The Creamy Ingredient Swap For Egg Salad Without Mayo

For decades, egg salads have remained a favorite among home cooks due to their creamy texture and relatively straightforward recipe. However, it can be quite difficult for those who are not fond of mayonnaise to enjoy this dish, as most egg salad recipes call for its inclusion to bring some creaminess to the eggs. But much like how there's a creamy ingredient swap for tuna salad without mayo, there's one dairy product that can transform egg salads without compromising its signature texture. The ingredient? Cottage cheese. We know. Surprise! Cottage cheese proves a delicious swap once again.

Once you're done boiling, peeling, and chopping your eggs, stir in a few dollops of cottage cheese into your mixture. Much like mayonnaise, cottage cheese has a creamy texture that incorporates just as well with boiled eggs, giving you a velvety salad that you can present as a side dish or spread over toast. Cottage cheese also has the added benefit of having more protein and less fat than mayo, making it the perfect ingredient to get a little more nutrients into a meal.

Cottage cheese egg salad will be thicker and lighter

It should be no surprise to anyone that while both cottage cheese and mayonnaise share a velvety mouthfeel, they are certainly not identical. Unlike mayo, cottage cheese has a delightfully bumpy texture due to the presence of curd lumps in it. These will no doubt show up in your egg salad — but you shouldn't really consider this a problem. A lot of people already like the complex mouthfeel of cottage cheese — and besides, egg salads are already texturally varied by design. It will be difficult to differentiate egg white from cottage cheese lump.

If you're set on having a uniform, creamy texture in your egg salad or just find the lumps in cottage cheese unappealing, you can try blending this dairy product in a food processor. To expedite the preparation process even more, feel free to throw in some boiled egg yolks to get that rich, yellow sauce that will slather your chopped egg whites.

When making this flavorful swap, you should also keep in mind that cottage cheese will never match the distinct, slightly sweet tanginess of mayonnaise. And if you like your egg salad particularly savory, you might want to think about incorporating umami ingredients such as MSG or garlic powder into your batch. Cottage cheese also has lactose, a milk sugar that some have a hard time digesting, so give any guests a heads-up that there's dairy in the salad.

Take your egg salad to the next level by adding more ingredients

While the best basic egg salad recipe only calls for boiled eggs, mustard, some herbs, lemon juice, and cottage cheese if you're doing the swap, that shouldn't be the only way you make this popular dish. In fact, your egg salad might be missing crunchy ingredients such as potato chips, or acidic garnishes such as capers, pickles, or olives. Egg salads are supposed to have contrasting textures that gel together in the flavor department, so feel free to get creative and go astray from the egg salad's original recipe.

If you're unsure of what else to add to your egg salad, try to keep in mind common ingredients that pair excellently — with not just eggs — but cottage cheese. On top of potato chips, bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes are common pantry ingredients that complement cottage cheese, but even olive oil or a sprinkle of za'atar seasoning will do the trick here. 

If cottage cheese isn't your jam, but you still are looking for a mayo swap, you could try creamy and tangy Greek yogurt. Want to skip dairy altogether? Smash up an avocado with a little lemon and mix that into your salad.