Mayonnaise is a wonder condiment, becoming something of a modern mother sauce with its unique ability to grace sandwiches, coax pasta or potatoes into lush side dishes, and make a myriad of other dressings, sauces, and marinades. Most store-bought mayonnaises — and some homemade versions — contain sugar and vegetable oil, making them off-limits for anyone trying a Paleo diet or a round of Whole30.
Making paleo-friendly mayonnaise at home is surprisingly straight-forward, requiring just one special consideration — which oil or fat to use — and about 5 minutes of assembly. We think having a jar creamy, tangy mayonnaise on hand makes the Whole30 more enjoyable, as it lends itself to better salads and proteins, not to mention a delicious ranch dressing.
What Is Paleo Mayo?
The Paleo diet and its popular cousin, Whole30, limits the intake of refined sugar and carbohydrates and focuses on protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Both of these diets skip vegetable oils, opting for limited natural sweeteners (honey and maple syrup are Paleo-friendly, but not Whole30-approved) and fats like ghee, olive oil, or avocado oil. Given that most store-bought mayo includes some combination of these two ingredients, it's difficult to find an option that meets the requirements without breaking the bank. As a result, making your own compliant mayo is usually the best way to go. You can ensure the mayo is sugar-free and made without vegetable oil but still just as rich and delicious.
Speaking from experience, I cannot stress the importance of having a few delicious sauces on hand that are Paleo or Whole30-approved. After a few days of dry chicken or roasted vegetables, you're going to want to give up on any new diet — but not when a good sauce is on hand. Paleo mayo means creamy chicken salads, Paleo ranch dressing for salads and dip, or even a sort of Paleo eggs Benedict when the regular breakfast of eggs and bacon will no longer cut it.
Regardless of whether you're following either of these dietary strategies, sometimes you just want a mayo that's easy to make and features a neutral oil. In which case, this mayo will also meet that need while adding healthy fats to your diet.
For Your Information
- This mayo uses our tried-and-true blender mayo method. You'll need a wide-mouth jar and an immersion blender for the task.
- Paleo mayo can be made with olive oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, or grass-fed ghee. I prefer avocado oil for its taste and texture in the finished mayo. More on that below.
Key Steps for Making Paleo Mayo
- Avocado oil makes the best Paleo mayo: Having tested this method with olive oil, safflower oil, and ghee, I can say that avocado oil is the best option for Paleo mayo that tastes, spreads, and feels like regular mayonnaise. Ghee and safflower oil both make a tasty mayo, but they both thicken the mayo in the fridge, making it less spreadable. (You can remedy this by bringing the mayo to room temperature before using, but who wants to do that every time you need a swipe?). Olive oil (not extra-virgin!) makes a mayo that is a little thicker than most and can have a very strong floral flavor depending on the oil used. Avocado oil can be expensive, but you'll only need a cup for the mayo and you can use the rest for high-heat sautés and roasts.
- Let the ingredients settle before blending: This weird little tip makes for consistently better mayo. You're making this mayo in a wide-mouth jar with an immersion blender, so if you give the egg a few minutes to settle to the bottom of the jar after adding the oil, the immersion blender can quickly get to work on the egg first. The few times I've had broken mayo with this method it happened when I rushed to blend without giving the egg a chance to settle.
- Start with half the oil and gradually add the remainder: Another broken mayo buster? Not every batch of mayo needs the full cup of oil, so start with 1/2 a cup, and then blend and stream in the remaining oil slowly. You may find your perfect batch of mayo only requires 3/4 cup of oil.
Storing and Using Paleo Mayo
Homemade Paleo mayo will keep for about one week in the refrigerator. While it's there, use it to turn ranch powder into Paleo ranch dressing for salads. Smear a few tablespoons on chicken breasts and roast until golden and crisp. Make chicken or egg salad for lunches or breakfasts. Or add a healthy dollop to a plate full of roasted veggies.
How To Make Paleo/Whole30 Mayo
Makes 1 1/2 cups; about 24 servings
What You Need
freshly squeezed lemon juice
neutral-tasting oil, such as light avocado, olive, or safflower
wide-mouth 16-ounce jar
Measuring cup and measuring spoons
Combine the egg, lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Combine the egg, lemon juice, dried mustard, and kosher salt in the bottom of a 16-ounce wide-mouth jar. No need to whisk or stir at this point.
Add half of the oil and blend. Add 1/2 of the oil and give everything a minute to settle. Press an immersion blender down into the bottom of the jar and turn on (use low speed if your blender has 2 speeds).
Add the remaining oil 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the mayo begins to thicken, stream in the remaining oil 1 tablespoon at a time until the mayo reaches your desired consistency.
Storage: Homemade mayo will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.