Skip the store-bought kind and learn how to make mayonnaise right at home! A simple combination of eggs, oil, and seasonings is all you need to create a smooth, rich and creamy sauce. It only takes 10 minutes or less to make the popular condiment.
I bet you have everything you need in your kitchen right now to make homemade mayonnaise. Learning how to make this condiment was one of the first techniques I was taught in culinary school, and I still make it from scratch all of the time.
There are a few keys tips to keep in mind when creating an emulsified sauce that I’ll show you. We want to ensure that the texture is smooth, creamy and rich. No need to buy the store-bought products loaded with preservatives. Just grab a whisk, eggs, and oil, and you’re on your way to making mayo!
How to Make Mayonnaise
This is my go-to homemade mayonnaise recipe that comes together in less than 10 minutes. I like to whisk the emulsion together by hand because it’s easier to see and feel the sauce thickening, compared to making it in a food processor, or blender. However, those tools are great for making large batches. Although, the hand immersion blender is an exception and does a great job quickly whipping a small amount of mayonnaise.
Whip the yolk
We all know that oil and water do not mix, that’s where an thickening agent steps in! The egg yolk not only adds richness to the mayonnaise, but lecithin in the egg yolk acts as an emulsifier, helping the oil and water in the sauce stay dispersed and mixed. Whipping the yolk before adding the oil helps to incorporate some air in the sauce right away, so it’s not too dense.
Add the seasonings
Salt, cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard and a small amount of lemon juice gets added and whisked with the egg yolk so that they can evenly flavor the sauce before the oil is incorporated.
Start the emulsion
To get the emulsion started to create a thickened sauce, the most important thing to do is SLOWLY add small amounts of oil into the egg mixture, then vigorously whisking to break the oil into smaller droplets. Take care to do this step correctly and don’t rush it. Otherwise, the sauce will BREAK.
Before more oil is added, make sure the sauce starts to look thickened, homogenous and pale yellow. I like to use olive oil for the recipe. However, neutral-tasting oils like grapeseed, canola oil and avocado oil are popular choices.
Gradually add in lemon juice
The lemon juice is the liquid used in the sauce to add flavor and help to thin it out slightly. Because lemon juice contains citric acids and makes it very acidic, small amounts are added in at a time so that the proteins in the egg does not denature and curdle. This happens a teaspoon at a time, once with the egg yolks, and then in between gradually whisking in the oil.
Add the oil
Once you have the emulsion started and the sauce looks smooth and thickened, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream and whisk to combine. Once all of the oil is incorporated, taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. You can even add fresh herbs like basil, or minced garlic for an aioli to kick up to flavor variations for the mayonnaise!
Storing for later
This recipe makes about 1 cup (240 ml) of sauce. The mayonnaise can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
More condiment recipes
Using raw egg yolks
Most store-bought eggs in the United States are pasteurized at a minimum temperature of 140°F (60°C) for 3 1/2 minutes and then cooled to help destroy harmful bacteria like salmonella. Check for the label and packaging for the indication of pasteurization. Fresh farm stand eggs are typically not pasteurized, and care should be taken when eating raw eggs if pregnant or have other health concerns.
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, divided
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dijon mustard
- 1 cup (240 ml) olive oil
- In a medium-sized bowl, add egg yolk and whisk until it becomes slightly thickened and light yellow in color.
- Add salt, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and mustard. Vigorously whisk until combined.
- Very gradually add a few drops of olive oil. Whisk until you see the mixture lighten in color and starting to thicken.
- Continue to add small drops at a time, creating an emulsified and thickened sauce.
- Once ¼ cup of oil has been added and is visibly thickened, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the sauce and mix to combine.
- Continue to add in ¼ cup of olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
- Add the last 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, whisk to combine.
- Slowly drizzle and whisk the remainder of the olive oil.
- The mixture should look pale yellow and thick. Taste and season with salt as desired.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
- Mayonnaise can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated up to 1 week.
- MAKE IT PALEO & WHOLE30: Substitute extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and 1 teaspoon mustard powder.