Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

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


15 replies on “Homemade Mayo and Tartar Sauce Recipes”

Hi Kelly – you are most welcome! I must try your recipe soon, it looks so good! I had coleslaw recently that I liked a lot which a friend brought over, but I’m a sucker for apples in a lot of recipes, so I really like the sound of yours. 🙂

I love the ease of making mayo with a stick blender! I have an inexpensive Hamilton Beach model that was given to me a few years back… what a useful appliance. I use mine to make sauce out of diced tomatoes and turn a brothy soup into a creamy one. I also employ an even easier method when making mayo: put all the egg yolks and seasoning ingredients into the bottom of a wide mouth pint canning jar. Use two or three pulses to mix together, leave stick blender in the jar and pour ALL the oil into the jar. Then turn on blender and gradually raise the stick blender, using up and down motions to keep mixing the oil on top with the emulsified mixture below. Voila`!

Thank you, Raine, for linking to my salad dressing recipe! You actually just reminded me about that dressing. I’ve been wanting to do something different for our salads and had totally forgotten about this! 🙂 Thanks again!!!

Oh, and I agree — the stick blender is awesome for making mayo! SO much easier and less messy than the food processor or blender! Will be trying your mayo recipe soon!

Jessica – you are welcome! I have found so many new recipes over the last few days that I want to try, and yours is in that list. I have a hard time keeping mayo around here. I guess I need to double my batches! Yes, I do love my stick blender, it’s incredibly versatile and was a great price. 🙂

I started making my own mayo last year. I had a cheap stick blender, but managed to burn it out. Tried using the blender – meh. Now I use a bowl and my handheld mixer to make a quart at a time. I am not big on the flavour of olive oil either, so use about half olive, and the rest is a combination of grapeseed and/or sunflower, smaller portions of flax and/or sesame – whatever I have. It was the ingredient list on my former favorites – Hellmans and Best Foods that finished me on commercial mayo, too. Even the “Olive Oil” variety, if memory serves, had more canola oil than olive oil. We don’t do canola either.

I make my own yogurt, a gallon at a time, and drain off some of the whey, store it in a jar in the fridge and mix about a tablespoon into the mayo, leave the covered mayo on the counter 7-8 hours and it is lacto fermented. No one here has noticed an appreciable difference in the taste between lacto fermented and not.

Since almost every ingredient that goes into mayo is yellow, even using regular store eggs, expect it to be very, very, yellow compared to commercial.

I did my mayo yesterday, yogurt, the day before, so now I’m off to explore the rest of your site – looks awesome!

And, yes, I am working on a replacement for the sunflower oil, just haven’t found anything I like that is not solid when refrigerated and does not taste “olivey”.

Karen – I think if you make this recipe, you won’t care that you aren’t using sunflower oil or a replacement for it either. I don’t care for a strong olive oil flavor in mayo, and the combination of ingredients in this takes the edge of that taste off just enough that I don’t have to use anything else (for me, anyway). One of the things that bothers me about other oils like sunflower and even grapeseed is that most of them are highly refined and subjected to high heat. If you can find a good organic varietal that is only cold-pressed, that’s best. Grapeseed and sunflower are both composed primarily of Omega 6 fatty acids, and a lesser amount of Omega 9s, but very low in Omega 3s. If you aren’t eating a lot of Omega 6s, that shouldn’t be an issue, but I try to include as many healthy fats in my diet since I’m sure I’m probably still not getting enough. For that reason I avoid any oils that aren’t cold-pressed and are high in Omega 6 since they go rancid immediately after the heat/deodorization and alkalining process.

Thanks for responding so quickly! My recipe is almost identical to yours, but uses one whole egg, one yolk instead of three yolks. I may need to find a lighter olive oil. I understand what you are saying about the grapeseed and sunflower oils, and restrict their use to mayo. I use animal fats like butter, tallow, lard, schmaltz, and coconut oil for cooking, olive oil for minimally heated things. I buy very little that has a label to list ingredients, and those that do, are usually pretty short. The oils are typical of those products. I do try to keep the Omega 6 waaay down too.

I’ve just been reading about your gallbladder issues. I had mine removed when my oldest was three months old because of a blocked bile duct. Fun stuff. Was told to eliminate fats, resulted in more health problems, including my first ever battle with overweight, dry skin, etc. So, I’m still increasing my natural fats, too.

I’ll try upping the mustard a bit, maybe paprika and garlic powder (homegrown, dehydrated, ground) and just reduce the other oils a bit each time I make it until they are used up, then put on my big girl pants and deal with it.

Wow, Raine! This is the best looking mayo recipe I have ever seen! And the instructions are so clear. I am going to try this, as we have not had Mayo for many years. as all the commercial versions are so horrible.

After reading tens of thousands of recipes, I know what a recipe will taste like just by reading it.
And this one will be great.

Thanks Stanley, I hope you enjoy it. Store bought mayonnaise is so incredibly nasty, I’ll definitely never buy it again. For awhile before I had perfected my recipe I was buying Wilderness Family Naturals which is good. But mine is so much tastier and easy to make (and cheaper), I don’t think I’ll ever buy any mayonnaise at all again. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it!

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