If you are looking for homemade vegan mayonnaise, you’ve got to try this recipe.

This versatile thick and creamy condiment makes a great base for flavorful sauces and dressings.

I made several double batches of this vegan mayo for the rehearsal dinner for my son’s wedding. Since we had a Mexican theme, I wanted condiments for veggie fajitas. I turned part of the mayo into Creamy Cumin-Lime Sauce and some into Chipotle Sauce. I also left the rest plain as a vegan sour cream option.

People didn’t even realize they were eating vegan sauces! I was especially pleased when a former owner of a Mexican restaurant complimented me on the flavorful sauces. Score!

Of course, you can also use this vegan mayonnaise plain on sandwiches or anywhere else you would use mayo.

Add fresh garlic to turn it into garlic aioli or use it as a base for dips.

Or thin it with water and add herbs to turn it into ranch dressing.  It’s great on salads and drizzled on bowl meals.

Thanks to cashews, it’s lower in fat than commercial vegan mayo, yet it still has a creamy mouthfeel. I like to boil the cashews in order to soften them. They blend easier that way. Plus, the boiling kills any bacteria that may be on the cashews. This helps to extend the shelflife of the mayo.

If you want to make it oil-free vegan mayonnaise, see the tip at the end of the recipe. You can substitute silken tofu for the oil.

The only downside to this homemade vegan mayo is that it goes bad after about 10 days. But it is so versatile, you shouldn’t have any difficulty using it up in that timeframe.  I write a use-by date on the jar lid to help me remember to use it in time.

Here’s another option for preserving it: freeze some of it. It freezes well. You could even make a double batch and freeze it in smaller containers.

See the variations at the end of the recipe for seven different ways to flavor and serve vegan mayo.

What will you create with it?  Let me know in the comments.

Vegan Mayonnaise

This versatile thick and creamy vegan mayo makes a great base for flavorful sauces and dressings. See the variations for seven different options. And it is good as plain mayonnaise.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Course: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
Keyword: condiment, sauce
Servings: 16 2-tablespoon servings

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup neutral-flavored oil, such as avocado
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice to taste

Instructions

  • 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, hot water, oil, and salt in a blender until smooth, about 1½ -3 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 10 days. Or freeze up to 3 months.

Notes

Tips:
  • 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 to make sure you use it up before it spoils. 
Variations:
  • Garlic Aioli: To one cup 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.
  • Cilantro-Lime Sauce: Process one cup 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.
  • Creamy Cumin-Lime Sauce: To one cup  Vegan Mayonnaise made 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.
  • Chipotle Sauce:  Process one cup 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.
  • Ranch Dressing: To one cup 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.
  • Vegan Sour Cream:  Use as a sour cream substitute on baked potatoes, in Layered Bean Dip, or other dips.
  • Tartar Sauce: add chopped pickles.