Everyone tells me, on a regular basis, how gross they find mayonnaise. I understand the opinion: mayonnaise is basically egg whites and oil. It has a distinctly vinegary flavor that’s honestly kind of unpleasant. But I grew up dipping my french fries in it and slopping it on sub sandwiches, so it’s a condiment I love in spite of its glaring flaws.
Giving up mayonnaise when I went vegan wasn’t really difficult, because there are tons of vegan mayonnaise options. At the vegan cafe where I worked three years ago, our sauces and dips relied heavily on Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise, which has a semi-sweet flavor (almost akin to Miracle Whip, but not nearly as tangy). It’s great for things like pasta salads and chickpea melts, as well as homemade vegan ranch dressing.
Shortly before we went vegan, friends of ours introduced us to Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, which the company was almost forced to rename after complaints that it wasn’t “real mayo”. (Cue my eyes rolling at all the people who mock vegans for eating “fake food”…) Just Mayo is the most similar to what I remember of eggy mayo: it’s thick, tangy, but still savory, perfect for dips and spreads. It’s usually found with all the eggy mayos at our local Stop N Shop, which is awesome, because having to troll through the store looking for the vegan section can sometimes be a pain.
We’ve even tried Nasoya’s Nayonaise, which is honestly too liquidy for my taste. The texture just isn’t right. We took the jar we bought and turned it into chipotle mayo, which made it a little better, but it was still too runny to really work for our taste buds.
Recently, we bought a jar of Trader Joe’s Vegan Spread & Dressing on our weekly grocery run, spotting it in a shelf labeled with big, bright signs that said, NEW! It was $2.29 for a 15 oz. jar, making it less than half the price of a $5, 30 oz. jar of Just Mayo.
Trader Joe’s Vegan Dressing & Spread (inspired by mayo!) is just as thick as Just Mayo, though it has a slightly tangier taste (again, making it more akin to Miracle Whip). The jar size and price are perfect, especially if we need to make chipotle mayo, which we prefer to make in medium-sized batches that last us for a few weeks (or months, depending on our food cravings).
It’s also good on its own as a dip for french fries (my favorite! honestly!) or a spread for sandwiches and wraps. I usually only enjoy Just Mayo for the former purpose, so it’s nice to have another option in the fridge!
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by basically every vegan product I’ve ever purchased at Trader Joe’s, and this is no exception. If you’re a mayo fan, or if you find yourself in need of it for a recipe and don’t want to shell out for a big jar of a product you won’t use again, check it out!
And if you find yourself with extra, toss it in a food processor with some lime juice and chipotle peppers. Trust me.