Egg-Free Olive Oil Mayo

How to make an egg-free olive oil mayo.

One truth about myself that I'm learning- more and more- is it's the little things in life that stick.

It's the small moments I remember instead of the big ones, the quiet tender gesture rather than grandiose theatrics designed to make you swoon. Big and blown out- for me- simply fizzles and dissipates. There are gaps in my memory that reveal this proclivity to live off to the side, observing the small and overlooked, wondering what all the mainstream fuss is about. So much of what parades by as important strikes me as a lot of loud and self conscious whistling in the dark.

I prefer and savor the simple pleasures in life. Hot water and soap. Holding hands. Opening a new book. The unlauded bite of a new recipe that works- especially if you missed a certain taste- a condiment taken for granted, a spoonful most Americans plop onto their turkey sandwich, or stir into crab cakes, potato or tuna salad with no more thought or effort than simply reaching into the fridge and opening a jar.

Yes, I'm talking about mayo.

Why all the drama about a salad dressing? I'll tell you why. There isn't a single commercial mayo I can eat. Eggs are the biggest problematic mayo ingredient, followed by mustard, lemon juice, and soy. I don't think there's a single vegan mayo that doesn't rely on soy protein; and if it does not, it's still laced with lemon juice or mustard. Or both. So I've been living mayo-less for two years. And for the most part, I've been coping. I have plenty of mayo-free potato salads. But a crab cake doesn't quite hold together without it. There's a sense of, Something's missing. And a mayo-free turkey sandwich is, well, just not right.

Most vegan mayo recipes feature tofu or a thickening starch. So I started imagining what might help emulsify and thicken an eggless, tofu-free, mustard-free mayo. I pondered my vegan Cheesy Uncheese Sauce. And it hit me- raw tahini might work.

In fact, it did. So try this creamy and delicious olive oil mayo and let me know if it makes your taste buds happy. We're digging it big time. Our favorite condiment is back. As for the small zen moments in life, I thought I'd share a little bliss. Here's a 30-second video from my morning walk today. Consider it your dose of chill.

With mayo on the side.

Egg-Free Olive Oil Mayo

 Choose your favorite, best tasting extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. It really makes a difference. You can use your favorite clean tasting vinegar for the acid, or use fresh lemon juice. And if mustard is not a problem for you, add a half teaspoon or so of prepared mustard, to taste.

You'll need:

1-2 tablespoons chilled organic raw tahini, as needed
2-3 tablespoons clean tasting apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
3-6 tablespoon cold plain rice, nut or hemp milk
1-2 teaspoons honey or raw agave nectar, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Optional: a dab of your favorite mustard, to taste


This recipe is a flexible template. Start with the lesser amounts and add a little more if you need to adjust thickness or taste.

In a small mixing bowl (or food processor) place 1 tablespoon of the raw tahini, 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice, 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk, sea salt, paprika, xanthan gum and mustard, if using; beat/process to combine (I used a good hand mixer).

While the mixer or processor is running, start pouring the olive oil into the bowl in a thin, steady stream. After you have added all the oil, do a quick taste test to see if it needs more salt, acid or sweetness. Continue to beat or process until the mixture gets creamy and starts to thicken.

Here's the tricky part- you want it to emulsify and thicken but if you beat it too long, it can fall apart. When in doubt, stop the beating and check it. It will not be as thick and gelatinous as commercial mayo- more like a thick, creamy salad dressing.

If you have trouble getting it to thicken try drizzling in more vinegar or lemon juice. Or more mustard. That usually brings it around rather quickly.

Chilling it also thickens it, one reason (besides flavor) I use a good extra virgin olive oil in my mayo. Extra virgin olive oil is a heart-healthy monosaturated fat that becomes semi solid in the fridge. So make your mayo ahead of time, cover and chill it for best consistency.

Use within two days for best taste.

Makes about 3/4 cup.


City Girl said...

This is AMAZING. I have been in the same quandry (no eggs, and limited soy though it might as well be no-soy as I am not a big soy fan) and I miss mayo, and your recipe just appears.

Thank you :) and in case I did not mention it before, your Banana Blueberry cake (the one in a Bundt pan) is WONDERFUL :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Thanks for the walk -- and for the notion that egg-free mayo is possible. I don't have a problem eating eggs, but if I have a guest who does, I'm delighted to have this in my repertoire.

veggievixen said...

woah, thanks for posting this awesome vegan recipe! a friend of mine was just talking about wanting to try this, so i'll have to test out the recipe for her!

Amy Green said...

I do agree whole-heartedly that it's the little things that really matter. I will always remember my first holiday that I could eat gf cornbread stuffing after 5 years of only meat and veggies. I almost cried. Sometimes I watch other people eat, with impunity, foods I can't touch and have a twinge of envy. But then I look at all the blessings that have come from my struggles and I'm grateful. My life is good today. Congrats on the mayo - I'm thrilled that you're digging it.

Pam said...

Thank you Karina!

I needed that! (video)



tastyeatsathome said...

Congrats on the sounds delish. And I'm excited (if not a bit jealous) of where you get to enjoy your morning walks. Gorgeous!

Kim said...

REJOICE! I share your mayo pain - I also am soy, egg, and lemon free - and have been mulling over ideas for making something mayo-like. This recipe looks so promising! I can't eat sesame, but will try subbing raw cashew or sunflower seed butter for the tahini, and will be omitting the xanthan gum due to a corn allergy. I may use a little guar gum instead. I can't wait to try this!!!! Thanks for sharing, as always.
-Kim //

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Bless you and your mayonnaise loving heart.
If not for your site, I would be screwed. A gal cannot live on rice cakes alone. (I know, I tried.)
Thank you.

moonwatcher said...

Hi Karina,

I think this is one of my favorite posts--the little things that stick, and your proclivity to live off to the side are so resonant to me, and loved the way you used your words to say so. . .the video was also amazing to me in that even though it is a good 17 years since I've heard the sound of those Southern California waves, they took me all the way back there, to beautiful memories. One of my favorites, south of where you are, was to ride the bike trail early in the morning from Newport up to Huntington Beach, at a time when only surfers, shell collectors, and other early morning mediations were taking place. So thank you for bringing that all back to my sense.

And, oh, the mayo. . .sounds lovely. You are a true alchemist!



Lisa said...


Is there a reason for rice milk vs. almond or hemp? or are they interchangeable?

I can do eggs, but try to avoid soy and just found out I can't do safflower, so this recipe will definitely come in handy.


maebyn said...

This looks great. I've been searching for egg-free creamy dressings (like Ranch), and they all seem to start with a vegan mayo base. I will definitely be trying this... Thanks!

jd said...

I'm really intrigued by this recipe...

Although I was never a fan of mayo before becoming vegan, now it seems like I'm reaching for the Vegenaise fairly often (for dressings, pasta salad, etc.).

However, I'm a strong believer that everything tastes better when it's homemade (and as natural as possible!), so I'll definitely be giving this recipe a try.

Thanks so much - your creativity is astounding!

Freckled Face Mama said...

This recipe is so very creative! I cannot do because of the tahini but I can have eggs. Way to go in creating such a wonderful recipe. The little things in life are what add up to be the big things. Living with three children under four years old with various food intolerances/allergies makes for the enjoyment in the very little things. Thanks so much Karina!

Anne said...

Hi Karina, I’d like to share this recipe with you and everyone. I invented this when I was frustrated over giving up egg yolks and mayonnaise.
It is a thick creamy egg-less spread based on the aoli concept.

1 bunch of minced curly leaf parsley, organic
1 bunch minced scallions, organic
Garlic cloves, as many as you like, pressed, I use 4-8 big ones, elephant garlic can be nice here, not too much bite to their flavor, if elephant garlic cloves, then maybe just 2-4 cloves. If you want the garlic to be a background presence go for 1 or two small cloves. Organic.
One lemon, juiced (I know, you will have to find a substitute. I'm just telling you to give you a feel for the quantities. Sorry, I never measured how much juice comes out of a lemon. Size varies, etc. But one whole one.) Organic
1 – 1 ½ cup olive oil, or more depending on the size of the bunches of herbs. Organic.
Salt (I love salt, I really pile it in, 1-2 teaspoons.)
Mix it all together on high in a blender or with a stab mixer.

This will knock your socks off and heal your heart, and immune system. (If you hold back on the salt.)
Okay, here's the magic...for some reason the scallions and/or parsley act as a super congealing agent when you whip this concoction up with a fast blender. Whip it up. It will congeal nicely. Gets thick, bright, pale green, and creamy and smells divine. I eat half the container in one sitting if I'm not worried about getting fat that minute. I figure it is basically an herbal cure, of some kind or another. All that parsley has a healthy amount of vitamin C.
I have made it with rice vinegar when there were no lemons in the house. Added Dijon. Also, other vinegars. And guess what, it is fabulous made from a little jar of pimentos and garlic, and no greens, wow, what a beautiful creamy red-orange color. One jar pimentos, one cup olive oil, garlic, salt. Etc. Come to think of it the pimento garlic aoli congealed too. What does this mean? Maybe mayo never needed all those egg yolks. Have we been sold a bill of goods?
I spread the bright coral red pimento mayo/aoli on yellow roasted corn on the cob. Gorgeous and delicious.
Used it on garbanzo beans for another cold salad. Used it to create garlic bread. Fiddle with the proportions but not too much. The congealing is related to the ratio of olive oil to the other ingredients. Fiddle with the main flavor component. Add other seasoning...I make a great wheat free pasta and english pea salad with the Dijon version. And also potato salad vinagrette with this mixed in instead of mayo. Set it out as a chip dip. Lush, rich and delicious. Third day the thick part stays on top, the color starts to go, and the juice settles to the bottom of the container. Use it up by sauteeing breakfast potatos in it.
Enjoy. And thank you. I love your art, your husband's art, your recipes and your whole process. The whole magilla. Thanks for keeping it real.

Anke said...

Oh Karina... This recipe will be the reason I finally buy xanthan gum. I've been craving mayo for years but I can't stand tofu-based mayo (blech) and just never succeeded in whipping up mayo without either eggs or tofu. I'll try this now, and I'm positive I'll love it :-)

Anke said...

One more thing. You write: "It will not be as thick and gelatinous as commercial mayo- more like a thick, creamy salad dressing"

This would be EXACTLY the consistency of REAL mayonnaise, consisting of egg yolks, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice ONLY. REAL mayonnaise would also have a yellowish-greenish tint from the yolks and the olive oil.

Not sure how big biz managed to condition the whole Western world to mistake a pickle-flavored, snow-white, firm-to-the-touch custard for a Mediterranean condiment.

Anke said...

And another comment... I just made this and it is DIVINE. I went with the lesser amount of all ingredients, ommitted the sweetener and used a hand-held mixer on the lowest setting. The whole thing started to curdle after about 1/3 c olive oil, but since I can eat mustard I was able to save it with a dab of mustard.

And the taste... Love it, love it, love it!!! This one will be a regular in my house now :-)

bess said...

i so relate to the something missing-ness and what a triumph it is when you find a way to fill that little gap. HEAVEN!
many kisses from shandaken

Passport Foodie said...

Very nice recipe!

Wonder if it would work with Bernaise Sauce...

Passport Foodie

alison - said...

I made egg-free mayo from scratch once for my egg-allergic daughter. I was so excited for her to get to have it and I thought it tasted pretty good. She didn't like it of course, because she has never gotten accustomed to it! She still loves her sandwiches with hummus as a spread.
I would love to try it again though for another option.

Lindsey said...

Fabulous! Just what I needed to make my day. And since it is SOOO healthy, there is no indulgence guilt at all with this one!

S said...


As the nursing mom of a 4-month-old who is milk, soy, egg, and wheat intolerant, I have struggled all summer on what to spread on a cold sandwich (a must in the 100 degree Oklahoma heat). All I can say is thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!. Baby Colin thanks you, too.

Vegemommy said...

Karina, I just found you and I'm so glad I did! I am breastfeeding a two month-old infant intolerant of milk, soy, eggs and only tolerant to limited amounts of nuts/peanuts/gluten/corn in my diet. And, as a life-long vegetarian this presents some challenges. So glad I found your page and so very many wonderful recipes! Yay for mayo I can eat. -Heidi

Gluten Free Food Freak said...

Fantastic. I'll have to replace the vinegar with lemon juice, but it's fantastic to find out that egg-free is possible.

Ellen said...

thanks so much for this! i'm allergic to dairy, eggs and soy. this is the first mayo-like spread i've seen that i could eat!

Odile said...


In Provence, they make mayo with a potato starter instead of an egg yolk:

Take a small potato, well cooked and peeled, mash it thoroughly in a deep mixing bowl, together with a clove or two or garlic, crushed, and 1/2 tsp salt (the salt and garlic help the mayo emulsify).

Add 1/2 cup olive oil a few drops at a time, stirring constantly.

Add lemon or vinegar a few drops at a time. They tend to soften the mayo. Chopped cilantro can be added for a wonderful variation.

Anonymous said...

Thanks alot for all the wonderfull recipes, you truly are a life saver. Or at least a palate saver. Just one question, how long does the mayo last?

Karina Allrich said...

Anon- As I mention in the recipe, it is best to use the mayo within two to three days. :-)


alexa sunshine said...

Yay!!! Can't eat onions, soy or eggs-- pregnant and craving tarter sauce like nothing else! I added a bunch of chopped up pickles, extra sweetener and vinegar to this recipe, and got something that scratched the itch!!! thanks...

Demelza said...

This is delicious - thank you so much!

orenjuice said...

The xanthan gum is very expensive, and I could not afford it on my budget. Do you know of a good alternative to use?

Karina Allrich said...

OJ- You could try leaving it out. Or use a tiny bit of guar gum (have not tried this). Wondering about agar agar- a vegan thickener?

orenjuice said...

I'm thinking of using corn starch or potato starch or adding extra corn syrup to the mixture.

Odile said...

Corn syrup? Latest news says high fructose corn syrup helps cancer cells reproduce.
Corn starch? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it only thickens liquids if boiled. Don't know about potato starch.

A doubly good (tasty and good for you) solution seems to be in Anne's comment: add finely chopped parsley to your blender mixture. It thickens the sauce and makes it taste great. I haven't tried it yet, but I definitely will! Thanks, Anne!

orenjuice said...

No not HFCS, only corn syrup. I don't have any more left so that is not an option. I will try adding parsley.

Dia said...

My (grown) daughter is also allergic to eggs & has gotten the eggless mayo but I don't like all the soy - so this is a perfect alternate!! She just got new allergy tests, & is also sensitive to sesame - so I thought of using coconut oil as the first ingredient (gets solid when refridg - so should help it thicken :)
cane sugar is another on her 'avoid' list - so honey or agave is perfect!!
& I enjoyed the other suggestions - I used to make my own mayo with fresh eggs from our chickens & parsley etc - so it was always on the green side :)

sea said...

Wow! You are awesome. Love this recipe. Just when I thought mayo was lost to me forever (or until the breastfeeding allergic baby is over). Thanks!


Anonymous said...

This recipe looks amazing! I was wondering, I can't get through 3/4 cup in two days, would it keep if I tried to freeze it in little jars so that I can use it when I need it? Thank you, I just discovered your website and LOVE it!

Renee said...

thank you so much! my daughter is allergic to eggs, soy, and citrus so finding a mayo is as you know, IMPOSSIBLE! tuna salad here we come!

Jean said...

Karina, I've always loved homemade mayonnaise but can no longer bring myself to eat raw eggs, so I recently decided to work on an eggless mayo. Since I'm a huge fan of tahini, your recipe intrigued me. I'll let you know when I get around to trying it. (I have such a lonnnggg list of things to make!)

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