July 31

Homemade Mayonnaise


Ever look at the ingredients in store-bought mayo? Almost all of them are some version of this ingredient list, taken from a major brand:

water, soybean (and/or cottonseed or canola) oil, modified food starch (corn, potato), eggs, sugar, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, sorbic acid, and calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), natural flavor, vitamin E, beta carotene (for color)

Even if you go high-end ‘organic’, it doesn’t look a whole lot different on the whole. Take this ingredient list from a national organic brand:

organic expeller pressed soy and/or canola oil, organic cage free eggs, organic cage free egg yolks, organic extra virgin olive oil, filtered water, organic honey
organic distilled vinegar, sea salt, organic mustard
organic lemon juice

Granted, this product uses all organic ingredients — hey, that’s better, right? — and cage free eggs, which to me are an important point, but the major oil–the main ingredient–is still one of poor quality for human consumption.

And that’s what’s most important, really, the healthful or harmful quality of the oil it’s made from, a point on which neither the standard brands nor the organic alternative makes the grade.

Honestly it takes but a few minutes to make your own mayonnaise, without the additives, without the bad oils, without the sugar or honey. You can choose the quality of the ingredients, whether the eggs are cage free and humanely raised (and pasteurized if you’re concerned about bacterial contamination), whether the lemon is organic (or in my case off the tree in my backyard), the type of vinegar you use for flavor and acidity, and what kind of decent oil you want to use. I’ve used good olive oil, avocado oil, and macadamia nut oil. It’s up to you what floats your boat. Here’s how easy it is:

Homemade MayoHomemade Mayo
Makes about 1 cup


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 lemon, for juice* 
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2.5 ml) sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2.5 ml) dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vinegar of choice
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (180 to 240 ml) oil of choice


  1.  Put the egg yolk, lemon juice, salt and vinegar into a blender and blend on medium speed. (Alternatively you can mix it in a bowl with a whisk manually).
  2. In a slow, steady stream add the oil with the motor running (or while whisking like a demon) until the emulsification comes nicely together and makes what looks for all the world like mayonnaise!
  3. Store in a very clean, dry, air-tight jar and use up within a week.

*(Harvest the zest, too, and stir in at the end if you want a lemon aioli, which is yummy on fish or vegetables.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Here’s a little tip that I picked up from a cooking site eons ago: If you make your mayo in a food processor, the tube food pusher usually has a small pinhole in the bottom. Put all mayo ingredients in the food processor except the oil, turn the processor on. Then fill the pusher with the oil.

    It dribbles the oil in a consistent stream and when the pusher is empty, you have hands-free mayo.

  2. Or, place ingredients in the order shown in a wide-mouth Mason jar and use a stick blender – it emulsifies perfectly with less to clean. Thanks for your recipe!

  3. I had all the ingredients for this recipe and it looked easy enough. I measured everything out and used a personal blender. It turned out too thin – like a sauce. Maybe apple cider vinegar and grapeseed oil don’t emulsify well.

    MDE Replies: I have not personally had much success with grapeseed or macadamia oils. Light olive oil and avocado oil work pretty well for me. Whatever oil you use, the amount is just a suggestion — you add in a thin stream until it be becomes the thickness you want. Could be less or more, depending on how much emulsifying power the egg yolk has. Adding a touch of dry mustard powder (just 1/8 teaspoon or so) also helps it to emulsify.

  4. Dr. Eades,

    Check out making mayo in a jar with a stick blender. It is much simpler. A good site for instruction is Nom Nom Paleo or The Food Lab. Gently place ingredients in a tall slender jar, such as 1.5 pint canning jar. Let contents settle, egg will stay on the bottom. Place stick blender in jar all the way to the bottom covering the egg. Begin to blend holding the blender down over the egg for 20 seconds then slowly lift and begin blending the other ingredients. Takes less than 1 minute. Best Regards, Connie.

  5. hi…I enjoyed reading your homemade mayo recipe.
    However what is the nutritional value per serving with this mayo recipe. I am on the ketogenic diet and need to keep up with my fat and protein grams. I like the idea of making my own mayo without the sugar and additives. Thanks so much for sharing! xoxo

    MDE Replies: And now you don’t even have to make your own with Mark Sisson’s fabulous new Avo Mayo, available on his Primal Kitchen site or at many natural foods markets!

  6. I believe your quarter-teaspoons show a milliliter equivalent of half-teaspoons. Can you please help clear up my confusion? Thanks.

    MDE Replies: A quarter teaspoon should be 1.25 ml. If it says other than that somewhere, then it’s a mistake. 1/4 teaspoon is 1.25 ml; 1/2 teaspoon is 2.5 ml; and 1 teaspoon is 5 ml.
    Thanks for catching if I erred!

  7. Thank you for posting this ! I made homemade mayonnaise once back in the 70’s when I first thought about getting healthy, and I to this day do not know why I never made it again! It was good, so I guess I just crossed it off my to do list and went forward onto some other challenge, haha!! Even back then the ingredients weren’t as bad as they are now, (in commercially prepared mayo) so you have now prompted me to do it again and make my own homemade mayo!!d(Especially now, I’m a Grandma and need to set some example!! : ) Thank you for the inspiration! Love reading your blogs,
    Best Always,

  8. A few drops of water in the egg yolks before mixing will nix coming up with a runny mayo. My old Basque grandma said that using anything but olive oil would invite the devil to your table but, in spite of that, I made some awesome mayo following this basic recipe using different nut oils from avacado to almond.

    Also, I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of the vinegar. And, as a substitute, use some Spanish pimentón instead of the dry mustard.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe To The Arrow

The Arrow is A Critical Look at Nutritional Science and Whatever Else Strikes My Fancy. Sent each week... exclusively on SubStack. Subscribe for free.