The Ultimate Guide to Mayonnaise

June 09, 2023

Once a staple of every household pantry and fridge, mayo is making a big comeback as a must-have for any cook’s kitchen. As ubiquitous as its ketchup and mustard counterparts but more versatile, a jar of this pantry juggernaut goes a long way: add spices to make an aioli, dress it up as a dip or spread, use it as a creamy base for sauces, bake it into sweets (e.g. the infamous mayo cake), or stir it into salads. With this Ultimate Guide to Mayonnaise, you’ll get the inside scoop on what mayo actually is, when to use it, and how with the right ingredient list, mayo can fit into almost any eating plan. Before we dive in, let’s look at the most basic question: what is mayo?

What Is Mayonnaise Made Of?

Traditional mayonnaise ingredients include some combination of oil, eggs, and an acidic element like vinegar and/or lemon juice, mixed together until they become a creamy condiment. Vegan versions are similar but made without eggs. If you check a typical mayo jar on store shelves, you might find the ingredient list contains hydrogenated oils as well as corn syrup or refined sugar. 

Primal Kitchen mayo is different. Our original Mayo is made with a short list of high-quality ingredients that you can recognize: Avocado Oil, Organic Eggs, Organic Egg Yolks, Organic Vinegar, Sea Salt, and Organic Rosemary Extract. Primal Kitchen also makes a Vegan Mayo without eggs and flavored mayos including Chipotle Lime and Buffalo.

Notice there’s no sugar, artificial sweeteners, or corn syrup in our classic Mayo—just honest ingredients and real flavor. The eggs we use in our mayo are organic, cage-free, and Certified Humane®, which verifies that farmers are following a high standard of animal care. And instead of your typical hydrogenated vegetable oils, we use avocado oil for good fats we love. Primal Kitchen founder Mark Sisson has long touted avocado oil as a great alternative to industrial seed oils, soy, and canola oils, which is why it’s a staple of our product line. 

Avocado Oil Mayo

As mentioned in the previous section, oil is an integral ingredient in mayo. Many mayos use vegetable or canola oil as their base. Avocado oil mayo is simply mayonnaise that contains avocado oil as part (or all) of its oil component. So, does avocado oil have the signature avocado taste that’s often described as earthy, creamy, and slightly grassy? Not at all. 

If you’re nervous that Primal Kitchen Mayo with Avocado Oil will taste like your morning avocado toast, don’t worry—it doesn’t. The oil extracted from avocados has a neutral, slightly nutty flavor that’s barely detectable when used as a base for dressings, mayos, or sauces. The result is a rich, creamy, and delicious mayo that tastes similar to classic mayonnaise but contains good fats from plant-based oils.

How Mayo Can Fit Into Your Diet

Now that we've covered the differences between some other store-bought mayonnaise and Primal Kitchen Mayo with Avocado Oil, let’s dive into some dietary questions. For those who are avoiding gluten or dairy, or eating vegan, keto, or paleo, we'll explore how mayo can fit into a variety of eating plans.  

Is Mayo Gluten-Free?

Some mayos are not gluten-free, but Primal Kitchen Mayo does not contain gluten ingredients. All of our mayos (yes, even Chipotle Lime and Buffalo Mayo!) are gluten-free, so those avoiding or unable to have gluten can slather, dip, and dress without stress. 

Does Mayo Contain Dairy?

No, real mayonnaise has a list of ingredients that does not include dairy. (While eggs are an animal by-product, they are NOT considered a dairy product.) So, if you’re avoiding dairy, you can still enjoy any of the products in Primal Kitchen’s mayo lineup, including our flavored mayos, Vegan Mayo, and Whip Dressing & Spread

Is Mayonnaise Keto?

It can be, but you’ll need to check the label. To make the most of a keto diet or Whole30 month, double check the mayo’s label for a Keto Certified stamp or a Whole30 Approved icon. Primal Kitchen’s creamy, classic Mayo with Avocado Oil is both Whole30 Approved and Keto Certified, as well as Certified Paleo. Our Chipotle Lime Mayo, Garlic Aioli Mayo, Vegan Mayo, and Whip are also Whole30 Approved and Keto Certified, and our Pesto Mayo is Whole30 Approved and keto-friendly. 

Is Mayo Vegan?

Real mayonnaise, including our Mayo with Avocado Oil, is not vegan because it contains eggs. However, we have a solution for that! We’re proud to make the plant-based possible with Primal Kitchen Vegan Mayo, Jalapeño Lime Vegan Mayo, and our newer Whip Dressing & Spread, which has a tangy, zippy flavor you might remember from childhood. Primal Kitchen Vegan Mayo uses a unique potato protein blend instead of eggs to make a savory, creamy mayo full of familiar flavor and texture. 

Aioli vs Mayo

A popular condiment on modern restaurant menus, aioli is a mayo-like spread that originated along the Mediterranean coast. It’s traditionally made with oil, garlic, salt, and the optional addition of lemon juice. In the US, aioli is similar but may also contain eggs. Think of it as a creamy, garlicky mayo. 

Primal Kitchen Aioli elevates any dish it’s added to with a perfectly balanced garlic flavor that gives food enough punch while being light enough to not linger on your palate too long. For a modern take on aioli that goes beyond garlic, you can also add lemon to our aioli or combine Wasabi powder with rice vinegar and ginger and stir it into our classic Mayo. Or, try this easy Chipotle Aioli Recipe on fish tacos. 

Recipes with Mayo

There’s no mistaking the versatility of mayo. Used as a base, topping, spread, side, dip, or dunk, this can-do condiment packs a flavorful punch. Now that you’ve had your fill of mayo facts, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into practice. Add Primal Kitchen Mayo to your cart so you can incorporate these creamy, dreamy, delicious recipes into your weekly meal plan.

a reverse-seared steak on a grill

Main Dishes:

a bowl of macaroni salad


elote corn cobs on a grill


a mayo board with fresh veggies

Other Creative Uses for Mayo:



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