Mayonnaise can be a divisive condiment—some people could eat it on just about anything, while others loathe the stuff. But when you consider the myriad of sauces, spreads, and toppings for which mayonnaise is a key ingredient, it’s hard not to appreciate its contribution to our favorite foods.
This versatility is thanks, in part, to the structure of the condiment itself. Mayonnaise is considered a “stable emulsion” of oil, egg yolk, and an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. This stability, along with its fairly neutral taste, makes mayonnaise the perfect building block for all types of sauces and spreads, from your favorite creamy salad dressing to that “secret sauce” at your local burger joint.
Keep reading to learn how to make homemade mayo, tartar sauce, and “comeback sauce,” plus check out our complete list of mayo-based sauces (in honor of National Sauce Month!)
How to Make Homemade Mayo
While it might be easier to pull out a jar of your favorite prepared mayonnaise to use on your next sandwich or burger, making your own mayo allows you more control over the specific ingredients and flavor nuances. Plus—it only requires a few staple ingredients and a couple of minutes to prepare.
- 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 2 ½ Cups Extra Light Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Mustard Seed
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, room temperature
Place ½ cup of oil in a food processor, then add the eggs, ground mustard, and salt.
Process thoroughly, for about 30 seconds, until combined and pale yellow in color.
With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in remaining oil until mixture is emulsified and thick, about 60-90 seconds.
With the food processor still running, add the lemon juice, and mix briefly, about 5-10 seconds, until incorporated. Transfer homemade mayo to a container with a lid until ready to use. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Enjoy with your favorite sandwiches or use as the base for other favorite sauces and spreads, such as the ones below!
View the full recipe instructions below or here: Homemade Mayonnaise recipe.
Recipes Using Homemade Mayo
Now that you’ve discovered just how easy it is to make your own mayonnaise from scratch, you’ll want to use it on everything! Here’s a reminder of some of the delicious uses for this master condiment.
- Classic BLT or Tomato Sandwich – Arguably the two best examples of how mayo can help to elevate a sandwich.
- Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, and Egg Salad Sandwiches – Use your homemade mayo to bind together the ingredients and kick your sandwich up a notch!
- Simple Deli Sandwiches like Roast Beef, Ham, or Turkey and Cheese.
- Seafood Salad Sandwiches such as Lobster Rolls, Crab Rolls, and Shrimp Rolls.
- Club Sandwiches – Check out our past blog post for some double-decker inspiration.
- Burgers – Mix and match to create your own custom burger using inspiration from our “Build-Your-Own” Burger Bar.
How to Make Homemade Tartar Sauce
If you’ve ever eaten “Fish and Chips,” chances are you’re familiar with tartar sauce, the popular dipping sauce served alongside that dish. It’s a creamy, slightly tangy sauce that starts off with—you guessed it—mayonnaise!
The steps are simple: take your homemade mayonnaise from above and add chopped pickles or relish, minced onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Some versions also include capers or fresh herbs as well. Then just mix it all together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
View the full recipe at: https://potatorolls.com/recipes/homemade-tartar-sauce.
Featured Recipe Using Homemade Tartar Sauce: Baked Fish Hoagies
Tartar sauce and fish go hand in hand. So, to test out your recipe above, you’ll want to cook up a batch of these mouthwatering subs made with seasoned, hand-breaded, baked flounder and served on Martin’s Hoagie Rolls along with shredded lettuce, pickles, and American cheese (optional).
Get the recipe at: https://potatorolls.com/recipes/baked-fish-hoagies
You may also enjoy Parmesan Baked Tilapia with Homemade Tartar Sauce.
How to Make Comeback Sauce
Because of its mild and inoffensive flavor, mayonnaise is a great base for flavorful spreads and sauces. With a few additional ingredients such as spices, herbs, or other condiments, you can transform the simple emulsion into a robust flavor companion for your favorite dishes.
One great example is Comeback Sauce, a southern-style dipping sauce that originated in Jackson, Mississippi. This beloved condiment, which is similar to a rémoulade, adds chili sauce (such as sriracha), ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and spices to a mayonnaise base. The result is a deliciously smoky, tangy, spicy-sweet concoction that pairs well with everything from French fries to burgers or fried seafood. Try it with our Oven-Baked Chicken Sandwich recipe, below.
View the full recipe at: https://potatorolls.com/recipes/comeback-sauce
Featured Recipe Using Comeback Sauce: Oven-Baked Chicken Sandwiches
Replicate your favorite fast food chicken sandwiches at home with this easy brine, bread, bake technique. Step 1: Brine seasoned, halved chicken breasts overnight in the fridge. Step 2: Dredge the brined chicken in egg wash followed by a seasoned flour mixture. Step 3: Bake and serve on Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls!
Get the recipe at: https://potatorolls.com/recipes/oven-baked-chicken-sandwiches.
Complete List of Mayo-Based Sauces
Take a look at some of the creative things you can do with mayonnaise!
Flavored Mayos: Mayo + Spices
Put a spin on your classic mayo by adding different spices and seasonings. Take a look at some popular variations below:
Chipotle Mayo = Mayonnaise + Chipotle Chile in Adobo. Try it with our BBQ Flank Steak Sandwich.
Garlic-Basil Mayo = Mayonnaise + Minced Garlic + Fresh Basil + Salt & Pepper. Try it on this Turkey & Veggie Sandwich.
Jalapeno Mayo = Mayonnaise + Diced Jalapeno + Garlic + Salt + Splash of Lime Juice. Try it with these Caramelized Onion and Bacon Cheddarwursts.
Mustard-Mayonnaise = Mayonnaise + Dijon Mustard + Whole-Grain Mustard + Sour Cream + Salt. Perfect for these Hanger Steak Sandwiches!
Sriracha Mayo = Mayonnaise + Sriracha + Citrus Juice (optional). Try it with the recipes below!
Aioli: Mayo + Garlic
A traditional aioli is made by incorporating crushed garlic cloves during the egg yolk, olive oil, lemon juice emulsification process of traditional mayonnaise. However the term is often loosely applied to any mayo flavored with garlic and other ingredients. Take a look at some delicious aioli variations below!
Cajun Aioli = Homemade Mayo + Crushed Garlic + Creole Mustard + Spices & Seasonings. Try it with Grilled Shrimp Po’ Boys!
Lemon Garlic Aioli = Mayo + Garlic + Lemon Juice + Salt & Pepper + Fresh Dill (optional). Try it on these great options:
Roasted Garlic Aioli = Mayo + Roasted Garlic + Lemon Juice + Dijon mustard + Worcestershire sauce + Salt & Pepper. A must-try atop this Campfire Mac & Cheese Burger!
Lemon & Browned Butter Aioli = Mayo + Browned Butter + Lemon Juice + Sweet Thai Chili Sauce + Garlic + Cayenne + Salt & Pepper. Try it as a topping for these Sweet-Heat Surf & Turf Burgers.
Smoky Aioli = Mayo + Smoked Paprika + Garlic. Try it with Bacon Jam, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches.
Gochujang Aioli = Sour cream + Mayonnaise + Gochujang + Garlic Powder + Salt. Try it with these Korean Fried Chicken Sandwiches from blogger Shared Appetite.
Tartar Sauce: Mayo + Lemon Juice + Pickles + Spices + Capers and/or Herbs (optional)
Get the step-by-step recipe above! And be sure to try it with our Baked Fish Hoagies. You can also experiment by mixing in other types of pickles, adding capers, or incorporating fresh herbs such as dill or parsley. Thin it out with pickle juice to use as a sauce, or keep it thick to use as a spread for sandwiches or atop roasted asparagus!
Traditional rémoulade is a French condiment similar to tartar sauce that typically includes mustard and additional herbs and spices. Remoulade is also popular in creole and Cajun cuisine, with slight variations from the classic.
French/Classic Rémoulade = Mayo + Dry Mustard + Pickles/Cornichons + Capers + Herbs (Parsley, Chervil, Tarragon) + Anchovy Paste (optional).
Louisiana/Cajun-Style Remoulade = Classic Remoulade + Louisiana-Style Hot Sauce, + Spices (optional) with a slight variation on the mustard and herb varieties.
Comeback Sauce (featured above) = Similar to Louisiana Remoulade, with chili sauce in place of hot sauce
Fry Sauce: Mayo + Ketchup
This simple mixture, which starts by combining two popular condiments, is the basis for many of the “secret sauces” found today at modern restaurants and burger stands. While the ratio of the two main ingredients may differ, plus the inclusion of additional spices and flavors, you’ll find this spread under a multitude of other names including: mayoketchup (+garlic), salsa golf (+spices), salsa rosa, Marie Rose Sauce, and many others.
Take a look at our own version of secret sauce, which makes a great topping for burgers!
Many popular salad dressings also use mayonnaise as a base; because it is a stable emulsion, it helps hard-to-combine ingredients (like oil and vinegar) stay together in a smooth, creamy sauce. Take a look at some of the common mayonnaise-based dressings below.
Thousand Island = Mayo + Ketchup + Vinegar + Grated Onion + Sweet Relish + Hard-Boiled Egg + Spices. Try our own variation with these Grilled Asparagus Subs.
Russian Dressing = Mayo + Ketchup + Chopped Onion + Prepared Horseradish + Hot Sauce + Worcestershire Sauce + Spices. Check out this recipe from Epicurious.
Ranch Dressing = Mayo + Buttermilk + Herbs (Chives, Parsley, Dill) + Green Onions (optional). Try this recipe from Food Network.
Pair your homemade ranch with your favorite salad or sandwiches like the two options below:
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing = Mayo + Honey + Sugar + Vinegar + Olive Oil + Greek Yogurt + Poppy Seeds + Lemon Juice + Milk. Try it for these Strawberry Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches.
Coleslaw Dressing = Mayonnaise + Honey or Sugar + Lemon Juice or Vinegar + Salt & Pepper.
Add cabbage, shredded carrots, and onion and use it as a side dish or atop favorite dishes such as the ones below:
Have a favorite type of mayonnaise we forgot? Let us know in the comments section!
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