Mayonnaise is a staple in Western cuisine. It is an essential ingredient for certain salads and hamburgers. Unfortunately, there are certain reasons that you may want to avoid mayonnaise. For example, it is made with animal products and it does contain cholesterol. Whether you want a healthier option or have simply run out of it unexpectedly, here are some of the best mayonnaise substitutes:
Your best bet: Mustard
Many mayonnaise recipes contain mustard seed for its tanginess so prepared mustard will just give you a more intense form of the mayonnaise flavor profile. Potato salad and coleslaw both have their mustard-based equivalents and mustard is often used as a mayonnaise alternative in sandwiches.
You have multiple different mustard options when it comes to making a mayonnaise substitute; mustard varieties include Dijon, brown and yellow. Mustard has the benefit of being vegan and low calorie. It is also just as easy to find as mayonnaise and equally affordable.
A decent second choice: Hummus
Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas that brings a similar flavor to mayonnaise. The acidity from lemon juice makes up a big part of its flavor profile as does the smooth, velvety texture that comes from tahini paste and olive oil. Hummus is spreadable and can work in sandwiches just as well as mayonnaise would.
Hummus has the benefit of being healthier than mayonnaise since you don’t get the cholesterol load from egg yolks. In addition to being rich in several vitamins and minerals, hummus contains no animal products and is a great option for vegans.
In a pinch: Pesto
Traditional Italian pesto is made with basil as the main ingredient, which results in an intense herbal flavor. Pesto is a great alternative to mayonnaise if you want something with a far more intense flavor profile. It also contains lots of olive oil to give you a smooth, spreadable consistency and a mayonnaise-like richness. As a vegan option with healthy fat, pesto brings with it none of the cholesterol concerns that come from traditional mayonnaise. Also, you are not limited to basil as the herb of choice. You can make pesto with other herbs like kale and spinach.
Avocados offer both the creaminess and the high-fat content that makes mayonnaise enjoyable. What’s more, these popular fruits are extremely nutritious due to their healthy fat. Avocados are not a perfect match for mayonnaise’s slightly acidic flavor profile, but you can change this by adding a little lime juice or vinegar.
Ranch dressing consists mostly of mayonnaise combined with buttermilk and sometimes sour cream or yogurt. It has much of the same flavor as mayonnaise along with an additional tartness from the buttermilk and sour cream. Ranch is richer than mayonnaise but will work in salads as a binding agent though it might be too moist to work as a sandwich spread. Ranch dressing has the benefit of being widely available in most parts of the US.
Olive oil is like avocado in that it is one of the simplest mayonnaise substitutes. While it won’t be spreadable, you can still use it in salads and sandwiches to replace the mayonnaise’s richness. Add a small amount of lime juice to your olive oil to replace the tangy notes from mayonnaise.