You’re not gonna find any mayo-shaming here. Mayonnaise deserves high praise for making sandwiches, salads, dressings, sauces, and even baked goods more delicious. But hey! Sometimes you just need a break.
And when that time comes, satisfying mayo substitutes abound. Finding your soulmate spread all depends on where it’s going (turkey and cheese sandwich? Tuna salad? Chocolate cake?!). Here are seven delish mayo alternatives and the best ways to use them.
The best mayo substitutes, ranked
- Greek yogurt
- Vegan mayo
- Silken tofu
- Cashew cream
- Olive oil
Plain Greek yogurt
Mayo match: ****
Greek yogurt has a tangy, creamy flavor and thick, spreadable consistency that makes it a fairly close match for mayo. It’s exactly what you want to help pull a sandwich together. Only the ‘gurt is a little less gloppy and gives you an extra shot of protein. Nice!
You can even use it as a mayo substitute for baking. You’ll get the same rich, moist consistency, and the tang of the yogurt will give you a tender texture just like the vinegar in the mayo.
Just please make sure to stick with plain Greek yogurt — the vanilla or strawberry flavored stuff def isn’t gonna work. And while there’s no rule saying you have to use full-fat Greek yogurt, going that route will definitely give you more creaminess compared to low fat or fat-free.
Mayo match: ****
It’s not the same as mayo, but it’s pretty damn close, and you can use it interchangeably anywhere you’d use the real stuff. Both have an oil (usually soybean, canola, or olive) base. But instead of using egg yolk as an emulsifier, vegan mayo relies on ingredients like aquafaba, soy protein, or pea protein to get that whipped, creamy consistency.
Just like conventional mayos, different vegan mayo brands have slightly different ingredients and flavors. It’s worth trying out a few different types to find your personal fave, but you really can’t go wrong with Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise.
Mayo match: ***
Use the ‘fu as a mayo substitute in dressings, sauces, or even baked goods. It blends up ultra-creamy and smooth, so you’ll get a close texture match to actual mayo. Since tofu is pretty bland, though, you might wanna bump things up in the flavor department. To get closer to the real thing, try adding a hint of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, a dash of salt, and even a pinch of sugar to taste.
Mayo match: ***
What do you get when you soak raw cashews overnight and then blend them with water until smooth? A thick spread that’s rich, creamy, and slightly sweet — just like mayo! Cashew cream is tops in everything from sandwiches to salads to creamy dressings to baked goods. And like silken tofu, the blank-canvas flavor profile means you can turbocharge it with ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, or garlic.
As for how to actually make it? Every cashew cream lover has their recipe. Chances are you’ll find the one that makes your heart sing once you get into the kitchen and experiment. But using a 2-to-1 ratio of cashews to water (think 1 cup raw cashews and 1/2 cup water) is a good starting point.
Mayo match: **
It’s got that rich, slightly oily consistency that mayo does so well. But unlike the Hellman’s or Duke’s, it’s loaded up with heart-healthy fat and some fiber.
You can mash ripe avocado and use it as a spread for sandwiches. Or blend it up with plain yogurt to make a creamy dressing for any salad. If you’re going the dressing route, try to make the dressing right before you eat, and add a healthy squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Avo turns a nasty shade of brown when it sits around for too long, but the citrus juice can help it stay green a little longer.
Mayo match: **
No, it won’t really work as a sandwich spread. But you can totally make an olive oil-based vinaigrette for tuna, chicken, pasta, or potato salads. (Cooks in places like Italy and France do it all the time!) If you need a little extra tang, try mixing in some caper or pickle juice.
Olive oil can also be a good substitute for mayo in baking — it gives you the same rich, moist consistency. But since it lacks the tang factor of subs like Greek yogurt, you might want to try adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to mimic the vinegar in the mayo.
Mayo match: *
Is it exactly like mayo? Let’s not fool ourselves. But the chickpea and tahini spread has a nutty, tangy flavor that’s worth appreciating in its own right plus protein and fiber to keep you full. You can’t go wrong schmearing it on a sandwich, or even thinning it with water to make a creamy dressing or sauce. Just, uh, don’t bake with it.