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Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Recipes

Homemade Mayo and Tartar Sauce Recipes

Some years ago I attempted to make home-made mayo a couple of times in my old-timer blender. It was a flop. I got frustrated and gave up.  I did not have the patience to stand there and drip olive oil one drop at a time for 5 minutes to get the consistency to be correct.

My husband is very penny-pinching when it comes to buying anything so I could not convince him we needed to spend money on a new appliance just for mayonnaise.

Then I noticed that my friend Soli from I Believe in Butter was having a giveaway for a stick blender, which I had read was fantastic for making h0me-made mayo. How excited was I? It’s not that stick blenders are terribly expensive, the challenge was convincing my husband that I needed one. So I entered the contest, and I won! Out of 300+ entrants. It was meant to be.  :)

Ever since my lovely stick blender arrived, it’s been one of my best friends in the kitchen. I make mayo with it regularly now, and it was a cinch (I couldn’t believe it!).  I also make other dressings and sauces too.

What I love about the stick blender is that you don’t have to add the olive oil in a drop at a time, but rather in larger (but still small amounts). So it doesn’t take quite so long, but still produces the emulsifying action that you want.

I don’t have any experience making mayo with anything but a stick blender, so if you don’t have one I highly recommend buying one.  This is the one I have, by Cuisinart, and it works great (and it’s only $34.99).

If you know how to use a blender to make good mayo, you can use these ingredients and skip the directions. I experimented with dozens of recipes I found online which I didn’t like as is, and I came up with my own recipe.

Why make your own mayo?

Most store bought mayonnaise is full of terrible ingredients. Here are the ingredients for two popular brands, Hellman’s and Best Foods mayonnaise:


These ingredients are from commercial sources and contain GMO ingredients. Here’s a rundown:

  • Soybean oil is a modern oil that comes from GM soybeans. It’s highly processed, is rancid from high heat temperatures it is subjected to during processing, and contains too high of a ratio of Omega 6 essential fatty acids.
  • Eggs are from feedlot hens which are administered antibiotics and don’t get access to the outdoors or sunshine as they should. On Best Foods web site, it now says they are committed to using certified cage-free eggs (yeah, don’t count on it, what does that mean, anyway?). For more information, read Deciphering egg and poultry labels.
  • Natural flavors, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D., is a form of MSG.
  • Calcium disodium EDTA is used for preserving and color retention. It has been found to cause intestinal and kidney problems when consumed.

Since most of those ingredients are harmful to your health, why not make home-made mayo? You know what goes in it, and it tastes so much better than anything store bought.

Here is my recipe for the best mayo I’ve ever tasted (really).

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup olive oil (I use a lighter, more sweet and fruity variety from Napa Valley Naturals). I have also used Chaffin Family Orchards olive oil and it is divine.
  • a dash of sea salt
  • a dash of coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp organic mustard
  • 1 tsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. Separate the whites from the yolks and put the yolks into the stick blender mixing container.
  2. Add in the sea salt, coconut palm sugar, mustard, and lemon juice and use the stick blender to combine (should take you about 2 minutes)
  3. Add in some of the olive oil. You don’t have to do it drop by drop, but just pour some in – maybe a tablespoon or more at a time and keep using the stick blender to emulsify. You should start seeing the recipe becoming emulsified and as you do this, you can keep adding more olive oil in a tablespoon or more at a time, depending on how quickly it emulsifies.

That’s it! The mixing process should take approximately 5 minutes or so, and then your mayo is ready to use. We use our mayo up pretty fast (within a few days) and you should too, within about a week. I don’t have a lacto-fermented mayo recipe yet. That will be posted in the future.

Tartar sauce:

  • 1 cup of home-made mayo
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dill pickles, chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp finely minced onion (optional)


Whisk ingredients together and put on your favorite fish or seafood, or whatever you love tartar sauce with. Store in refrigerator and keep for up to 1 week.

In this recipe, I add in a dash of coconut palm sugar because many people (myself included) don’t care for the strong olive oil taste. This addition helps to mask that flavor and adds a little bit of sweetness that makes the mayo really delicious and tangy with the help of the lemon juice.

If you use yolks from pastured hens, your mayonnaise will turn out much more yellow than the store because these yolks are much more yellow and contain more beta-carotene from the natural diets of hens raised outside in the sunshine, pecking and foraging to eat plants, insects, and worms.

Store-bought mayonnaise, which you are likely more familiar with, is much paler because it comes from hens in confinement that eat mostly soy, corn, and grain, and don’t get to forage on pasture and a natural diet. The “certified cage-free” terminology that is used on Best Foods’s label is meaningless.

Ideas for mayo:

Home-made dips, dressings, and sauces are among some of the easiest things to make. I often I just throw things together that I have already in my kitchen and I usually get something delicious.

Add herbs, salt and pepper, freshly squeezed citrus and other fruit juices, different vinegars, onions, garlic, chopped fruit or veggies, raw honey, or a bit of coconut date sugar or sucanat…anything else that strikes your fancy that’s real. Whisk together blend in the food processor.  The possibilities are endless!

Simple creamy salad dressing – Delicious Obsessions

8 basic and healthy salad dressings – The Healthy Home Economist

Arugula salad with lemon dressing – Real Food Whole Health

10 real food salad dressing recipes – Keeper of the Home