I’m up for a good egg salad anytime of the year, but it’s especially good during the long hot summer months. There’s only one thing I don’t love about traditional egg salad: the mayo.
Let me rephrase that. I love the taste of mayo, I just don’t like the junky ingredients and processing involved to make store-bought mayo.
So the question is….
How To Make Egg Salad (Taste Good) Without Mayo?
Let’s face it: mayo is an essential ingredient in any conventional egg salad recipe that is actually worth eating. Without the mayo your egg salad will likely be dry, blah and rather unappetizing.
Why then would you want to make egg salad without the mayo? Because unless you make your own mayonnaise from scratch, there is not one single nationally distributed mayonnaise brand (at least not that I know of!) that meets our anti-inflammatory “Clean Cuisine” whole foods guidelines.
Every single store-bought mayo I have ever come across is made with some type of refined/ pro-inflammatory omega-6 rich vegetable oil (most often in the form of soybean oil). Even Hellmann’s “Olive Oil” Mayonnaise has more soybean oil than olive oil! Plus, since the only way to keep the eggs in commercial mayonnaise shelf-stable is to pasteurize them, all store-bought brands of mayonnaise contain pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs have been exposed to very high heat, which decreases their nutritional content, specifically reducing the levels of heat-sensitive vitamins, such as riboflavin, thiamin and folic acid.
Thus, I don’t like to use store-bought mayonnaise in egg salad or any other recipe for that matter.
What then do I use in place of mayo for my egg salad recipe? If you Google how to make egg salad without mayo the most popular substitutes are yogurt and avocado. Since I am not a big fan of dairy and because I don’t like the idea of a tangy-tasting egg salad, the yogurt doesn’t appeal to me. The avocado does work, but it leaves your egg salad looking green, which isn’t optimal from a visual standpoint.
Hands down, the best-tasting and most convenient mayo substitute in egg salad is hummus. It contributes the perfect rich, creamy texture, has a neutral flavor and doesn’t turn your egg salad a funky color.
Substituting Hummus for Mayo in Classic Egg Salad Recipe
If you want to make your own hummus, I love the classic hummus recipe by David Lebovitz, which combines tahini (sesame seed butter) with extra virgin olive oil (an unrefined, antioxidant and phytonutrient-rich oil that boosts your body’s ability to absorb anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.) If you don’t have time to make your own hummus, just look for a store-bought hummus made with extra virgin olive oil and/ or tahini, such as Baba Foods brand. Note: be sure to avoid store-bought hummus made with pro-inflammatory, refined omega-6 rich vegetable oils such as soybean oil, pure vegetable oil, canola oil, etc. You even want to avoid hummus brands such as Athenos that list “olive oil” rather than “extra virgin olive oil” on their ingredients list because any olive oil other than “extra virgin” has been processed.
How To Make Egg Salad with an Egg-Free/ Oil-Free Mayo
If you absolutely can’t get past the idea of making egg salad without mayo, then you can substitute the hummus in the recipe below with my homemade mayo recipe.
How To Make Egg Salad More Nutritious
And finally, if you want to really boost the health benefits of your egg salad, serve it with a salad and some raw veggies! I came across this TIME magazine article showing that adding eggs to your raw veggie salad can boost the bioavailability of the antioxidants and phytonutrients substantially. A new study shows the carotenoid absorption is increased almost ninefold!
Also, if you are concerned about the nutritional content of your egg salad, it is important to choose the healthiest and most nutrient-dense eggs. Ideally you would buy organic pastured eggs, but if you had to choose between one or the other, going with pastured eggs would be your most nutritious bet. Click HERE to read more.
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- 6 organic (pastured eggs (such as Vital Farms))
- 3/4 cup hummus
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Cook the eggs 10 minutes in a saucepan of simmering water to cover. Drain, cool under cold running water, and peel.
- Roughly mash the eggs in a large mixing bowl with the hummus, mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice. Season with onion powder and salt to taste. Fold in the celery and dill. Serve on toast.