A Mayonnaise Replacement with Greek Yogurt

I am a slave to mayonnaise. I love the stuff. I love it so much that I can eat it by the spoonful. The problem is the types of fats typically used in mayonnaise. I typically avoid seed oils like the plague because they are chock full of omega-6 oils, which are necessary to health, but the amounts in seed oil are way beyond what we need and have the potential to be harmful – this, at least, is what I believe.

As omega-6 fats are found in scads of other foods – avocados, meat, eggs, and scores of other stuff – there’s little concern of not getting enough. It’s the ‘too much’ that could prove worrisome.

Now, for those of us with culinary skills, you can make your own authentic mayonnaise from olive oil – but I’m not talented enough – or persistent enough – or maybe just too darn lazy.

So I have been on a quest to come up with a ‘replacement’ – rather than a substitute. While it might seem like just semantics, calling something a ‘substitute’ sets you up for disappointment as a substitute will always prove lacking.

A replacement on the other hand stands on its own, with its own flavor profile and its own unique pleasure. I asked myself what it was that most drew me to mayonnaise and it was first and foremost the creaminess, then the tanginess from the vinegar.

As of late I have taken to using Fage full fat Greek yogurt for everything. I put it in soups, eat it plain, and am even tempted to use it as spackle on a crack that developed on my wall. While the spackle idea might be going a bit too far, I thought perhaps I could whip up a mayonnaise replacement.

Here’s what I tried:

  • 3 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish

I tried this with a can of tuna, mixing the two, the. Eating on lettuce. I thought it pretty darn good – not mayo, certainly, but it imparted the creaminess that helps cut the dryness of canned tuna, a tang of vinegar, and a texture from the dill relish that worked. While I might need to adjust the proportions a bit (a tad too much yogurt flavor), I enjoyed it.

My wife, not having seen that I had made a concoction and most likely thought the tuna salad was standard issue, grabbed some lettuce and ate some. There was no comment like: “What the HELL is this!?!” but instead she ate it and went back for more.

As my wife is cat-like in that she is extremely choosy in what she eats, this was proof that this concoction ain’t that bad. Moving forward I am going to try to use this easy-to-prep replacement whenever I want to reach for the mustard and see if I can make this an enjoyable long-term replacement.

An extra added benefit is that it’s lower calorie as well. I try not to worry about calories too much, but when you slather on mayo like I slather it, we could be talkin’ some serious caloric intake.

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8 thoughts on “A Mayonnaise Replacement with Greek Yogurt

  1. I used to be nuts about a dip concocted from two parts mayonnaise, two parts yogurt, and one part cottege cheese. For flavor, I dumped in some Morton Nature’s Seasons Seasoning Blend and dried, chopped onion. When I learned that the mayonnaise brand I was using was at least 80 percent soybean oil, I esperimented and found I could replace the mayonnaise with sour cream with no noticeable change in either flavor or texture. Same for grilled tuna sandwiches.

  2. I have used a mix of mayo and sour cream to make lC green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. This two some works anywhere cream of mushroom is an ingredient.

    • Both you and Dave mentioned sour cream. I had given up on it as I always ended up throwing some away…but if it becomes a replacement for other things as I play around with the core foods of my diet it might be worth experimenting with again.

  3. Try fermenting your own creme fraiche, which you make w/ heavy cream and using yogurt as starter. The resulting creme is thick, rich, sweet and mildly tart, not sour like yogurt or sour cream. It doesn’t separate and you can use it as a base for mayo and dressing.

    But it’s plenty delicious by itself.

  4. I got the idea from here:
    http://www.brockeats.com/archives/1103
    His procedure is much simpler than mine.

    I buy the Horizon heavy cream from Costco. It’s ultra-pasteurized, which many purists say you shouldn’t use for fermenting creme fraiche. But hey, it costs only $7 for 1/2 gallon (many stores want $3 for just a pint) and it works fine for me.

    First heat up the heavy cream, constantly stirring it, and turn off fire before reaching boiling. Then cool it down and dip pinky (very clean, of course) to make sure cream’s temp is comfy warm. Ladle and mix in a cup of full-fat yogurt w/ live culture. Pour into jars previously washed and rinsed with boiling water, to eliminate potential bacterial contamination.

    Tighten jar lids and leave jars overnight on top of warm surface. I place mine atop on our cast-iron hot water radiator for 24 hours. Next day, open jar and shake. If it’s thicken, you got creme fraiche.

    Have a dollop. Delish!

    Supposedly if left un-opened,it should last a month. But, our 1/2 stash run out in two weeks.
    Since no grocery stores sell creme fraiche in our area, I have no idea what retail prices are..

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