This refrigerator staple is way more versatile than you think.
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Credit: Caitlin Bensel; Styling: Rishon Hanners

You probably have a jar of this kitchen staple in your fridge—but if you’re only slathering it onto sandwiches, you’re missing out on this condiment’s true potential and versatility. From savory to (hear us out on this) sweet, mayo takes on a whole new level of importance in these seven recipes that make you—dare we say—excited to use mayo in your cooking.

1. Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake
Credit: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Mayo makes for a super moist and perfectly crumbly cake—and no, you can’t taste it. All you get is chocolatey, indulgent goodness within a flawless cake because of this secret ingredient.

2. Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Credit: Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Ranch dressing doesn’t need to come in a bottle—once you try making your own, you won’t be able to go back to the store-bought stuff. Mustard, chives, and parsley add bright freshness that can’t be replicated, and will take your salads to the next level.

3. Sheet Pan Carnitas Bao Buns

Spicy Carnitas Bao Buns image
Credit: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Karen Rankin; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

This dinner looks complicated, but comes together in under half an hour—perfect for a night when you’re bored of your usual dinner rotation. We use Kewpie mayonnaise in this recipe because it’s a little sweeter than regular mayo. Find it on the international aisle of a well-stocked supermarket, or at an Asian grocer.

4. Patatas Bravas Home Fries with Smoky Tomato Mayonnaise

cl- Patatas Bravas Home Fries with Smoky Tomato Mayonnaise
Credit: Photography: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer.

Photography: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer.

Nothing compares to a potato dish when it comes to guaranteed crowd-pleasers. This street-food inspired recipe works well as an appetizer or a flavorful side, and the smoky mayonnaise sauce is addicting—you’ll want to make a little extra to drizzle on top.

5. Basil Aïoli with Crudités

Basil Aïoli with Crudités
Credit: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Linda Hirst

Crudité platters get a bad rap—they may be known as the “boring” appetizer, but this basil aioli changes all that as a dip your guests won’t be able to get enough of. Fresh basil and the citrusy tang of lemon make this so much better than any store-bought veggie platter.

6. Spaghetti Squash Fritters with Sriracha Mayonnaise

Spaghetti Squash Fritters with Sriracha Mayonnaise
Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

These fritters work as an appetizer, or a main dish if you pair them with a side salad. The Sriracha mayonnaise sauce provides just enough of a spicy kick to liven up these perfectly crisp fritters.

7. Grilled Salmon Avocado Pitas

Grilled Salmon Avocado Pitas
Credit: Greg DuPree

Greg DuPree

Perfectly grilled salmon makes this easy, breezy meal incredibly satiating. Wasabi mayo adds pungency, while arugula delivers a peppery note that helps cut through the creaminess of the avocado.