Rich, creamy, and thick, this vegan oil-free mayo is perfect for slathering on burgers and sandwiches. Made with cashews, silken tofu, and seasonings, it's egg-free, WFPB, and dairy-free. Even though it's low-fat for mayonnaise, it tastes like mayo should: decadent!
Want to save this post?
Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox. Plus, I'll send you quick & simple plant-based recipes every week!
🧄 Ingredient notes
- Raw cashews - Cashews give this vegan mayo richness without adding oil. Use raw, unroasted, unsalted cashews for this and be sure to soak them first, so they blend easier. Costco has a good price on raw cashews here in Houston. Or, buy cashews in bulk on Amazon.
- Silken tofu - Silken tofu serves several functions in this recipe. It helps emulsify the mayo, brings down the overall calorie density of this mayo, lowers the fat content, and increases the protein. I recommend Morinu Organic Silken Tofu (firm) for this recipe. Silken tofu needs a little extra help in the flavor department, hence the extra spices and little bit of sugar to prevent any bitterness.
- Soy milk - Instead of water, we're using soy milk to amp up the richness, creaminess and thickness of this mayonnaise. I used Trader Joe's Organic Soymilk in the shelf-stable containers. Be sure the soy milk you're using is unsweetened and unflavored/plain.
- Dijon mustard - Important for flavor in this mayonnaise. Use it if you can. I recommend the Whole Foods 365 brand dijon mustard.
- Black salt - The pinch of ground black salt (kala namak) in this recipe adds an eggy flavor and aroma, which mimics traditional mayonnaise. The smell lessens with time, so it'll be strongest when you first make it. Find it online, at Indian grocery stores, or at Asian grocery stores. Omit it if you can't find it or don't want the hint of sulphur smell.
📋 Substitutions and variations
Here are some suitable substitutions for the ingredients in this recipe:
- Raw cashews - instead of raw, unroasted cashews, you could use raw sunflower seed kernels or tender white beans for their creamy texture.
- Silken tofu - double the cashews and soy milk instead of using silken tofu in this mayo recipe. Or, substitute with 2 cups of tender cooked white beans.
- Soy milk - use another mild, neutral-tasting plant-based milk that is unsweetened and unflavored (no vanilla). Good options besides soy milk are: almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk or coconut milk.
- Lemon juice - can be substituted for apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Sugar - substitute with agave nectar or brown rice syrup, which have a similar neutral flavor
- Mustard powder - substitute with an extra teaspoon of dijon mustard
- Seasoned salt - can be substituted with extra sea salt or black salt
- Black salt - omit the kala namak black salt if you don't have it (it adds a slight eggy flavor to the mayo)
- Nut-free - make a nut-free vegan mayo using this recipe instead. Or, you can substitute the cashews for raw sunflower seed kernels.
Switch things up with these variation ideas!
- Spicy Chipotle Mayo - add 1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the blender to make a spicy chipotle mayo
- Fat-free Miracle Whip Substitute - using just silken tofu to make mayo will make it virtually fat-free and very low-calorie. It will be thick and creamy, but not quite as rich tasting as this version.
- Spicy Mayo for Sushi - mix a teaspoon of sriracha and a couple drops of toasted sesame oil to prepared mayo for a spicy sushi mayo to drizzle over rolls or over poke bowls
- Garlic Aioli (egg-free, oil-free) - blend a couple of cloves of garlic into the mayo when blending to make a garlic aioli to serve alongside paella
Step-by-step instructions for how to make this vegan mayo using no oil at all.
Step 1 - Soak cashews in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Then, drain and rinse them. If you're unfamiliar with this, read this tutorial on how to soak cashews. Add soaked, drained cashews to high speed blender, along with all remaining ingredients.
Step 2 - Secure the lid.
Step 3 - Blend until smooth, at least 40 seconds.
Step 4 - You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of your blender. Blend until completely smooth, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 10 days.
- High-speed blender - For a totally smooth homemade mayonnaise using nuts or seeds, like cashews or sunflower seeds, a high speed blender is key. I've used my Blendtec for over 10 years and it's still going strong.
- Electric kettle - Makes boiling water for soaking cashews, making iced tea or hot tea and instant noodles a breeze. My electric kettle by Zwilling has earned a permanent spot on my countertop.
🚦 Calorie density score
🟡 This recipe gets a yellow light on the calorie density chart. Some of the ingredients (the cashews) are higher than 600 calories per pound. Since it's a condiment, it's typically used sparingly. Learn more about calorie density from Jeff Novick, MS, RDN.
Get your own printable calorie density chart for your refrigerator and free ebook explaining calorie density in simple terms.
👨👩👦👦 Serving suggestions
Use this vegan oil-free mayo for all types of sandwiches (hello, vegan BLT!!), burgers, and wraps. Its delicious richness makes excellent salad dressings, potato salad, chickpea salad, creamy pasta salad, macaroni salad, and jackfruit "chicken" salad, as well.
Basically, use it any way you would use regular mayonnaise. It'll work!
Yes, typically all vegan mayos in the store contain oil. However, you can make vegan mayo at home without any oil at all. Usually, an oil-free vegan mayo would use cashews, tofu, aquafaba (the juice from a can of chickpeas), white beans or something similar to thicken and emulsify the mayonnaise.
Silken tofu or soaked cashews can be used as a substitute for oil in mayonnaise.
Traditional mayo requires oil, along with egg yolks. However, vegan alternatives such as cashews, silken tofu, sunflower seed kernels, aquafaba, and white beans can make a delicious mayonnaise!
🗺 Cultural influences
This vegan mayo has a Miracle Whip vibe to it. My husband, who's originally from Michigan, prefers Miracle Whip to plain mayonnaise.
In the South, we use mayo for creamy salads, such as chicken salad, potato salad, tuna salad, as well as generously slathering it on burgers and sandwiches.
We often make plant-based versions of all of these recipes, substituting jackfruit for chicken, chickpeas for tuna, and veggie burgers for beef. So, having an oil-free mayo that tastes great and can be used in a variety of ways is really important.
This recipe is inspired by my mixed ethnic background and heritage as a native of Houston, Texas, and by the strong cultural influences of my husband from Michigan.
See About for more information on my cultural influences and how I attribute recipes.
💜 More recipes you'll love
If you love this vegan no oil mayo recipe, check out these delicious plant-based condiment and sauce recipes!
Easy Vegan Cashew Tofu Mayo WFPB No Oil Recipe
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 12 ounces extra firm silken tofu drained - I recommend Morinu brand
- ½ cup soy milk unsweetened, unflavored
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard 365 Whole Foods Brand
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard dry mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon black salt optional - black salt (kala namak) gives a slight eggy aroma/taste
- Soak cashews in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Then, drain and rinse them.½ cup raw cashews
- Add soaked, drained cashews to high speed blender, along with all remaining ingredients. Secure the lid and blend until smooth, at least 40 seconds. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of your blender.12 ounces extra firm silken tofu, ½ cup soy milk, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon ground mustard, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon seasoned salt, 2 teaspoons sugar, ⅛ teaspoon sweet paprika, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, ⅛ teaspoon black salt
- Once smooth, it is ready to be eaten. Transfer to a glass jar or container and refrigerate. Will keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Do not freeze.