10 Healthy Alternatives to Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise: the thick and creamy dressing that is either the stuff of your chicken salad dreams or the culprit of your gooey sandwich nightmares. Some people love it, but a lot of people hate it, and we wanted to put together a little resource for those of you that fall into the “no thank you, mayonnaise” camp. If you hate mayo, these alternatives will save your life.
Mayonnaise is traditionally made from oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, and vinegar. We know it as a simple spread for burgers and sandwiches, and as the base for things like remoulade sauce, deviled eggs, chicken and tuna salads, even cupcakes. Whether because of the texture (that jiggle, tho) or the taste, some people just don’t like it. If that’s why you’re here- that’s enough. Or maybe you’re vegan and are tired of using Veganaise on everything, or are just trying to take control of where everything in your fridge comes from. Whatever the reason, we compiled a huge list of some of our favorite mayo alternatives. Enjoy!
Here are our favorite Mayonnaise Alternatives:
Avocado is the world’s favorite alternative to everything. When subbing for mayo, avocado can be used by itself (a perfectly ripe avocado should spread easily), or used as a feature ingredient in a smooth and creamy spread. We love avocados as much as you do, and we’re going to assume that you know what to do with one by itself come sandwich time ? But check out these unique ways to sub healthy-fat avocado into places where mayo is traditionally used. Tuna salad and deviled eggs for everyone!
Traditional hummus is made from a combination of chickpeas, garlic, lemon, and tahini: a lovely combination with a bright pop of citrus that adds a boost of protein to any recipe. These days hummus can be found made from anything from beets to edamame, but the goal is always the same: a healthy and delicious spread. And we know that’s what you’re looking for in your mayo alternatives as well. Here are a few of our favorites.
Our mouths water just reading that.
The spread for the greatest burger you’ve ever made.
Upleveling veggie sandwiches since… forever?
Pesto is a tried-and-true Italian favorite that is a great addition to soups and salads, and a wonderful alternative for anything from marinara to, you guessed it- mayo. It’s traditionally made with fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil, but there are loads of delicious variations to up your no-mayo sandwich game. Pro tip: meal prep your pesto! Pesto can be made in large batches and frozen into silicone ice cube trays. Whenever you want to use it for a cooked sauce, simply pop one out of the mold and directly into your pan. Want to try it for yourself? We collected a few pesto recipes for you to try out: one traditional and two completely unique.
The classic. You love it, we love it, everyone loves it.
Tacos, paninis, po boys- this pesto would be fantastic on anything that screams for a schmear of something crunchy and flavorful.
This unique sweet pesto would make a wonderful sauce or spread for a chicken or lamb dish.
- Cashew Cheese
Cashew cheese is a relative newcomer on the dairy-free spread front, but it’s pretty genius. It’s made by blending soaked (this process makes them softer and easier to puree) cashews with garlic, nutritional yeast, and other savory ingredients to mimic the unctuous cheese flavor that we all love. The result is a delicious vegan spread or dip that can be used for everything from condiments to veggie dips to mac and cheese. YAS.
- Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is yogurt that has been strained to remove much of its whey and lactose, resulting in a thicker consistency than what we typically call yogurt in the West. Because of the reduction of these often troublesome components, Greek yogurt is easier to digest for a lot of people. It’s also packed with protein, calcium, B12, and probiotics! Plain Greek yogurt has a naturally tangy flavor and a thick texture that is absolutely perfect for spreading. It can be used as a stand alone when added to something that is inherently salty, fatty, spicy, or a combination of all of the above. But if the intense tang is too much for your palette (or for the kids’), here are a few suggestions:
- Homemade Spreads
The best thing about homemade spreads is you can be completely particular about exactly what goes into them. This is perfect not only for making sure the schmear on your sandwich tastes exactly how you want it, but you can also control the ingredients that go into it. Keto, gluten free, vegan, doing Whole30? No problem! The possibilities are absolutely endless with homemade spreads, but we collected a few of our favorites to share with you.
- Baba Ganoush.: Loaded with fiber, protein, and heart-healthy omega3s, Baba Ghanoush is a smooth and smoky Middle Eastern dip made with eggplant, lemon, and tahini.
- Veggie Cream Cheese Spread : Crunchy veggies, deliciously smooth cream cheese. This one speaks for itself.
- Basil White Bean Dip + Sandwich Spread : A protein-rich savory spread that makes a fantastic addition to any sandwich, or a great complement to a crudite platter.
What’s your favorite mayo alternative? Which of these are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments below!