The Best Vegan Mayo Brands That Taste As Good As the Real Thing
Mayonnaise is one of the most divisive of all condiments – you either love it or hate it – but no matter what side you fall on, there is no denying that this integral condiment is a pantry staple that's not going anywhere. Mayo is a core ingredient in most popular dressings and dipping sauces and can elevate a regular sandwich effortlessly. While it's abundant on grocery shelves, it's a bit more difficult to find many vegan mayo options.
Vegan and dairy-free mayo is a growing area of the vegan market but it might surprise you to know that it has been around for decades. Vegan mayo originally became popular in the surge of independent vvegan cafés in the 1970s. The founders of the Follow Your Heart Cafe popularized their non-dairy mayo iteration in 1970 – eventually growing to become one of the biggest players in the vegan world. Fifty years later, Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise is a household brand for plant-based, flexitarian, and non-vegan consumers everywhere.
What is Vegan Mayo Made From?
Since the 1970s, countless companies have joined Follow Your Heart in offering vegan mayonnaise, but non-dairy mayo can be made from several different ingredients. Plant-based mayonnaise recipes feature all sorts of ingredients including avocado oils, tofu, and aquafaba (chickpea brine) – a trend that has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Other popular vegan mayos have attempted to avoid oil-based recipes. Food developers and companies have developed several options that feature oil-free options that instead use nut bases such as cashews. To provide the same flavor as traditional mayo, the recipes will also contain mustard, vinegar, salt, and occasionally liquid sweeteners. JUST Mayo stands out as one of the most experimental varieties, using yellow pea protein and amino acids as its thickening and binding agents.
Why Choose Vegan Mayo?
When JUST Egg (originally Hampton Creek) launched JUST Mayo, Unilever sued the company for using plants instead of chicken eggs. In response, the company released a report with sustainability stats that revealed that vegan mayo produces 157.3 grams fewer carbon emissions than traditional egg-based mayonnaise. The report asserted that conventional chicken egg-based mayo uses 4.3 square feet of land and 278.4 quarts of water more than vegan mayo alternatives.
Choosing vegan mayo significantly lowers the burden on the egg and poultry industry. The New York Times’ docu-series Life of Chickens detailed the unsanitary, unsustainable, and unsafe conditions of chicken factory farms. By shifting to plant-based mayo, consumers can begin to hold major animal agriculture industries accountable for these unsafe practices.
Vegan mayo is also substantially healthier than traditional mayo. Many shoppers will avoid mayonnaise due to its fatty recipes and high-calorie count. Vegan mayo typically contains 20 to 22 percent fewer calories and no cholesterol in contrast to its animal-based counterpart. For shoppers worried about heart health, most vegan mayo also contains far less saturated fats than conventional egg-based varieties.
With plenty of vegan mayo options to choose from, here is The Beet’s guide to the best vegan mayos available, and where to buy them.
Chosen Foods Vegan Mayo
Chosen Foods earns its healthy-for-you chops by only including heart-healthy ingredients. This vegan mayo is made of avocado oil, aquafaba (the liquid brine of chickpeas), and fava beans. Chosen Foods is healthiest, but not necessarily tastiest since it’s on the bland side. That makes it a perfect choice for spreading on a stacked plant-based burger or healthier plant-based B.L.T. With 90 calories, it lines up with traditional mayos, but since this plant-based mayo is full of heart-healthy ingredients, go ahead and make it a pantry staple.
Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 1.5g
Follow Your Heart Vegenaise
Follow Your Heart is considered the standard-bearer of the vegan mayonnaise parade. With only eight ingredients, their Veganaise plant-based mayo delivers a simple, clean alternative to the essential condiment without forfeiting flavor. Compared to regular mayo, which is made from eggs, Vegenaise is made from canola oil and delivers less total fat and saturated fat per serving (.5 grams for a tablespoon vs. regular mayo which has 1.5 grams). This vegan mayo is an excellent sandwich spread or salad dressing base and if you switch it for the real thing no one will notice.
Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 0.5g
Good & Gather Vegan Dressing
Target’s house brand, Good & Gather, would have the inside lane for loyal Target shoppers, but we didn’t love the taste, and if you look at reviews on the Target site, we’re not alone. Give props to Good & Gather for the fact that they use pea-protein in the blend (along with Canola oil), and they nailed it with the texture and creaminess. But overall we found the taste to be abrasively sour. Target’s vegan mayo is an affordable option that is low in sodium and sat fat. It’s tolerable if you spice it up or add hot sauce or use it as a base for coleslaw or a vinaigrette.
Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 0.5g
Who didn’t grow up on Hellmann’s? Well, what you may not know is that back in 2016 the company introduced its first plant-based version. With over a century of mayo expertise to bring to bear on the task, Hellmann’s vegan mayo is tasty and affordable. You can buy a 24-ounce container for $4.99. Though health-minded consumers avoid Canola oil because it is high in polyunsaturated fats (which are less healthy than monounsaturated fats such as avocado oil) this option is popular because of the brand name, plus the fact that it is allergen-friendly and free of soy.
Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 1g
Primal Kitchen Vegan Mayo
If you are avoiding eggs, make sure to grab the Primal Kitchen mayo that is clearly marked vegan, because they also make one that is a blend of avocado and eggs. If your looking for healthier options consider that Primal Kitchen’s vegan mayo contains the same amount of sat fat and more total fat than leading mayos. However, with six ingredients, this is one of the cleanest options around. This vegan mayo is mouthwateringly delicious, managing to be both creamy and tangy. Making Primal Kitchen a great option for coleslaws and potato salads.
Total Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 1.5g
Sir Kensington’s Vegan Mayo
Sir Kensington’s Vegan Mayo deserves to be called “aioli” because it is a step above the rest with a wonderfully rich and creamy flavor – it is almost a dip that you could see being served with cheese fries at a restaurant. This chickpea-based mayo has a bold flavor that works perfectly to create flavorful specialty dipping sauces so use it for your chipotle aioli. Its richness comes at a price: Sir Kensington’s contains as many calories as conventional mayo (90 per tablespoon). Yet this vegan variation is healthier, containing less fat than most with just .5 per serving.
Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 0.5g
Wicked Kitchen Garlic Vegan Mayo
Wicked Kitchen’s Garlic Mayo with Carmelized Onion is so tasty and full-flavored that it will convince anyone to love plant-based mayo. Made of rape-seed oil, vinegar, garlic, and caramelized onion flavor, this vegan mayo transforms your favorite plant-based burger into a gourmet experience. Make sure not to start your grilling season without this condiment on hand, since it is going to be an essential addition to your BBQ routine.
Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 0.5g