If you add the oil too fast and the mixture separates, transfer it to a liquid measuring cup, clean out the processor bowl, add 2 egg yolks, turn on the processor and again, slowly pour the separated mixture through the feed tube until the mayonnaise is blended again.
Making Mayonnaise in a Blender
Use the same ingredients as above, except use 2 whole eggs. Blend the eggs, vinegar, salt and pepper for 5 seconds on high. Slowly dribble in the oil through the top insert, gradually adding faster as the mayo thickens. Stop blending when all oil has been added. If you have one of those immersion hand blenders (or I like to say, “boat-motor” blenders), you can use either the blade or the whisk attachment and make mayo the same as you would with a regular blender. Same goes for an electric hand mixer. If you are using the regular blade on the immersion blender, make the mayo in a narrow, tall container so it is easier to blend.
Mayonnaise Sauce Variations
Mustard Mayonnaise – Just add 1 tbsp of your favorite mustard (or 1 tsp dry mustard) to 1 cup of mayo.
Spicy Mayonnaise – Add tabasco, sriracha sauce or cayenne pepper to your base mix or afterwards for serving size portions.
Tartar Sauce – Mix 1 1/2 tbsp of finely chopped onion, 2 tsp of chopped parsley (1/2 tsp dry), 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp finely chopped pickle into 1 cup mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise Sauce – You can practically add anything to a base mayonnaise mix to create a sauce or dip such as mixing in ketchup (aka, fry sauce), wasabi powder, tarragon, sour cream, garlic (below), curry spice, dill weed and cucumber, etc..
Mayonnaise-Based Salad Dressing - For a quick dressing, I mix mayonnaise with sour cream, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, various fresh or dried herbs (like parsley, basil, etc.), lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Sometimes I add mustard too. This can easily replace any bottled ranch dressing or creamy Italian dressing – just tweak the ingredients to your liking. Add more oil to make it as thin as you want. Have you ever read the ingredients in some of those bottled dressings? The list can be long with emulsifiers, preservatives, things like MSG, disodium inosinate and even artificial flavors.
Dips – Like sour cream and onion dip? Don’t even think about getting those powder packets or pre-made dips.Here’s an easy sour cream and onion dip:
Sour Cream and Onion Dip Recipe
- 1/2 c mayo
- 1 c sour cream
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 onion, finely grated and/or 1-2 tsps onion powder and/or finely chopped green onions or chives. You can also saute diced onions in some olive oil until caramelized to give it a more sweet-onion taste.
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix together all ingredients and enjoy with potato chips or as a fresh vegetable crudités dip. If you chill it for an hour or so, the flavors will have some more time to marry.
Garlic Mayonnaise or Garlic Aioli (Fancy Name for Impressing Friends & Family!)
This video shows you how to make garlic mayonnaise using the hand method, but you can always use a food processor or blender to make it as well. If you simply want to make just a little bit of garlic aioli for yourself, just take regular mayonnaise and then add to taste either crushed garlic that has been made into a paste (use the back of a wide knife with a little bit of salt to smooth it out). Or, if you’re out of fresh garlic, add a little garlic powder, mix well and let the flavored mayo sit for few minutes to incorporate.
Vegan Mayonnaise Recipes
If you don’t eat eggs, but still desire a creamy spread, dip or sauce like mayo, then there are plenty of alternatives. Sure, you can get them from the store as well, but they are usually very expensive and still may have ingredients for longer shelf-life that you don’t need. This page has two vegan mayonnaise recipes for a raw almond mayo and a tofu mayonnaise. If you are not strictly vegan (vegetarian) and eat dairy products, you can also make a mayo using yogurt. You can also make vegan mayonnaise using soymilk or other milk-alternative in combination with any oil you like. I have tried a soy-based mayonnaise, but didn’t care for it (mostly because it just doesn’t taste anything like regular mayonnaise), so I just stick to regular mayo and use in moderation.
Raw Vegan Mayonnaise Recipe
For those of you who like miracle whip salad dressing you can find a homemade recipe for it here. As they say, either you like it or don’t. I don’t, mostly because of its sweetness which I especially cannot appreciate on sandwiches.
Mayonnaise for Hair
You can use mayonnaise to do your own homemade hair treatment instead of paying a salon to do it. Mayonnaise can be used as a conditioner to moisturize and repair damaged hair and make it more manageable. This site tells you how to do a mayonnaise hair treatment where you leave it on for 20 minutes under a shower cap or plastic wrap, but sometimes I just use it like any store-bought conditioner. I rub it in to my dry ends in the shower after shampooing, wait a few minutes and rinse. Shiny and smooth!
*Warning: Raw eggs may contain salmonella (~1 in 20,000 eggs). To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. If you want to be extra safe, use only pasteurized eggs to make your mayonnaise or pasteurize them yourself by slightly heating them as described here.
We personally take the risk and just use regular eggs and have never gotten ill. Make sure you keep your mayo refrigerated, unlike my husband’s grandparents who used to leave the mayo out all the time, even in the South during the hot summers! But they never got sick either. .
People most susceptible to a salmonella infection are the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems. More info here at the CDC.
Q: Have you made your own mayonnaise? What kind of twists on the recipe do you like to add? I discovered mayonnaise cake is a popular way to use this condiment. Have you ever tried one? What about putting mayo in your hair as a conditioner? Please share below!