The 6 Tastiest Vegan Mayos We’ve Ever Tried

If you’re an omnivore, vegan mayos probably haven’t appeared much on your radar screen. If you’re plant-based, or just looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, you might be more familiar with them—or, at least, the DIY version, which may have elicited a few unhappy memories of trying a homemade recipe involving raw tofu, lemon juice, and a food processor.

But in the last few years, vegan mayo has emerged from the kitchen to hit store shelves. The vegan-mayo aisle is often totally packed at many larger supermarkets and health food stores these days, and no matter what your dietary persuasion is, it’s a condiment worth exploring.

Sales of vegan condiments like plant-based mayo have increased every year since 2016—and are projected to keep growing through at least 2027, according to the latest market reports.

“More Americans than ever are choosing a plant-based lifestyle, whether for the health benefits, environmental concerns, or concerns over animal welfare,” says nutrition expert Julie Upton, R.D., a registered dietitian based in the San Francisco Bay area.

And if you’re among them (or even just plant-curious!), a tasty vegan mayo can be your ticket to solid sandwiches, creamy pasta and potato salads, rich sauces and dressings, and more. Read on for everything you need to know about the condiment.

What is vegan mayo, and does it actually taste good?

Both traditional and vegan mayo are made with an oil base such as canola, sunflower, or avocado oil. But while regular mayo gets its rich, creamy texture by emulsifying the oil with egg yolks, vegan mayo is emulsified with plant-based thickeners like pea protein, aquafaba (chickpea cooking liquid often used as an egg substitute), or gums like xanthan or acacia.

So why might people look toward vegan mayo, even if they’re not eating a solely plant-based diet? There are a few reasons: The egg yolks in traditional mayo tend to give that condiment more saturated fat, which has been linked to health issues like heart disease, though research on that topic isn’t totally conclusive, as SELF reported previously. (While it’s important to note that the overall pattern of your diet matters more than just one ingredient, the American Heart Association still recommends limiting your consumption of saturated fat to 5%–6% of your daily calories.) You also have to pay closer attention to spoiling with mayo-based foods if they’re sitting out in warm weather, or even just out of the fridge. Plus, there’s the sustainability factor, as plant ingredients generally have a smaller carbon footprint than animal-based ones.

Okay, so that’s what vegan mayo is, but does it actually taste good? That’s a fair question, considering that vegan mayos, like many vegan analog foods, haven’t always had the most awesome reputation. But that’s changed in recent years. A lot.

Some of the vegan mayos out there are a dead ringer for the real thing, especially when you’re slathering a dollop on a sandwich or mixing a spoonful into a sauce or dressing. Others have more of their own flavor going on, which can also sometimes be super tasty, if you go into the experience knowing (and maybe appreciating!) that you’re not getting a carbon copy of that jar of Hellmann’s or Duke’s.

I know this, because I tried a dozen samples given to me by their makers in the name of finding an option that really sung to me. The reason I was on the lookout? Mainly because my son has an egg allergy, so we were looking for a safe alternative to use in our sandwiches and other family meals—but also because we lean toward a more plant-based, sustainable diet in general. And because I’m a food and nutrition writer and recipe developer who’s been covering this space for years, I have a pretty good sense of what tastes good, and I’ve tasted a ton of stuff out there!

How to pick the best vegan mayo

While I have a few clear-cut vegan mayo winners, it’s important to note that deliciousness is always in the eye (er, mouth?) of the eater, so even after my taste experiments, I can’t necessarily tell you which vegan mayo you’re going to love the most. Some are on the mild and creamy side, while others are tangy or a little mustardy. And because all of them basically rely on similar ingredients (an oil, an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar, a thickener, and natural flavors like sugar, mustard powder, salt, or rosemary extract), it’s hard to know what a mayo might taste like just by reading the back label.

Here’s what I can tell you: I found that vegan mayos with a whiter color and a stiffer, more mayo-like consistency tended to taste more like the conventional thing. Vegan mayos that had a more tan color or a slightly more watery consistency usually had a more assertive flavor that, while sometimes good, didn’t always line up with my expectations of what a mayo should be.

Ready to talk about what’s good? After tons of sampling (tough job, I know!) here are the mayos that made the cut for me.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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