How is vegetarian mayonnaise made?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How is vegetarian mayonnaise made?” and will discuss the difference between vegetarian and normal mayonnaise.

How is vegetarian mayonnaise made?

Vegetarian mayonnaise is made,  turmeric (for color) is added to the cashews that have been steeped in apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard (or dried mustard powder). Using an immersion blender, the mixture is emulsified, light, and fluffy.

As a result of these environmental, ethical, and health concerns, the plant-based food sector is expanding rapidly to meet consumer demand. This sector includes a range of products created as alternatives to those normally produced from animals, including milk, meat, fish, eggs, and products where they are used as ingredients. The food category of condiments, dressings, and mayo achieved a market value of $63,696, which represents an increase of 1.4% in the period of 2017-2019 (3).

When it comes to vegetarian mayo, what is the difference between ordinary mayo and vegetarian mayo?

Mayonnaise is a kind of semisolid oil-in-water emulsion comprising 70–80% fat. Oil, vinegar, egg (yolk or whole egg), thickening agents, salt, and flavoring ingredients are the main components of mayonnaise. Due to its high emulsification potential owing to the inclusion of phospholipids, lipoprotein, and nonassociated proteins (livetin and phosvitin), egg yolk is the key to ingredients. One of the main challenges facing the creation of an egg-free mayonnaise is the selection of appropriate ingredients to replace egg yolk. Different plants with high protein content such as soybean, white lupine, wheat protein can be used as egg yolk replacer in a mayonnaise emulsion system. Also, the main difficulty was to maintain a stable fine oil droplet emulsion structure capable of preventing coalescence and flocculation for extended storage periods. Therefore, different types of hydrocolloids such as carrageenan, pectin, xanthan gum, starch, and guar gum have been used as natural thickening and emulsifier agents in some products such as mayonnaise, jelly, and jam  (1).  

Egg yolks are emulsified with oil and vinegar in the traditional French method of making mayonnaise. Cashews are a favorite among vegetarians, so I resorted to them to create a vegetarian, eggless version.

Using soaked cashews can transform everything from salad dressing to vegetarian cheese. Because of their high-fat content and absence of skin, they’re a near-exact replica of dairy goods.

This vegetarian eggless mayonnaise is perfect for those who can’t consume dairy or eggs. In my experience, vegetarian mayonnaise might be hard to come by at the grocery store, but cashews, oil, and vinegar are easy to get by! To top it all off, it’s a lot less expensive than store-bought vegetarian mayo.

Is there a way to thicken a vegetarian mayonnaise?

It’s all about emulsifying correctly to have thick mayonnaise. In general, protein acts as a surfactant to reduce the surface tension between hydrophilic and lipophilic materials in food systems and stabilize emulsions. Cashew nut protein isolates can serve as an egg alternative and a fat replacer agent due to their excellent emulsifying property (2).

A blender, immersion blender, or food processor is required for this operation since hand pounding does not have the strength to turn the nuts into a cream.

To effectively emulsify anything, which means blending water and oil, you should start your blender at a low speed and gradually increase it to a higher setting.

Using too much water while creating mayonnaise might result in a watery product. An additional tablespoon or two of cashews may be soaked, then drained completely before being added to the mix.

To thin it out, carefully sprinkle in a little oil while the blender is running until you have the desired consistency.

Additional information for each ingredient

Oil- Use a neutral oil, such as canola, vegetable, or sunflower, for your cooking. These are lighter oils, which whip up easily. Virgin coconut oil was reported to have antibacterial and antioxidant biological activities. Virgin coconut oil decreases total cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, while increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood and is also suitable to produce egg-free mayonnaise, using an appropriate emulsifier, such as cashew protein and an hydrocolloid, such as xanthan gum (2).

Lemon – acidity is required to aid in the binding and stabilization of the materials. The acidic emulsion is formed when adding lemon juice or vinegar. Acidic state extends the shelf life of the product and ensures its microbiological stability (2).

Mustard- Whole seed French mustard is added to add a little crunch in mayo. It’s up to you whether you like Dijon or any other mustard. The flavor comes from the addition of mustard.

Step by step vegetarian mayonnaise preparation

Step 1

The first step is to properly rinse 1 cup of cashews (125 grams) in water. Discard all of the water.

TIP: For this recipe, use raw, unsalted cashews. Using raw, unsalted cashews, even if they are costlier, is OK.

Step 2

 Fill a bowl halfway with warm water and add the cashews. Allow 30 minutes of soaking time.

Step 3

Place the soaked cashews in a blender with the remaining nuts and puree until smooth. A sprinkle of turmeric, six black peppercorns, and a teaspoon of dijon mustard are all welcome additions, as are the 1/2 teaspoon of raw sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of rock salt.

Tip: If you don’t have dijon mustard on hand, try using 1 teaspoon of powdered mustard powder.

Step 4

Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the recipe.

Tip: For a sweeter and tangier Japanese vegetarian mayo, just add the sugar to 1 tablespoon, the mustard to 2 teaspoons, and the apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) to 2 tablespoons, and then proceed with the recipe as described above.

Step 5

 Add 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil or any other flavorless oil.

Tip: When producing mayonnaise, it is essential to utilize a neutral oil. Canola, vegetable, grapeseed, and avocado oils are all wonderful choices. If you use oil that has a distinct taste or scent, your mayonnaise will have that flavor or aroma as well. You should steer clear of oils including coconut, peanut, and sesame.

 Step 6

Add 7 to 8 tablespoons of water to the blender and mix until smooth and creamy while the blender is running.

TIP: If you need to use this eggless mayonnaise right immediately, follow these simple instructions. Amount of water: 4 to 5 teaspoons. If you have time to allow the veg mayonnaise to thicken in the fridge, 7 to 8 tablespoons of water work nicely. Using less water will result in a thicker mayo, so be careful to use the full amount before refrigerating.

Step 7

Using a clean jar or airtight container, transfer your finished vegetarian mayonnaise. Refrigerate once you’ve sealed it securely. For a month, you may keep this eggless mayo in the fridge. Freezing for three months is an option as well.

Tip: To keep your eggless mayonnaise fresh, refrigerate it in an airtight container. If you put sliced onions or garlic in the refrigerator, you may wind up with an unpleasant taste in this delicate blend.

Other FAQs about Vegetarian that you may be interested in.

Is calcimax vegetarian?

Is caldikind plus vegetarian?

Is Celin 500 vegetarian?

Is bisto vegetarian?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How is vegetarian mayonnaise made?” and discussed the difference between vegetarian and normal mayonnaise.


  1. Ali, Marwa R., and Rania M. EL Said. Assessment of the potential of Arabic gum as an antimicrobial and antioxidant agent in developing vegan “egg‐free” mayonnaise. J Food Safe, 2020, 40, e12771. 
  2. Khairullah, Mohammed Nameer, et al. Egg-free low-fat mayonnaise from virgin coconut oil. Food Raw mater, 2022, 10, 76-85.
  3. McClements, D.J., Grossmann, L. A brief review of the science behind the design of healthy and sustainable plant-based foods. Sci Food, 2021, 5, 17.