French mayonnaise is probably the most famous cold sauce.

French mayonnaise is probably the most famous cold sauce. And there are certainly many variations of the recipe. I’m offering you the recipe I learned while living in France where every woman knows how to make it or at least it seamed to me they all knew. In France they typically use mayonnaise as a base for other sauces like sauce Béarnaise, sauce Hollandaise and Aioli. You can also use it straight on hot or cold fish, cold meats and seafood.

Some people make mayo using a blender, however, I prefer just a regular whisk. It takes me a minute to whip it together. And I know it because someone actually timed me when I was demonstrating the recipe during one of my Restart classes. In addition, there is no need to clean up the blender at the end!

Why make your own mayo vs buying it at a store?

My biggest concern when it comes to commercial mayos is the quality of oils. Because oil is the main ingredient in mayonnaise by volume it’s important that the right kind of oil is used. And the majority of the brands will have a combination of vegetable oils that might include Canola, soybean, safflower, sunflower, corn etc. And these fats are very fragile, meaning they get oxidized very easily. They surely get oxidized during the extended processing involving extracting, degumming, bleaching, and deodorizing. You can read more about the best oil choices in my article Stock your pantry with healthy ingredients.

Even if you read on the front label “made with Olive oil” and see the picture of olives it’s typically not the only oil that’s in there. I invite you to check the back of the label, read the list of the ingredients! You will most likely see other oils or water as number one ingredient. 

I was able to find some brands that use only avocado oil: Primal Kitchen, Chosen Foods, Sir Kensington. However, these are very pricy. And my recipe of French mayonnaise tastes better, in my opinion:)

Should I be concerned about egg yolks and my cholesterol level?

The short answer is no, I’m not concerned and you shouldn’t be. As a nutritionist I have read so many studies that support either one or the other position. Some studies say eggs bring your cholesterol up and contribute to heart disease. Other studies say dietary cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease regardless of whether or not they raise blood cholesterol. If you want dig deep and really study the question I invite you to read Gary Taubes’ “Good calories, bad calories”. I made peace with the topic after reading this book and now enjoy my mayo any time I want.

French mayonnaise

French mayonnaise


2 egg yolks 
1 tsp mustard, preferably Dijon
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 cup olive or avocado oil, or the mix of the two
2 tsp lemon juice
Black pepper and salt to taste

  1. Make sure all ingredient are room temperature. I usually start by separating the egg yolks from the whites, placing them into a round bowl and leaving them out for a couple of minutes to warm up. Meanwhile, I do my “ mise-en-place” which means I take all the other ingredients out.
  2. Add mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper to the egg yolks.
  3. Take a kitchen towel, make it wet, ring out all extra water and place it under the bowl to stabilize it. Start dripping the oil slowly into the bowl constantly mixing using a whisk.
  4. Slowly keep adding the oil in as the mixture thickens and until all the oil is absorbed.
  5. Mix in lemon juice, taste to see if you need to adjust the seasoning. 
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