Homemade Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

by Ann Marie Michaels on June 1, 2009

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My family loves mayonnaise. We use it in all kinds of things: tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad, and deviled eggs. However, I never buy mayo in the store. I always make homemade mayonnaise.

Why go to the trouble of homemade mayonnaise? Storebought mayonnaise is full of industrial oils you do not want to put in your mouth. Like soybean and canola oil. Soybean oil is damaging to your thyroid. It slows your metabolism and can lead to hypothyroidism and breast cancer. And what about canola oil?

Canola oil comes from the rape seed, which is part of the mustard family of plants. Rape is the most toxic of all food-oil plants. Like soy, rape is a weed. Insects will not eat it; it is deadly poisonous! The oil from the rape seed is a hundred times more toxic than soy oil. Source

Also, both canola and soybean oils are made from genetically modified crops. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have documented health risks. GMOs are also a menace to our environment and threaten our global food supply. I go out of my way to actively avoid GMOs. (Join me and take the No GMO Challenge! I started doing it for 30 days, but I’m going to continue doing it until we get the GMOs out of our food supply.)

The ingredients in this homemade lacto-fermented mayonnaise recipe are real olive oil, egg yolks, a little mustard, sea salt, and that’s it. Plus a little fresh whey — which is what makes it lacto-fermented. Not only does it have the benefit of making this mayo probiotic (like yogurt, it helps repopulate your gut with good bacteria), but it also gives it a longer shelf life. You can keep it in the fridge for several months. Without the whey, it will only keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

It is important to use pastured eggs for this recipe. You’ll be eating the egg yolks raw, which is very healthy and safe when using pastured eggs. Factory farm eggs, and even “free-range” or “cage-free” eggs are rife with pathogens like salmonella. They are also much less nutritious. Click here to read about the difference between pastured eggs and free-range eggs.

Lastly, use REAL olive oil. The New Yorker magazine published an article in 2007 about how most olive oils are adulterated with cheap, rancid oils. How to tell if it’s real? Know your grower. If you’re buying olive oil in great big jugs at Costco, it’s most likely adulterated.

Homemade Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups


Blender or food processor (optional: you can use a whisk)


Pastured egg yolks ,room temperature (3)
Olive oil (1 1/2 – 2 cups) — — where to buy olive oil
Lemon juice or wine vinegar (3-5 tsp)
Sea salt (1/2 tsp) — where to buy sea salt
Mustard (1/4 tsp)
Whey, from kefir or yogurt instructions on how to make whey (2-3 tablespoon)


1. Mix the egg yolks for 1-2 minutes. If using cold (not room temperature), mix a few minutes more. This is the key to mayonnaise that will set. If you use cold egg yolks, the mayo will not set unless they are warmed up in the blender (or whisked long enough in a warmed bowl).

2. Add the lemon juice (or vinegar), sea salt, and mustard. Mix for 30 seconds more.

3. With the blender running, add the olive oil drop by drop. When I say drop by drop, I mean drop by drop. Or at least a very thin, slow stream. This is the other very important element for making a mayo that will emulsify. If you go too fast, you’ll end up with runny mayonnaise.

4. Once you’ve added about 1/2 a cup of olive oil, the sauce should have thickened into a heavy cream, and now you can add the oil in a thicker stream. Not too fast, though (especially if you are a beginner). If the mayo becomes too thick, add a few more drops of lemon juice or vinegar.

5. Blend in the whey. Spoon into a mason jar, cover with a lid, and leave it on the counter or in a cupboard (at room temperature) for several hours. Then transfer to the fridge.

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Watch Lindsey of Homemade Mommy Make Fermented Mayo

My friend, Lindsey Gremont shows you how easy it is to make this mayonnaise:

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{ 153 comments… read them below or add one }

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Liz March 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

How long does this mayo last?


Melissa April 5, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I love this recipe but… The ratio of eggs to oil is always off for me. I need about 6 egg yolks to get the mayo to set. Made it twice now following this exactly and had to “repair” the mayo by starting over because it didn’t emulsify :(. That being said I just up it to 6 eggs and voila! Perfect mayo! I am wondering what kind of olive oil do you use? Extra Virgin always is too strong of an “olive oily” taste to me. I prefer a light tasting olive oil. Most big box store olive oil isn’t an option for me ( I want actual olive oil not a canola oil blend, eek). I know that a late harvest olive oil tastes lighter. Any suggestions for any light tasting olive oils?


Janet June 5, 2013 at 11:07 AM

You should try this method for making mayo: http://themeanestmomma.com/2012/03/13/paleo-mayo-2-0/. It’s as fool proof and easy as it gets. I have never had a problem getting good mayo using it. A couple of things to remember, though a) ingredients need to be at room temperature and b) the container needs to be just slightly bigger in diameter than the immersion blender (so that the oil is not pulled down too quickly into the mixture). I could never make mayo correctly until I tried this. Every other method I used was a total failure.

I often use a combination of oils besides olive including hazelnut, walnut or macadamia nut (I typically use at least 1/2 a cup of olive oil and then 1/4 cup of two other oils just to add a different combination of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids).


Emily June 29, 2013 at 5:12 AM

Thank you so much for posting a link to the paleo mayo! Definitely looks easier and I can’t wait to try it!!


Ashley April 11, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Is there a way to make this without the whey? What if you can’t have dairy? Thanks!


Ashley April 11, 2013 at 11:54 AM

And have it be more long lasting I mean…I see you can obviously make it without but then it doesn’t last as long right?


Annie September 11, 2014 at 8:37 PM

I make mayo all the time without whey and in the fridge it lasts a very long time. I’ve had it last over a month and it was fine. Using whey just adds a nice probiotic edge which is a good thing. But mayo doesn’t have to have whey to turn out great and long lasting…in my humble opinion


julielu September 21, 2014 at 9:18 PM

substitute unpasteurised apple cider vinegar (acv) to provide both acidity and probiotics.


julielu September 21, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Please advise what is fermenting in this mayonnaise? There does not appear anything for the fermenting organisms to feed on….


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Vince Bae June 17, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Thank you for the great information!
This is exactly what I want to know for a long time.
I have one question.
I’m making water kefir at home, and I’d like to know if water kefir would work instead of whey.


Lucia June 21, 2013 at 6:30 PM

This is what my friends in France make =) Is this a French recipe?


anne mccranie June 21, 2013 at 7:05 PM

I am posting a chicken salad recipe in my newsletter/ website/ facebook next month. May I include a link to this recipe?


Nourished For Free June 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Just got finished making a quart of this mayonnaise and letting it ferment now :) I’m running out of counter space with so much stuff fermenting all over the kitchen! Kefir, kombucha, hard apple cider, apple cider vinegar, and now mayonnaise :) Thanks, AnnMarie!


Jillian June 28, 2013 at 8:56 PM

If you don’t add whey do you still need to let it sit out on the counter before you put the mayo in the fridge?


Stephanie August 29, 2013 at 3:47 PM

I have been making my mayo for years now and I use plain olive oil ( not extra virgin) because I find extra virgin to have too strong of a flavor. As a result I use the big jug from Costco. I want to use real olive oil but I also want my mayo to taste like mayo not olive oil. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? Perhaps a brand of real olive oil that is not extra virgin?


Ruth August 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

I prefer to make mayo with grape seed oil or rice bran oil. If I use olive oil, I only use 1/4 olive oil (or less) and the rest a milder oil.

I’m also wondering about alternatives to whey, and how long this lasts. I’m tired of having to make mayo every few days- I miss having a jar in the pantry for emergencies.


Chuck September 5, 2013 at 1:31 PM


Costco’s Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil may be the best-kept secret in the store. At $9.99 for 1.5 liters, it is roughly half the cost of the well-known Bertolli brand, and yet, according to at least one independent study, it’s much better. In a recent comparison of 19 olive oils on the market, The Olive Center, a research group at the University of California-Davis, found that Kirkland Organic was one of only five in the study not mixed with cheaper refined olive oil that can spoil the taste. The other four at the top of the list were all high-end brands that cost as much as five times Costco’s. Make sure you buy the Costco version that’s labeled organic, though, as opposed to the one that’s simply called “extra virgin olive oil.” It’ll cost a little bit more, but it’s worth it.


Chuck September 5, 2013 at 1:33 PM

oops pasting link did not work
from http://www.cbsnews.com slash 8301-505145_162-51484582/5-things-you-should-buy-at-costco/

5 Things You Should Buy at Costco

Costco may not be the best example, grocery store olive oils had as many problems in lab tests


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gayle September 12, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Costco brand (kirkland) was recently tested with other brands and found to be authentic


Wendy September 12, 2013 at 6:38 PM

I just made this the other day. However, I forgot and left the mayo out overnight. It was out for about 18 hours. Think it’s still ok? Thanks!


Alice September 17, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I tried to make mayo once using my Vita Mix and the dang thing got so hot on the bottom while I ever-so-slowly drizzled in the olive oil that I ended up with weirdly cooked mayo. It tasted gross so I threw it out. Will a food processor work better?


Janet September 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Actually, it’s much easier to do with an immersion blender. See the instructions here: http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/10/the-food-lab-homemade-mayo-in-2-minutes-or-le.html


Ruth September 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM

I use my food processor for making mayo all the time. I’ve never tried with my immersion blender- I think that would hurt my hand too much, since mine requires me to hold the button in for it to work.


Janet September 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM

You don’t have to hold very long, though. It takes me less than a minute to make it this way.. It’s *much* faster than the slow dribbling process used in traditional blenders or food processors. It starts to emulsify almost immediately. You just need to make sure your ingredients are at room temperature and that the container you use is only a little bit wider than the end of the blender. That way the oil sits above the blades so when you turn it on, the blades pull the oil down at just the right speed to emulsify. Then as the bottom of the container fills with emulsified mayo, you raise the blender up to incorporate the rest of the oil.


Amanda October 28, 2013 at 7:39 AM

Does anyone know why my oil could be separating on the top of the jar after 1-2 weeks? I used a combo of olive and avocado oils.

Also …. I cannot find the answer to this anywhere – how long will this mayo last in the fridge (why the whey added and fermented on counter for 8hrs) ?? I’ve heard 2 months, but I’m not too sure about mine after about one month.



Jen November 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Think idid something wrong with the recipe. My mayo has a strange metallic aftertaste. How can I fix it?


Third November 13, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Metallic aftertaste sounds a bit off to me, should not be there!
Nor have i countered any separating, but then again, my mayo doesnt last in the fridge even for a week. That may be cause it gets devoured so quickly!
I dont use whey for the age anymore either, for the aforementioned reason..
Just handwhisked mayo, one yolk, teaspoon mustard, cork of white wine vinegar, (generous) half tea spoon honey, salt & pepper, 1-2 cups olive oil (2-5 desilitre). Have to adjust the measures to taste, depending on the amount of oil you may need a pooload of vinegar extra or honey or whatever your mouth desires!
They sell a good light (light in taste!) olive oil in Finland, which makes a mayo fit for the gods…
This recipe is the startng point for me, so many heartful thanks to Ann Marie!


Deb November 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Total waste of organic, free range eggs, and high dollar olive oil. Tried two times, both flops. Tried this recipe , http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/10/two-minute-mayonnaise.html , added whey at the end, fermenting now. Extremely quick, and it works!


Su January 6, 2014 at 8:18 AM

This Mayo recipe is easier than the one I’d found a while back! I wanted to share something about a different oil to use with everyone.

I use home-pressed pinion pine oil (Hat tip to the documentary, “Happy People: A Year In the Taiga.” I was able to increase my “harvest” with a mallet) because the trees grow wild around here and someone gave me an antique shucker and a press. I even use this oil instead of olive oil in pesto and I use the nuts as a very cost effective substitute for pinoli nuts.
If food quality truly matters to you, and you are up for it, look into making your own oil. For 2 good hours of work, I saved around $200 in just the nuts. To put this into perspective, a person who makes $25/ hour working yields $200 for an 8 hour day. Effectively, it is like getting paid $100 per hour on the weekends part-time without being taxed, compared to working overtime at time-and-a-half for $37.50 per hour. I can say it enough. Make your own!


William February 19, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Yogurt cultures ferment best between 105 and 112 degrees. If left at room temperature, how can the cultures in the whey called for in this recipe ferment?


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Sarah Snyder March 2, 2014 at 6:41 PM

What if I use 2 whole eggs instead of 3 egg yokes? Would it still work or do I need yoke only? My chickens haven’t been laying very many eggs so it’s hard for me to save up the eggs but I want to try this.


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Katie May 27, 2014 at 9:09 AM

If I made my mayo the other day without adding the whey can I just take it out of the fridge and add the whey today to ferment it, or is it too late now that it’s been prepared and refrigerated for a couple days?


melody July 15, 2014 at 6:41 AM

This is a great recipe. I have been trying to figure out ways to make my own mayo at home because mayo from the store can be expensive and I do not want anything including GMOs.
One thing about soy is that not all soy is GMO. There is a misconception that soy is bad for you but really it contains phytoestrogens which bind to estrogen receptors which sounds bad but it is good because when it binds to the receptors it stops the stronger circulating estrogen from binding to the receptors.
In rare cases people can be very sensitive to phytoestrogens they could get estrogen side effects but you would have to eat a lot of soy in order for that to happen.
I eat soy every day and my body fat is very low and I am very lean. So don’t rule out soy!


Salem Thorup July 21, 2014 at 5:29 PM

My family and I do not like the flavor of olive oil mayonnaise, so we have been using avocado oil to make our mayonnaise. Is there any reason why we shouldn’t use avocado oil? Also, do you know if avocado oil is known to be adulterated like olive oil often is? If avocado is not an ideal choice, what other oils (preferably of milder flavor) could we use to make mayo? could we use expeller pressed, unfiltered sunflower oil?


Anjali February 17, 2015 at 8:12 AM

Please include a mayonnaise WITHOUT EGGS and fermented, could you?


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