This homemade mayonnaise takes only 5 ingredients and 10 minutes to make!
What exactly is mayonnaise? It’s an emulsion of egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and oil. I love making a batch of homemade mayonnaise because you can put your own twist on it and control the ingredients you use. Use it as a spread for BLT sandwiches, lobster rolls and burgers, in egg salads, fish salads or as the base of dips or another sauce. I’ve shared variations on my recipe below!
The success of mayonnaise often comes down to having enough volume of ingredients. This recipe makes 1 cup and can be stored, refrigerated, for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend cutting the ingredients in half because the blades may not catch enough to form an emulsion (depending on what appliance you use!).
What’s the Difference Between Aioli and Mayonnaise?
There’s a common misconception that aioli is a fancy version of mayonnaise (or mayonnaise rebranded at a higher price point). While it’s not far from the mark, aioli is made with garlic and emulsified with olive oil giving it a richer flavor while mayonnaise is made primarily with neutral oil. A true aioli also does not contain any lemon juice or mustard.
Key Ingredients in This Recipe
Egg yolk – Egg yolks are the base of mayonnaise and work to emulsify the mixture and keep it thick and creamy. The mayonnaise works best if the egg yolks are at room temperature. If you are uneasy about using raw egg yolks I recommend using the freshest eggs you can find from a reputable company (local eggs would be best). You can also look for pasteurized eggs.
Dijon mustard – Dijon mustard is an emulsifier, helping to keep the oil and acidic elements together in the mayonnaise. Dijon also has a mellow mustard flavor with a balanced taste to enhance the flavor of the mayonnaise.
Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice, an acid, helps to add flavor to the mayonnaise.
Neutral oil – A neutral oil like canola oil which is light in texture makes the best mayonnaise. Other neutral oils like safflower, grapeseed or peanut oil can also be used in place of the canola oil.
Vinegar – This acid helps to flavor the mayonnaise as well as slightly thin the mixture.
How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise
Step 1: Add first ingredients to the food processor.
Add the egg yolks, Dijon and lemon juice to the base of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.
Step 2: Blend the first ingredients.
Cover the food processor and pulse until combined and foamy.
Step 3: Slowly add oil.
With the food processor running, add the oil very slowly, only a few drops at a time. Once the mixture starts to emulsify, continue to slowly add the oil in a thin stream, continuing until all the oil has been added and the mixture is thick and glossy.
Step 4: Adjust seasoning.
Add the vinegar, stirring to combine. Season to taste with salt and use as desired. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Tips and Tricks for This Recipe
How to Make Mayonnaise by Hand
If you don’t have a food processor, immersion blender or blender or if you want to make a smaller amount of mayonnaise, you can make it by hand. While it’s a bit of an arm workout, it CAN be done! Set a mixing bowl on a dish towel to hold it steady then whisk the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice until combined. Slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream about 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the vinegar and season with salt. I use a teaspoon or tablespoon so I can easily control the amount I’m adding.
How to Make Mayonnaise in an Immersion Blender
Because the immersion blender creates a vortex from the bottom and pulls the oil down into the mixture gradually, you don’t have to slowly add the oil once the emulsion forms. Instead you can add the egg, vinegar and mustard to the bottom of a jar or deep bowl and combine, then slowly add oil until an emulsion forms. Once that happens you can top with the oil and blend.
Troubleshooting Homemade Mayonnaise
My mayonnaise broke
You may have added too much of the oil too fast. Add ½ cup of the broken mayonnaise to a small bowl with 3 tablespoons of warm water and whisk briskly until combined. Whisk the emulsified mixture back into the broken mayonnaise. The water will thin the mixture slightly but will still be plenty thick!
Your blender may not be catching the oil. If you are using a blender you may not be working with large enough quantities of ingredients for it to be hitting the blades to emulsify the mixture. If this is happening I recommend either doubling the recipe or using a food processor or a whisk to make the mayonnaise.
Your oil may be improperly stored or old. If you are using olive oil rather than canola oil, an unrefined oil can cause your mayo to break.
My mayonnaise is too thick
If for some reason your egg yolks may have been smaller and the oil you added led to a really thick emulsion or you just prefer a looser mayonnaise, you can thin the mayo with water or a little vinegar for extra flavor.
How Long Can Mayonnaise be Stored?
Homemade mayo can be stored, refrigerated, for up to 4 days. If you make the recipe using pasteurized eggs it can last for up to 2 weeks.
Variations on this Mayonnaise Recipe
Put your own twist on mayonnaise by adding some simple ingredients like spices or herbs. I’ve detailed a few ideas below:
Garlic aioli – Add 2 cloves of minced garlic to the mixture and swap half the neutral oil for extra virgin olive oil.
Champagne mayonnaise – Swap the lemon juice and white vinegar for champagne or white wine vinegar.
Chili mayonnaise – Add 2 teaspoons chili powder to the mayonnaise and whisk to combine.
Herb mayonnaise – Once the mayo is formed, add ¼ cup mixed herbs (chives, parsley, tarragon, basil or dill) to the food processor and pulse to combine.
Easy green goddess salad dressing – Blend ½ cup of the mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 anchovies packed in oil, 1 teaspoon capers, 1 sliced green onion and ½ cup chopped mixed herbs (I use chives, parsley and cilantro).
Spicy mayonnaise – Swap the lemon juice and vinegar for rice vinegar then stir in 1/4 cup sriracha or sambal oelek.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoyed this homemade mayonnaise recipe, try these others: