How to counteract too much mayonnaise? (5+ ways)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much mayonnaise?”. We will further elaborate on different ways to help you counteract too much mayonnaise in a recipe. 

How to counteract too much mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise is a semisolid oil‐in‐water emulsion which is made through the careful blending of oil, vinegar, egg yolk, and spices (especially mustard). In addition, mayonnaise traditionally contains 70%–80% oil, and egg yolk is a key ingredient contributing to its stability (1).

Mayonnaise is presumed to have originated from Port Mahon, France, in 1756. It was produced for celebrating the conquering the Port Mahon by forces under the command of Louis Francois Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, duc de Richelieu (1696–1788), a marshal of France, and it was called Maho´nnaise. The word was later changed to mayonnaise, probably because of the old French words for egg yolk and to stir, moyen and manier (1).

Mayonnaise is a very famous sauce that adds a creamy texture to salads and moisture to sandwiches. It is unique for its rich and mild flavor profiles. Mayonnaise is very useful when added in moderate amounts, but it can ruin a dish when an excess of it is added. 

If, by mistake, you have added too much mayonnaise to your dish and are hopelessly searching for ways to counteract it, don’t be worried, here we have made a long list of methods to help you counterbalance too much mayonnaise in your dish, and to make it perfect for serving.

  • Add more of the other ingredients
  • Pour it off
  • Wash it off 
  • Add something crunchy 
  • Add oil or vinegar
  • Add strong flavors

Different ways to counteract too much mayonnaise 

Add more of the other ingredients

This is the easiest and most reasonable strategy in any circumstances when you have added much extra mayonnaise, to neutralize the taste of the recipe. In most instances, just adding more of everything else except for mayonnaise will do the job. 

This method is somewhat easy to implement with mayo, especially in dishes like macaroni or potato salad.

If you have added too much mayonnaise in dishes like macaroni or potato salad, you can add more vegetables and macaroni, to balance things out.

This approach can work even if you have added way too much more mayonnaise than your recipe called for. Without a doubt, you will end up having more quantity of food than you planned. 

If the excess food is not an option for you, try discarding half of the food. This will still preserve you more bucks in comparison to if you were to waste the entire dish. If food waste is a major problem, try any of the other approaches below.

Pour it off

In most mayonnaise-rich recipes, the other ingredients include moisture that comes out gradually. Put some coleslaw in the fridge for about an hour, and you will notice that much of the sauce will have turned to water that settles at the bottom of the container. 

Cutting vegetables causes cellular decompartmentalization and texture breakdown, which allows juices to leak from inner tissues and this leads to the formation of exudates, which can be easily noticed and separated. However, this can also facilitate spoilage, so it is important to keep the processed food under refrigeration (2).

Normally, you would simply mix prior to serving, but in case you have added too much mayonnaise, you can just pour the excess liquid off

Wash it off

In a few recipes, you might be able to wash all or most of the mayo. For instance, you can place a coleslaw or macaroni salad in a strainer and wash the mayonnaise off under running tap water without spoiling the other ingredients.

Add strong flavors

In recipes where you can not remove the excess mayo and do not want to make extra, you can add strong flavors to neutralize the rich flavor of mayo. The flavors that specifically work for that are the sour or spicy flavors. 

Spices should be used to bring out the best flavor in food and make it more appetizing, but in some cases, it could also give food a pungency which masks the original flavor. Indian spices are not only aromatic and important for coloring and flavoring food, they have been increasingly used as natural preservatives and for their potential health promoting properties like antioxidants. Some examples are clove, ginger, coriander, cardamom and garlic (3).

Among the acidic ingredients, you can add lemon juice or lime juice, mustard, and even horseradish. Cayenne pepper and hot sauce may also do the job. The addition of cheese, green onions or other herbs might also work in some circumstances.

Go gradually with adding any kind of acidic element. If it is overdone, the dish will have an added issue and will become too bitter.

Add oil or vinegar

One of the consequences of adding too much mayo is that it sticks to the food so that every bit is coated with the creamy sauce. Adding some oil or vinegar to thin out the sauce would make it less prominent that you have used too much mayo and would cause the dish to be more flavourful and more healthy. This trick goes well with macaroni salads, though it can also be useful for different recipes too.

The most important role of vinegar is pH adjustment. The mayonnaise pH has a profound impact on the emulsion structure. Ferric ions from the egg yolk are insoluble and soluble in neutral and low pH values, respectively. However, adding too much vinegar will decrease the pH value, and could cause the destabilization of the emulsion (1).

Add something crunchy 

The biggest concern with too much mayo is the way it can influence the thickness of a dish. Too much mayonnaise in an egg or tuna salad will give it all a consistent texture, which is mostly the feeling of the mayo itself. 

Bring some modification to the dish’s mouthfeel by adding a crunchy ingredient. Which ingredient you use will differ based on your dish. 

You can choose to add diced celery, onions, or crushed bacon to give your mayo-filled dish a delightful crunch.

We hope these suggestions will assist you. Still, if nothing goes for you, do not be troubled. Learn from your blunders and you can try again.

Other FAQs about Mayonnaise that you may be interested in.

Can you eat mayonnaise after the expiration date?

What can I use instead of mayonnaise?

Can you leave mayonnaise out of the fridge?


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much mayonnaise?”. We have further elaborated on different ways to help you counteract too much mayonnaise in a recipe. 


  1. Mirzanajafi-Zanjani, Mina, Mohammad Yousefi, and Ali Ehsani. Challenges and approaches for production of a healthy and functional mayonnaise sauce. Food sci nutr, 2019, 7, 2471-2484.
  2. Wiley, Robert C. Introduction to minimally processed refrigerated fruits and vegetables. Minimally processed refrigerated fruits & vegetables. Springer, Boston, MA, 1994. 1-14.  
  3. Patil, Sandeep, et al. Indian spices: an update. Int j botany stud, 2016, 1, 17-19.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!