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Hey-o! Let's rock that may-o!

By Vanessa Greaves
February 19, 2021
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It's one of those everyday pantry items you take for granted, but did you know you can do a whole lot more with a jar of mayonnaise than make sandwiches and egg salad? Nicole McLaughlin, aka NicoleMcmom, shows you 25 unexpected ways to use mayonnaise — in recipes and around the house. Even mayo-haters can find a use for it.

Why is Mayonnaise a Mighty Multitasker?

a spoon in a jar of mayonnaise
Credit: Allrecipes Magazine

Mayonnaise is an emulsion of egg yolks and oil blended together with a little acidity for brightness, plus other optional flavorings and seasonings to make a thick and creamy sauce or condiment. You can buy jars of prepared mayonnaise or make it at home, and because it's mostly eggs and oil, mayonnaise can be used as an ingredient substitute or added to a recipe to enhance the texture. And as you'll see as you scroll down, you can use the oil in mayo to perform some pretty surprising jobs that have nothing to do with food.

25 Ways To Use Mayonnaise

  1. Alfredo: Craving Alfredo Sauce but out of cream? You can substitute mayonnaise and milk to recreate that creamy texture. It might not taste exactly the same, but it will do in a pinch
  2. Pancakes: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons to pancake batter to make extra fluffy flapjacks.
  3. Scrambled Eggs: Whisk 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise into 2 eggs for a silky scramble. Try it out with Scrambled Eggs Done Right.
  4. Mashed Potatoes: Making mashers with sour cream? Add a little mayo, too.
  5. Biscuits: You'll need only 3 ingredients to make these Easy Mayonnaise Biscuits, and one of them is obviously mayo.
  6. Burgers: Sometimes you sacrifice a lot of juiciness when you make burgers using lean ground beef. The solution: Add mayo to the mix and cook as usual.
  7. Egg Wash: Brush mayo onto your pie crust before baking to fancy up the finish.
  8. Roast Chicken: Nicole rubs a whole chicken with a mixture of mayo, honey, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and lemon zest before roasting to a golden brown. You're going to want to try her recipe for Mayo-Roasted Chicken.
  9. Frosting: Add a dab of mayonnaise to frosting to make it extra creamy.
  10. Marinades: Mayo in your marinade adds delicious fat and flavor. Try it in this recipe for Crispy Chicken with Soy-Mayo Sauce and with marinated pork chops.
  11. Grilling: Brushing mayo onto lean proteins like fish and chicken helps keep them from sticking on the grill.
  12. Grilled Cheese: Grilled cheese lovers adore this trick: Spread the outsides of your grilled cheese sandwich before frying to make the most delectably crispy crust ever.
  13. Breading: Substitute mayonnaise for egg wash when you're breading meats, chicken, or fish to cut a 3-step process down to 2. Try it with this recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken.
  14. Binder: Mayo is the "glue" that hold together crabcakes and casseroles.
  15. Ice Cream. No, really. Check it out this recipe for Mayonnaise Ice Cream.
  16. Chocolate Cake: The eggs and oil in mayonnaise make cakes extra moist. Try this recipe for Chocolate Mayo Cake.
  17. Get Gum Out of Hair: If you've ever had a child under your care, you might already know this trick. Just rub mayo around the sticky mess and slide out the gum. Disaster averted.
  18. Hair Conditioner and DIY Lice Remedy: To use as a hair conditioner, massage a cup or so of mayonnaise into dry hair, cover with a shower cap, and leave on for 20 minutes. Shampoo and rinse. Note: Using mayonnaise to "suffocate" and remove lice is a folk remedy that isn't effective for removing the eggs they leave behind..
  19. Remove Price Tags: The oil in mayonnaise helps remove the tag and the sticky residue.
  20. Cuticle Cream: Rub a bit into your cuticles to moisturize.
  21. Polish House Plants: Use a soft, dry cloth to rub on a dab of mayo to turn dull leaves shiny.
  22. Loosen Tight Rings: It's that oil again, this time helping to slide a tight ring off your finger.
  23. Soothe Sunburns: While mayonnaise won't actually heal your sunburn, it will help it feel better.
  24. Remove Water Rings: Did "someone" forget to use a coaster under a drink on a wooden surface? Cover the spot with mayonnaise and leave it on for a few hours. Wipe with a clean cloth.
  25. Remove Crayon Marks: Dampen a cloth and use it to rub mayonnaise onto those mini masterpieces and wipe clean. Sorry, kids.

You can connect with Nicole as NicoleMcmom on Allrecipes and on Instagram @nicolemcmom.

More tips, tricks, and ideas from Nicole: