Five ways to cook and bake with mayo, for lovers and haters alike

Mayo's thick texture and tangy flavour make it a natural in all sorts of dips and dressings.
Mayo's thick texture and tangy flavour make it a natural in all sorts of dips and dressings.  Photo: William Meppem

People tend to have strong opinions about mayonnaise, whether they love it or loathe it. After many years as a sceptic, I've come around to its merits.

Even so, it's easy to buy a jar for one particular recipe or use and then have a lot of it left over, destined to languish in the refrigerator. (For the record, the USDA's Food Keeper App recommends using open mayonnaise within two months.)

Here are few different ideas beyond spreading it inside your sandwich to help make a dent in your mayo supply.

Ma po tofu jaffle. Toasties and jaffle recipes for Good Food June 2019. Please credit Katrina Meynink. Good Food use only.

Take Katrina Meynink's ma po tofu jaffle next level with some mayo on the outside. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Use on the outside of grilled sandwiches. My grilled cheese sandwiches entered a whole new level of golden and crispy when I started spreading mayo on the outside of the bread instead of using another fat to grill it in the skillet. The colour and flavour can't be beat, especially when compared to oil or, arguably, butter. Just keep an eye on the sandwich, as I have found the window for not burning the outside with mayo is smaller.

Slather it on poultry. Much like sandwiches, the skin of your chicken or turkey will reach new heights when you incorporate mayo into whatever you coat the meat with. Here's a tidbit from cookbook author and recipe developer Ali Slagle: "Mayo acts as a preventive coating to anything that you'd like to brown, including grilled steaks, skillet chicken thighs and grilled cheese. As mayonnaise cooks, its own [contentious] flavour dissipates, but because it's a great carrier of flavour, any ingredients you stirred into it can cook and bloom without burning."

Neil Perry recipe : Barbecued marinated chicken with spicy mayonnaise
Photograph by William Meppem (photographer on contract, no restrictions) 

Neil Perry's barbecued marinated chicken with spicy mayonnaise. Photo: William Meppem

Add it to dips and dressings. Mayo's thick texture and tangy flavour make it a natural in all sorts of dips and dressings. A tablespoon or two added to dips can lend heft and taste in a concentrated package. Similarly, consider using mayo as a binder in other dishes, such as crab cakes.


Bake with it. You'll find plenty of retro, or retro-inspired, chocolate cake recipes that call for mayo. After all, it includes eggs and oil, two primary baking ingredients. Fans will tell you it makes cakes even more moist and tender, too.

Jill Dupleix recipe for Good Food :?Full Steam - Steamed blue eye with aioli Photograph by William Meppem

Make aioli from scratch with Jill Dupleix's recipe or cheat a little and make with mayo. Photo: William Meppem

Make a cheater's aioli. Before I upset anyone, let me say that I know aioli is a garlicky sauce similar to mayonnaise that's popular in Spain and the Mediterranean. However, I'm not the first one to say that you can capture a similar vibe by starting with mayo. In the US, aioli has come to also mean basically a flavoured mayo.

The Washington Post