If you are as tired as I was of shelling out six bucks for a small jar of plant-based mayonnaise, I have the perfect solution for you: homemade vegan mayo.
It is not only tastier than anything you can buy at a store, but it is better for you because you know exactly what has gone into it. And all you need to make it is a blender.
You can use this mayo in all of your recipes, as you would use any mayo--on burgers, in potato salads, and coleslaw. Whip up a batch today and come back and tell me all about it!
Why you'll love this vegan mayo
- It's real mayo. It's creamy, smooth, and it tastes exactly as you would expect mayo to taste. The entire process is wondrous but there are no sneaky tricks here: you use the same science that creates egg-based mayo, only with different ingredients.
- It's customizable: Everything but the base recipe can be tweaked and you can add to the mayo the flavors you love, making it all your own.
- It's fun: I cook a lot but I can honestly say that I never fail to be awed by the process, as the liquids combine and emulsify into a creamy sauce.
- It's easy. Follow the instructions and you will succeed. Always.
- It takes under 10 minutes: Really, that's all you need.
The science of mayo (and vegan mayo)
Making mayo is one of the most magical things you can do in your kitchen, and a fun project to do with kids, because it's a demonstration of food science in action.
To make mayo, you'd typically whisk oil into egg yolks and an acidic liquid, like vinegar, at a very fast speed. This would disperse the droplets of fat evenly among the other ingredients, creating a thick, creamy emulsion.
It is egg yolks, which are strong emulsifiers, that make this chemistry happen in a mayo. So when you remove eggs from the equation to create a vegan mayo, you are presented with a basic conundrum: how do you emulsify the mayo, so you are not just left with a liquid solution with droplets of fat suspended in it?
The answer is an unlikely but easy one; soymilk.
Soymilk, like egg yolks, is a strong emulsifier, and when you combine it with an oil, in the right proportions, in a blender, you get a creamy, smooth, delicious mayo. It's the real deal, no compromises, and your health will thank you for it.
Yes, but here's the thing: soymilk makes the best vegan mayo, hands down. I've experimented with a homemade cashew milk with decent results. The cashew milk, which I made by combining a fourth of a cup of cashews with a fourth of a cup of water, did emulsify but the consistency was more fluid. However, once you place the cashew mayo in the refrigerator it thickens further.
You can try this with any other nondairy milk as well. Your mayo won't be as thick and creamy, mind you.
Yes. You need twice as much oil as the milk for the mayo to reach the right consistency. But keep in mind that mayo is a condiment and a little goes a long way. This eggless mayo is still far healthier than a version with eggs.
You definitely can use an immersion blender, especially if you are making a smaller quantity of the mayo, which would be easier to do in the cup of an immersion blender. To do this, put the mayo ingredients in the cup of an immersion blender or in a small cup. The blade should be immersed in the ingredients. Place the head of the immersion in the bottom of the cup and turn the blender on at high speed. Blend until the mayo forms.
If using a food processor, follow the same procedure as you would with a regular blender. Again, make sure that the blades are immersed in the liquid, otherwise double the recipe.
In an airtight jar, in the refrigerator. Vegan mayo will not last too long, unfortunately, because we are not adding any preservatives here and the soymilk can spoil, so use it up within a week. This recipe makes about a cup and a half, but you can make smaller quantities.
Ingredients for vegan mayo
The essential ingredients in this recipe are the soymilk and the oil and, to some extent, the vinegar and salt. Play around with the other ingredients according to your tastes, if you wish.
- Soymilk: again, hands down, this is your best option for a vegan mayo. I use the Kirkland soymilk I buy from Costco.
- Avocado oil (or any flavorless oil. If you'd like to use olive oil, you can, but use half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of another flavorless oil, otherwise the flavor of olive oil can get overwhelming).
- Apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar, or lemon juice): In mayo made with eggs, the vinegar acts as an aqueous agent--one of the two liquid agents (along with the oil) that the egg yolks emulsify. Since soymilk is both a liquid and an emulsifier in our vegan mayo, you don't really need the vinegar for the emulsification. But vinegar adds a nice tang and delicious, mayo-like flavor, so use it.
- Wasabi (or horseradish) powder: This is a personal choice because I've always loved wasabi mayo and I like adding a bit to my mayo. The quantity I use adds really nice depth to the mayo without the overwhelming sting that wasabi can sometimes have. You don't have to use it, or you can use less.
- Mustard: Dijon mustard or any mustard is great here, just don't use a grainy mustard. The mustard adds a nice yellow tinge and depth of flavor, and helps your homemade vegan mayo taste even more mayo-like.
- Salt, to taste.
Other flavoring ideas:
You can stir nearly any flavoring into your homemade mayo, here are a few ideas:
- Cayenne or paprika, for a nice color and some zing.
- Garlic: I sometimes stir garlic powder into my mayo. You can also use roasted garlic, which would add lovely, rich flavor.
- Herbs: Chives, rosemary, basil, dill, chopped fine and stirred into the mayo, would be wonderful.
- Ground black pepper: For a really nice, spicy flavor.
How to make vegan mayo
- Begin by gathering your ingredients in one place, near the blender. Place the soymilk in the blender and, with the motor running on low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil through the feed tube until the solution emulsifies or gets thicker.
- Add the remaining ingredients and again blend on low, increasing the speed to high for just a few seconds after the mixture has achieved the consistency of mayo to ensure everything has mixed together.
- Voila, vegan mayo!
More vegan recipes to make at home
- Vegan Cultured Cashew Yogurt
- Instant Pot Vegan Yogurt
- Sourdough Starter
- Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter
Vegan Mayo Recipe
- Blender or immersion blender
- ½ cup soymilk (see FAQs above for other non-soy substitution ideas)
- 1 cup avocado oil (or another vegetable oil)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp wasabi (or horseradish powder, optional)
- Salt to taste
- Place the soymilk in the blender. With the blender running on medium-low speed, pour the oil slowly through the feed tube until the ingredients emulsify and thicken.
- Turn off the blender, add the remaining ingredients to it, and turn it back on to medium-low speed until the mayo reaches a thick consistency. For the last few seconds you can increase the speed to high for just a couple of seconds to ensure all the ingredients are mixed.
- Store in a jar in the refrigerator.