What is the Difference Between Mayo Vs. Salad Dressing?

A whole rainbow of condiments is at your fingertips. But the two condiments that people usually keep in their fridges next to each other are salad dressing and mayonnaise. Despite their similarities in appearance and function, what is the difference between mayo vs. salad dressing?


mayonnaise production process

To make mayonnaise, you’ll need egg yolks, vinegar (or lemon juice), oil, and spices. Liquids and oils don’t usually combine, but with some support, they can. The egg’s lecithin works as an emulsifier, helping the fat’s bonding with the liquid to produce a velvety consistency.  

The thick and silky texture of mayonnaise gives it a lot of versatility in the kitchen. It is a versatile condiment that many households rely on for a variety of uses, including but not limited to sandwich spreads, dip bases, and salad binders.

The United States FDA states that in order for a condiment to be called “mayonnaise,” it must have a weight percentage of vegetable oil of at least 65%. Now we may talk about how salad dressing differs from mayonnaise.

Learn How to Make Mayonnaise!

Salad Dressing

In contrast, salad dressing is a catch-all word for a wide range of dressings that are used to season and elevate salads. There is a dizzying array of tastes and textures available in these dressings, which might be based on oil, vinegar, or cream. Salsas like Caesar, ranch, Thousand Island, and vinaigrette are very common.

Like mayonnaise, salad dressing starts with a few simple ingredients. In terms of weight, nevertheless, it contains more water than oil. Because of the high fructose corn syrup it often contains, it is sweeter than mayonnaise.  

Considering the two tablespoons of mayonnaise with salad dressing, the former has 180 calories, 3 grams of saturated fat, and no carbs, while the latter has 80 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Which one would you suggest? That is conditional on your goal of reducing carbs or saturated fats. For a middle ground, try the lighter variants. Even more difficult, olive oil and avocado oil mayonnaise are available.  

Be aware that they are often combined with other oils to dilute any overpowering taste. Be cautious to read labels while purchasing; the kind of oil used doesn’t always indicate healthiness. While making mayonnaise at home is certainly an option, the USDA recommends using pasteurized eggs or egg products and limiting the storage time of the finished product to no more than four days in the fridge.

Learn how to make salad dressing!

What is the Difference Between Mayo Vs. Salad Dressing?

Mayonnaise and salad dressing are similar in that they both thicken and flavor food, but they are not identical:

  1. Components: To make mayonnaise, you usually need egg yolks, oil, and either vinegar or lemon juice. Salad dressings, on the other hand, may have a lot of different components, but they usually include vinegar, oil, spices and herbs.
  2. Consistency: Though salad dressings may be either thin and similar to vinaigrette or creamy, mayonnaise is creamy and thick in consistency.
  3. Use: While mayonnaise is versatile enough to bind or spread in many foods, salad dressings provide taste and texture to salads alone.

How to Pick the Perfect Seasoning

Which one is better, mayonnaise or salad dressing? It depends on your taste and the food you’re making. Mayonnaise is a great option if you want to add a rich and creamy flavour to a vegetable dish or sandwich. While a salad dressing might be more appropriate if you’re going for a milder, tangier taste to go with your greens, the former is superior.

You can’t go wrong with either mayonnaise or salad dressing in a recipe, but knowing the difference between the two can help you choose wisely.

When deciding between mayo and salad dressing, it’s important to think about the food’s taste, texture, and purpose to make the best option!

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