I’ve been a huge fan of Hellman’s mayo for pretty much my whole life. That is, until I made homemade mayonnaise for the first time! I’m not kidding, it is literally the EASIEST thing you can make in your kitchen.
Sure, homemade mayo doesn’t last as long as store-bought, but it only has 7 recognizable ingredients, and contains no additives or preservatives. The best part? You can make this recipe in 5 minutes. No joke.
I’ve tried this recipe in my Vita-mix blender and it just doesn’t want to work for me. There’s just something about a tall skinny jar and a handheld immersion blender that turns out every time. In any event, an immersion blender is great to have on hand! I use mine often to purée soups, homemade tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, pestos, and more.
Pesto mayo is one of my all-time favourite flavours; I sometimes whip up a batch of homemade basil pesto before I make the mayo and sometimes I use Costco’s Kirkland brand pesto (not sponsored just like it). We use pesto mayo as a base for this easy shredded chicken salad recipe, in wraps and on burgers, as a dip for fries or veggies, and to make the best summertime potato salad. It’s super creamy with a light-yet-distinct basil pesto flavour. My family loves it and I hope you do too.
- Measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale
- An immersion blender (see recipe notes re: stand blenders)
- A skinny-but-tall glass jar an immersion blender can fit into
- Medium mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Glass jar with lid for storage
- Canola Oil — I like to use canola il for homemade mayo because of its light neutral taste. I haven’t tried making this recipe with any other neutral oil.
- Olive Oil — Because canola oil is so bland, I like to cut it with some olive oil for added flavour.
- Egg — I use large eggs for all of my recipes.
- Lemon Juice — Fresh lemon juice tastes best but you can use bottled if that’s what you have.
- White Vinegar — You can use all lemon juice or all vinegar but I like a blend of both. Together they add stability to the mayo, acidity, and help prevent the mayo from turning rancid quickly.
- Salt — I use regular iodized table salt.
- Pesto — You can use homemade or store-bought pesto in any flavour you like.
Keep scrolling to see clear and detailed process shots, as well as tips and notes to help you make Pesto Mayo perfectly the first time!
1. This recipe will not work in a stand blender. The ingredient amounts are too small to emulsify properly. If you don’t have or want to buy an immersion blender I recommend choosing another recipe.
2. Use a room temperature egg. Room temperature eggs emulsify better as they are more relaxed than eggs that are cold from the fridge.
3. Taste to adjust. I like a little extra salt in my homemade mayo, however, I add it after blending to prevent over-salting. You can also adjust the lemon juice and vinegar to your preference once blended.
Notes & Tips
- If your jar is too big this recipe may not work. The jar should be just large enough to fit the immersion blender inside.
- Many recipes advise to dribble the oil(s) into the blended egg in a slow, steady stream. In this recipe I add everything together and zip it up all at once. I haven’t noticed any difference in texture or flavour by using this method and I think it’s mainly because I use an immersion blender.
- If the mayo seems a bit thin after blending, process in more canola or olive oil by the teaspoon until your desired thickness is achieved.
- I like a little extra salt in my pesto mayo, however, I add it in after making the mayo to prevent over-salting. Once the pesto is mixed in just adjust the salt level to your liking.
How To Store & Freeze Basil Pesto Mayo
- To Store — Keep the mayonnaise in a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the fridge for up to one week.
- To Freeze — I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
10 Uses For Pesto Mayo:
- Spread it on the inside of a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Use it as a dip for grilled vegetables.
- Serve it alongside a basket of chicken wings.
- Add a dollop to the top of cooked salmon before serving.
- Use it as the base for egg, potato, or chicken salad.
- Mix up a batch of homemade coleslaw.
- Make a tasty pasta salad for a summer BBQ.
- Spoon it alongside fresh hot French fries to use as a dip!
- Use it as a burger topping.
- Replace plain mayo with homemade pesto mayo in a cold dip or hot baked dip.
- If you don’t love the flavour of olive oil, simply omit and use all canola oil.
- Substitute store-bought pesto for homemade if you like.
- Use any flavour of pesto you like — roasted red pepper pesto, kalamata olive pesto, and spinach arugula pesto are especially good against the blank canvas of the mayonnaise. A blend of chopped fresh and roasted garlic is also fabulous!
- A bit of cracked black pepper is nice in pesto mayo. Add it in to suit your taste.
In addition to smoothness, oil binds together and emulsifies with the egg to create the classic creamy texture we know and love.
Lemon juice adds acidity to balance the heaviness of the oil and egg. It also helps stabilize the texture of the mayo to prevent it from splitting apart.
I store mine in a clean glass jar for up to one week, however, you can also go by other cues such as smell and look. If you see mold or the mayo smells off, discard immediately.
Use Pesto Mayo With These Recipes
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- measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale
- large, skinny-but-tall glass jar if not using regular blender
- immersion blender if not using regular blender
- high-speed blender if not using immersion blender
- medium mixing bowl
- rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- glass jar with lid for storage
- ¾ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup basil pesto
- Place the canola oil, olive oil, egg, lemon juice, white vinegar, and salt in a tall glass jar.
- Using a handheld immersion blender, process everything together to a thick mayonnaise-like consistency, about 10 to 15 seconds.
- Spoon the homemade mayo into a bowl. Add the basil pesto and stir gently to combine.
- Store the pesto mayo in a clean glass jar with an airtight lid in the fridge for up to one week. Use anywhere you would use mayonnaise.