If you’ve ever made your own creamy salad dressings from scratch, you may have been shocked by the inclusion of up to a cup of store-bought, chemical-filled mayonnaise. Since when does a “from scratch” recipe call for “sauce from a jar”? Moreover, can a salad dressing, potato salad, or tuna sandwich qualify as “fresh” or “homemade” when the main ingredients, eggs and all, can sit on the shelf for years before expiring? I’m no whole food purist (I’ve even been known to employ a well-placed can of Tex Mex tomatoes) but in my opinion, store-bought mayonnaise is on the same level as Miracle Whip. No hate for you Whip lovers, but this post is about real mayonnaise.
Mayo lovers, would you make your favorite salads and sandwiches with Miracle Whip? I didn’t think so. Then why do you happily slather your sandwiches with commercially prepared, shelf-stable mayonnaise? Have you tried your hand at mayo in the past, only to end up with a bowlful of frothy, separated mess? This recipe is 95% goof proof—and includes a way to rescue the 5% of you who do manage to goof.
Is time the issue? If 5 minutes is too much time to wait, by all means, have at the six-month-old jar that languishes on your refrigerator door. Perhaps you’ve heard that you need a fancy food processor or immersion blender to really make mayo at home? My recipe for homemade mayonnaise requires no tools other than a bowl, a whisk, and your hands. Don’t have a bowl, whisk, or hands? This recipe can be made in the blender, the food processor, or in a bowl using the immersion blender/hand mixer—or you can throw the ingredients into a jar and make your kids shake it into creamy submission.
There’s no getting out of this one, so let’s get whippin’!
Easy Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature + 1 additional yolk, as needed
- 2 drops water
- 1 tablespoon acid (options: lemon juice, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar) + more, as needed
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup oil (options: olive oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut oil), plus additional oil as needed
- Additional seasonings, as desired (options: salt and pepper, garlic, Sriracha, minced chiles, herbs)
Step 1: Combine 2 large egg yolks with 2 drops of water in a medium-sized stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl (or the bowl of your food processor or blender [or your jar]). Then, add 1 tablespoon vinegar (or other acid), and up to ½ teaspoon coarse salt. Whisk (or pulse in blender/food processor, or shake vigorously in jar) egg mixture until smooth, slightly fluffy, and lighter in color.
Step 2: Drizzle 1 cup of oil into the bowl as you whisk (or start your blender/mixer and drizzle the oil through the hole in the lid) until emulsified and smooth. (If you’re making jar mayo, add 1/3 cup of the oil and shake until combined and creamy before adding the remaining 2/3 cup oil and shaking until just set.)
Step 2 A: If your mayonnaise “breaks” and looks curdled, vigorously whisk (or, if in making mayonnaise in jar, shake) in an additional egg yolk.
Step 3: Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, or as desired. If you feel as though your mayo is still lacking, add up to an additional 1 tablespoon of acid while whisking vigorously. (One of my favorite mayo flavors is Heather’s chipotle mayonnaise dip and spread.)
Step 4: Add mayonnaise to a sandwich or side and enjoy. Otherwise, refrigerate for up to a week.
Michele Newell is a housewife turned blogger turned Home Ec 101 contributor. You can read her near-daily ramblings at Dreams Unreal.