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Creative Ways to Make Egg Salad Without Mayo

Egg salad is a delicious protein-filled dish to create. It’s easy to customize both the ingredients to include and the amount to make, whether it’s a personal batch with just a couple eggs or a big bowl for a crowd. Mayonnaise might seem like an integral ingredient, but there are many tasty ways to make egg salad without mayo. We will cover plenty of options, whether you like mayo but ran out, or if you want ideas that can mix up the taste of egg salad entirely. 

Many of these substitution suggestions are dairy-based — like cottage cheese or Greek yogurt — to offer creaminess, but we have other options to make egg salad mouthwatering without using mayo or dairy, such as loading up on mustard or mixing in vinaigrette. When you’re in the mood to truly mix things up, we have outstanding ideas that can provide a unique flavor profile to your eggs, like adding pesto and pumpkin puree. All of these suggestions are equally tasty, and you won’t care that the mayo isn’t there.

1. Swap mayo with cottage cheese for mild egg salad

cottage cheese in bowl

Mayo tends to have a distinct taste, so use cottage cheese in your egg salad when you want something more mild. Cottage cheese is a high-protein addition, but it also contains potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin A to provide nutritional balance to your egg salad. It will help the egg salad stick together, while offering a complementary texture that goes well with small pieces of eggs or other additions like red onion. 

However, if you’re someone who dislikes the texture of cottage cheese, you might want to try blending it to a smooth consistency. This way it’ll be clump-free, but the cottage cheese still provides a richness to your egg dish. Compile your egg salad ingredients and then slowly mix in the cottage cheese, since you don’t want it to be too runny. Less is more, and then you can always add another scoop if need be.

2. White beans provide a creamy consistency

bowl of white cannellini beans

White beans not only deliver plenty of protein, but they have a surprisingly creamy consistency, kind of like how mashed refried beans have a luxurious creaminess to them. Mash white beans so that the skin breaks and the insides get a chance to get smashed up. If you don’t want any lumps and bumps, you can use an immersion blender to get it as creamy as possible while also shredding the skins more. 

White beans can be navy beans, great Northern, cannellini, or baby lima beans. Any of these will work. You can boil and cook them from scratch, but canned beans work just as well and save you a lot of time. White beans can be the best egg salad ingredient swap for mayo haters, not to mention they provide a nutrient boost. For example, cannellini beans contain protein, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, and iron.

3. Make vinaigrette to keep egg salad together

fresh homemade vinaigrette

When you’re on the hunt for an egg salad recipe without mayo, you might come across vinaigrette as a key ingredient swap. Whether you use a pre-made vinaigrette or prepare it from scratch, this provides a tangy inclusion to switch up the taste profile of egg salad while helping the ingredients stick together. Vinaigrette is usually made with oil and vinegar as the main components, with salt and pepper added to taste, but there are plenty of variations. 

If you want to add nuance to the flavor of vinaigrette, additions like finely sliced shallots, chopped garlic, charred poblano, orange zest, or crushed cumin seeds are delectable possibilities, and all give egg salad new life. There’s a lot of variety when it comes to vinaigrettes. Also, different types of oils can be used, as well as rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. These customizations can work agreeably with egg salad. 

4. Pesto gives color and flavor to egg salad

pesto sauce and ingredients

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It might not be the first thing that comes to mind for egg salad, but pesto can be a powerhouse of flavor. It has olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and basil to enhance the flavor of this egg dish. It’s not the most traditional choice, but pesto is fantastic when you want an adventure with different flavors. It has a creamy component to help everything stick together, and it has more texture than mayonnaise would because it contains pieces of basil, pine nuts, garlic, and more. 

Whether you opt to make it yourself or want to use store-bought pesto, this substitution can offer a rich, herbal, nutty quality to your egg salad, as well as a slightly green hue. Eat pesto-enhanced egg salad alone, add a few dollops of it to your favorite piece of bread, or turn it into a sandwich along with lettuce, tomato, and onion. If you want something lighter, add a couple of scoops to a salad. 

5. Ranch dressing enhances egg salad

ranch dressing in a bowl

Ranch dressing is your secret to bringing out amazing flavor in egg salad. This is a wonderful way to use up a side of ranch that you might’ve gotten with chicken wings, or after going out for pizza. Perhaps you ran out of mayonnaise, but have a bottle of ranch in your refrigerator. Ranch is a quick method to give a tasty enhancement and creamy component to egg salad. It offers flavor, but also keeps everything stuck together. 

Both homemade and store-bought versions of ranch tend to contain mayonnaise ingredients — such as vegetable oil, egg yolks, and vinegar — along with other flavorings like onion and garlic, so it’s a bit more flavorful than your average mayo. You might find ranch dressings that have dill, mustard, and more. If you’re opposed to mayo entirely but want to use ranch, you can make this dressing without mayo by using sour cream instead. 

6. Greek yogurt is a tangy mayo alternative

homemade yogurt in glass jar

Make a creamy but tangy egg salad with Greek yogurt. It’s quite similar to mayo with its spreadability and consistency, but Greek yogurt also has a good amount of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12, calcium, iodine, potassium, and phosphorus. This provides a nutritional boost to your egg salad in a way that mayo can’t match. If you want to mimic the rich, fatty quality of mayo, opt for a low-fat or whole-milk Greek yogurt rather than a non-fat version. 

We love the way the yogurt blends into egg salad as a top mayo alternative. With Greek yogurt as its main ingredient, try adding tzatziki to your egg salad, as this introduces fresh ingredients like dill, garlic, lemon juice, and chopped cucumbers, all providing refreshing additions to a delicious egg salad sandwich. Use pita as your bread of choice, stuff it with egg salad, and then add red onion and sliced cucumber for extra crunch. 

7. Kick the flavor up a notch with mustard

different types of mustard

Since many egg salad recipes call for mustard, it’s almost a no-brainer to add more of this condiment instead of mayonnaise. We are partial to including spicy brown mayo in egg salad, but you can choose your favorite type or even mix and match. A combo such as spicy brown and wholegrain mustards gives you a hint of heat along with a bit of grit in every bite. 

Mustard does switch up the taste of egg salad — especially if you use a stronger mustard like Dijon or spicy brown mustard — simply because this condiment has a more potent flavor compared to mayo. It will also give a tinge of yellow to egg salad, and you’ll need to use a fair amount of mustard to help the ingredients stick together. However, if you’re a mustard lover, this is a great option to pack in a lot of flavor. Serve your egg salad however you wish, and then sprinkle on smoked paprika, fresh dill, or chopped chives for both flavor and aesthetic appeal.

8. Toss tahini or hummus into egg salad

bowl of hummus with chickpeas

Both hummus and tahini can be added to egg salad for a smooth and slightly nutty inclusion. Hummus is made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, so you could choose hummus over tahini simply because it has additional flavor components. Go for store-bought hummus or make it yourself. Either way, you might want to consider boosting the flavor with dill pickles or fresh herbs like parsley or chives, since these elements can enhance the taste of hummus with minimal effort. 

Alternatively, tahini packs a lot of flavor, so you can add this on its own for a slightly nutty taste that won’t overwhelm the other ingredients. Tahini and hummus act as a binder to hold the egg salad together. Tahini alone will offer a nuttier profile, whereas hummus is more mellow with its flavors of lemon juice, chickpeas, and other ingredients. 

9. Liven up egg salad with pumpkin puree

pumpkin puree in a bowl

If you’re looking for unique but delicious ways to make egg salad without mayo, consider pumpkin as an included ingredient. This captivating combination plays with earthy, slightly sweet pumpkins and savory eggs to create a luscious, colorful egg salad. Use the convenience of canned pumpkin puree, or make it from scratch with anything from a pie pumpkin to kabocha squash. 

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When making the puree yourself, you want to mash up or blend the pumpkin in a way to help the egg salad stick together. This is so that it has an even consistency, but if you don’t want it to be full-on creamy, mash it up a bit so that you’re not left with big pieces of pumpkin. 

Keep it minimal with pumpkin, salt, pepper, and hard-boiled eggs, or you could decide to jazz up this vibrant dish even more. Try including Dijon mustard for a kick, or diced carrots, cucumbers, or walnuts to add a bit of texture. While the pumpkin puree works as a binder, adding a soft spreadable cheese can give the egg salad creaminess, too. This is delicious as a sandwich with white or whole-wheat bread and sliced avocado.

10. Sour cream gives egg salad tanginess

bowl of sour cream

Sour cream is used in many dishes as a standalone ingredient, like when dolloped atop chili or nachos. But you’ll also often find sour cream as a mayo alternative for toppings like tartar sauce and ranch dressing, so it makes sense to use the ingredient in your egg salad. However, unlike ranch or tartar sauce — which both tend to have texture from its inclusions — sour cream is smooth. It can integrate easily into egg salad while also giving it a pleasant tang.

The richness and tartness of sour cream can provide a taste somewhat similar to mayonnaise. It’s a splendid option to bind egg salad while providing an extra-creamy addition to it. Find inspiration from sour cream and onion chips and add scallions to the mixture for color, or stick with onion powder for seamless integration. Sour cream makes a terrific launching point because you can pick other inclusions to give it more depth, like chives, baby spinach, or microgreens. 

11. Hot sauce or sriracha provides heat

bottles of hot sauce

Bust out your favorite hot sauce or sriracha to bring a bit of energy to your egg salad. Not only do these condiments help keep the items together, but they also provide a spicy boost that can be welcome in an otherwise creamy or eggy dish. Plus, you don’t have to do any chopping or have fresh peppers on hand, since hot sauces are conveniently bottled. If you omit mayonnaise from a spicy egg salad recipe, you can amp up the mustard, lemon juice, and sriracha as liquid components to keep the ingredients together. 

Hot sauce is a spicy and flavorful mayo replacement for when you want something other than classic egg salad, but you can still mix in a creamy component like sour cream, cream cheese, or Greek yogurt. This makes a delightfully spicy egg salad sandwich or lettuce wrap. You could also make egg salad with stuffed raw bell pepper. This is perfect for those who want to punch up a standard recipe.

12. Avocado adds creaminess to egg salad

avocado egg salad boats

Avocado is easily one of the most delicious ways to make egg salad without mayo, because it provides luscious consistency. It’s best to eat this right away to keep the avocado fresh without turning brown and looking a little sad. You can approach the avocado in different ways, depending on your texture preference. Fully mash it for the avocado to be smooth and creamy, acting like a green adhesive — or leave it chunky for a lightly mashed avocado that can provide texture similar to egg pieces and other inclusions. 

You could also make guacamole with lime juice, garlic, onion, and other ingredients to liven up egg salad even more with complementary ingredients that aren’t too far-fetched. Avocado egg salad is delicious and luxurious on a piece of toast. Double up on the green goodness by adding a heap of this egg salad onto half of an avocado, or use avocado-enhanced egg salad as a dip for tortilla chips. This version of egg salad is extra creamy with a rich, buttery consistency, so there’s no need for dairy.

13. Tartar sauce is a great mayo replacement

homeamde tartar sauce in bowl

It’s not just for fish — tartar sauce makes a flavorful and creamy substitute for mayo in egg salad. A simple tartar sauce recipe calls for mayonnaise, dill pickles, lemon juice, dill, and salt, but if you make the sauce yourself, you can also use vegan mayo, sour cream, or Greek yogurt for a similar taste without mayo. 

However, if you desire mayo but just don’t have any on hand, store-bought tartar sauce can be a good alternative since it usually has mayonnaise in it. Even if the ingredients list doesn’t say mayonnaise explicitly, tartar sauce often contains mayo components such as egg yolks, oil, and vinegar. 

Tartar sauce has an elevated flavor with the addition of pickles and dill, which can be a complementary choice for egg salad, especially if you’re someone who likes to make egg salad with dill pickles. Eat this with crackers, make it into a sandwich, or add a hefty scoop or two to a salad. Tartar sauce has a rich consistency that works to create a cohesive egg salad that pickle lovers will truly enjoy.

14. Forget a creamy element and load up on herbs

fresh herbs in containers

Plenty of interesting egg salad recipes include herbs, whether in the form of ranch dressing with dill or pesto with basil. Herbs provide dimension and color to egg salad, but take it up a notch by making nergizleme, one of many egg salad dishes from around the world. This is a Turkish specialty that’s often eaten for breakfast, but you can also eat it for lunch or dinner if you’re in the mood. This dish is completely mayo-free, and has a loose consistency without binding agents. 

Nergizleme is a refreshing dish filled with green herbs, which is almost like a leafy salad. It’s usually made with eggs, parsley, green onion, onion, mint, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. It’s considerably lighter than most egg salad recipes, since there’s no mayo, sour cream, or any type of dairy. 

This is a chunkier type of egg salad, with larger pieces of eggs and lots of herbs. While it’s not mixed with any dairy, you could squeeze in lemon juice and olive oil to act as a dressing. Serve this on a plate to eat with a fork, or with thin flatbread. There are some variations on the herb-to-egg ratio in different recipes; some have more eggs, but no matter which style you prepare, nergizleme is very herb-forward. 

15. Use cashew cheese in egg salad

vegan chipotle mayo

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Cashew cheese is often used as a mayonnaise substitute in vegan foods, and it can also serve as inspiration for a mayo-free egg salad. Make a delectable batch of vegan chipotle mayo with raw, unsalted cashews, along with chipotle peppers, cilantro, and a few other ingredients. This makes a thick, almost dip-like sauce that you can mix into your egg salad. This interpretation is loaded with flavor, from the mild nuttiness of the cashew to the spicy notes of chipotle peppers and sriracha, but a non-spicy vegan cheese sauce also works in egg salad, if you prefer.

Either way, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything. Egg salad made with cashew cheese has a creamy taste, especially if you sprinkle in nutritional yeast to boost the cheesy taste. This is one of the most delicious ways to make egg salad without mayo or any dairy-based ingredients. 

On top of that, cashews are a source of protein, and they also have magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. This version of egg salad is excellent for lettuce wraps, sandwiches, or eaten with tortilla chips.

16. Olive tapenade imparts a briny touch to egg salad

tapenade olive paste and olives

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Give egg salad a salty boost with the briny complexity of olive tapenade. For ease, use a pre-made tapenade that you buy from the store, or you can follow a tapenade recipe to make it from scratch with black olives, pimento-stuffed green olives, garlic, and a few other ingredients. Some store-bought tapenades include items like red bell pepper, zucchini, mustard, and balsamic vinegar, all of which make robust additions to egg salad.

Depending on the recipe, olive tapenade might be chunkier with larger pieces of olives, or it could include finely minced pieces with olive oil to help bind it together. Either version works to make an enticing egg salad that you can serve on sliced pieces of toasted baguette, like crostini. Just note that olives are usually quite salty, so you don’t have to add salt to your egg salad when using tapenade.

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