Nothing shy of a miracle. That’s what we’re thinking about this vegan mayo, which is made not from eggs or even nondairy milk but from aquafaba, the trendy ingredient found in so many vegan recipes. The taste is almost exactly like mayo. Though the consistency is slightly thinner, we can deal.

–Michelle Smith

What is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the term for the liquid in a can of chickpeas, or, as one of our recipe testers explains, “the magic that is aquafaba, an ingredient most of us were discarding a few years ago, and now find indispensable.” Surprisingly, this starchy liquid can be harnessed to create a vegan mayo, meringue, brownies, and more that are almost indistinguishable from the classic versions. You may have more aquafaba than you need from your can of beans, and another of our testers, Lisa Shepherd, shared her advice with us on how to salvage it and prevent food waste.

As she reminds us, aquafaba can be refrigerated up to 4 days and frozen up to 3 to 4 months. Just defrost naturally on the countertop in a bowl. You may want to freeze it in ice cube trays in premeasured amounts for ease of later use.

2 tablespoons of aquafaba = 1 egg white
3 tablespoons of aquafaba = 1 whole egg

A glass bowl of vegan mayo with a whisk resting on the side and three chickpeas scattered beside the bowl.

Vegan Mayo with Aquafaba

5 from 1 vote
This vegan mayo makes use of aquafaba, a fancy name for the liquid in a can of chickpeas, to whip up a dreamy, creamy, egg-free mayonnaise look-alike in just 15 minutes.
David Leite
Servings16 servings
Calories93 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • Immersion blender


  • 1/4 cup aquafaba (that’s the liquid found in a can of chickpeas), from one (14-ounce | 400-g) can of chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning (optional)
  • Pinch of granulated sugar (optional)
  • 3/4 cup oil (use all or mostly mild vegetable oil and a little light olive oil)


  • In a tall, wide-mouthed pint-size Mason jar or similar container, combine the aquafaba, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and sugar, if using.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Whether you use salt or not depends not just on personal preference but whether you’re using salted or unsalted aquafaba. Start by using less rather than more salt as you can always add a pinch more but can’t take it out once added.

  • Place an immersion blender in the liquid in the jar and blend until the liquid is combined and frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. You want the immersion blender to be at the bottom of your jar when you start. This is very important.
  • With the blender running, very, very slowly drizzle in the oil in a thin stream. Add it as slowly as humanly possible.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: The flavor of this mayo will depend upon your choice of oils.

  • Continue to add the oil as slowly as you can. It should take 5 to 10 minutes to add all of the oil. The mixture will at first be frothy as the emulsion forms and will eventually (usually just when you think you’ve failed) emulsify and thicken.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Your just mixed vegan mayo, may not seem as thick as regular mayonnaise, but it will thicken slightly more when refrigerated.

  • Taste and add a dash more lemon juice or salt, if desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Adapted From

The Whole Smiths Real Food Every Day

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 93 kcalCarbohydrates: 0.1 gProtein: 0.01 gFat: 11 gSaturated Fat: 1 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 0.04 gSodium: 40 mgPotassium: 1 mgFiber: 0.01 gSugar: 0.1 gVitamin A: 0.2 IUVitamin C: 0.1 mgCalcium: 0.2 mgIron: 0.01 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Michelle Smith. Photo © 2020 Deposit Photos. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This vegan mayo was quick and easy and tastes delicious. The only thing is that I would like it to be a little bit thicker. Otherwise it’s perfect.

I used a 15.5-ounce can of chickpeas. After measuring the 60 ml for the recipe, I was left with 100 ml, which I refrigerated. Aquafaba can be refrigerated up to 4 days and can be frozen up to 3 to 4 months. You can freeze it in ice cube trays.

2 tablespoons of aquafaba = 1 egg white

3 tablespoons of aquafaba = 1 whole egg

Just defrost naturally on the countertop in a bowl.

I did use a pinch of sugar, and researching I saw many recipes that use maple syrup instead of sugar. I used half canola oil and half light EVOO. Next time I would only use a few Tbs of the olive oil (flavor preference) and I want to try using avocado oil.

It took me 4 minutes and 20 seconds to add the oil and see the emulsion. I did not adjust the taste. It was perfect, although maybe I might try adding a touch of minced garlic. The recipe made enough to fill a 12-ounce glass jar.

My only change would be to try and get it a bit thicker.

My vegan experience is minimal. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have never tasted a commercially prepared vegan mayonnaise. Not sure if that’s good or bad in this instance, but I think maybe good—I am open to a Hellman’s alternative so my son will eat more of my previously rejected mayo-added dishes.

The preparation of this mayonnaise did not veer terribly far from making a traditional homemade mayo. The only difference, basically, is substituting the egg with aquafaba. It went together quickly and it’s FINE. It’s not Hellman’s or Dukes, but it’s vegan and it’s its own incarnation of our good old American mayo. Thanks for a nice substitution.

I did NOT use sugar. I used a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and canola oil. I used the hi-speed feature on my immersion blender and it took 3 to 4 seconds to become frothy. It took 5 1/2 minutes to become completely emulsified and thickened. I was slightly concerned at the end that all of the oil would not be incorporated, but it was. I added a bit more salt at the end. In the future, I may add some herbs or horseradish. Just because.

This vegan mayonnaise recipe features the magic that is aquafaba, an ingredient most of us were discarding a few years ago, and now find indispensable.

The flavor of this mayo will depend upon your choice of oils. I chose a mixture of 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup safflower oil. With this combination, I could taste the olive oil, but it didn’t overpower the other ingredients.

What I really loved about the final product was that I could taste the olive oil, the mustard, and the lemon, but no one flavor dominated the others. If the flavor of olive oil isn’t going to be appropriate for your intended use, you can always go with only the neutral oil. I did find myself tempted to add just a bit of truffle oil at the end. I refrained, but I’ll probably do it in a future batch. I used this mayo as a dip for roast potatoes and okra, and it was lovely.

One piece of advice: be patient. Add the oil slowly, only as fast as it can be fully incorporated into the mixture, and don’t expect the mayonnaise to get thick until almost all the oil has been added. Patience will reward you with a vegan mayo that is better than what you can buy and can be customized to your taste.

A 15-oz can of chickpeas gave me more aquafaba than needed for the recipe. I did use a pinch of sugar. It took 1 minute of blending to get the initial aquafaba mixture thoroughly foamy. It took almost 10 minutes to work the oil into the mixture.

When adjusting the seasonings, I added a bit more salt, but then I used unsalted beans for my aquafaba. With regular, salted chickpeas, I doubt I would have wanted additional salt. I also added a few drops more lemon juice at the end.

One 400 gr can if chickpeas has more than 1/4 cup of aquafaba.

I used sugar then realized that it changed the taste (and not the way I wanted), so added more salt to fix that. I needed to add more lemon juice and black pepper to adjust the flavor. I have blended for 2 minutes until frothy and then extra 7 minutes to completely thicken, though it thickens even more once refrigerated.

I got 50 ml of the mayo.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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