Miracle Whip and Mayonnaise are two similar condiments that sit side-by-side on grocery shelves, often mistaken as different brands of the same product when, in fact, they are two completely separate products with some noticeable differences!
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Although they’re both thick and creamy and widely used interchangeably in recipes like an Old Fashioned Chicken Salad Sandwich, Million Dollar Whip, and potato salad, Miracle Whip and mayonnaise are not the same. If you thought they were, you’re not alone! In this article, I’ll unpack the differences between the two so you can make the best choice for your flavor preferences, dietary preferences, and specific recipes!
Miracle Whip vs. Mayo: What is the Difference?
Believe it or not, Miracle Whip is not a brand of mayonnaise! In fact, these two creamy condiments are completely different products. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Miracle Whip as a “dressing,” because it does not contain ingredients that are at least 65% vegetable oil by weight, the standard requirement for any product to be marketed and sold as “mayonnaise.”
Meanwhile, mayonnaise originates from French cuisine and is made with an emulsion of raw egg yolks and oil that combine with acidic lemon juice or vinegar. Admittedly, Miracle Whip, created by KraftHeinz in 1933, contains the same ingredients, but it also includes water, sugar, mustard, and spices.
The added sugar gives it an undeniably sweet taste that people either love or hate. In addition, the added ingredients dilute the percentage of vegetable oil by weight, meaning it cannot be classified as mayonnaise.
Granted, some brands of mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s, also contain sugar or mustard, but it’s not enough for it to alter the tangy taste or dilute the mixture enough for it to be called anything other than mayonnaise, according to the FDA’s requirements. In fact, you likely won’t even notice it’s there!
When Should I Use Miracle Whip?
Since Miracle Whip is much sweeter tasting, it’s a great option for recipes that benefit from added sweetness, such as this Chicken Salad Sandwich or chilled pasta salads.
Baking Tip: The reduced fat in Miracle Whip means that it could separate when heated. For this reason, it’s best to use Miracle Whip in no-bake recipes, or cold dishes!
When Should I Use Mayonnaise?
Mayonnaise is also your best option when baking since the higher fat content from the eggs and oil will reduce the chance of the condiment separating when exposed to heat.
What Happens If You Use Miracle Whip Rather Than Mayonnaise?
Miracle Whip and mayonnaise can often be used interchangeably in most recipes. Just be mindful that the lower fat content in Miracle Whip could result in the condiment separating when exposed to heat.
In addition, keep in mind that if you use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise, you’ll likely have a sweeter-tasting result.
Which Is Healthier: Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise?
Miracle Whip contains about half of the total fat and calories of mayonnaise which makes it a great choice for anyone watching their calorie intake.
That said, Miracle Whip is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup and contains more sugar than mayonnaise. This is definitely something you want to keep in mind if you have Type 2 diabetes or want to reduce your overall sugar intake!
Miracle Whip also contains a greater amount of additives than store-bought mayonnaise, all of which could be avoided by making homemade mayonnaise.
To summarize, Miracle Whip is lower in fat and calories than mayonnaise but contains more refined or processed ingredients than mayonnaise and often more sugar, too. Therefore, the healthiest choice comes down to your specific dietary preferences and needs.
How To Make Homemade Mayonnaise
Making your own mayonnaise from the comfort of your kitchen is easier than you may think!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of mustard – Dijon is preferred.
- 1 cup of neutral flavored oil – Olive oil is a great option.
- 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and ground black pepper
Cooking Tip: Feel free to add roasted garlic or herbs to the mayonnaise mixture for a more complex flavor.
Here’s how to make it:
- Combine all of the ingredients, except the oil, in a blender, and blend into a smooth consistency.
- Slowly pour in the oil while the blender runs at a low speed until fully incorporated.
Store the homemade mayo in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Give it a good stir before use.
Does Miracle Whip vs. Mayo Really Matter?
Yes and no! Firstly, if you are using these two condiments in small quantities and don’t have a total dislike of one or the other, you could easily switch between the two with no problem.
However, there are instances where it’s to your benefit to carefully consider your choice between these two condiments.
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Do you prefer the richer, more tangy taste of mayonnaise or the sweeter taste of Miracle Whip?
- Are you looking for less refined ingredients in your cooking? If so, mayonnaise is the better option.
- Are you trying to reduce your overall calories for weight loss? You may want to opt for Miracle Whip.
- Do you intend to use the condiment when baking or in other dishes where it will be exposed to heat? If so, mayonnaise is the better choice.
From the information provided in this post as well as these questions listed above, you’ll quickly be able to assess which of these two condiments is better suited to your specific preferences and cooking requirements.
At the end of the day, nothing is stopping you from experimenting with these two creamy condiments to discover which you like best. Let me know what you prefer, I’d love to hear from you!
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- Combine all of the ingredients, except the oil, in a blender and blend into a smooth consistency.1 egg yolk, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Slowly pour in the oil while the blender runs at a low speed until fully incorporated.1 cup olive oil