How to Make Mayonnaise

4.93 from 53 votes
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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.

White ramekin filled with homemade mayonnaise.

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 key 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 store-bought products loaded with preservatives. Just grab a whisk, eggs, and oil, and you’re on your way to making mayo!

Ingredients needed to make this mayonnaise recipe.

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

Hands adding in the yolk from a cracked egg into a bowl.

We all know that oil and water do not mix. That’s where a 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

Person holding a bowl and whisking mayonnaise ingredients together.

Salt, cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard, and a small amount of lemon juice are added and whisked with the egg yolk so that they can evenly flavor the sauce before the oil is incorporated.

Start the emulsion

Person pouring a clear jar of oil into a bowl of mixed egg wash.

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 whisk 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 lemon juice

Person using adding a tablespoon of lemon juice into a bowl of egg wash.

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 at a time so that the proteins in the egg do 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

Whisking a bowl of homemade mayonnaise.

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 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

How to make mayonnaise at home.

Recipe Science

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 ½ 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.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Skip the store-bought sauce and learn how to 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. 
4.93 from 53 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Course Condiment
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cup olive oil

Instructions 

  • 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.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 16 servings
Calories 124kcal (6%)Carbohydrates 0.1gProtein 0.2gFat 14g (22%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 13mg (4%)Sodium 21mg (1%)Potassium 3mgFiber 0.01gSugar 0.04gVitamin A 50IU (1%)Vitamin C 0.8mg (1%)Calcium 1mg

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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27 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Frank says

    Just a note about American measures.

    You will often find that European Imperial measures are larger than American Imperial measure. If you don’t know this fact it can lead to a recipe failure.
    This is why the rest of the world switched from a non standard Imperial mess to a world standard Scientific Metric system some 50 years ago. (even NASA uses Metric)

    e.g.

    1 US Cup = 236 ml
    1 UK Cup = 284 ml
    (but most, if not all, Euro measure cups are 250ml. Thus, 4x 250ml cups = 1 litre. The change may have been implemented to help people convert to metric 50 years ago)

    1 US Pint = 472 ml
    1 UK Pint = 568 ml

    1 US Gallon = 3.7 Litre
    1 UK Gallon = 4.5 Litre

    With just those few samples, you can see why something would not work when mixing ingredients, if you did not know the differences in Imperial measures. I learned this from previous kitchen disasters when I did not know the global location origin of the recipe using Imperial.

    Thanks for the mayo info, will try it out today.

    (*If people are wondering, “Litre” is from Latin. It can be spelled either as modern “Liter” or traditional “Litre”)

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