Mayonnaise really is delicious, and it’s a staple condiment that can be found in most refrigerators. But it’s not for everyone. Some people don’t like it, some people want a healthier option, and sometimes you just run out and need something to take its place in a pinch. We’ve got a list of the best mayonnaise substitutes and alternatives, no matter what your reasons are.
If preservatives and additional ingredients, such as sugar, are you concerns, you can also try making your own homemade mayo with this recipe.
What Is Mayonnaise?
Mayonnaise is a rich and creamy sauce or spread made from oil, egg yolks, and vinegar or lemon juice. Regular store bought mayonnaise generally contains soybean oil, water, whole eggs and egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar, and lemon juice concentrate. It’s not necessarily the healthiest spread – it contains about 100 calories per tablespoon and 11 grams of fat.
Mayonnaise is commonly used as a spread on sandwiches and burgers, and as a base for cold salads like macaroni salad, pea salad, and potato salad. It can also be used in baked goods, as a coating for meat to seal in moisture or as a binder to hold on to a crust, and as a base for dips and other sauces.
So what can you use as a substitute? Read on for our list of the best mayonnaise substitutes and alternatives.
Best Mayonnaise Substitutes
Almond, Cashew, or Other Nut Sauces/Creams
Much like nut butters, almonds, cashews and other nuts can be made into creams by soaking and blending them until they are smooth. Just add a few dashes of water until you get the consistency you like, some salt, and even a touch of lemon juice if you’d like. These spread nicely, and have a similar texture to mayo.
Avocado has a smooth creamy texture, much like mayonnaise. Mash it into spreadable form and it’s a great substitute for mayo on sandwiches. There is a noticeable difference in flavor, so if you’re looking for something that tastes like mayo, this won’t be your first choice. But it is a much healthier alternative if you are just looking for something spreadable. However, the flavor of avocado is relatively mild so you can also use this mayo alternative in recipes for dips and dressings. You may need to thin it out a bit as you mash with a dash or two of lemon juice and water to get it to the consistency that you need.
Cream Cheese is a great substitute for mayo. Leave it out to soften and thin it out with a bit of milk or water to bring it to the consistency that you need. If you’re just using it as a spread, you won’t need to add much. You can also use it as a base for sauces, salads, or dressings that call for mayo, but you may need to thin it out a bit more. Keep in mind that cream cheese will create a creamier texture than mayo, with a cheesy richness and a bit of tang. You can also use cream cheese in place of mayo to coat your chicken or meat before dredging in a breading and pan frying or baking.
Greek yogurt is one of the best mayonnaise substitutes. It has a very similar consistency, and the flavor generally isn’t altered much by this replacement. It’s perfect for dressings, dips, salads, spreads, and even baked goods. Be sure to use plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. Any flavored yogurt will change the taste of your dish.
Hummus is made of chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and spices and is commonly served as a spread or dip. You can use this as a replacement for mayo, but it does have a nutty, distinct flavor. It is best used for cold dishes like salads or dips, and can be used as a sandwich spread. It won’t work as a replacement for recipes that require cooking or baking.
Sour Cream is probably the best mayo substitute if you are looking for something that is an almost unnoticeable swap. It’s creamy and has a very similar flavor and consistency as mayo. You can swap in sour cream for mayo in pretty much any recipe that calls for mayonnaise, hot or cold.
Tahini is made by toasting sesame seeds and then grinding them into a smooth, creamy paste. It is commonly used as a base for making dressings, sauces, dips, and other delicious dishes, so naturally, it is a great swap for mayonnaise in recipes of this nature. The flavor is slightly bitter and earthy, but is relatively mild.
Tzatziki is very similar to mayonnaise, so if you have a jar of this on hand, you can use it as a swap. It’s actually just made from Greek yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice as a base, plus whatever seasonings have been added like cucumber or dill. You can use tzatziki as a mayo replacement in most recipes, but probably won’t work for baked goods due to the herby flavors it contains.
Other Types of Mayonnaise
Any other type of mayo can be used in place of regular mayo, if you have it on hand, including avocado oil mayo, coconut oil mayo, and vegan mayo. But If you’re looking for a mayo substitute, it’s probably because you don’t have any of those either.
Most types of mayo are made with the same basic ingredients – an oil base, eggs, vinegar, and seasonings. If you’re looking for something that is egg-free, you’ll need to go for vegan mayo, which is made from soymilk or aquafaba and oil. If you need an oil free mayo, there are lots of recipes popping up using silken tofu as a base if you’re up for making your own homemade mayo.
How To Choose The Best Mayonnaise Substitute
Consider your use of the ingredient in order to choose the best mayo substitute. If you just need or want something to replace your regular sandwich spread, avocado or cream cheese are great alternatives that most people already have on hand. If you need somethings to use as a base for a salad or dressing, consider the texture and flavor. Greek yogurt, tahini, and sour cream are ideal substitutes in this case as they all will distribute evenly as you mix them into your dish.
Best Mayonnaise Substitute
Sour cream is the number one mayonnaise substitute. It is very similar in texture and flavor to mayo and can be used in most recipes, both hot and cold so you can’t beat the versatility here.