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, my goodness…. That asparagus is finger-lickin’ good! I whipped up this whole thing in under 15min, and the asparagus under the broiler took about 10min. Like french fries, only way better 😉

    Ginger wrote on April 4th, 2011
  2. Mark what is your take on Safflower oil. Its higher in MUSF than olive oil and virtually has no taste, please comment

    Bob C. wrote on April 5th, 2011
    • I use safflower when the use NEEDS a liquid oil.

      For mayo, I do 1/3 cup each expeller-pressed coconut oil, olive oil (NOT extra virgin) and safflower oil.

      It’s just enough so the mayo doesn’t turn hard in the fridge.

      jpatti wrote on April 9th, 2011
  3. I just finished an extensive road trip with a group of Japanese folk. Miso soup paste mixed in with mayonnaise is something that will amaze one and all.

    Donnie wrote on April 6th, 2011
    • @Donnie, that’s my secret sauce recipe that I’ve used variations of ever since I first lived in Japan decades ago. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? An easy way to get some good probiotics in there, too.

      Jeanmarie wrote on April 6th, 2011
  4. Since I started keeping chickens a year ago, I’ve been experimenting with hollandaise and mayonnaise. I’m not entirely satisfied with any of the oil mixtures I’ve tried, but I’m told really mild EVOO (from fully ripened olives) works really well. I just have to find the right brand. And if you use part coconut oil, it can be expeller-pressed, which is pretty tasteless. Ghee is a nice idea, I may try that next! I do swear by fermenting it with whey, it lasts much longer.
    That roasted asparagus recipe looks great. I may try that with some of our freshly rendered lard!

    Jeanmarie wrote on April 6th, 2011
  5. Getting mayo out of a blender is a pain.

    It’s a lot easier to make mayo in a pint jar with a stick blender – and it’s ready to store.

    jpatti wrote on April 8th, 2011
  6. I just tried this recipe and it did not thicken in the least bit. I put a very soupy mixture down the drain. I used the ingredients and the correct proportions… what is the problem?

    Kim wrote on April 8th, 2011
    • same here, it was a mess
      poor ghee :(

      Paul wrote on April 9th, 2011
      • Yes, mine didn’t thicken very well either, but it was still usable in making some chicken salad. I’ve been reading that if whatever tool you’re using for blending (I used my food proc) if it’s going too fast it won’t thicken? And for some reason there’s only one speed on mine, so that could have been my problem.

        mandy wrote on April 12th, 2011
        • It took 3 tries to get mine not to break while using the stick blender method. The difference was in making sure everything was ROOM TEMP. I also didn’t blend until every last bit of oil was incorporated. Mine always broke at the last second. I just blended the least amount I could and then stirred the last little bit of oil in with a spatula. It turned out perfectly!

          Lindsay wrote on May 26th, 2011
  7. omg, just made this using a mix of my fave EVOO and a light olive oil, and champagne vinegar in place of lemon juice. yuuuuum!

    mox wrote on April 9th, 2011
  8. Looks delicious, I may have to try that.

    Inhuman Experiment wrote on April 11th, 2011
  9. …..I just started making mayo this year – I do it all by hand with a fork and glass bowl – I swear my first batch took me hours to make but I made some the other day that seemed to whip up in just minutes ….the crushed garlic made it devine! I also used Grape Seed oil in place of Olive oil as I ran out of Olive Oil – it was a huge hit! The Grapeseed oil doesn’t seem to add any flavour to the mayo so it’s a great substitute in my mind :)
    What are your thoughts on Grapeseed oil Mark??

    'K' wrote on April 26th, 2011
  10. Mmmmmm…… man that looks good! I am definitely going to have to try the roasted asparagus with ghee mayo. It looks so yummy!

    I am going to have to go the grocery store tomorrow now…… :)

    Mark - Look Sharp Fitness wrote on April 29th, 2011
  11. I tried making this mayo twice and each time it was a failure. The first time, following the recipe to a T, it was super runny and tasted like olive oil no matter what I did. The second batch I used much less olive oil and got a better consistency. I only used about 1/4 C. of oil instead of 3/4 C. (I think there may be a misprint on the original recipe.) The flavor however, was not very good, no matter what spices I used it tasted like oil and ghee. I am used to doing without mayo so I will probably continue to do so or experiment with coconut oil and coconut cream for mayo. Has anyone had any luck with that?

    CHRISTINA wrote on June 4th, 2011
  12. This is so full of AWESOME! Love the idea of mixing E.V.O.O. with ghee. Sounds to die for! Now all I need is a food processor. Thanks for this post, Mark!

    pat wrote on June 13th, 2011
  13. Has anyone tried Avocado Oil? I would think the flavor would be less obtrusive. I make mayonnaise all the time…..(with canola oil before going primal) and I find olive oil to be overwhelming. I have been using more avocado oil for sauteeing etc. and it doesn’t seem to have a strong pronounced flavor.

    Cindy McDonald wrote on July 18th, 2011
  14. Actually, the lemon juice in the mayo should help kill any samonella bugs and should keep the mayo safe for longer than 4-5 days. The kicker is that acid (lemon juice) kills samonella more effectively at room temp, so leave your freshly-made mayo out on the counter for 2 hours or so before you pop it in the fridge. For more info, see Alton Brown’s episode on mayonnaise.

    Abby C. wrote on August 26th, 2011
  15. Been making my own mayo now for a few weeks and I won’t ever buy store mayo again! Add some garlic or cilantro…trying different spices! LOVING IT!

    Tamara wrote on September 12th, 2011
  16. 20 ml of lemon juice per egg yolk will kill any salmonella. For the use of 20-35 ml pure lemon juice per egg yolk, the product should be held at 22 degrees C or over for at least 72 h and for the use of over 35 ml pure lemon juice per egg yolk, for at least 48 h before consumption or refrigeration.

    Augustina wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  17. K, I’m confused. My first attempt at mayo failed. I bought a new emmersion blender today and was eager to test it out. I combined a mixture of olive oil, melted lard, and clarified butter. I added this to two yolks, some spices, and lemon juice. It turned to a bright yellow liquidy mess. I have a feeling it may have to do with the temperature of all the fats. Anyone else got any ideas? I’m thinking of making some ghee at home and trying this as a straight EVOO mayo with the added ghee. I guess I’ll experiment when I can get the original down pat! Ha.

    pat wrote on October 10th, 2011
  18. Fail. Bad after taste and even used super expensive low flavor EVOO.

    danielle wrote on January 23rd, 2012
  19. Why not use mustard oil? I find the flavour delicious and its got a great profile. Since your using mustard anyway why not use the oil?

    viraj wrote on May 19th, 2012
  20. Why not organic cold pressed canola oil?

    Douglas wrote on August 12th, 2012
  21. Omg just made my own mayo! Sooo easy! I had 2 unsuccessful attempts in the blender this morning abut after some research i tried a stick blender and wa-lah whatduyano!

    Emily wrote on October 2nd, 2012
  22. There’s a trick to make mayo really quickly.

    Rather than pouring in the oil slowly–its excruciating and doesn’t always bring fluffy results–use a stick blender (also called an immersion blender).

    Put the ingredient into a tall and NARROW contain (stick blenders usually come with one or you can use a wide-mouth mason jar) in a SPECIFIC ORDER.

    Put the egg yolk(s) in first, then the spices and lemon juice and/or vinegar, and then add all of the oil. Put the stick blender in all the way to the bottom, begin blending and work your way up. You’ve got mayo in like 20 seconds. It is amazing!

    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    spicegirl wrote on October 31st, 2013
    • IMPORTANT – re: the stick blender mayo – you MUST let the eggs come to room temperature. I forgot and ended up with “soup” (and I used my good oil!)!

      spicegirl wrote on October 31st, 2013

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