Mayonnaise is one of those ingredients that you either love or hate. It has a thick creamy texture and tangy taste, that works well as a condiment or binder in many dishes.
But mayo is most famous as an ingredient in sandwiches, salads, and sauces. It is widely sold in jars but can be made from scratch and modified to suit your liking.
The original version of Mayo is, however, very calorie dense, with 90 calories and 10 grams of fat per tablespoon so it may not be the best option for someone trying to lose weight.
If you find yourself making a dish that calls for mayo but for whatever reason, whether it be your mayo jar is empty or you just don’t want to use mayo and are looking for a healthier version, don’t dismiss the recipe.
Instead, try these other mayo substitutes that are healthier with fewer calories:
- Greek Yogurt (best for baking)
- Cream Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Nut Butter
- Vegan Mayo
- Silken tofu
- Home-made Mayo
1. Greek Yogurt (Best Substitute for Baking)
Greek yogurt has a tangy, creamy flavor with a thick, spreadable consistency that makes it similar to mayo. Unflavored Greek Yogurt can be used instead of mayo in sandwiches, dressings for salad including chicken, tuna, pasta potato and egg.
And if you are looking for the a baking substitute for mayo, this is perfect. It typically can be used in the same measurement as mayo and won’t affect the baking process.
100g of plain Greek yogurt, which is about 5½ tablespoons, contains 133 calories, almost 6g of protein, and 10g of fat. This makes them much more healthy in comparison to regular mayo
Almost everyone loves avocado and since it is similar in texture and flavor to mayo when ripe, it is a perfect substitute. Ripe avocados when mashed get a creamy, smooth texture and a rich velvety mild flavor that blends well in many dishes adding body plus freshness to many dishes without the tangy flavor of mayo that many don’t like.
Plus avocados are much healthier as it is a fatty acid loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. It provides almost a quarter of the calories mayo does, and its taste is much milder. By using avocadoes instead of mayo you save 77 calories, 9g fat, and 89mg sodium per tablespoon. Plus, you’ll get a gram of fiber into your diet.
One of my favorite ways to use a avocado instead of mayo is in a cheese sandwich. Just use grated 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1 tbs. butter, a splash of milk of your choice, and an avocado mashed together. Place the mixture on some warm bread and voila, an easy and delicious snack. Plus a great way to sneak some vegetables into a picky eater’s diet.
3. Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese has a very similar flavor to that of mayo, tangy with a subtle sweetness. Plus the texture of room temperature cream cheese is spreadable, creamy, and soft but rich making it a perfect mayo substitute.
Try using cream cheese instead of mayo in chicken, pasta, and egg dishes.
A tablespoon of whipped cream cheese has 30 calories and two and a half grams of fat, which is much less in comparison to your regular mayo. This small tweak can help you effectively cut down your daily intake of calories.
4. Olive oil
Olive Oil is another healthy option to use as a mayo substitute. It adds moisture as well as flavor to your dish without using a lot of mayo. While Olive oil does not have a similar flavor or texture to that of mayo, it adds an amazing complimentary taste to tuna fish and pasta salad when used instead of mayo.
Olive oil contains lots of healthy fats but still should be used sparingly. One tbsp. Olive Oil has 119 calories but since it has such a powerful fruity flavor, you will definitely need to use less than that compared to if you were using mayo.
Pesto is an Italian sauce that is typically bright green and loaded with lots of flavorful ingredients typically olive oil, fresh basil, garlic, hard cheese and pine nuts.
Though neither the flavor nor texture is similar to mayo, it can be used as a substitute for mayo in dishes such as tuna fish salad or sandwiches. Pesto is usually thick and grainy in texture with a bright, fresh but rich nutty flavor.
Pesto traditionally has about 120 calories and 12 grams of fat for every two tablespoons, which is still less than mayo but you can make a lightened-up version of pesto if you use less olive oil and cheese.
6. Nut Butter (Cashew Butter)
Nut butter is made when nuts are roasted then blended to a creamy consistency. My favorite nut butter to use instead of mayo is cashew butter. Cashew butter has a mild, nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness. It is a high-fat nut butter that is creamier than almond butter and peanut butter, making it a more versatile nut butter.
With its mellow flavor cashew butter is perfect as a mayo substitute. Cashew butter works well with tuna fish recipes but other ingredients can be used to bump up the flavor profile such as lemon juice and other spices or herbs. Also Cashew Cream works well as a substitute for mayo when baking.
Cashew butter has 94 calories per 1 tbsp and it’s one of the best sources of unsaturated fatty acids, essential amino acids, and magnesium.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. It has a smooth, thick texture and flavorful buttery nutty taste. It works best as a substitute for mayo in savory dishes and should not be used to bake with.
Two tablespoons of plain hummus has about 50 calories and 3 grams fat. It’s packed with nutrients like protein, fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
8. Vegan Mayo
Vegan Mayo is a healthier alternative to regular mayo and is usually made with some type of plant milk. Soy milk is the best choice to make vegan mayo because it has a similar consistency to cow’s milk.
You can buy vegan mayo or you can also make it at home. Homemade vegan mayonnaise is very inexpensive and made with simple and clean ingredients. Depending on the brand, many store-bought versions taste very similar to regular mayo.
The calories of vegan mayo vary from recipe to recipe but those made from natural clean ingredients tend to be lower in calories than regular mayo.
9. Silken Tofu
Silken tofu also called soft, silk, or Japanese-style tofu has a softer consistency than regular tofu which allows it to be used as an alternative to mayo.
Now you can blend up this tofu until it is ultra-creamy and smooth, so you’ll get a close texture match to actual mayo. The taste of this tofu is mild so you can flavor it with lemon juice, vinegar, and a dash of sugar to imitate the flavor of mayo.
The blended tofu can be used as a dressing, in sauces, or even for baking.
Tofu typically has 76 calories per 100 g and is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese and phosphorous. In addition to this, it also contains magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamin B1.
10. Home- made Mayo
If you absolutely love mayo and its flavor, you should try making it at home. There are some pretty easy recipes out there if you would like to try it, Click here for one of my favorite mayo recipe.
The Best Substitute for Mayo in Tuna Fish (salad and Sandwiches)
If you love tuna in all forms but want a healthier alternative to the mayo found in so many tuna recipes, we have compiled the best mayo substitutes for any tuna recipe. Plus these substitutes won’t compromise on flavor and they all compliment the flavor of tuna .
Here are the best mayo substitutes for tuna recipes ranked.
- Greek Yogurt
- Cashew Cream/ Cashew Butter
- Vegan Mayo
- Olive oil