Almonnaise (Vegan Mayonnaise Made from Almonds) ♥ Recipe

Almonnaise, Vegan Mayonnaise made with almonds ♥
graphic button small size size 10 What do you call a vegan spread that has the consistency of mayonnaise but whose first ingredient is toasted almonds? I'm going with Almonnaise or hmm, maybe Almondaise or Almond-Aise? Either way, this creamy concoction of toasted almonds, garlic, vinegar and olive oil (and some times, fresh herbs) is addictive! Use it as a vegan mayonnaise but truly, omnivores love it too. Low Carb. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly. graphic button small size size 10

~recipe updated, first published way back in 2008~
~more recently updated recipes~

The summer I stopped eating meat, it was more on an impetuous whim than armed with a plan. Why? It took just one pointed question from a friend. That question forced the realization that I was eating more meat than I knew. You see, a chicken sandwich for lunch, a steak on the weekend, one by one, these add up unless paying close attention.

On the spot, I decided to forego meat. No surprise, within just a few days, I was l-o-s-t-lost. Many of my favorite recipes were no longer relevant. I didn't know where to turn.

Because think back. This was before the Internet. It was also before there were bookstores on every corner. While I was already shopping at the second or third store of what was a small and virtually unknown company called Whole Foods, it was a hippy-dippy place back then, a resource for only the most motivated and educated cooks. Anyone care to guess the year? It wasn't that long ago. :-)

A few weeks later, my cousin Laura, herself a long-time vegan, pressed a cookbook into my hands. "You need this," she said. "It'll help." It was her own copy of The American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit for Life Kitchen by Marilyn Diamond, many pages penciled with Laura's own notes. What a gift! For eight years, it was my only cookbook and today my own notes far outnumber hers.

When I began to eat meat again (Note to Vegetarians), more mindfully this time, it was as an occasional food, once or twice a week. I put Laura's cookbook away. It just wasn't necessary, especially as food magazines began to feature more and more vegetarian and even vegan meals.

But a few weeks ago, when Lisa from the food blog Show-Me Vegan (sorry, no longer an active blog) and Nupur from One Hot Stove were coming for supper, I wanted to make a seven-layer salad suitable for those who don't eat meat, eggs or dairy. It was easy enough to leave out the bacon and sliced eggs but the gorgeous Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing wasn't vegan either.

So I made a simpler, fresher version of Laura's cookbook's vegan substitute for mayonnaise, one that starts with almonds. My margin notes from earlier years held lots of exclamation points! #1 Wow. Especially with cilantro! #2 fresh dill #3 dried dill #4 cinnamon! Clearly Almonnaise is a winner, and flexible and adaptable, to boot. It was a winner before and it still is today.

So, yes, this Almonnaise Vegan Mayonnaise is vegan. But it's also its own category of sauce that's entirely plant-based but has the consistency of mayonnaise. I served it last week – there's irony here, yes? – spread on rolls for BLTs. Almonnaise is just delicious. I'd recommend it to anyone who plain likes good food, vegan, omnivore or otherwise.

"No meat, no eggs, no dairy. It's not just for vegans anymore."

graphic button small size size 10 "... oh yum! Thanks for a keeper of a recipe. The family went nuts over it ..." ~ PP


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Makes 1 cup

1 cup (90g) sliced almonds with skins on
1 medium clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soymilk or any non-dairy milk or even water)
3 tablespoons good vinegar (I use sherry vinegar or rice vinegar)
4 tablespoons good olive oil
1 bunch of fresh cilantro or other herbs, optional
Additional salt & pepper to taste

TOAST THE ALMONDS In a small dry skillet, toast the almonds until golden brown, stirring often and watching very carefully so not to burn. Let cool to room temperature.

MEANWHILE In a food processor, process the garlic and salt together. Once cooled, add the almonds, then the almond milk and process together until smooth; let this go several minutes, getting the mixture as light and smooth as possible. Then, with the food processor running, slowly pour in the vinegar into the bowl through the top, then follow with the olive oil in a thin stream, letting the mixture slowly emulsify and gain volume.

ADD HERBS Once the Almonnaise becomes light and fluffy, add the cilantro or other herbs, taste and adjust the seasoning.

REFRIGERATE Almonnaise thickens in the refrigerator.

GARLIC + SALT FIRST I've learned to process garlic and salt in the food processor first, before adding the other ingredients. The salt helps "grab" the garlic so that it processes down really well. This way, no big chunky garlic surprises!
ALMOND SKINS The almonds skins make Almonnaise that's quite grainy, not the smooth consistency of mayonnaise. But the skins add both flavor and fiber and thus are a good thing, to my taste anyway. I do think that Almonnaise made with almonds without skins would be a prettier creamy color. I need to try this!

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Looking for healthy ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and hundreds of quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes plus the famous Alphabet of Vegetables. Healthy eaters will love the low carb recipes and the Weight Watchers recipes.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. AnonymousJuly 06, 2008

    And I can testify that this is completely delicious!!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, Alanna.

  2. I'll second Nupur's sentiment - this was a very flavorful dressing. Thank you for the recipe; I can't wait to try it in my own home!

  3. Thanks for the recipe and the story. Looks like a useful base for all sorts of good things. I see Laurel's Kitchen in your book list below -- that was an investment early in my veg life (from 1977) that helped me make sense of healthy eating, good food and good attitude. That and Diet for a Small Planet were life changing -- for the better. Even this morning, DSP came out to make pancakes for breakfast. The internet has made such a change in our resources, your blog being very inspiring!

  4. think I can substitute sunflower seeds with the skin on instead of almonds, since I am allergic to nuts?

  5. I think you could indeed, Talia!

  6. I'm enjoying your blog (found it when searching how to cook beets in the microwave).

    This looks delicious. I also eat meat but have been a vegetarian or vegan at points in my life, and you've just inspired me to look for and open up one of my forgotten but one-time favorite vegan cookbooks (The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld -- the paella recipe is awesome). I think I'm going to add the book back into my rotation.

  7. AnonymousJuly 09, 2008

    Made the Almonnaise this evening. I didn't have soy milk so substituted canned coconut milk - oh yum!

    Thanks for a keeper of a recipe. The family went nuts over it (no pun intended). We had it as a dip still slightly warm with steamed and chilled broccoli. So, so good.



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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna