Fix Any Broken Vinaigrette With A No-Frills Mayo Formula

Making a delicious — and successfully mixed – vinaigrette comes down to a few factors. The ratio of your ingredients, like the amount of vinegar compared to the amount of oil, as well as the way in which you combine them will all impact your final result.

But sometimes, nailing a great vinaigrette is less about making it and more about fixing it. Yes, even the best vinaigrettes tend to separate — meaning that the oil and vinegar come apart. So, rather than having a homogenous dressing, you're left with a deconstructed one. While this is a common conundrum, there's one easy solution that will help bring your ingredients together again. Simply add a little mayonnaise to your broken dressing, and you'll save it in no time.

As for the specifics of the add-in? Bon Appétit recommends a ratio of 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise for every ½ cup of vinaigrette. A little goes a long way in fixing your vinaigrette — the key to even the peskiest of dressings.

Mayonnaise is an emulsifier

There are a variety of ways in which you can both prevent — and salvage – broken sauces. For the purposes of your vinaigrette, however, mayonnaise is your best friend. Why? In the simplest of explanations, it acts as an emulsifier that brings the whole mixture together. 

Basically, water and oil do not mix well, so recipes that call for the two — like vinaigrettes — need something that can bind the ingredients together. These binders, also known as emulsifiers, not only help combine the ingredients but also keep them incorporated together. So long, separation. 

Of course, while mayonnaise is perhaps the best emulsifier for your vinaigrette, you can also utilize similar ingredients. Think: mustard or honey — though egg yolks likewise do the job. Luckily, all of these ingredients are standard across many kitchens, and you may already have some mayonnaise on hand. So, the next time your vinaigrette separates, there's no need to panic. Just pull out your teaspoon and start emulsifying.