What is the difference between Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip?  And which one is better? Usually when the topic comes up in polite conversation, I do my best to sneak out of the room before it becomes impolite conversation filled with expletives, hair pulling and flying sandwiches.  If escaping isn’t an option I bring up a less volatile topic – like religion, the death penalty or Chinese labour laws.

I’m in the hate it camp.  For Miracle Whip that is.  I don’t like it, I’ve never liked it and other than the basic look of it, it isn’t at all like mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is a creamy, rich, delicate concoction that enhances food.  Miracle Whip is stronger tasting, sweet, filled with spices and not so subtle.  So when people ask what the difference between Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip is, I can only assume they’ve only tried one of them.  Because if you’ve tried them both you KNOW there’s a difference.

Beyond taste there are a few more things that set them apart.


What is the difference between Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip?

What is the difference between Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip?


Share this Image On Your Site


Geographically speaking, certain groups prefer Miracle Whip while others like the blander Mayonnaise.

The deep south and Midwest is Miracle Whip territory all the way.  While the rest of the U.S. is spreading Mayonnaise on everything.

Many times what you were raised on dictates what you lean towards.  My mother used Miracle Whip but only if the store was out of a little something called “Sandwich Spread”, a mixture of mayonnaise-like goo and relish.   In the 80’s she branched out into the hoity toity world of Mayonnaise but now generally just buys whichever she can get the biggest bucket of at Costco.

I’m not sure how I escaped the lure of Miracle Whip, having been raised on it, but I did. One of the reasons I prefer Mayonnaise (other than the taste) is you can make mayonnaise at home with 4 ingredients and a few minutes and it tastes as good or even better than the stuff you buy in the store.  That isn’t always the case with homemade goods.  Like people say they prefer homemade ketchup.  As if.  There’s no way anyone could duplicate the perfect combination of sweet and tart that comes oozing out of a Heinz bottle.  Anyone who says they prefer homemade ketchup is a hippie hipster liar who wears shoes made out of braided cat hair.

You knew this was coming.  I’d like to do an informal poll.  Let’s keep it polite people.

What do you prefer? Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?

Have a good weekend!



  1. attygreen13 says:

    Miracle Whip is the debil’s concoction (said in my best Bobby Boucher voice). Blech

  2. attygreen13 says:

    And I grew up in the Deep South and live in Texas now.

  3. Ron R. says:

    Mayo rules

  4. Karo says:

    Miracle Whip all day long. Mayo tastes like oily nothing.

  5. Lori Hope says:

    I’m in the mayo camp. My husband says it depends on the intended use: Miracle Whip is better for fruit salad, for instance…

  6. Kim says:

    Mayonnaise now but I was also raised on Miracle Whip. Hubby uses Miracle Whip.
    I have made mayo using your method, Karen, and it’s a thing of beauty!

  7. Rachelle says:


  8. Barbara H. says:

    I grew up in Michigan. Miracle Whip ’til the end. My siblings might disagree. Go figure.

  9. Erin says:

    I grew up with Miracle Whip ( hated it ) because my dad didn’t like Mayo. UNI ( Ryerson ) was the first time I ever tried Mayonnaise. The residence cafeteria ladies were quick to ask you if you wanted it, but never really listened for a response “Meyo Naze?!”, lol so I tried it not by choice and loved it and wondered what was wrong with my father ( he also doesn’t like Maple syrup 😐 even though we made it, and didn’t eat cheese until he was in his late 30’s early 40’s. Weirdo! ).

  10. Raymonde says:

    Mayo all the way.
    I also prefer my homemade ketchup but Québec homemade ketchup is completely different from Heinz. It’s a Québécois culinary tradition that is more like a chutney. We all have our grandmothers’ family recipes but there are perfectly good recipes online.
    It’s really good with tourtière and pâté chinois!
    Now, I’m hungry…

  11. Kate says:

    Mayonnaise all the way. I’ve never liked the other stuff. Too sweet. For statistical purposes I’ll add that I grew up in Northern California (the part that just burned down!), and lived there the first 40 years of my life. Moved to Idaho in 2011.

  12. brenda says:

    I agree 100% with you … poo on Miracle Whip (and good description of that other snot spread and Heinz is the only ketchup FULL STOP!

  13. Kipper says:

    Best Foods/Hellman’s mayo is the best. Miracle Whip is too watery and the flavor is not one my family ever liked(except Mom, but then she likes peanut butter, brown sugar and mustard sandwiches too).

  14. Annette says:

    Duke’s Mayonnaise or homemade (grew up on Hellmann’s in Virginia). Miracle Whip is perfectly described by ATTYGREEN13.

  15. Kate says:

    Oops, sorry about the picture. I thought I was adding a profile picture.

  16. Luanne says:

    All mayo all the time. I also grew up in a Miracle Whip household. I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t try mayo until my 30’s. And I finally realize why people want it on their sandwiches.

  17. Do we have to pick one or the other? They’re both gross.

  18. brenda says:

    the Quebec tomato chutney for tourtiere is very amazing but I don’t call it ketchup so it’s totally allowed IMHO

  19. Christina Contri says:

    Solid Midwesterner here and it’s mayo all the way! I hate going to a picnic, bbq, what-have-you and biting into a deviled egg, only to find out that it’s been made with MW. It’s an abomination!!

  20. Karen Noltee says:

    Miracle Whip makes potato salad awesome. Mayo makes potato salad extremely bland and boring.

  21. brenda says:

    I like cole slaw dressing (it might be a little like miracle whip) I don’t know because I only tried MW once and swore I’d never again…

  22. brenda says:

    that’s why you add sour cream I think though

  23. BLUE PLATE mayonnaise!! And I live in Mississippi, ya’ll!! (which is about as Deep South as you can get)

  24. Ecoteri says:

    So, will the next post be about which way to hang a toilet paper roll? LOL. I actually remember the explosions that happened when Ann Landers proclaimed that it should hang OUT from the wall. My goodness, months of letters full of outrage or defense of this opinion/decision. Glorious to read in the paper every week.

  25. BessOutWest says:

    Mayonnaise, homemade, all the way.

  26. Ella says:

    Yanno, the world is not black and white. Each has its place. For dipping frites, only homemade mayonnaise will do. For mixing with mustard to coat the bread of a grilled cheese sandwich, try MW. For devilled eggs, it’s got to be Hellman’s. I love them all …. when used appropriately 🙂

  27. sara easton says:

    Mayo! More specifically Duke’s mayo. I grew up with miracle whip, switched to Hellmann’s, and recently discovered the magic of Duke’s. Karen, I know you’re a doing stuff kind of person, and I’m sure your mayo recipe is lovely, but I’m going to need your mailing address so it’s an send you a jar of this stupid good mayo.

  28. Marjorie Kramer says:

    At the risk of being mocked, here goes: I like ’em both. No preference, I’ll eat either on most anything. I’ll stir either into most anything, and probably have. I was shocked the first and only time I made mayonnaise at home to discover how awful it is, until you dump in a boatload of salt. However, that shock paled in comparison to the horror I experienced upon tasting it several days, maybe weeks, later. Preservatives, people, preservatives.

  29. Sandra D says:

    It’s still today for me, lol. 10:40 on Nov 9. I never liked mayo growing up – like I tasted it, lol (mustard for me), but mom used Miracle Whip, which is what I used when I grew up, and tasted potato salad, and devilled eggs. I agree it makes the BEST potato salad. I use it AND add sour cream to macaroni salad. I’ve just tasted Hellman’s because of the hype about it (and it was the same price). Didn’t notice a difference; don’t shoot me. I don’t use mayo on sandwiches, unless it’s devilled so maybe that’s why.

  30. Etta says:

    Years ago a neighbor called asking to borrow some mayonnaise. “Sure, come on over.” When she walked in, ( never locked the doors ) I was pouring oil into the blender. ” Whatcha’ making ?” “Mayonnaise.” I replied. She stood stock still, her eyes got big and she said ” You can MAKE mayonnaise ?!!!” Still cracks me up.

  31. Tina says:

    Definitely Mayo! I grew up in a household (Oregon) where we had both but I tasted MW once and never again. So I don’t know who used or ate the MW but someone did!

  32. Sandra D says:

    She was right! So much easier to swat, then dig. 🙂

  33. Tina says:

    And I’ll add my own reply. My dad grew up in the dust country of Central Washington State. While he was still wet behind the ears, he joined the army. He got to Basic Training and went to the mess and got his lunch. They had 2 bowls of white stuff, Dad figured they were vanilla pudding so he took a big scoop out of each bowl. They were Mayo and MW. And he was made to clean his plate…eat every smear of both!

  34. brenda says:

    HAHA – let the flying sandwiches and expletives begin

  35. Julie Cavallaro says:

    I hate Miracle Whip!

  36. SuZieQ1 says:

    Miracle Whip!! except for a chicken or tomato sandwich…

  37. Valerie says:

    Raised on Miracle Whip. When I grew up and started buying my own groceries I always purchased Mayonnaise and prefer it. Miracle Whip always tasted sour to me.
    I think those born during the 20s preferred Miracle Whip as a ‘new fangled’ spread, second only to that stuff you referred to as Sandwich Spread – groaner, another yucky thing my Mother loved.

  38. Bonnie Gutierrez says:

    I’m in the mayo camp and I formerly would use only Hellmann’s until I experienced Jake’s.
    You are so correct that homemade is the bomb but I am usually too lazy! IMO, Miracle Whip is like comparing Coolwhip to real whipped cream.

  39. Bonnie Gutierrez says:

    Sorry, I meant to say Duke’s!

  40. gloria says:

    I’m from the so-called Miracle Whip-eating south. But I grew up slathering my mater sammiches with Mayo.

  41. Lee says:

    My dad was a wonderful cook and I grew up in a house that did not allow Miracle Whip (near Detroit). To this day, I just can’t buy it or use it.

  42. PC mayo because we use very little and home made has too short a shelf life..

  43. Kathy Hartzell says:

    Never tried MW. I mix my mayo 1/2 and 1/2 with plain yogurt for tuna or egg salad. Never use it on s’witches, just mustard. Dip fries in Dijon or catsup, since you’re asking.

  44. Gayle M says:

    LOL. Patent 465,588

  45. Gayle M says:

    I keep both on hand, and don’t use them interchangeably. Depends on whether the recipe needs a little twang of spicy or the milder taste of mayo. I’ll have to look for your recipe/method send make my own sometime. (Raised in Detroit MI area, solely MW. Never saw real mayo til my hubby from Grand Rapids MI wanted it on hand–raised on a farm as a young’un, he was.)

  46. Sam King says:

    Really don’t think we have miracle whip (UK here) and I wouldn’t be able to eat it anyway as I’m intolerant to corn! (Amongst other things) I thought miracle whip was dessert anyway? Lol xx

  47. Centi says:

    I bought Miracle Whip back when I was 19. Never again!

  48. Michelle says:


  49. Kristin S. says:

    As a lifelong Michigander in my 30’s, and we’ve always used mayonnaise in my family, and bitched about “miracle wimp” as my uncle calls it. I think the divide is more porous than you think! I tolerate it in tuna salad or on a BLT, but personally, looking into a jar of mayonnaise is the most disgusting thing as it looks like I’m staring into a jar of liposuction results. I find it viscerally upsetting to see, but it’s fine on a sandwich. I’m weird.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)

  • About Karen

  • About Karen

  • My Latest Videos

The Art of Doing Stuff