My husband Greg and I have been on a mayonnaise journey over our 30 years of married life. First, it was his and hers mayonnaise. His was regular mayonnaise. Mine was light mayonnaise, which we called “unleaded.”

Greg didn’t care what brand–just so it was full-fat. That would do the grease job on top of grilled cheese sandwiches, asparagus, and for dipping artichokes in.

Then, when I became vegan about 20 years ago, I switched to an egg-free mayonnaise–either buying it or making my own from soy milk powder and lots of oil.

Years later, it took a giant leap for Greg to switch to Vegenaise. But he did it. We finally were on the same mayonnaise page!

Then Just Mayo became our favorite, which later changed their name to Just.

Then we couldn’t find Just so we had to find other options.

Now that we are in our 60s, health priorities sometimes take precedence over taste, which means finding a way to make vegan mayonnaise without oil. But it still had to be creamy.  Oh, no!  What was Greg going to smother on his broccoli and sandwiches? After some experimenting, this creamy oil-free vegan mayonnaise came to the rescue.

We call this Thick and Creamy Dressing because it’s so much more than a mayonnaise substitute. It stands in for sour cream. It forms the base for Aioli, Creamy Cumin-Lime Dressing, Chipotle Mayo, Ranch Dressing, and so many other options. See the variations at the end of the recipe card for more ideas.

My next challenge is to come up with a soy-free version for those of you that can’t eat soy. And a nut-free version for those who can’t eat nuts.  Stay tuned!

Here’s a soy-free Vegan Mayonnaise with oil. And another version of Ranch Dressing.

oil-free vegan mayonnaise

oil-free vegan mayonnaise
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Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaise

Use this thick, creamy oil-free condiment as a base for flavorful sauces and dressings to enhance a variety of meals.
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Salad Dressing, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: condiment, sauce, gluten-free, oil-free, plant-based, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 48
Calories: 15kcal
Author: Heather Reseck


  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 1 12.3-ounce aseptic package soft silken tofu
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice to taste


  • Rinse cashews in a fine mesh strainer and drain. Place in a small saucepan with water to cover. Heat to boiling over high heat. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse with hot water.
  • Process nuts, tofu, and salt in a blender until smooth, about 1-2 minutes, depending on the blender. Add lemon juice and blend to mix in.
  • Transfer to a pint jar or small bowl. The dressing will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate up to 7 days. Makes 3 cups.


  • Boiling the nuts softens them, making them easier to blend. It also extends the shelf life by killing bacteria.
  • Label the container with a use-by date.
Oil-Free Vegan Dressing 7 Ways:
1. Garlic Aioli: To one cup Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaise, stir in 2-3 minced garlic cloves. If desired, thin with water. Serve as a dip with fresh vegetables, steamed broccoli, or sweet potato fries.
2. Cilantro-Lime Sauce: Process one cup Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaise made with lime juice, ½ bunch fresh cilantro (including stems), 2 minced or peeled garlic cloves, and ½ teaspoon lime zest in a blender until smooth. If desired, thin with water. Serve with black bean burgers, tacos, veggie power bowls, or veggie fajitas.
3. Creamy Cumin-Lime Sauce: To one cup Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaisemade with lime juice, stir in ½ teaspoon cumin. Thin with water to desired consistency. Serve with black bean burgers, tacos, veggie power bowls, or veggie fajitas.
4. Chipotle Mayo: Process one cup Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce (or to taste), and 2 minced garlic cloves in a blender until smooth. Thin with water to desired consistency. Serve with black bean burgers, tacos, veggie power bowls, or veggie fajitas.
5. Ranch Dressing: To one cup Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaise, stir in 1 tablespoon minced parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley), 1 minced small garlic clove or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon onion powder. Thin with 2 tablespoons water, or to desired consistency. Serve with salad or baked potatoes.
6. Sour Cream Substitute: Use as a sour cream substitute on baked potatoes, in Layered Bean Dip, or other dips.
7. Vegan Mayonnaise: Use as mayonnaise on sandwiches, as a salad dressing, or as a base for tartar sauce.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg