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I love pasta salads, tuna salad, sandwiches, and sauces; but I don't really like the texture of mayonnaise or the feeling I get after eating mayonnaise.

What mayonnaise substitutes have you found work well? For what dishes do you believe your substitute to be appropriate?

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@Village : this question was originally quite generic, mentioning salads, sandwiches and sauces. What might be best for sandwiches (eg, switching to a completely different condiment, simply to add moisture and flavor, such as mustard) may not work for a pasta salad (where a vinagrette works well) or visa-versa. –  Joe Sep 4 at 23:40

10 Answers 10

up vote 8 down vote accepted

For salads I always use an olive oil based dressing. This will consist of ingredients such as lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, red or white wine vinegar, etc. depending upon the ingredients in the salad.

Sandwich fillings are a little more tricky. If it's the texture of the mayo you don't like, then adding to it to make an Aioli won't help much.

Once again, it does depend upon the ingredients used but even here it's possible to use a vinaigrette based on ingredients above. With this you can make a Muffuletto style sandwich.

Another possible option would be a Tapenade these can be made from a variety of ingredients to form a smooth paste, which can then be spread on a sandwich.

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MiracleWhip, of course...

If it's just the taste of the oil that bothers you, you can easily make your own mayo using whatever oil you wish. A cheap extra-virgin olive oil makes a delicious mayonnaise, IMHO.

Otherwise, use vinegar. It's a great general-purpose condiment, can be flavored easily, and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. Naturally, this won't work well if you need the body of mayo, so go with some form of prepared mustard in those cases - it's like emulsified vinegar (in that it's emulsified vinegar).

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+1 for olive oil mayo. Even store-bought olive oil mayo such as the one made by Kraft have half the calories/cholesterol/etc than regular mayo. –  Paperjam Jul 23 '10 at 14:19
    
Home made extra virgin olive oil mayo will taste extremely strong. I'd recommend a blend of olive oil with a flavorless oil, or use a refined olive oil. –  Jules Sep 4 at 16:52

I personally like Greek-style yogurt as a salad dressing. YMMV.

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You could try a mayo-substitute, like this one (vegan). Since you're making it yourself, you can change the proportion of the ingredients if you don't like it.

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@Aaronaught, oops, missed the closing " –  Brendan Long Jul 10 '10 at 3:20

Cook an egg, put it in the blender with some oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt. This allows you to create a mayonaise-like substance, but with less fat content so you'll have much less of a greasy texture.

For something like a potato salad I'd add some heavy yogurt to this.

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-1. This is not a substitute for mayonnaise, but a recipe for quite standard mayonnaise. The cooked egg instead of raw is a minor variation, which makes it a bit easier or trickier, depending on how much you cook your eggs. –  rumtscho Sep 4 at 18:09
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Then you don't know what mayonnaise is. For standard mayonnaise you use only the raw egg yolk, with a large amount of oil (in fact if you wanted, then one egg yolk is enough to emulate more than a liter of oil). That is what gives stanard mayonnaise its greasy texture. What I described is different: you only use a small amount of oil, and you use a whole cooked egg. This gives a similar taste to mayonnaise, but without the greasy texture, i.e. exactly what the question is asking for. –  Jules Sep 4 at 19:17
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A mayonnaise is a sauce made by emulsifying oil in egg yolk and adding mustard. There is no prescription of what amount of oil to use, and technically you can use 12 cups of oil for a single yolk on the high side or a few drops on the low side. What you describe is exactly that, emulsifying oil in yolk, you are just using less oil. Which makes it a mayonnaise with less oil, but not a different food product. The inclusion of egg white is less common. But just because many recipes for mayonnaise stay in the 30 to 90 ml oil per yolk doesn't mean less oil isn't mayonnaise. –  rumtscho Sep 4 at 22:17
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By your logic, a pancake is the same thing as creme patisserie, it just has different amounts of egg and flour! Something which uses many times less oil, has egg white in addition to the yolk, and cooked egg instead of raw is sufficiently different to not be called mayonnaise any longer. You could as well argue that Bearnaise sauce is really mayonnaise. In any case, what you call it is irrelevant. The question was "but I don't really like the texture of mayonnaise or the feeling I get after eating mayonnaise.". I answered that. –  Jules Sep 5 at 0:03

A perfectly good substitute for mayonnaise in any type of dressing is to blitz up a soft tofu.

Tofu works great as it pretty much absorbs the flavor of whatever else is in the dressing. Plus its healthy!

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It's not suitable in all circumstances, but I like yoghurt mixed with tahini (2:1 or so) as an alternative for mayo in salad dressings. It has a good flavour on its own, but can also be spiced up with lemon and garlic. It's thicker than yoghurt on its own so can be spread on a sandwich.

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Yoghurt mixed with pesto works well, too, especially for pasta salads. –  JustRightMenus Jul 19 '10 at 16:38

Although not really a mayo substitute, I quite like Heinz Salad Cream with a salad.

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If I could upvote this multiple times I would :-) –  Vicky Jul 13 '10 at 13:57

I like a tuna pita every so often, but only made at home. I keep a jar of Nayonnaise on hand just for this. Can't say what it tastes like in anything else, but I can't tell the difference with tuna, garlic, celery, and pickles mixed in.

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Only regarding the sandwiches since salats are already discussed in the previous posts: Queso blanco1 with herbs, spices or whatever you want can suit sandwiches well. You could use cream cheese, Quark, ricotta, pot cheese or Bryndza etc.


Note: Same here, I neither like Mayonnaise. Cream cheese and Quark spread on bread suits my palate.

1I'm not very satisfied with this translation because I meant Frischkäse which is not only commonly used in Latin American countries like the Wikipedia acrticle says and is not necessarily white. Cream cheese is only a kind of Frischkäse. Frischkäse is mild unaged cheese. According to the German cheese law the water content of the chesse's fat-free fraction has to be higher than 73%.

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