Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
2 Apr

Homemade Ghee Mayo

Unlike ketchup or mustard, which don’t tend to evoke much passion, mayonnaise is a controversial condiment, one that often polarizes people into “love it!” and “hate it!” categories. More often than not, those who “love it!” have something in common: they’ve ditched the sticky, colorless mess of high fructose corn syrup/sugar/soybean/canola oil that is store-bought mayo and have started making their own. The lovely pale yellow color, silky, creamy texture and delicate eggy flavor of homemade mayonnaise bears such little resemblance to the store-bought stuff, it’s a shame the two products have to share the same name.

Even if you make Primal mayo at home all the time and don’t think we could possibly have anything new to say about mayonnaise, keep reading. We’ve got some tricks and tweaks to enhance the process and make you love mayonnaise even more. If you’ve been meaning to try homemade mayonnaise but haven’t gotten around to it, now’s the time. It’s much easier than you think and once you get the basic process down you can change the flavor slightly (add more lemon or mustard if you like) or dramatically (bacon mayo, anyone?)

Different Oils, Different Flavors

The difference between Primal mayo and classic homemade mayonnaise is the absence of canola oil. While olive oil is vastly superior in every way to canola, canola does have one advantage when it comes to making mayonnaise: complete lack of flavor. Tasting the flavor of olive oil in mayonnaise isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can give the mayonnaise a slightly herbaceous and bitter flavor. Olive oil also keeps mayo from tasting like it’s store-bought, but if mimicking store-bought mayo is your goal, we’ve got news for you: even homemade mayo with canola oil doesn’t taste anything like the goop at the store. Jarred mayo isn’t “real” mayo and it definitely isn’t made with healthy ingredients, so the sooner you stop using it as your benchmark for flavor, the happier you’ll be with the mayo you make at home.

If the olive oil flavor really gets to you, there are some solutions, although many involve a compromise of sorts. You can use light olive oil, since it has virtually no flavor, but it also tends to have fewer healthy monounsaturated fats. You can use avocado oil or nut oils for a different but mild flavor, however, both oils are higher priced and can turn mayo into a luxury item instead of a staple. You can use half melted coconut oil and half olive oil, but the mayo will taste like coconut – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s not right for every dish. You can also delve into the world of animal fat mayo, which is almost obscene in its richness and meatiness – great stuff, but maybe not for every day of the week.

Personally, we like using extra virgin olive oil in our mayo for the health benefits. We’ve found that when we want to mellow the flavor and get rid of any bitterness, stirring in a little bit of ghee adds a buttery flavor that we love. The texture is incredibly rich, with one caveat – the ghee will solidify a bit when refrigerated and makes the mayo thicker. If you vigorously stir before using, the texture will become creamy again.

If you don’t add the ghee, this recipe is a basic, fool-proof mayonnaise recipe and a great place to start before experimenting. Once you start experimenting, the sky is the limit.  You can pretty much add any new flavor that you want. Consider stirring in bold flavors once the mayo is made, like fresh garlic, jalapeno pepper, pesto, spices or fresh herbs.  Not only do these ingredients make mayo more interesting, they’ll also tone down the olive oil flavor.

Homemade Ghee Mayo


  • Makes about 3/4 cup
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard (or dried mustard powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Approximately 5 tablespoons of ghee, at room temperature


In a food processor, blend the yolks, lemon juice, mustard and salt for a few seconds until combined. With the food processor running, gradually add oil in a slow steady stream until the mixture begins to thicken, at least 30 seconds.

When the mixture has thickened into mayonnaise, scrape it out of the food processor into a bowl and stir in ghee, one tablespoon at a time, tasting as you go until desired flavor is reached.

Using and Storing What You Make

Store-bought mayo has enough junk in it to keep it “fresh” longer than any food has a right to stick around in the refrigerator. Homemade mayo is more delicate because it’s made with fresh, raw egg yolks and should be used within 4-5 days of being made. Some folks ferment their mayo by adding a little bit of whey and swear it stays fresh for weeks. We haven’t tried this route yet because we don’t mind making fresh batches of mayo often. With a food processor, it’s incredibly easy to whip up. We do mind, however, letting mayo go to waste. To avoid throwing expired mayo out, the most obvious solution is to make small batches. Our recipe above makes less than a cup of mayo, which is easy to go through quickly. How? Glad you asked!

Like most of you, we use mayonnaise as a dip for veggies, seafood and meat, a dressing for coleslaw and salads… you know, the obvious stuff. We add pickles, capers, more lemon juice and hot sauce to make tartar sauce. We also spread a few tablespoons of mayonnaise on fish before we cook it, which keeps the fish tender and gives it a melt-in-your mouth texture. You can try this with chicken breasts, too.

Mayonnaise is also one of our favorite ways to improve the flavor of cooked veggies. Our best version of this just might be roasted asparagus with ghee mayo. If you’ve never licked your fingers (and plate) after eating asparagus, you will after trying this:

Roasted Asparagus with Ghee Mayo


  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed
  • 1/3 cup ghee mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard


Mix together mayo and mustard. Use your hands to lather it all over the asparagus. In a pan on a middle rack, broil on high for about 15 minutes, turning regularly so all sides cook and asparagus is tender and blistered.  Finish with lemon and black pepper if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Minimizing the Risk of Raw Eggs

As we mentioned before, the reason homemade mayonnaise has a short shelf life is because it’s made with raw eggs. The main risk raw eggs pose is salmonella, although this risk is quite small. Use the freshest eggs possible and if you’re still worried, try a mayo recipe that involves heating the eggs.

Even with the small risk posed by raw eggs, homemade mayonnaise is something we eat regularly and always like to have on hand. How ‘bout about you? What is your favorite way to make basic mayonnaise more interesting? Now that you know how many delicious uses there are for mayonnaise, “condiment” seems a bit limiting, doesn’t it? “Heavenly Homemade Spread” may be a bit over the top, but not by much. Thanks for reading!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. OH YUM! Bookmarking for sure, as mayo is the one thing I cannot seem to give up, ever!

    PrettyPauline wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  2. We love mayo! Our 18 year old daughter is our foolproof mayo creator. She uses organic, unrefined red palm oil and bacon fat for her oil. It turns the mayo a bright yellow, but we consider that a pretty side effect of a to-die-for mayo. It never lasts more than a day or two around here.

    Tara wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • Awesome! Need to find more like yall in San Antonio!

      Jason wrote on January 12th, 2013
  3. Have never liked mayo except in tuna fish and tuna salad. Will definitely try this recipe! Thanks for sharing it.

    Sonagi wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • I meant tuna salad and chicken salad. Anyway, glad to try this recipe and put those favorites back on the menu.

      Sonagi wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  4. What happens if you use whole eggs instead of just yolks?

    Boo wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • I want to know this too. I started to consume raw eggs in smoothies about 2 weeks ago and LOVE it. I feel awesome and is so damn simple.

      So, is 1 raw egg instead of 2 raw egg yolks okay for this recipe? Someone please tell us!

      Primal Toad wrote on April 2nd, 2011
      • I know you can use 1 whole egg plus 1 yolk, because that’s what I use when I make it in the food processor. If you make it by hand, then 2 egg yolks is better. I add a slice of meyer lemon, peel and all (I grow them in my yard, a dash of hot sauce and more mustard.

        Kathy wrote on April 2nd, 2011
        • But if you use 1 whole egg plus a yolk wouldnt that be a bit too much and mess up the consistency?

          I guess I will go with just 2 egg yolks. I am going to buy some ghee this week and then make this. So excited.

          Primal Toad wrote on April 2nd, 2011
      • Just use the 2 whole eggs; it’ll be fine.

        Annie wrote on April 3rd, 2011
      • I personally avoid raw egg whites because they’re high in a substance, avidin, that blocks the absorption of biotin, a B vitamin found, coincidentally, in the egg yolk. Rather than have the raw white cancel out one of the benefits of the yolk, I save the whites. When I get a jar full, I cook them up and serve them to the chickens (after the egg whites cool down), who can always use a protein boost.
        I have also read that raw egg white decreases the absorption or bioavailability of the protein in the whole egg. I don’t think a raw yolk does this. I can’t remember where I read this, but it was a trusted source. If I find it again, I’ll let you know, Primal Toad!

        Jeanmarie wrote on January 18th, 2012
    • I believe Julia Child’s recipe calls for two yolks and one whole egg–it worked fine for me, just a little more liquidy than yolk-only mayo. Maybe this would help combat the extra thickening power of the ghee?

      Kate wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • The yolk is the only part of the egg that you need. The yolk is used because it contains lecithin, which works together with the acid from the lemon or vinegar to bind with the oil. There is no lecithin in the egg whites so they are not used for a mayo or an aioli (flavored mayo).

      Mike wrote on April 17th, 2011
    • The mixture EXPLODES!!!

      Roth wrote on June 22nd, 2011
  5. Looks good! I agree with everyone else, a little tuna and mayo is a good combination.

    Gary Deagle wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  6. Thank you so much, Mark. I will be making it this weekend. I threw away my store bought Spectrum mayo because of your last article. This looks incredibly easy and delicious.

    Chase wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  7. I love making my own mayo. I love it plain, but I also like to experiment with different additions like:
    – garlic
    – onion flakes
    – spicy stuff
    – tarragon, oregano, basil, other herbs
    – wasabi powder (for a kick)
    – red hot (for when I make some primal fried chicken)

    Bryan wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • It is great also with grilled onions coated with ground fennel seed or cumin. Roasted red bell peppers with a hit of cayenne is awesome too. Dill for a home made tartar sauce : )

      Mike wrote on April 17th, 2011
  8. I have been wanting to buy me some ghee for a while now. I love grass-fed butter but wan to try ghee. I now have a brilliant reason to do just that.

    Thanks Mark! Primal Con in less than 2 weeks!!

    Primal Toad wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • My first instinct was similar to yours, but I want to MAKE my own ghee! Looking on the web, there’s nothing simpler. All you need is a pound of unsalted butter, a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and heat.

      Alistair wrote on April 2nd, 2011
      • Really? Damn. I guess I need to do my research. I LOVE to cook and will have more time to make things like ghee, coconut butter, coconut milk, almond milk, etc. one week from now.

        Do you have a particular recipe that you are going to follow? Feel free to link to it here with a reply.

        Primal Toad wrote on April 2nd, 2011
        • I just blogged about my experiences here:

          I’m not sure if that comes from any one recipe, I just googled “make your own ghee”, read a bunch of pages, and kind of developed my recipe from there. It’s still cooling so it hasn’t solidified yet, but it looks great so far, a lovely golden amber colour.

          Alistair wrote on April 2nd, 2011
        • There’s only one way to do it; no “recipe” needed. This website has a good explanation of the method.

          It’s super easy. If you do half a pound, it’s quick too. I do two pounds at once, so it takes a good 45 min. to get the solids to brown. Also, it doesn’t seem to matter if the butter is salted or not.

          Keeps fine on the shelf, just don’t get water in the container (like with a wet spoon or steam or whatever).

          labbygail wrote on April 2nd, 2011
        • I like this step by step recipe:

          There are also some ghee recipes on Youtube.

          Mia wrote on April 2nd, 2011
        • Mark did a whole post on making ghee (and then adding coconut oil) so search on ghee and coconut oil to find it.

          We made the asparagus tonight. So easy and delicious! Incidentally, I use some coconut oil in my homemade mayo, and I get the expeller-pressed kind that has no coconut aroma or taste. Works great.

          Jeanmarie wrote on May 17th, 2011
  9. Worker Bee, I heart you for this! I love mayo and make ours most of the time, but have never heard of using ghee. Yum!!

    Chowstalker wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  10. My two favourites are pesto mayo and curry mayo.

    Willis wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • Ever try cilantro mayo? Cranberry mayo? Wasabi mayo? Cayenne mayo? I call them aiolis, but all are to die for!

      Cathy wrote on June 2nd, 2015
  11. I recently made mayonnaise for the first time in my stand mixer, using a mixture of bacon fat and walnut oil. It was downright incredible! Shortly afterward my mom introduced me to a much simpler technique: using a stick blender instead of drizzling. Here’s a video recipe:

    As an added bonus, if you make this recipe in a wide-mouth canning jar the finished product is already in its storage container.

    insufferablefoodie wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  12. Just a tip: You can make mayonnaise with cooked egg yolks, too – they don’t necessarily have to be raw.

    MikeEnRegalia wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  13. I love infusing the olive oil that I´m going to use to make mayonaisse with various herbs and such. It is, perhaps, slightly less healthy because I heat the oil a little but opens a world of tasty possibilities. The other day I tried roast carrots and beets in a thyme infused mayonaisse. Delicious!

    liminal_luke wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  14. I can’t believe the timing!! I started a Whole 30 challenge yesterday, April 1, and just this morning decided that it was high time that I made my first ever batch of homemade mayo. Then I come here to check the weekly recipe and Voila!! What is that – the Law of Attraction at work??
    Thanks, Mark!

    marthat wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  15. Best. post. evar.

    Chase Saunders wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  16. Worried about salmonella? Simply coddle your eggs before you use them.

    Bring a pan of water to a boil, immerse the egg for 30 seconds and then remove. Crack open and use with no worries.

    Darleen wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • Thank you! Normally, I don’t worry, but this may come in handy if there’s kidlets or CW friends to be fed;0)

      mixie wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  17. This is great. I stopped making homemade mayo when I dropped oils other than olive oil. EVOO’s flavor was too strong for me in mayo. I made a batch this morning and the ghee addition was just right.

    Egg salad for lunch.

    Julia wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • I agree, adding the ghee definitely helped tame the taste a bit, but it still tasted too strongly of EVOO for me. I’d use a different oil next time. Luckily I’m only using it to mix with some creamy pesto sauce, so the pesto should mask or at least compliment the flavor :)

      Reiko wrote on June 17th, 2011
  18. Mayo is even easier with a stick blender. Just google “stick blender mayo” for lots of videos on how to do this. You don’t need to drizzle, and it takes about 30 seconds. You can make it right in the jar you’re going to store it in, so there’s no blender or food processor to wash.

    Kari wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • I second that

      Mia wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  19. I have all the ingredients at home. I’m SO making this! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    maba wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  20. One of my favrorite ways to jazz up home-made mayo is to add a clove or two of garlic. Which is what I’ll probably end up doing with this recipe as well.

    maba wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • aioli?

      DThalman wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  21. What about making a large batch and freezing it in small quantities?

    Tom wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • i don’t think ur supposed to?

      DThalman wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  22. CHIPOTLE MAYO! Awesome on grilled chicken.

    Thanks for the yumminess, looking forward to giving it a try.

    Karen P. wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  23. I recycled my Spectrum mayo jar for my delicous home-made mayo. It’s just the right size.

    Nancy wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  24. What a timely post. Thanks Mark. I use EVOL and was just wondering recently if ghee could be used in mayo.

    Aria wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  25. Oh, *glorious*!

    mixie wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  26. “According to Cook’s Illustrated, extra-virgin olive oil is the only kind of oil susceptible to becoming bitter. Even pure olive oil can handle blending better than the extra-virgin kind. The reason is because extra-virgin olive oil contains a high percentage of molecular compounds called polyphenols (thought to be cancer-fighters), which are normally coated in fatty acids. Under standard conditions, the fatty acids in the oil prevent polyphenols from dispersing in an aqueous environment. This is because oil and water do not mix.

    When these fat molecules are broken into droplets in an emulsion, however, the polyphenols are distributed into the solution and their bitter taste can become apparent. When the emulsion is only lightly blended, the bitterness is not perceptible. But a blender or food processor breaks the droplets down into smaller sizes, increasing polyphenol dispersal. These suspended polyphenols can ruin an otherwise delicious recipe.

    The easiest way to avoid this problem is to use either pure olive oil or a different kind of oil altogether, such as canola or safflower oil. Alternatively, if you would like to keep the rich taste of extra-virgin olive oil you can hand whisk your emulsion rather than using a blender. Just be careful not to over work the mixture. You can also start your recipe by blending a small amount of stable oil (e.g. canola), then hand whisking your extra-virgin olive oil in at the end.”

    Gai Cambel wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • You can also use a mild EVOO made from fully ripened olives (CHEESESLAVE swears by Chaffin Family Orchards’ olive oil for making mayo for that reason) and you still get all the lovely polyphenols without the bitterness. Rather than use canola, I use part coconut oil, part olive oil, part macadamia nut oil.

      Jeanmarie wrote on May 17th, 2011
  27. Beautiful, lovely mayo! Thank you for the post, I still have to give my parents a hard time for raising me on MIRACLE WHIP– Yuck!!! The two of them are coming out to visit for a couple of weeks this summer, I can’t wait to have all my homemade condiments ready for them to try.

    On another note, I can’t seem to get my husband of the Thousand Island dressing or the kids off the Ranch– he can’t even stand the smell of my olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Give him sesame oil and he’ll gag! Any ideas out there? I think there’s an MDA post on Ranch, but Thousand Island ideas anyone?

    Thanks again to MDA!

    Sara wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • Sara: Homemade Mayo, Tomato Paste, Honey?

      Kim wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • Thousad Island = mayo plus ketchup plus pickle relish. I’ve always made it this way Pre-PB – just use PB ingredients!

      Jane wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  28. This is perfect! I am in the process of converting to paleo and this will certainly ease the transition, thanks.

    Jeremy Priestner wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  29. I must try this! Great post, great recipe, I love butter & ghee 😀

    Angie wrote on April 2nd, 2011
  30. ya know, i’ve been going without coleslaw (fresh red cabbage! so good and good for me) and devilled eggs (i do get bored with my morning scrambles) just because of all the stuff i’ve read (here and elsewhere) about how bad store-bought mayo is. I’d made homemade mayo 3 times in my blender and it was a huge mess, due to the blender’s propensity to fling the unemulsified oil and egg out the top as i tried to drizzle in more oil. also it did taste a little too strongly of olive oil and didn’t keep long. so today i set out to solve this. I bought a food processor…so handy for the homemade soups I love to make! (an entire onion chopped voila!) …. and the mayo was glorious, piece of cake (well, better than that and primal too). Used extra light oil and the farms eggs I purchase from my students! so happy! big batch of pork tenderloin/chanterelle/watercress soup in fridge, devilled eggs and slaw, Ahh… thanks again Mark for being such a positive impetus.

    DThalman wrote on April 2nd, 2011
    • You can extend the life of homemade mayo by lacto-fermenting it. Simply blend in a tablespoon or two of whey (separated from good quality yogurt etc.) at the end, leave it covered on your kitchen counter for a few hours, then refrigerate. See for details.

      Jeanmarie wrote on May 17th, 2011
  31. This looks wonderful and I’m excited to try it. I wonder if walnut oil would work since I am actually allergic to olives. That asparagus looks and sounds unbelievable!

    Natalie wrote on April 3rd, 2011
  32. I almost always do half and half olive and bacon grease, but have had a hankering to use ghee for a while now. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    anything can be added to make these glorious, i always use a lactofermented preserved lemon ( a few slices) which helps preserve the mayo as well (like whey), and then add combinations of herbs (fennel, lavender and rosemary) (black pepper, chile flakes, Lemon and mint) but the msot amazing was a few slices of roasted red pepper and garlic addded during whizzing of the egg. OMG. Heavenly!
    next is chipotle in adobo, and pesto or cilantro lime mayo in summer!

    darcey wrote on April 3rd, 2011
  33. Sounds delicious but mine didn’t thicken grrrr. I even tried starting over and adding the failed mayo one drop at a time (read online). Still thin, but I stuck it in the fridge hoping that the ghee will help it to solidify. Any ideas on how to use thin mayo?

    Jen wrote on April 3rd, 2011
    • Thin mayo with herbs and or spices makes a great salad dressing.

      Amy wrote on April 6th, 2011
      • Agreed! I made an Italian dressing (blended with onions, vinegar, spices and a wee bit of sweetener), used it as a marinade for coconut shrimp, and made Mark’s asparagus recipe. All in all, thin mayo works just fine in my kitchen! I think I will go back to hand whisking until I buy an immersion blender; hopefully this weekend’s batch will work out.

        Jen wrote on April 9th, 2011
  34. This sounds like a great recipe. Do you know I have made mayo at home many times but never thought of using olive oil. I will definately give it a try. It definately is the healthier option. It’s my first vist to this site and I am adding it to my favourite.

    Luke wrote on April 3rd, 2011
  35. I only have one of those mini food processors that doesn’t allow you to add things to the container as it’s in use, thus no way to pour the oil in slowly.

    Will a regular blender work in place of a food processor?

    Andrew wrote on April 3rd, 2011
    • I just use a hand whisk, and it really doesn’t take that long. The trick is to add the oil slowly, a little bit at a time.

      Nancy wrote on April 3rd, 2011
  36. Mark’s mayo on fresh, thick slices of juicy, fleshy tomatoes; salt and pepper to taste – try it.

    Beijing wrote on April 4th, 2011
  37. I love homemade mayo and have used the addition of 1-2 TBSP of whey to prolong the life. It will keep a couple weeks or more vice just a few days since even in this size quantity I find it hard to use it all before it goes bad. I have also used MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride) which is a refined version of coconut oil and is liquid at room temp. Not perfectly primal, however better than seed oil if you need a modestly priced neutral flavored oil that doesn’t get “solid” under refrigeration. At least I hope it’s better than canola.

    Mariah wrote on April 4th, 2011

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