How to Make Mayonnaise the Italian Way

Mayonnaise may have been invented by the Spanish and popularized by the French, but Italians make maionese, too. The Italian method is not very different from elsewhere, but, not surprisingly, it is made either partially or entirely with olive oil (as was the original Spanish version) and is kept very basic: mustard and other flavorings are generally omitted. Armed with an immersion (or regular) blender it takes no time at all to make and, if your eggs are fresh and your oil fruity, the flavor is really out of this world.


Makes one cup of mayo

  • 1 egg (just the yolk if making by hand, whole if making with a blender)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) of olive oil
  • A quick squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt


To make by hand:

Place the egg yolk, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Whisk together until frothy. Then add the olive oil bit by bit as you continue whisking, starting very slowly, adding a few drops at a time and adding more as the oil is absorbed into the egg yolk mixture. Keep adding until you have a thick, creamy sauce.

To make with a blender:

Add all the ingredients in a blender, or if using an immersion blender in its beaker. Wizz at full power until the mixture is fully emulsified.


The more oil you add, the thicker your sauce will be. For some uses, you will want a pourable mayo, for others you will want a rather stiff mayo. The great thing about homemade mayo is, you decide the way you want it.

As mentioned, Italian mayo is simple and pure, letting the taste of its ingredients stand out. If you use really fresh, organic eggs and a really fruity extra-virign olive oil, you won’t want anything additional to sully its taste with other But if you like, especially if your ingredients are not top-quality, you can add some ‘zip’ by adding some finely minced garlic and/or fresh herbs for extra flavor.

If you’re worried about raw eggs, you can always ‘doctor’ store-bought mayo. Just take about what you need, then squeeze in a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Start whisking in olive oil, just as you would a homemade mayo. You’ll be surprised just how much oil the mayo will absorb! If you want an Italian-ish taste, be sure to use a brand of mayonnaise that is made without sugar like Hellman’s.



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6 Responses to “How to Make Mayonnaise the Italian Way”

  1. Sue Germain
    5 August 2013 at 07:07 #

    Y Frank, thank you so much for this recipe. I have been using Hellmans Olive oil mayo but I know there is a lot of preservatives in it & some other oils besides olive. I make a creamy Italian dressing using the olive oil Hellmans, Italian herbs, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. It is really flavorful. I put it pasta salad along with sundried tomatoes, Parmagian cheese, and additional Italian herbs.

  2. 9 March 2013 at 13:01 #

    thanks for information..:)

  3. Anonymous
    2 October 2012 at 02:10 #

    thanks for sharing..

  4. 30 July 2012 at 07:02 #

    Thanks! You know, I think mayo is *much* better than ketchup on fries! It compliments the flavor without drowning it out the way ketchup does.

  5. 29 July 2012 at 22:05 #

    Having grown up in a French household, mayonnaise was a staple for us. I even eat it with my fries instead of ketchup. This recipe looks exactly like my mom's, with the exception of the olive oil, which I like the idea of very much.

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