Egg Yolks Are The Secret To Creamy Salad Dressing Without Mayo

Eggs offer a seemingly endless supply of dishes via countless cooking methods, while also serving as rising, thickening, and binding agents for sauces and baked goods. We've even discovered the transformative powers of separated yolks and whites; egg whites can morph into a light and airy foam for cocktails, meringues, and mousses, while yolks add flavor and creaminess to sauces and custards.

On that note, if you're looking to enrich and thicken salad dressing without mayonnaise or cream? Egg yolks are the secret ingredient you need. While we usually use raw egg yolks when cooking, boiled egg yolks are a better option in this instance. Hard-boiling eggs makes it easier to separate the yolks from the whites, after all, and cooking the yolks brings out their rich flavor, as well.

You can use boiled egg yolks in scratch-made dressings or whisk them into store-bought dressings for the ultimate creamy upgrade. Boiled egg yolks can thicken a dressing without breaking or clumping while creating a silky consistency that thoroughly coats your salad ingredients. Plus, the buttery richness of the yolk can help temper overly acidic or spiced dressings without muting them. You can even reserve the springy whites for a protein-packed salad garnish (thus making use of the entire boiled egg).

How to add egg yolks to salad dressing

Hard-boiled egg yolks tend to work best for easy isolation from their whites, but jammy yolks can also be effectively integrated into salad dressings. To add egg yolks to a dressing, simply remove the yolks from the whites, drop them into a mixing bowl, and break them up with the back of a fork until you form a thin crumble. Then, add your salad dressing and whisk the ingredients together. If you want a more cohesive creamy dressing, you can use a food processor, blender, or hand emulsifier.

A good rule of thumb is to start with 2 egg yolks for every ½ cup of salad dressing; you can always add more if you want a thicker dressing, after all. Egg yolks will mellow the acidity of a Dijon vinaigrette while giving it a unique creamy texture, and can enhance the umami richness of an already egg-based Caesar dressing, as well. You can even add egg yolks to a cream or mayo-based dressing you'd like to thicken like ranch, blue cheese, or green goddess.

Although fat is the reason behind egg yolk's thickening and flavoring prowess, they won't weigh down your dressing like mayo or heavy cream — and you can still enjoy a light and refreshing salad with a yolk-enriched dressing.