Miracle Whip Vs Mayo: What Are Their Differences? 

These two condiments have graced sandwiches, salads, meats, and even soups and stews, but half the time in the store Miracle Whip and mayonnaise look exactly the same. So what exactly are the differences between Miracle Whip and mayo, and do those differences affect how you use them?

Miracle Whip and Mayo Overview

Whenever you need to add a little extra ‘zing’, flavor, and texture to any meal, you tend to break out the condiments. Two commonly used condiments are miracle whip and mayo, and many people tend to use them interchangeably. After all, they have the same ingredients! But these two fluffy white spreads do contain some differences when compared to one another.

For starters, for anything to classify as mayonnaise by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it needs to contain at least 65% vegetable oil. Mayonnaise does meet this requirement, however, Miracle Whip does not. So you can call Miracle Whip whatever you want, but don’t call it mayonnaise! 

What Is Miracle Whip?

Miracle Whip contains oil, egg yolks, and acids such as lemon juice or vinegar, the same as mayo. However, when it comes to Miracle Whip vs mayo ingredients, it also adds in water, sugar, and plenty of extra spices.

It was originally designed and marketed as a salad dressing at a Worlds’ Fair in 1933 and eventually became a much cheaper alternative to mayo for those during the Great Depression and has stuck around ever since. Additionally, Miracle Whip is cooked, while mayonnaise is uncooked.

What Is Mayo?

Mayonnaise is made from oil, egg yolks, and lemon juice or vinegar for acid. It isn’t as sweet as miracle whip, and is much fattier, but it also provides a unique bite to dishes like sandwiches and salads. The egg also allows the mayo to bond all the ingredients together, keeping it thick and spreadable as all condiments should be.

Mayonnaise was the invention of a French chef, who created the dish for a victory banquet, but had no cream for the traditional cream and egg sauce. Instead, he used olive oil and eggs, and the mayonnaise as we know it was born then!

What Is The Difference Between Mayo and Miracle Whip?

Aside from the differences in ingredients as well as the taste, what else makes Mayo and Miracle Whip different? 

The Calorie Count

Due to the ingredients, Miracle Whip does reduce the fat that comes in traditional mayonnaise, and it also contains fewer calories. In fact, one tablespoon of the original miracle whip contains about 50 calories, compared to the 94 calories that are in one tablespoon of mayo. 

This means that Miracle Whip is slightly healthier than normal mayonnaise, but some studies have shown that your body needs that fat that mayo can give it. So the slightly higher calorie count might in fact be worth it.

However, the increased amount of sugar and high fructose corn syrup in Miracle Whip can also pose a health risk if too much is eaten. So the best thing to do is eat whichever one you pick in moderation.

The Flavor

Due to the presence of added sugar and high fructose corn syrup as well as spices like mustard, garlic, and paprika, Miracle Whip is much sweeter than regular mayo, which only has a slightly acidic taste to it. 

Some people love the extra punch that Miracle Whip gives food whenever it is spread on, and other people simply want their mayo to provide texture and a base for the other flavors in the food along with that acid.

You will often find this flavor difference polarizing in the condiment community because some really love mayonnaise and Miracle Whip, and others completely hate one and only go with the other. Often you will find people who will refuse to eat the other brand, or cook with it!

How They Are Labeled/Used

While mayonnaise is labeled as a spread, condiment, dressing, or sauce, and can be used as all four of those things, Miracle Whip is labeled as a salad dressing. However, you will find that Miracle Whip can be used in all the ways that mayonnaise can be used.

The Recipe

Because mayonnaise is completely uncooked and only has a few ingredients, it becomes very easy for you to make your own. Then you can place whatever flavorings you want inside of it, and it can be pretty fun to create your own condiments. Especially if you use oils such as olive oil or avocado oil, which are much healthier when compared to soybean, corn, and canola oil. 

However, since Miracle Whip’s recipe is not fully known, you can’t make an authentic Miracle Whip home version yourself. Although some recipes let you come pretty close!

Which Is Healthier Between Miracle Whip and Mayo?

If you want to look at both condiments and ask which is healthier: Mayo or Miracle Whip? Then you might find that the answer isn’t as easy to come to.

Miracle Whip does contain less fat and calories when compared to mayonnaise over all, but mayonnaise itself contains less refined sugar and corn syrup. There have also been some people in the medical community that say that the fat from mayo is good for you. As with most things, you will find that moderation is the key in terms of how much mayo or Miracle Whip you eat.

Eating either type of condiment in huge globs with every single meal is going to cause problems for your health. However, if you use both condiments responsibly, they won’t be impactful on your health and overall condition. Then, using miracle whip vs mayo is often a question of taste and what you are putting the condiments on.


Regardless of where you stand personally on the mayonnaise vs Miracle Whip debate, it is clear that there are a few differences. From the ingredients used to the number of calories in each bottle to the taste, those differences might influence your pick of which condiment you want to have in your home.

However, the easiest thing to do is try both and pick one based on what you like, or on the meal you are using the condiment on. That’s the best way to make sure you get a good meal!