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Does Mayo Have Dairy? An Exciting Truth

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The question you want to answer is, does mayo have dairy? But first let’s explore why mayo (mayonnaise) is awesome and why it may have dairy.

Mayonnaise also known as mayo is a creamy condiment that pairs so well with all types of food.

Need to add some pizzazz to your hamburger? Add some mayo!

Whipping together a potato salad? Mix in some mayo!

Potato salad - Does mayo contain dairy?

Making Deviled Eggs? Mayo is essential.

So many people love this sinfully delicious condiment because of its rich, creamy, and slightly tangy flavor. Its texture is light and smooth, and its color is milky. However, these are the exact words used to describe many dairy products.

“rich, creamy… milky… dairy…”

Oh no! Does this mean that lactose intolerant people can’t enjoy mayo? Does mayo (mayonnaise) have dairy, is it lactose free?

Stay tuned to find out!

What is Mayo?

What is in the delightful treat. Mayonnaise is typically a blend of oil, egg yolk, and either vinegar or lemon juice. It is emulsified by slowly incorporating the oil into the raw egg yolks. This process is what gives mayo its creamy, light texture. But wait… there are eggs in it. Do eggs have dairy?

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Photo by Elly Fairytale on

Do eggs have dairy? Is mayo dairy?

The answer is no to both. Eggs, while very creamy, are not dairy. Dairy can only come from mammals and milk products. While often found in the same grocery store section, they are not part of the same food category.

Mayonnaise does not contain any dairy products. The creaminess in mayo comes from the emulsification process, not milk or cream so its also it lactose free.

So… mayo does not have dairy?

YES! Mayonnaise will not set your stomach off like a ticking time bomb if you’re lactose intolerant (unless your stomach doesn’t agree with the ingredients in mayo, but that’s a separate issue). You can eat mayonnaise to your heart’s content without offending your stomach.

“Mayonnaise will not set your stomach off”

There are many dishes where you can replace dairy products with mayo (mayonnaise) for creaminess without creating a raging storm in your stomach afterward. Mayo is great in dips, sandwiches, and many other enjoyable foods.

Here are some delicious dishes with mayonnaise that taste like dairy but won’t be a pain in the butt (literally) after you eat them.

Let’s Play a Game. Mayo or Dairy?

Ranch Dressing – Substitute for Buttermilk

Ranch dressing is a delicious topping for burgers, pizza, and salads. It is also an excellent dip for veggies, fries, and wings! However, ranch dressing recipes typically have buttermilk. Some people can tolerate it, but it may be a no-no if you are very sensitive to lactose.

Luckily for you, some versions contain mayo and no dairy or milk. While mayo is already a common ingredient in the dressing, these versions omit the dreaded lactose part.

This recipe from the Mayo Clinic uses Greek yogurt, mayo, and lemon juice instead of buttermilk. There are 2 cups of mayo, which makes it very creamy. Other ingredients in this recipe include dill weed, garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, mix it, and you have the tangy dressing that you love.

PRO TIP: Replace seasonings with ranch seasoning mix packets for the classic ranch taste.

With this ranch recipe, you can enjoy eating the dressing all of the ways you want without the dire consequences after.

French Onion Dip – Substitute for Sour Cream

French onion dip is a delicious addition to parties, movie nights, and potlucks. This late-night snack staple tastes delicious with chips, pretzels, and veggies. Some people even stuff it into their burgers or top their mashed potatoes with it. However, this dip/topping typically has sour cream, which sends lactose intolerant people running after eating it!

Mayo to the rescue! The creamy condiment is an excellent replacement for sour cream in this dip. It has a lot of the same creaminess and tanginess that sour cream has, but without the lactose.

The blog Don’t Miss Dairy has a dairy-free French onion dip recipe that saves the day. This recipe includes mayo, vegan butter, balsamic vinegar, onions, Worcestershire sauce, and vegan sour cream. For extra flavor, you caramelize the onions in sugar, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

You will not miss dairy products in this version, but your stomach sure will thank you later.

Beef Stroganoff – Substitute for Sour Cream

Beef Stroganoff - does mayo have dairy

Beef Stroganoff is a hearty and delicious dinnertime noodle dish. Sour cream and sauteed beef are a staple in the original Russian version. However, there have been many variations of Beef Stroganoff. People often add cream of mushroom soup. Unfortunately, the combination of cream and sour cream can turn this dreamy dish into a nightmare for the lactose intolerant. 

So what can you use instead of sour cream in beef stroganoff? Well first get a yummy Beef Stroganoff recipe from the Food Network. Then simply replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt. Now you have a lactose free version. If you really need the sour cream taste, cut the sour cream in half with Greek yogurt, mayo, or lactose free milk. This will greatly reduce the lactose content.

If you want a truly dairy free version, Spruce Eats has one that sounds good. Similar in concept they replace sour cream with soy yogurt and soy milk. The other ingredients French onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, paprika, ground beef, onion, etc can remain the same.

This tasty version of Beef Stroganoff will leave both you and your stomach happy after eating it!

Who Cares If There Is Dairy in Mayo?

So maybe you’re reading this and wondering, isn’t there a magic pill I could take to cure lactose intolerance? Something that could make it all go away?

Well, kind of.

Lactaid is a supplement that helps people who are lactose intolerant break down lactose in dairy products. Lactose-intolerant people lack an enzyme to be able to do this on their own.

So, does Lactaid work?

If you take it before consuming dairy, it works for most people. However, it is not a miracle pill for everyone. Many people who have reviewed the pill’s effectiveness say that you still may need to limit your dairy intake. Others say that it sometimes works for them, sometimes not.

Does Lactaid work?

Suppose you want to indulge in delicious dairy products without worrying about your stomach. In that case, you may want to avoid it altogether. Non dairy and lactose free products are your friend.

Now mayo is an excellent substitute in many milk and dairy-heavy dishes that could help save the day…and protect your stomach!

Mayo to the rescue!

While mayo may not replace every milk product or dish in your life, it sure will make your life better! Its creamy, rich, and decadent texture and flavor make it the perfect dairy replacement in many dishes. You may not use it to replace your ice cream or yogurt anytime soon, but it makes a great addition to your dips and pasta dishes. Your friends who aren’t lactose intolerant will not miss out on any flavor either! And yes mayo is it lactose free.

Hopefully, this guide will help you recreate some of your favorite dishes and dips without fearing your body’s revenge later.

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  1. Pingback: Lactose Intolerant? What You Need to Know! - Lactose Free Life

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