The Easiest Way to Make Homemade Mayonnaise

Mayo has its detractors, and I count some close friends among them (if a tad begrudgingly). Where store-bought mayo is concerned, the naysayers have a point. Most supermarket brands, while acceptably tasty, are made with soybean oil. Soybean oil is a great choice if your lifelong dream is to directly modify your own genes but you don’t have the money for a fancy procedure. (Oh, stop, I know.) Then there’s the purportedly virtuous canola mayo, which is typically just as processed as soybean oil and has the additional benefit of tasting like an inexplicably sweetened and especially vivid childhood nightmare. Why oh WHY is it sweet?

Homemade mayonnaise, though, is a different thing entirely. (And thank god for that, am I right?) There’s no question that homemade mayo tastes worlds better than the store-bought stuff. But historically, the problem with homemade mayo has been the emulsification process, which requires tedious attention to the snail-paced dribbling of oil into a bowl of egg yolk, acid, and seasonings while whisking as if your life depended on it. That process requires three arms and a steely mental prowess, making it appropriate for only a small fraction of home cooks.

About six months ago, Mark Bittman forever altered my home mayonization process. Have you ever noticed that tiny hole in the bottom of your food processor’s plunger-thingy? If that ain’t for dribbling oil while the blade attachment plays the part of your whisking arm, I don’t know what is. Give this recipe a try. You’ll end up with the best-tasting mayo you’ve ever had — and you’ll need it for the deviled egg recipe coming later this week.

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Homemade Mayonnaise

I first learned about using the food processor to make homemade mayonnaise from Mark Bittman. It is hard to overstate the genius of this method. It’s even harder to remember a time when I didn’t know how to do it. Makes about one cup of mayonnaise.

One egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mild-tasting olive oil


1. Into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade, place the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

2. Measure the oil into a liquid measuring cup with a spout. Turn on the food processor. Pour about half of the oil into the white plunger in the feed tube (see photo 3). The tiny hole at the bottom of the plunger will dribble the oil into the bowl of the processor, allowing the mayo to emulsify. When the oil level in the plunger gets low, pour in the remaining oil. The whole process should take about two to three minutes. When all the oil has dribbled into the bowl, stop the processor. Stir with a rubber spatula to incorporate any last bits of oil. Taste mayo for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or lemon juice to taste. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

  • Looks delicious! I’ve actually never made my own, but when I run out of this jar I will definitely give this recipe a shot. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Okay, I am sold! Definitely going to try it.ReplyCancel

  • Anne

    Can’t wait for the deviled egg recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Using the food processor is definitely the most popular way to make homemade mayonnaise. I’ve yet to try it out, but I’ve seen many people use the processor. Thank you for the detailed photos. I’m trying not to allow mayo in my place right now, but once I can be less strict on my diet, I will try out this recipe before buying my favorite store-brand mayo, Hellman’s. :)ReplyCancel

    • Hi Memoria, thanks for your comment. I do like the taste of Hellman’s, too — but homemade is just a totally different ballgame.ReplyCancel

  • I have been meaning to try making homemade mayo. We aren’t big mayo eaters, but every so often it is nice spread on a turkey sandwich or even a melted cheese one. This would have gone perfectly in my macaroni salad over the weekend; instead I used WF Canola mayo. I wonder the same thing, why is it sweet? Great post!ReplyCancel

    • Hey, Denise! Yes, I saw your macaroni salad the other day. Looked great. I think a simple recipe like that is a perfect place for homemade mayo. Let us know if you try it!ReplyCancel

  • Tanya

    I just discovered the meaning of the hole in the feeder tube thingy also, and it was a glorious day! My husband likes about a quarter cup of mayo per sandwich, so we go through the stuff…ReplyCancel

    • Tanya, you’re lucky — your husband has solved the only remaining problem with homemade mayo: how to use it all up.ReplyCancel

  • I have made mayonnaise in my food processor before, and it is always delicious. My only problem is that I never quite use it up that day and I feel bad about wasting the delicious stuff. (it needs to be eaten the same day, right?)ReplyCancel

    • We keep it in the fridge for up to a week and have never had any issues. I’m sure you’re already using the freshest, healthiest eggs, so as long as you store it in the fridge promptly, I think you can keep it longer than a day.ReplyCancel

    • roxanne

      The recipe says it will keep in the fridge for a week.ReplyCancel

  • I can’t wait to try this. I’ve always wanted to make my own mayo but I never realized how easy it really could be. Thank you so much for this post!ReplyCancel

  • […] 24 pieces Ingredients 1 dozen peeled hard-boiled eggs 1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise (or store-bought)* 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon […]ReplyCancel

  • Lauren

    I’m so upset – I tried this 2 times and it didn’t work!!!ReplyCancel

    • Hi Lauren, I’m sorry you had trouble with the recipe. It really should work if you follow it exactly. Can you provide more information on what you did and what happened?ReplyCancel

      • Lauren

        I’m pretty sure I followed it exactly, maybe you can figure out where I went wrong.

        Put in my egg yolk, mustard and lemon, put it on and added my oil through the insert. It wouldn’t thicken, just kept splashing around! I even tried it another time with the same result :( Help!ReplyCancel

        • Lauren

          But I used plain old olive oil in stead of extra-virgin – could that have been it?ReplyCancel

        • Hmm. Sounds like you were on the right track, and plain olive oil definitely should not pose a problem. The critical factors in emulsifying mayo are usually to have your egg yolk at room temperature and to add the first bits of oil (the first 1/3 cup or so) very slowly. My food processor plunger (and Bittman’s, it seems) dribbles the oil in slowly enough for an emulsion to form. I wonder whether yours is streaming it in too quickly? Does the mayo come together at the beginning and then break, or never come together at all?ReplyCancel

          • Lauren

            The mayo never came together, just keeeeept on splashing. I think I’ll have to agree with you on the speed of the oil- must have been too fast! It was a pretty steady and constant stream. Thanks for your help identifying the problem! I don’t know if I have the heart to try it again so soon…

        • Alexander Livingston

          I have also failed in making this mayo. Tried three times, once following it exactly, once with a different oil, and once with a different brand of egg. Just a soupy mess… I’d try again, but an hour has passed, and I’m out of ingredients.

          Maybe it’s just me, but I shouldn’t try this if I actually NEED mayo for something.ReplyCancel

    • Karen

      It didn’t work for me, either. I used a food processor and all the ingredients as listed. I poured the oil in very slowly at first, and after that in a slow and steady stream. This is my 2nd attempt at making it. The first time I used a slightly different recipe, but it called for a food processor like this one does. That’s a lot of oil down the tubes! Sigh.ReplyCancel

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  • I can’t stand store-made mayo, never buy the stuff. This sounds like a great method for getting tasty mayo into my life, but…raw egg yolk. What about salmonella?ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie

    I’d love to try this recipe! Just curious, how long does the mayo usually stay good?ReplyCancel

  • Shelley

    This recipe was awesome and so easy! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. I’m going to use it again with deviled eggs.ReplyCancel

  • Annette

    If your mayonnaise doesn’t come out right it is probably because everything wasn’t room temp, or the oil was added too rapidly. But don’t throw it out till you try this
    Pour the broken emulsion into another container. Wash and dry blender container Break one egg into container and run on slow speed. While the blender is running, slowly add the broken emulsion. When mixture reaches top of blender blases, run on high speed, continuning to add the seperated mayonnaise slowly.
    It seems room temperature and slow are the main things to making mayo. I have been making mine for several years but my reecipe calls for vinegar also and that makes it acidy. I think I will like this recipe betterReplyCancel

  • Charity Scott

    Hi. Can this recipe be canned? If so, how? Also, can I use grapeseed oil instead of olive oil?ReplyCancel

  • lola

    DON’T USE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL! I tried this twice and couldn’t figure out why it was so bitter. Apparently it’s only extra virgin,- this article explained it pretty well.

    • christina

      Be careful with mixing olive oil too fast or too long for anything….pesto etc. It will definitely get bitter…especially EVOO!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy

    I wanted to know what brand of food processor you are using? I would like a small one because now I have only the hand blender and a blender. I wonder, do all the processor have the hole that yours does? If so, wonder if they all mix at the same speed? I tried another persons receipt and it came out water! I had everything out on my counter but I keep my apt. 72 degrees. Maybe that isn’t warm enough?

    I am willing to do anything to be able to make my own mayo!
    Thanks for the receipe, I’ll try it when I get your answers and can buy the processor!
    Thanks for being so nice as to share!ReplyCancel

  • […] Egg Salad or Tuna Salad Sandwiches (just watch the mayo ingredients or use plain Greek yogurt or homemade mayo) […]ReplyCancel

  • Lizzie Curle

    this looks great, but, do you have to use the mustard?ReplyCancel

  • Hi Lizzie, I’ve never tried this without the mustard. It adds not only flavor but help to the emulsification process. If you do try it, please report back.ReplyCancel

    • Mikelle

      I just made your recipe, but I added some mustard powder instead of Dijon mustard, and it turned out perfectly! I also substituted vinegar for lemon juice and used avocado oil. And my plunger didn’t have a hole in it, so I used a measuring cup with a spout and poured it super slowReplyCancel

  • I’ve put together a round up of 13 Ways to use your food processor & 20 recipes to prove it. I’ve included your post in the collection, thanks for the great recipe!

  • Cori

    I liked this method too -I have used my vitamix and stick blender before. My processor is a Cuisinart prep 7 and the hole is too big to let the oil through by drips. I just placed my hand over the veggie pusher to slow the oil.ReplyCancel

  • Pattie

    Raw egg whites pose a risk of Salmonella!!!
    You can avoid this if you buy pasteurized egg whites.

    I haven’t tried this, but the recipe sounds more like a diluted mustard than real mayo. Which is OK with me, I prefer mustard anyway. On the plus side, mustard has zero grams of fat!ReplyCancel

  • Liz

    The suggestion to slowly re-add a broken emulsion into a cleaned and dried blender with a new egg yolk is the MOST AMAZING SAVE ever!!!!!!! Thank you so much!! :)ReplyCancel

  • […] Girl used her food processor. Gluten Free Girl uses canola oil to keep things light. Real Food Loves Writing uses a whisk for […]ReplyCancel

  • Cheri

    Oh mine dismally failed in my Cuisinart…everything room temp, used out own duck eggs, but I suspect my little hole on top of food processor was drizzling in too quickly. So thanks to Annette’s comment about how to fix it and worked like a charm. Got my clean blender out and cracked a fresh duck egg in, started it up and drizzled my “failed” try into the top of the blender and thickened up right away! I make my own hollandaise sauce and this is very similar. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Winston

      Start with one tablespoon of oil in with the egg, after you begin to see a color and consistency change add the other oil in a slow drizzle.ReplyCancel

    • Karen

      Good idea to use the first failed attempt for a second try! I’m going to do that next time I fail instead of throwing all that oil away, like I did on my first two failed attempts.ReplyCancel

  • Super inotvmafire writing; keep it up.ReplyCancel

  • It’s always a relief when someone with obvious exprstiee answers. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • The exestripe shines through. Thanks for taking the time to answer.ReplyCancel

  • serena

    This sounds great, how much does this make? I would like to use it to make my ranch dressing! Thanks in advance????ReplyCancel

  • Winston

    I use the egg white instead of the yolk and lime juice instead of the lemon, same receipt just substitute the two. I also add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder each. Great for an egg restricted dietReplyCancel

  • If you’re reading this, you’re all set, pardner!ReplyCancel

  • I agree with you Carolyn, homemade mayo is a real game changer! So good and so easy in a food processor! Love!ReplyCancel

  • Larry Steverson

    Do you have a recipe for making 1 or 2 qts of mayo at a time?ReplyCancel

  • dee

    I noticed you used a small g in your comment “(And thank god for that, am I right?)” I was wondering if that was a typo you want to correct.ReplyCancel

  • […] Umami Girl: The Easiest Way to Make Homemade Mayonnaise […]ReplyCancel

  • Most say homemade mayo has to be used within 7 days.
    A web site I read if pasteurized eggs are used the mayo will keep several weeks.
    To pasteurize an egg place in 160-165% water for 3 minutes from room tempReplyCancel

  • Thank you for your efforts I’ll try this recipeReplyCancel

  • Kathleen

    I’ve been looking for a god mayo recipe and this sounds and looks easy and good! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • babs

    mmmmmm. i made the with avocado oil. So smooth and delicious!ReplyCancel

  • […] are several recipes out there that make mayo-making a lot simpler than traditional methods. Typically these […]ReplyCancel

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