When it comes to creamy comfort food dishes like baked onion dip, cole slaw and macaroni salad, we don't cite the calorie count or nutritional value when explaining our love for them. The love of these indulgent dishes revolves around their flavor and texture, from the tanginess of cole slaw to the irresistible cheesiness of artichoke dip. One of the key ingredients that many of these creamy, comforting dishes have in common is mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise adds the perfect flavor and texture to dips and casseroles. However, sometimes we run out of even the most basic household ingredients and find ourselves in the middle of a recipe with no mayo in sight. Plus, some home cooks need to substitute mayonnaise for other reasons, from reducing the calorie count to finding vegan options.
Whatever the reason, this dilemma is easily fixed, because there are plenty of substitutes for mayonnaise that are almost as good and won't drastically change your recipe. If you've run out of the unsung hero of creamy foods or have dietary reasons to avoid it, you can continue with your recipe without missing a beat if you know how to substitute it. These 7 substitutes for mayonnaise allow you enjoy your favorite mayo-centric foods without missing out on flavor or texture.
Sour cream is an easy go-to when you can't find the mayo you thought was in your fridge. It has a comparable texture and flavor, with a similar tanginess and creaminess. Sour cream is ideal if you're subbing out mayo in cole slaw or salad, but it's not a good choice if you're looking to find a healthier alternative.
Cottage cheese is another easy option when you need to substitute mayonnaise and aren't looking to take a trip to the store. This creamy cheese has a subtly tart flavor that's similar to that of mayo, and its creaminess lends itself well to dips and salads. Plus, it's packed full of protein! To make cottage cheese smoother, puree it in a blender or food processor.
Another mayonnaise substitute that can typically be found in your fridge is cream cheese. This creamy ingredient can be used for far more than your bagels, and is a perfect option for when you're out of mayo. The only aspect of cream cheese to keep in mind is its thickness. To soften cream cheese so that its texture resembles that of mayonnaise, mix it with some greek yogurt.
Hummus is a delicious, healthy substitute for mayo that has far fewer calories. This is a great option if you need something to make your sandwich less dry or add creaminess to a dressing, but it's not ideal for dips or casseroles, since it will impart its own specific flavor that might clash with the other ingredients.
Greek yogurt is another protein-packed alternative to mayo, offering tanginess and creaminess that almost matches that of mayonnaise. Greek yogurt is also much healthier than mayo, as it's an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, calcium and phosphorus. To be extra healthy, buy low fat Greek yogurt.
Although we typically think of mustard and mayo as almost opposite condiments, mustard is a surprisingly good replacement for mayonnaise when you're run out. It has a creamy texture that can make sauces and dressings thicker, and it's a great low calorie alternative when you're looking for healthier options. However, mustard can have a spicy flavor that's more intense than mayo, so be careful about what you add it to.
Although avocado might seem like a strange substitute for a creamy dairy-based ingredient, it's actually ideal for adding creaminess to recipes. Mash avocado or blend it with a little water, and it makes for a creamy substance that's full of vitamins, nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, avocado doesn't have an overwhelmingly strong flavor, so it can be added into recipes without substantially changing the end result.