Egg Salad Recipe Without Mayo

This egg salad without mayo is most definitely not your grandma’s recipe. But it’s so surprisingly lovely we think you won’t miss the traditional version at all.

Egg Salad Without Mayo Recipe

This egg salad made without mayo is not your grandma’s egg salad. Instead it’s crammed full of gently caramelized onions and olive oil and even garlic, and it’s so surprisingly lovely you just may find that you won’t miss the traditional mayonnaise. According to the author, it works hot or cold, in a sandwich or on top of salad greens, and we found this to be perfectly true. It perhaps even works best snuck straight from the skillet by the spoonful. At least, that’s what we thought.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Egg Salad Without Mayo Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4 to 8


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 8 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced bread, endive spears, crackers, or lettuce leaves, for serving


  • 1. In a large skillet set over medium heat, heat the oil until it’s shimmering. Add the garlic and onions, stir to coat with the oil, and then cover. Cook, stirring now and then, until the garlic and onion are very soft, about 30 minutes. It may be necessary to reduce the heat slightly to keep them from scorching and to add a touch of olive oil if anything starts sticking to the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • 2. Use the back of a fork to mash the warm garlic and onion until the mixture is a soft, jam-like consistency. Push the onions and garlic to the side and use the back of the same fork to mash the eggs into a soft spread. Incorporate the mushy garlic-onion paste into the eggs and stir until fully incorporated. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 3. Serve the egg salad on toasted bread as a sandwich or with endive, crackers, or lettuce leaves as an hors d’oeuvre.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Beth Price

Mar 26, 2016

The onion, garlic jam, and olive oil produced an egg salad so luscious that I didn’t even miss the mayonnaise.  And I love mayonnaise. This made the perfect dollop for bite-sized leaves of Bibb lettuce. As I was cooking for one, I scaled down the recipe and used 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 large clove of garlic, 1/4 of an onion, chopped, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. My onions and garlic were soft after 15 minutes and were the perfect consistency for me. I did find that I wanted to put the eggs in the pan to wipe up all the garlicky olive oil. So I did. It was good on the lettuce, though I have to admit, it was even better eaten straight out of the pan right off the spoon.

Testers Choice
Linda M.

Mar 26, 2016

This is a delicious take on egg salad. I was pleasantly surprised at how moist it turned out without any mayonnaise in the recipe. I served it as an appetizer with Triscuit crackers, and it was a big hit. The garlic and onion "jam" would also work well mixed with just the yolks for deviled eggs. I mashed the garlic and onions with a potato masher as they cooked.

Testers Choice
Alexandra M.

Mar 26, 2016

Such an easy, delicious, and unique egg salad recipe. The onion and garlic jam provided an interesting flavor that made you forget that there were very few other ingredients in the salad. I used high-quality eggs from our farm share, and I'd recommend using super-fresh quality eggs for a rich flavor. It was missing some of the creaminess that I love in a classic egg salad. Still, with good ingredients, this egg salad is delicious.

Testers Choice
Trudy Ngo-Brown

Mar 26, 2016

This is probably not your grandma's mayo egg salad. The onion and garlic jam makes it seem so much more sophisticated and flavorful without a ton of effort. I served this as suggested with romaine hearts for lunch, and I nearly had the entire bowl! I had to add another 2 to 3 teaspoons oil while cooking the onion and garlic mixture because it started to stick to the pan.

Testers Choice
Ralph Knauth

Mar 26, 2016

I loved this egg salad recipe. Super easy, no mayo involved, very new and interesting taste, and a great low-calorie option (well, for egg salad, that is). We ate it spread on romaine leaves as an appetizer, and everybody loved it. The next day, I ate the leftovers over thinly sliced chicken breast, which was delightful as well. Definitely a keeper. I tried mashing everything with a spoon, a spatula, and a fork. The fork worked best by far.

Testers Choice
Ellen Fuss

Mar 26, 2016

This was not my grandmother's egg salad; nonetheless, it was delicious. When I read the recipe, I couldn't imagine that I would like it, but the first taste had me convinced otherwise. I made a half recipe and found that it worked perfectly. I used a Vidalia onion, as that was what I had on hand. Its sweetness proved to be delicious in this recipe. The taste reminded me of the egg and onion salad that they sell at my local bagel store. Mushrooms would be a great addition to this. Also, I usually throw out a couple of the yolks in the interest of lowering my cholesterol intake. I didn't do it this time, but I think that the final product would remain delicious for anyone who prefers more egg whites than yolks. We ate it as egg salad sandwiches on whole-grain bread, but I would imagine it would be fabulous on a freshly baked bagel or even some crackers. It would be great with a salad and would even be nice with a slice of beautifully ripened tomato or some avocado. It's egg salad. Everyone can figure out what to do with it. The important thing is that you will not miss the mayo. And the recipe simply involves a bit of chopping, peeling eggs, and mashing the salad together. Use plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Testers Choice
Anna Lvova

Mar 26, 2016

Very easy to make and very enjoyable, especially when you are very hungry and need something quick. (I like to keep the egg salad prepared in the refrigerator.) The onion was easy to mash with garlic after it was thoroughly cooked. I served it as a side salad with meat and on toast with a slice of tomato.

Testers Choice
Adrienne Lee

Mar 26, 2016

The aroma as the onion and garlic slowly cooked and the taste of the finished egg salad were fantastic. I had trouble smashing the cooked onions and garlic, so after everything was cooked, I gave it a whir in my food processor. This egg salad is slightly dry compared to one with mayonnaise. That's okay, though, because the flavor is really good. If you don't have hard-boiled eggs on hand, it will take another 10 to 15 minutes. Start the eggs before going on to the onions and garlic so that you aren't waiting around. I used pita bread and made sandwiches.

  1. Stu B. says:

    Does anyone else besides me recognize this recipe as just a slight modification of the old Jewish artery hardening classic, Schmaltz, Eggs and Onion appetizer? You season it with lots of salt, and then spread it on bread or crackers while you are dialing up your cardiologist.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      I’m not familiar with that, Stu, but I am all for schmaltz and look forward to trying that!

    • David Leite says:

      Stu, I do. Michael Ruhlman has a recipe for it. Sounds great.

    • Holly Strum says:

      I sure do——-My mother and grandmother made egg salad this way, only with schmaltz and a few smatterings of gribenes thrown in for good measure. It was scrumptious and I’m sure this will be just as good! Thanks for conjuring up those memories.

    • LB says:

      I do too, Stu. When I read the recipe I thought, “but it IS my grandmother’s recipe!”

  2. Sher Sosine says:

    This looks yummy, and I look forward to making it on Easter. Thanks!

  3. Stu B. says:

    Michael Ruhlman’s “The Book of Schmaltz”, page 33. Are you surprised? From Stu. I enjoy playing in the kitchen. Thank you David and Renee for giving me so much material.

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