The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License,
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Frugal Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe, with Video Demo

By Vicki McClure Davidson


Homemade mayonnaise is worth the effort... it saves money, tastes fresh and fabulous


Homemade mayonnaise

No need to ever again buy store-bought mayonnaise... you can make your own, saving money, and it takes only a few minutes. Plus, the end result usually tastes MUCH better than even those expensive bottled mayonnaise.

This simple recipe can also be used as a base for other types of sauces, such as a Béarnaise sauce, horseradish sauce, dill sauce, and others. Using a flavorless or light-flavored oil, such as vegetable, safflower, or peanut will yield a mayonnaise where the flavors of the egg and any added spices predominate.

More flavorful oils can be used in making this mayo recipe, such as olive oil or garlic oil, but be aware that these stronger oil flavors will be more pronounced. Which you may or may not want, it's up to you and the dish the mayonnaise will be used in, whether it be for sandwiches, macaroni, potato, or egg salad, rice or pasta sides dishes, dipping sauce for meats or fish, or any number of dishes.

Don't throw away the separated egg white. Save it in the fridge for another dish.

For a stiff mayonnaise:

Separate the egg yolk. Put the egg yolk, mustard, and a very small amount of the oil into the jar of an electric blender. Don't season until after the egg is blended with all the oil, or the salt or spices will prevent the egg from emulsifying correctly, possibly ruining the texture of mayo batch.

Cover and blend at a low speed for 30 seconds, until the egg becomes sticky.

Add some more oil, a tiny amount at a time, with the blender running at moderately high speed. Putting the oil in very slowly is important. It will allow the proper emulsification to occur, keeping the mixture smooth. Pouring it all in at once may result in sudden lumpiness because the egg has separated. There are several ways to do this. Using a small squeeze bottle, like an old ketchup bottle, will allow you to drip in the oil. Or, use a 1/4 teaspoon measure to add the first 1/4 cup of oil a few drops at a time.

Once all the oil is added, add the salt, any other spices, and the lemon juice or vinegar. Blend at high speed for a few seconds. When the mixture looks silky and pale yellow and has a stiff texture, it's done. From start to finish, it should take no longer than 10 minutes.

Taste and add more lemon juice or vinegar and salt or pepper if necessary. Use when done or refrigerate in an air-tight container. Done!

For a lighter mayonnaise:

Same instructions as above, but use an electric or hand whisk. This process takes longer.

This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of delicious homemade mayonnaise, without preservatives. Be sure to use it up in a few days, since the egg yolk is raw and will spoil sooner than store-bought mayo.


This simple recipe can be used for other sauces, with a few variations.

Béarnaise sauce: To make a Béarnaise sauce, substitute tarragon vinegar for the lemon juice or cider vinegar and add 1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon to the finished sauce. Serve with cold chicken and seafood.

Horseradish sauce: Turn the sauce into horseradish sauce by mixing in 1 to 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish.

Dill sauce: Adding 1/2 teaspoon dillweed makes a dill sauce that goes well with seafood and fish or chicken.

Tartar sauce: Add about 1/2 cup of finely chopped pickles to turn the mayonnaise into tartar sauce.

For Japanese-style mayonnaise a la Kewpie, use rice vinegar for the lemon juice/vinegar, a bland flavored oil such as canola or safflower oil, and add a little sugar (about 1/2 teaspoon) when you add the salt.


Reminder: Don't season until the very end.

In the video below, chef Gordon Ramsay makes a 3-cup batch of mayonnaise.

Gordon Ramsay Makes Mayonnaise


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