Creamy, tangy aquafaba mayo made at home with only 8 ingredients. This oil-free vegan mayo has half the calories (and even less than half the fat) of traditional mayonnaise yet still tastes luxuriously rich. Plant-based and ready in minutes! NO soy, gluten, oil, coconut, or eggs.
Last week I was craving my favorite vegan tuna salad, but first I needed to whip up a batch of homemade vegan mayo. And that's how we've arrived at today's recipe, this ultra creamy, perfectly tangy, aquafaba mayo.
Bonus points because it also put the aquafaba from those chickpeas to good use!
I've never been a big mayonnaise person, and my husband isn't either. So we don't usually keep mayonnaise in the fridge, which means that when I do need mayo for a particular recipe, I usually end up tossing together some random concoction (often tofu-based like in this chickpea salad with dill).
But I wanted a richer, thicker mayo this time around, though still oil-free, and the combination of cashews and aquafaba accomplished it beautifully.
Why You'll Love Oil-Free Mayo
Does this oil-free mayonnaise taste exactly like full-fat regular mayo? Well, no. It doesn't.
But is it deliciously tangy and creamy and awesome in its own right? Yes! It is!
Here are a few reasons why I think you'll LOVE this healthy vegan mayo. It's....
- tangy, salty, barely sweet, and oh so thick
- easy - no stressing over emulsification of oils
- ready in minutes
- has HALF the fat and calories of regular mayonnaise
- versatile - use it in any recipe where you need mayo
- made with pantry staples
- and even though it's made with cashews, it's still very affordable - especially if you're like us and have a tendency to spend $6 on a jar of vegan mayonnaise only to waste about 75% of it!
To make low-fat aquafaba mayo you'll need the following ingredients (pictured below):
- ⅓ cup aquafaba - feel free to use water if you don't have aquafaba or don't want to use it.
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- mustard powder or prepared mustard
- garlic and onion powder, optional
- sweetener such as cane sugar, brown rice syrup, agave, or maple syrup
- fine sea salt
- If not using a high-speed blender, soak the cashews by placing them in a bowl and covering with boiling water. Soak for 1 hour, then drain. Alternatively, substitute 6 tablespoons raw cashew butter (this is a very full ⅓ cup).
- Beginning with the lesser amount on ingredients where a range is given, combine everything in a blender, and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust the acid, salt, and sweetness.
- Use immediately or transfer the mayo to a clean jar and refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 4 hours. It will thicken as it cools.
I find that using a combination of three different acids (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and white vinegar) prevents any one flavor from coming through too strongly. You don't want your mayo to taste too lemon-y, for example.
I prefer a significantly tangy mayo, but you can easily adjust the amounts to suit your own palate.
In testing the recipe I tried to mimic the ingredient list of Vegenaise, well, as closely as I could considering this one has no oil. I even tested it with a tiny bit of pea protein since Vegenaise includes pea protein.
I wanted to see if it worked some sort of magic on the final product, and in short, I can't really say that it did. So I've adjusted the recipe slightly since it was first published to remove the pea protein (it was listed as optional).
Variation - Vegan Aioli
Transform this into an irresistible vegan aioli by adding 1 or 2 cloves of garlic or a teaspoon or more of garlic powder to the blender. It's always a good idea to start with less and taste as you go.
Vegan Mayo Without Nuts
If you're interested in a nut-free vegan mayo, you can substitute raw sunflower seeds for the cashews in this recipe.
Simply soak the seeds in hot water for about 30 minutes, then rinse and drain well before adding to the blender.
For another option, check out this oil-free pumpkin seed mayo by Rosa over at This Healthy Kitchen.
How long does it keep?
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator the mayo lasts up to one week. If separation occurs, simply stir before using.
The recipe makes about 1 cup, so it's usually pretty easy to use up within a week. All of the ingredients are freezer-friendly, so you can probably freeze the leftovers, too. I haven't tried, though, since we always use it up!
Ways To Use Aquafaba Mayo
- The Best Vegan Tuna Salad (chickpeas + jackfruit)
- Vegan Chicken Salad (same as above!)
- Curried Chickpea Salad
- Make an epic Vegan BLT
- and so many other vegan sandwiches
- Vegan Potato Salad With Rosemary
- Chickpea Salad With Dill
- Turn it into Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Stir some into Vegan Honey Mustard to make it extra creamy
- Use it instead of tahini in Creamy Harissa Dressing and Carrot Raisin Salad!
I hope you enjoy this Oil-Free Vegan Aquafaba Mayo! If you give it a try be sure to leave a star rating and let us know in the comments below.
Oil-Free Vegan Aquafaba Mayo
- ¾ cup raw cashews (90 g) - See step 1 below
- ⅓ cup aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas or white beans), either salted or unsalted - Or use water
- 1 tablespoon water - Omit if subbing water for aquafaba
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons organic cane sugar, brown rice syrup, agave or maple syrup - Cane sugar and agave taste the most neutral
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder, optional
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon mustard powder - Sub ½ tsp prepared mustard if needed, and reduce one of the vinegars by ½ tsp.
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt - Adjust based on whether the aquafaba is salted or not
- A high-speed blender is recommended for the creamiest consistency; if using a standard blender, soak cashews first by placing them in a bowl and covering with boiling water. Soak for 1 hour, then drain. Alternatively, substitute 6 tablespoons raw cashew butter (a very full ⅓ cup).
- For the ingredients where a range is indicated, begin with the lesser amount. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust acid, salt, and sweetness.
- Use immediately or transfer the mayo to a jar and refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 4 hours. It will thicken as it cools.
StorageStore homemade vegan mayo in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (this may vary). Always use clean utensils and containers for serving and storage to extend freshness. All of the ingredients are freezer-friendly, so you can probably freeze it. I haven't tried, though, since we always use it up!
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
Great recipe. I love the fact that it doesn't use oil.
This was so good. Better than the store brands by far! I use maple syrup as the sweetener. This is a keeper!
Thanks for the recipe! I needed a vegan mayo for my Crabless Crab Cakes and found your recipe. It is similar to a cashew-based mayo that I typically make, but the addition of aquafaba is great! Also, I liked your variation with different Vinegars. It did balance the taste. Delicious!
While I'm sure this recipe tastes good, putting "oil-free" in the title is misleading. The biggest goal of creating "oil-free" foods is to facilitate a low-fat diet. This recipe doesn't do that; it's still quite high in fat (65% of calories from fat, per the provided nutrition info). I've now seen countless recipes that claim to be "oil-free," but substitute high-fat nuts or seeds that effectively negate the fat-reduction benefits of a no-oil formulation. (Substituting seeds for the cashews doesn't solve the fat-content problem; seeds tend to be high in fat also.) When you can come up with a mayo recipe that is truly low in fat (10% or less of calories from fat), then you'll have something that justifies the "oil-free" claim.
Bob, I appreciate your desire to eat a lower fat diet, but I'm going to have to disagree with you that "oil-free" must also imply "low-fat." I've noticed more debate and confusion about this recently. So I can only assume someone out there is teaching a different message now than when the term was first coined.
When I studied plant-based nutrition (via the T. Colin Campbell program), "oil-free" simply implied that a dish contained *no extracted oils* and was made from whole foods. Many people still understand this as the definition. The idea is that seeds and nuts contain beneficial compounds that should be consumed whole. But "oil-free" and "low-fat" are not interchangeable.
Not every recipe will be appropriate for every person. Some people don't need to avoid every last nut or seed, but they avoid extracted oils as a way to maximize health and nutrition.
Regular mayonnaise is essentially 100% fat, so my goal was to create one that is free from extracted oils, which this is, and yet still actually tastes and acts like mayo. In my opinion, anything 10% fat or lower will be so entirely different from mayonnaise that it would be better to just not try to replicate it at all. Enjoy a schmear of tangy oil-free hummus or white bean spread instead. Also keep in mind, you mentioned the fat is 65% of total calories. This is a condiment. When a couple of tablespoons of it are added to a meal that is filled with veggies, beans, and grains, that "total fat" percentage becomes something entirely different.
Have to agree with Lori here. Most people don’t want oil because it is empty fat. Nuts and seeds are healthy fats full of nutrients so when we (oil-free folk) look for oil-free recipes we are expecting some type of nut/seed substitution for the most part! Haven’t tried this yet but am looking forward to it 🙂
Hi, I have made several cheese sauces in the past substituting white beans for the cashews and had great tasting sauce. Well I tried the white beans and it taste good but too runny, any ideas on how to thicken the mayo and still keep the taste?
Hmm since it's already prepared, I can't think of a way to thicken it without also needing to adjust the flavor. I'm assuming you included all the liquids? Next time you can reduce or omit the aquafaba/water to account for the moisture in the beans. But for your current batch you'll probably just want to use it as a sauce. 🙂
This recipe sounds yummy! Wondering if the vinegar could be substituted with lemon juice? Thanks for all your good ideas and tips.
If you do a straight swap it will be much less tangy and acidic than with vinegar, but if you increase the amount of lemon juice to try to adjust that it will definitely take on a lemon flavor. If you don't mind that I say go for it! It will be a lemon-y mayo spread, which actually sounds delicious to me!
So so good! Was a bit too thick and dry for my liking compared to a mayo so needed to add more water to the mixture to get it to the right consistency. When refrigerating too it will thicken up. Thank you so much for sharing!! 🙂
I want to try the recipe with sunflower seeds as I have a nut allergy. Do you know if anyone has tried this substitution with success?
Hi Fran, sunflower seeds are a great idea. I can't recall anyone else saying they've tried that version, instead of cashews, but I often make that switch in this and other creamy and cheesy recipes. I also use them in my nut-free ranch dressing.
I use raw sunflower seeds and soak them briefly, then rinse and drain.
I tried the recipe with sunflower seeds and it tastes great! I added a bit of oat milk and 2 garlic cloves as I love runny aioli. I froze the sauce in portions in a silicone ice block container. Só glad I found this website, very hard to find oil-free items or recipes.
Hi Lori, it’s great I found your page. Thanks for the recipe ! I’ve got questions tho, what’s the shelf life of this mayo using the aquafaba? What about if I used just the water?
Can I use all aquafaba and no water or maybe substitute lemon in place of 1 tbsp water ? I hope you’ll notice this question ☺️
Hi Liza, I'm happy you found my site, too!
Since the mayo isn't pasteurized or preserved in any way I feel comfortable keeping it in the refrigerator for 6 to 7 days. Thankfully, the recipe doesn't make a huge amount so it's easy to use it up while still fresh.
Whether you go with all aquafaba or all water, either way it's fairly forgiving. And substituting 1 Tbsp lemon juice for 1 Tbsp water will just make it even tangier. So that's totally your preference.
I hope you enjoy! 😀
This is thick and beautiful. It’s a nice base mayonnaise that you can flavour up as you like.
This worked perfectly in a chickpea salad I made. It could also double as sour cream in a pinch. I put it on my burrito bowl and it was lovely.
This is so lovely and healthy too, thank you!!! 🙂
My family loved it. It was very creamy and tasted delicious.I did add 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum and it gave it the right thickness.
Thanks for the recipe.
I haven't made the recipe yet but I think I will love it because of the ingredients.
The only issue I have is the size of the recipe, its too spaced out and won't fit on one page. Can you fix that so I can see the whole recipe on one page please?
Hi Lee, I hope you love the mayo! I took a look at the font size in the recipe template and agree with you. It was a bit *too* big. Font size is important for accessibility, of course, so I made a slight adjustment which will hopefully make all of the recipes on the site easier to view on screens. There's also a print button if you're someone who likes to print recipes.
Let me know how you enjoy the mayo!
Nice balance of cashew and aqua faba. My favorite vegan mayo!
This pleases those who want a healthier mayo and those who want the usual richness. Our whole family enjoyed it (trust me that rarely happens ha). Thank you- Casey
Haha that is good news! Happy everyone liked it. Thanks, Casey.
This was so easy and I've had it in the fridge a few days but hasn't separated like some low calorie ones do. We love it and will make often! Thank you.
That's great to hear, Nat. Glad you like it!
I was skeptical, but this turned out perfectly so I had to give Lori her props. This will be my go to mayo recipe from now on since I always have these ingredients on hand. Thank you!
Hi I haven’t tried this yet but I was just wondering if it’s possible to make this with silken tofu instead of cashews? Have you tried that? And if so do I still need the aquafaba? I really want to make a mayo that is as close to veganaise as possible! Thank you 🙂
Hi April, I have a silken tofu mayo in this post for chickpea salad: https://myquietkitchen.com/chickpea-salad-with-dill/
I wouldn't recommend a straight swap in this cashew mayo since tofu contains a lot of water (you definitely wouldn't need the aquafaba). The tofu version is much lighter and lower in fat, so to me it tastes good and tangy but not as close to Vegenaise. Maybe you could do a combo, some tofu and some cashews (or even sunflower seeds)?
Hey Lori, I’m open to doing a combo forsure... how would I do the ratio on that? I don’t find cashews have the right flavour for mayo so I’m always hesitant to use them. I like using them for a lot of things but mayo, sour cream, cream cheese etc. To me it just tastes like ground up cashews with a few spices lol I find the tofu has the consistency I’m looking for in those sauces so that’s why I prefer it. I’d be willing to try the mix though. Should I do half cashews half tofu and omit the aquafaba? And just keep everything else the same? Thanks 🙂
I totally get what you mean about the taste of cashews. For me, they're too sweet for many savory recipes. But they seem to work here because of the acidity and salt and because mayo has a bit of sweetness.
Unfortunately, without testing a combo of tofu + cashews I really can't predict amounts. The trick will be getting the right consistency. Silken tofu contains a LOT of water, so I don't think you'll need the aquafaba at all - or maybe just a tablespoon or two of water to get the blender to run. If you feel like experimenting I would start with 1/3 cup cashews (or 2 1/2 Tbsp raw cashew butter, which would be easier to blend) and 1/2 cup silken tofu, then adjust from there.
This is great. I made it a few days ago and totally enjoy everything about it