Best Vegan Mayonnaise Brands
Mayonnaise seems to be one of those foods that childhood cuisine is rooted in - mixed into chicken salad, tossed with cold macaroni and vegetables, or just smeared on a sandwich, this condiment brings back feelings of eating something out of mom’s kitchen.
Traditionally made with eggs and oil, mayo provides a creamy, tangy topping for spreads and dressings alike.
However, its ingredient list takes it off the table for vegans and those with egg allergies - well, it did anyway, until vegan mayonnaise came along.
What Is Vegan Mayo Made From?
Considering nearly 50% of the minimum ingredients needed to make mayonnaise are eggs, it might be perplexing to think about what constitutes an entirely egg-free alternative.
Most eggless mayos are made with omega-3-balanced canola oil, pea protein, and spices. And, in contrast to many vegan products meant to mimic their meat-and-egg-based cousins, many vegan mayo brands, like Vegenaise [Amazon], do not contain any additives or preservatives.
Now that veganism and food allergies have made their way into mainstream food production, there are plenty of options for your egg-free mayonnaise, the perfect choice depending on your flavor preferences, nutritional needs, and price point.
Let’s take a closer look at four of our favorite vegan mayo brands.
Our 4 Favorite Vegan Mayo Brands
Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise
Nutrition per serving: 90 calories, 9g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0g carbs, 0g protein
As Band-Aids are to bandages, so is Vegenaise to vegan mayo - it’s so popular and so ubiquitous that people usually think of this brand when they refer to any vegan-friendly mayonnaise.
If a recipe contains a substitute for egg-based mayo, it’s usually called for as “or substitute ¼ cup Vegenaise”.
In addition to being one of the big, original names in vegan mayo, it’s also delicious - even non-vegans describe Vegenaise as “much lighter than regular mayo, and had a pleasing balance of flavors that made regular Hellmann’s taste both too sweet and too sour by comparison. Vegenaise’s texture is pleasantly smooth and airy, and much less goopy than store-bought mayo”.
What We Love
You get a ton of options with Vegenaise, from soy-free and organic, to fun flavors like chipotle and tartar sauce. Whereas most vegan products offer a single flavor of that food, along with maybe a “reduced fat” option, it’s fun to regain the freedom of choice and be able to add unexpected flavors to your dishes without having to doctor them up yourself. The pesto flavor makes a particularly great macaroni salad dressing!
At 90 calories per serving, Vegenaise is not a lower-calorie replacement for your egg-based mayo. However, you’re really getting your calories’ worth with this condiment and considering it lacked the cholesterol and saturated fat in egg-based mayo, it’s still a smart pantry swap.
Hampton Creek Just Mayo
Nutrition per serving: 90 calories, 10g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g carbs, 0g protein
A San Francisco-based startup, Hampton Creek takes a scientific approach to plant-based foods. Just Mayo is the company’s first consumer-oriented product, and it’s already getting international attention.
In a blind taste test on Serious Eats, Just Mayo squeaked past four other brands - including a leading brand of egg-based mayonnaise - and emerged as the winner regarding taste and texture. Tasters described Just Mayo as having a "creamy texture" that was "not goopy," and tasted "like real homemade mayo."
Aside from its virtues as a delicious condiment, Just Mayo has also served as a tool in the fight against traditional mayo companies over the rights to use the word “mayonnaise” on a product that does not contain eggs.
We’ll cover more on that later.
What We Love
The best aspect of this all-around 5-star product is its balance - Just Mayo achieves the perfect alignment of richness and tang. It doesn’t feel too heavy and can lend itself to comforting dishes from childhood as well as more refined, adult applications.
Just Mayo can be a little hard to find - other than Amazon and Whole Foods, it doesn’t seem to have a very large presence at regular grocery stores and health food co-ops. If you have a Whole Foods nearby or don’t mind paying extra to ship it to your house, you’re in luck, but it can be frustrating to want to purchase the product and have to dig for it.
Earth Balance Mindful Mayo
Nutrition per serving: 90 calories, 9g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g carbs, 0g protein
Perhaps most well-known for their spreadable butter and buttery sticks, Earth Balance is another vegan company entering the vegan mayo scene.
Available in original, olive oil, and organic, the Mindful Mayo provides an excellent base for your own add-ins, like mustard, garlic, and sriracha for a customized sandwich condiment.
Mindful Mayo is non-GMO and contains no soy or gluten, so it’s a perfect choice for vegan households with food allergies, or those who are simply trying to eat as naturally and additive-free as possible.
What We Love
Mindful Mayo has an absolutely smooth consistency, and lends wonderful creaminess to sandwiches, dressings, and sauces. Reviewers note that the texture is nearly identical to traditional egg-based mayonnaise, which makes it an excellent choice for households with small children who might notice a change in the texture of their food.
Reviewers describe Mindful Mayo as a touch on the tart side, which can taste harsh if you’re not into a very strong vinegar flavor. This tends to be mellowed out by the addition of mix-ins, but out of the jar, it tastes very acidic.
Nutrition per serving: 40 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 1g protein
Nayonaise is a perfect option for someone looking for an eggless mayo who doesn’t want a jar of chemicals and “Frankenfoods” sitting in their fridge.
The ingredient list is full of easy-to-pronounce ingredients, so you don’t have to sacrifice a whole food lifestyle to eat mayo again.
Also, especially pertinent to vegans looking to get their condiment fix in, Nayonaise is also a good source of healthy vitamin B12, which is essential in the vegan diet and difficult to get through plant-based food sources.
What We Love
At just 40 calories a serving, Nayonaise is a great way to get mayonnaise flavor into a dish without all the calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol of traditional egg-based mayo or higher-calorie vegan mayonnaise. With a relatively short ingredient list of things like soy milk, apple cider vinegar, and mustard powder, it’s a healthy choice because it contains no additives or preservatives.
There’s no getting around it - the consistency of Nayonaise is really, really weird. It’s less creamy like mayonnaise and more jelly-like - while the taste is good, the texture can be off-putting if you’re used to a very creamy condiment.
Controversy of the Word "Mayonnaise"
As plant-based alternatives of many foods are starting to find a place in mainstream grocery stores and regular households, the makers of traditional egg-, meat-, and dairy-based foods are starting to sweat.
Prior to 2014, Hampton Creek Foods’ Just Mayo was the leading brand of mayonnaise on the shelves at Whole Foods, and the company received support from people like Bill Gates and food personality Andrew Zimmern.
This fast rise in success gained the [negative] attention of leading egg-based mayonnaise Hellmann’s, and in 2014, Unilever, the umbrella brand that owns Hellmann’s, filed a lawsuit against Hampton Creek, stating that “mayonnaise” without eggs couldn’t be called mayonnaise at all, and the little startup was causing “irreparable damage” to the mayonnaise giant.
Eventually, the lawsuit was dropped by Unilever, mostly due to the consumer backlash over such a huge food giant bullying a small startup. Since then, Unilever has adopted an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach, and announced that it would be launching its own egg-free sandwich spread, which is not touted as mayonnaise, rather, “Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted Dressing & Sandwich Spread.”
Unilever’s dropping of the case and their participation in the egg-free condiment market goes to show the power of the consumer - that the will of the people is changing, and that even huge companies like Unilever are seeing no choice but to give the people what they want.
And clearly, what the people want is a healthy, egg-based alternative to traditional mayonnaise.
Why You Should Use Vegan Mayo - Even if You’re Not Vegan
Even if you don’t identify as someone who eats a plant-based lifestyle, swapping your egg-based mayonnaise for a vegan alternative is a smart choice you can make for your health.
Vegan mayonnaise is:
- Low in saturated fat
- Free of cholesterol
- Low in sodium
- Potentially lower calorie
When you make an easy switch, you’re engaging in a low-effort positive change when it comes to your health.
If you’re already eating traditional egg-based mayos, the calories, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol, you will save by switching to a plant-based alternative can really add up over time, and is an easy way to make a healthy change.
A diet lower in cholesterol can help reduce your risk of heart disease - since all animal-based foods contain at least some cholesterol in them, a low-effort change to foods that are made from plants can make small changes that add up when you apply them throughout your pantry.
You get all the benefits of a lower-cholesterol diet, without having to sacrifice the delicious, creamy taste of mayonnaise.
Making the Switch
With so many flavors and varieties of egg-free mayonnaise coming from reputable vegan-friendly brands, you can still make your favorite potato salad and deli-style sandwich without having to contribute to the harm of laying hens or suffering the effects of a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Given their prevalence in the mainstream market and from online retailers, you don’t have to go far or search for very long to find a good plant-based alternative to your traditional mayonnaise.
The most difficult part involved in the process will be deciding whether you want to try the chipotle, barbecue, or pesto flavors in your next meal.