Why make Mayonnaise at home when you can buy it at the grocery store? Because when made fresh, it tastes infinitely better, and it only requires 5 ingredients and 10 minutes! This mayo recipe is easy, foolproof, and delicious, and can be used for numerous recipes.
The deliciousness of the mayo you’re using can totally make or break those kinds of recipes. I know because I tried to use up a terrible avocado oil mayonnaise I had bought and “hide” it in egg salad with lots of fresh dill and celery. But nope, the flavor of the mayonnaise was still glaring. Which makes sense, right? It’s an essential flavor in those kinds of salads.
While the convenience factor is strong for mayonnaise purchased at the store, freshly made creamy mayo using quality ingredients is really worth the effort. It’s one of those things where if you care enough about the flavor and health factor, making it yourself becomes worthwhile. And actually, the effort we’re talking about is only 10 minutes.
What’s Great About this Recipe
Fantastic flavor – The flavor here is quite pure, and you can really taste the difference between homemade and storebought. Most storebought mayo taste stale and contain preservatives and off-flavors.
5 ingredients – For the mayonnaise ingredients, we’ll use egg, oil, salt, ground mustard, and lemon juice. It’s a very simple recipe, and it doesn’t need more. No ground mustard in your pantry? You can also use any mustard in your fridge, like Dijon or yellow.
10 minutes to make it – It really doesn’t take long to mix this up. It’s truly quick and easy, and can be made in a food processor, whisked by hand, or even made with an immersion blender.
Healthier than storebought – Many storebought mayos are full of sugar, preservatives, and poor quality inflammatory oils. This homemade mayo is a much better choice.
I started making a lot of homemade mayonnaise during my Whole30 4 years ago, and anyone who has done the program knows why: it’s just about impossible to find a store-bought brand of mayonnaise that doesn’t have added sugar AND is made with a healthy oil.
(Okay okay, there is one brand that’s sugar-free and made with healthy avocado oil, but I find the flavor to be absolutely wretched. Reviews of the product on Amazon tell me I’m not alone on that one.)
So the only solution was to start making it myself and experimenting (I also solidified my recipe for Aioli, which is mayonnaise’s garlic-flavored cousin). If you follow the recipe instructions precisely, it’s pretty foolproof.
Tips for Best Results
Make sure all your equipment is VERY clean – Making mayonnaise isn’t hard, but it’s easy for it to go wrong if the food processor or equipment you’re using has any leftover grease spots, or isn’t really clean. Inspect it well by eye.
Take your time when adding the oil – You’ll want to pour the oil in very slowly in a thin stream, which will prevent breakage, and also make your mayonnaise even thicker and creamier.
Add flavorings at the end – Aside from salt and ground mustard at the beginning, do not add other flavorings until the end, after the mayonnaise has been fully made. Then you can blitz in fresh herbs, or sriracha, or whatever other flavorings you’d like.
Step by Step Guide:
To get started, add a neutral-flavored oil, one egg, ground mustard, and salt to the bowl of a food processor.
I have found that it’s better to use a room temperature egg here instead of a cold egg straight from the fridge. If you can’t arrange this ahead of time, simply place the whole egg in a small bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes.
All of the mayo ingredients are essential here for this basic recipe, but if you don’t have ground mustard in your pantry, you may substitute 1 tsp of any mustard in your fridge, like Dijon, yellow, etc, but add it at the end. The mustard helps with flavor and stability of the emulsion.
What’s the best oil to use?
When I say to use a “neutral oil,” I mean one that is neutral in flavor.
My personal favorite for this creamy homemade mayonnaise recipe is olive oil, but make sure it’s NOT extra virgin. Extra virgin olive oil turns bitter in the food processor and blender, and the flavor is too strong anyway.
You want to look for the regular or “light” olive oil. Many people also use avocado oil, but I personally find the flavor to be terrible. But I know this is a personal preference. Other common choices are canola oil and vegetable oil, but I prefer healthier options.
Alternatives to raw egg?
I want to comment for a moment on the egg situation. The egg in this recipe is indeed raw, and personally I have been eating raw eggs (in mayo, nibbles of chocolate chip cookie dough, etc.) for years without issue. Make sure you’re buying really fresh eggs.
If you Google ‘how many eggs have salmonella,’ you will see articles (like this one from Slate) that discuss this risk, and it’s estimated that about 1 in 20,000 eggs has salmonella. That number is small enough that I just go ahead and eat raw eggs when the situation comes up.
However, if you prefer, you can purchase pasteurized eggs to use for homemade mayonnaise, or you can even pasteurize them yourself. I’ve seen lots of tutorials online for that.
I’ve also seen some people say online that if you leave the mayo at room temperature for an hour or two before refrigerating, the lemon juice will kill off the bacteria, but I’m personally skeptical that that’s true. I think it’d be better to use pasteurized eggs in that case.
Process the ingredients for about 30 seconds, until combined and pale yellow:
The liquid will be quite thin.
Next, with the food processor running, slowly drizzle in an additional cup of oil in a steady stream:
You want to do this VERY slowly, over the course of about 90 seconds. This makes the mayonnaise creamier and thicker, and if you pour too fast, the emulsion may break.
As you incorporate the oil, you’ll see it get thicker and thicker, until it finally looks like this:
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then blitz in a squeeze of lemon juice (I like two tablespoons), and it’s done!
You can also use white wine vinegar, but I find the flavor of fresh lemon to be better. There should be no difference in creamy texture, just flavor.
Other Equipment You Can Use
In my experience, using a food processor is the best way to make your own homemade mayonnaise that’s consistent in results. However, if you don’t have one, my second choice would be to whisk everything by hand with a balloon whisk and large bowl.
My third choice would be a stick blender (aka immersion blender or hand blender), you just have to make sure you keep the stick moving so the emulsion of oil with the eggs is even. My fourth choice would be a blender, but results are less consistent. You may need to scrape down the bottom of the jar a few times if it doesn’t emulsify with the rest.
Ideas for Flavor Variations
- Sriracha, Chipotle, or Harissa – Blend in 1 to 2 tbsp of sriracha sauce or harissa, or 1 chipotle in adobo sauce.
- Lime – Add in the zest of 1 lime, and switch the fresh lemon juice for lime juice.
- Herb – Blend in 2 tbsp of your favorite chopped herb, like chives, dill, basil, rosemary, thyme, chervil, or parsley.
- Curry – Blend in 1 to 2 tbsp of yellow curry powder, or you may add thai curry pastes like red or green.
- Sundried Tomato – Add 1 tbsp well-chopped sundried tomatoes
Store the homemade mayonnaise in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Some of my favorite uses for mayonnaise are Honey Walnut Shrimp, Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs, Jalapeño Cilantro Sauce, and dipping for these Homemade French Fries. It’s also great for tuna salad, Tartar Sauce, salad dressing, Red Potato Salad, and more.
You can also look at all my recipes using mayonnaise for more ways to use it. Enjoy!
FAQ and Expert Tips:
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container, to prevent the mayonnaise from absorbing off-flavors.
Not recommended. The emulsion will likely break, and when you thaw it out, it will have a chunky texture.
As I discuss above, it is estimated by the CDC that 1 in 20,000 eggs have salmonella, so the odds in my opinion are very low. If desired, use pasteurized eggs.
This mayonnaise is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto-friendly, and Whole30 compliant.
You can make this by hand with a clean bowl and a whisk, it’ll just take a little bit longer. I don’t recommend using a blender, as it will be unlikely to emulsify well.
- 1 large egg at room temperature*
- 1.25 cups olive oil** NOT extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard seed***
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice at room temperature
- Place ¼ cup of oil in a food processor, and add the egg, ground mustard, and salt.
- Process thoroughly, for about 30 seconds, until combined and pale yellow in color.
- With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the remaining oil until the mixture is emulsified and thick. Adding the oil slowly makes for a creamier mayonnaise, and if you pour too fast, the emulsion may break. The total pouring time to aim for should be about 90 seconds.
- With the food processor still running, add the lemon juice, and mix briefly, for only about 5-10 seconds, until incorporated.
- The mayonnaise is now ready to be used. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Disclaimer: consume raw egg at your own risk. Some of the information and raw egg statistics in this post may be out of date.