Oil-Free Vegan Mayo

oil free vegan mayo featured image

Mayo is the finishing touch on sandwiches, the base of many deli-style salads, and the secret ingredient in some cakes. But, like many of our tasty favorites, we may think we have to give it up when we decide to eat healthier. Even plant based mayos from the supermarket are full of oil and hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Fret not, dear heart. You don’t have to resign yourself to dry sammies or bid adieu to potato salad. Our Oil-Free Vegan Mayo is tangy, creamy, and egg-free. It’s also easy to tweak for a nut-free version. 

Intimidated by the idea of making your own mayo? We’ll walk you through every step. You’ll be shocked by how simple and easy it is, and you’ll be making regular batches in no time. So, are you ready to break up with conventional mayo? Onward!

plant based mayonnaise

Oil-Free Vegan Mayo ingredients 

Raw cashews: these babies are a plant based powerhouse. They’re super versatile and can be soaked and blended into sauces, dressings, and fillings for texture and creaminess. Cashews are a fantastic whole-food source of fat, so they’re a go-to replacement for oil in conventional recipes. Plus, they bring nutrients and fiber to the party. “Raw” means unsalted and unroasted. If you or a loved one can’t have cashews, you can substitute with an equal amount of soaked, raw sunflower seeds (shelled, of course). 

Tahini: this is peanut butter’s Middle Eastern cousin. A sesame seed paste that’s savory with slightly bitter umami notes, it complements salty flavors and spices very well. Its consistency can vary a lot from brand to brand, so if yours is very thin or very thick, you may want to adjust the amount of non-dairy milk you use. When in doubt, start small and taste before adding more. If you’re not a fan of its bitter notes, look for tahini made from roasted sesame seeds.

vegan mayo ingredients

Unsweetened non-dairy milk: use any kind of unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk. We like soy, oat, or almond for this recipe.

Coconut aminos: this salty, fermented sauce is similar to soy sauce, but has a slightly sweeter taste. It adds a complex pop of flavor that we love.  

Let’s get this party started  

First up, get your cashews soaking in hot water. They’ll need about 10 minutes to soften, which gives you enough time to measure out everything else (pro tip: you can measure all of your non-cashew ingredients directly into your blender). If you get done early, turn up some Whitney Houston and enjoy a three-minute dance party in your kitchen.

vegan mayonnaise

If you have a fancy schmancy high-speed blender, you can skip soaking altogether! We don’t recommend skipping the dance party, though. It makes the mayo taste better. Don’t ask us how, we’re not scientists.

Once your cashews are soaked and your song is over, drain and discard the soaking water and pop the cashews into your blender. If you haven’t already added your other ingredients to the pitcher, do that now. 

egg free mayo

Now, turn the blender on, and sit back while it does the work. When your Vegan Mayo is nice and creamy with no visible cashew pieces hanging around, turn it off, pop off the lid, and give it a taste test with a clean spoon.

Adjust seasoning as needed. If it’s thicker than you’d like, add a splash of non-dairy milk. If it’s too thin, soak some more cashews and add a few at a time until it’s your desired consistency. Getting it exactly how you want it is a huge perk of making your own mayo.

vegan mayo

Use a rubber spatula to scrape all the goodness into an airtight container. We like glass jars. 

oil free plant based mayo

Oil-Free Vegan Mayo

Makes about 1 cup
Author: Molly Patrick


  • cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 10 minutes (40g / can sub with raw sunflower seeds for a nut-free mayo)
  • cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (158 ml)
  • cup tahini (75 g)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Drain the cashews and discard the water.
  • Place the cashews into your blender, along with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Blend until super creamy and smooth, about two or three minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
oil-free vegan mayo

What to do with your Oil-Free Vegan Mayo  

This recipe makes about one cup of mayo. It’ll keep for five to seven days in the fridge and you can freeze the leftovers. If the mayo separates after defrosting, toss it back into the blender for a quick spin.

We love this mayo slathered on a yummy TLT (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich made with these smoky tempeh strips.

oil free vegan mayonnaise

The only limit to how you can use your Oil-Free Vegan Mayo is your imagination.

plant based mayo

Already fallen in love with our Vegan Mayo? Let us know in the comments below.

Wishing you lots of kitchen dance parties and creamy condiments.

Team Dirty

whole food plant based mayonnaise

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Lisette Callis on July 28, 2016 at 2:17 am

    how long does it keep?

    • Molly Patrick on July 28, 2016 at 9:37 am

      HI Lisette –
      This keeps for about 7 days.

      • Laurie on September 16, 2016 at 2:42 am

        What kind of bread is that? It looks amazing!!

        • Molly Patrick on September 16, 2016 at 8:18 am

          Hey Laurie –

          It’s Alvarado St. Bakery Sprouted bread. It’s made in Berkeley. It keeps about a week on the counter and it makes AMAZING toast! I often freeze half the loaf so none of it goes to waste.


      • Valerie on October 2, 2017 at 8:25 am

        Can you use something else of the soy milk

        • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on October 4, 2017 at 7:06 am

          Hi Valerie,

          Yes, you could definitely sub another non-dairy milk here, such as almond milk.

          Team Dirty Girl

  2. Trish on October 12, 2016 at 3:51 am

    Would this work with almond milk? I have all the ingredients except I used up the last of soy milk last night 🙁

  3. Colleen Ballew on January 6, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Can you replace the soy milk with another nut milk without compromising the flavor?

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 6, 2017 at 7:50 am

      Hi Colleen, yes, you can replace the soy milk with another nut milk. I’d recommend almond milk. There may be a tiny flavor change but nothing drastic. 😉

      Team Dirty Girl

      • Marge Teilhaber on March 21, 2021 at 11:19 pm

        5 stars
        How about unstrained oat milk? Strained oat milk??

        • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Steph on March 22, 2021 at 8:51 am

          Hi Marge,

          Most of our recipes are very substitution-friendly. I personally prefer oat milk and use it in all instances. If you prefer unstrained oat milk, you’re welcome to try it, but the texture may be offputting. I would recommend strained oat milk, but as always, you do you! It’s your food and it’s important that you do what works for you.

          If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us right here.


          • Marge Teilhaber on April 2, 2021 at 8:21 pm

            5 stars
            Thanks, Steph. I’m making your eggless egg salad right now, and when I make it again (I’m sure I’m going to like it), I’ll have cashews ready to make your mayo. I like unstrained oat milk because I find using a nut bag to strain is a huge nuisance. So far for muffins & cakes it’s totally fine. I know mayo is different, but I have a feeling it’ll be fine for me. I’ll try it and report back! Tonight I’m going to use avocado mayo and mix into it all the spices that are in this mayo recipe.

  4. Holly on July 22, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Can you use brags instead of coconut aminos? (Having a hard time finding that). Thanks!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on July 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Holly, you can totally use liquid aminos instead of coconut aminos, but realize it will have a slightly different flavor. Coconut aminos have a bit of a sweeter taste whereas liquid aminos have more of a salty taste.

  5. April on August 22, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    5 stars
    I have made this like 3 times now. It’s really yummy. I left out the tahini (didn’t have any on hand) and used liquid aminos. Still tastes great! I’ve used it as a salad dressing too. It’s perfect for when I just want greens for lunch but want a little flavor with it. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 23, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Hi April,

      Glad you are digging the mayo and thanks for sharing your tip on the liquid aminos, that might help someone else!

      Team Dirty Girl

  6. Kate on August 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    5 stars
    Cashews are out of my budget, so I make mine with raw sunflower seeds. Still tastes great!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 28, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Nice substitute, Kate!

  7. Dominika on October 30, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    What brand of coconut aminos do you recommend?

    • Molly Patrick on October 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Trader Joe’s has them for $2.99! That’s the best deal I’ve found and they taste the same as all the others.

  8. Simple Cole Slaw – Owl's Odyssey on April 22, 2018 at 4:12 am

    […] tbs of Vegan Mayonnaise (here is a great recipe if you want to make it […]

  9. Dawn on April 26, 2018 at 8:35 am

    What is a good substitute for amino ? unable to get it for budget reasons right now

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on April 26, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Hi Dawn, From our substitution guide, soy sauce blended with a little water and soaked date. Coconut aminos are less salty and a little sweeter than soy sauce. We always recommend low-sodium soy sauce in any case and in this recipe, since you are using only 1 tbsp, using 1/2 soy sauce 1/2 water, should work fine even without the date. Hope that helps. ~Karen

  10. Dawn on April 26, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Thank you

  11. Dawn on April 26, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I have one more question. The lady that substitute the sun flower seeds for the cashews . Do you know if she soaked them or not ?

  12. Angela on July 6, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Can this be made with white beans as a substitute for the cashews?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on July 6, 2018 at 6:09 am

      Hi Angela, You can definitely sub white beans for cashews here but the mayo will be much thinner and it will not have the same mouthfeel. Sunflower seeds or a mixture of white beans and sunflower seeds might also work and give a thicker texture. ~Karen

  13. Jennifer on January 24, 2019 at 9:52 am

    How many servings would this be for?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 24, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Jennifer, it makes about 1 cup of mayo and there are 16 tablespoons in a cup. It will depend on how you are using it. If you straight-up use it on sandwiches with say, two tablespoons at a time, ~8 servings. ~Karen

  14. Melissa K. on January 27, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Hi, I am curious as to the macronutrient breakdown for this recipe? It sounds delish, but if it is high in calories it might not work for us right now….

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 28, 2019 at 7:13 am

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for stopping by! As far as nutrient breakdowns, we don’t calculate them for any of our free recipes. You could calculate the calories if you like using one of the freely available nutrient calculators (I’ve used Cronometer in the past). ~Karen

  15. Trish on June 5, 2019 at 8:21 am

    3 stars
    Made this. All I taste is tahini and it was tan in color and runny. What did I do wrong

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 6, 2019 at 9:26 am

      Hi Trish, Oh no! I’m guessing it might have to do with the brand of tahini. There are many threads in our private Facebook group about good tahini versus not-so-good tahini. I used a brand called Soom, but Whole Foods 365 and Trader Joe’s brands also get a lot of love. If you just aren’t into tahini, you could use sunflower seed butter to make this as well. ~Karen

  16. sandy allen on February 29, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Hi, loved the recipe for Tempeh strips and can’t wait to try it, except have never liked smoked flavours so assume best option is just to use ordinary paprika? Also followed the link to Mayo recipe and wondered what nuts would be best sub for cashews please as I am trying to follow a reduced lectin diet – maybe blanched almonds? Many thanks and love your inspirational newsletters. Thank you xx

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Steph on March 1, 2020 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Sandy! For the smoked paprika, you can just leave it out. Its main purpose in the recipe is to deliver that smokey flavor, so no need to substitute (unless you want to!). For the cashews, you could sub with almonds as you suggested or sunflower seeds. Have you seen our Substitution Guide? It’s a great resource for finding reliable substitutes. We hope you enjoy!

  17. Rebecca Ruthenberg on August 23, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    5 stars
    This is very good! I omit the salt and just use Bragg’s Aminos and it comes out perfect! My tahini was runny so I added some raw sunflower seeds to thicken. And i make a double batch because I use it in Chickpea salad every week!

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