A Very Mayo Thanksgiving: The Menu
Five recipes for a full holiday feast starring mayonnaise.
If you had to pinpoint an iconic Thanksgiving condiment, gravy would be the obvious answer. The rich sauce makes everything it touches taste better, from mashed potatoes to stuffing. What you might not know is that there’s another ingredient that can instantly enhance Thanksgiving classics, and you probably already have a jar—mayonnaise.
We’re not talking about dunking a piece of turkey in plain mayo at the dinner table or using it as a dipping sauce for green beans. But using a chipotle-laced mayo to baste your turkey? Genius. Mixing it into mashed potatoes for the creamiest, fluffiest results yet? Groundbreaking. You can even use it as a marinade for vegetables, which creates a lovely blistered crust when grilled. We’ve included all of those recipes and more below, creating a full-course mayo menu. You could always fall back on your default recipes this year—but if you could make an even juicier turkey, why wouldn’t you?
Appetizer: Caviar-Topped Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a party staple, and this decadent recipe—made all the more creamy by mayo—comes together in just 45 minutes. The filling also includes Dijon mustard and liquid strained from a jar of pimiento-stuffed green olives, and it's all topped off with a dollop of caviar and olive slices. The end result is deliciously briny, and an impressive way to start off the meal.
Vegetable Side: Mustard-and-Mayonnaise Glazed Asparagus
Chef Nate Appleman loves coating vegetables with a mayonnaise-based marinade because it creates a blistered crust when you grill them. In this case, mayonnaise is paired with mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper. If you’re not a fan of asparagus, it also works beautifully on fennel and broccoli.
Potato: Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes
It may sound hard to believe, but mayonnaise is actually the secret to your creamiest, silkiest-ever mashed potatoes. If you make them a lot, you’ll know that mashed potatoes are never as good as they are the day of—once you stick them in the fridge, the butter solidifies, hardening them up and making them difficult to reheat. However, mayonnaise doesn’t have that problem, so you can rest assured that your leftovers will remain just as creamy and flavorful as when they first came out of the pot. There’s still plenty of butter in there, for flavor—a hidden cup of mayonnaise just helps keep everything fluffy.
Turkey: Chipotle Mayonnaise-Roasted Turkey
This is the big one. If you want ultra-juicy, delicious turkey, you want to slather the meat with mayo inside and out. Seriously—under the skin, on top of the skin, even inside the bird. This bastes the turkey as it cooks, keeping everything moist and tender. And, since the mayo is mixed with lemon zest, chipotle chiles, grated garlic, and thyme, you won’t even know it’s there. The end result is a turkey that’s golden and crispy, and you'll never go back.
Dessert: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
There’s a lot of flavor going on in this cake—cocoa, strong brewed coffee, bittersweet chocolate chips, vanilla extract—so you definitely won’t notice the cup of mayonnaise that’s snuck into the recipe. You will, however, appreciate the lightness and fluffiness it adds.
Get the Southern Living recipe here.