What’s the Difference Between Mayonnaise and Salad Dressing?

There are many people who think that salad dressing or more popularly known as Miracle Whip is also mayonnaise but they are wrong. Well, we can’t deny that they look alike and they are used in similar ways as well but they are very different from one another. If you run out of one, you could get away by using the other as a substitute. But if you favor one or the other, it’s likely that you won’t like to change.

Mayonnaise is not Miracle Whip, and Miracle Whip is not mayonnaise. Before, people think that Miracle Whip was a cheaper kind of mayonnaise for poor people to afford it. But if you check the price these days, the price of Miracle Whip is about the same as mayonnaise. So, what is their difference, really?

If this is the first time you knew that mayonnaise and Miracle Whip are different from each other, then we will be glad to explain further about their differences.



Mayonnaise, or often abbreviated as mayo, is a spread that is used in lots of foods such as sandwiches to enhance the taste. It is a thick, cold sauce, or dressing that could be in colors white, cream, or pale yellow. Its texture may range from a light cream to a thick gel. It is made of oil, egg yolks, and either vinegar or lemon juice.

Mayonnaise is made with 80% vegetable oil and it is uncooked. It does not have any sweet or spicy flavor and it is labeled as a spread, condiment, dressing, or sauce. Mayonnaise is also one of the many ingredients used in making salad dressings.

Did you know that mayo is a booming business even though people can make their own at home? In fact, Americans spend at least $2 billion on mayonnaise every year.

Most people were not able to afford to buy mayonnaise during the Depression that’s why they developed the salad dressing spread which is like mayonnaise but contains more sugar, vinegar, and water with less egg yolk. 

Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip is a salad dressing that is manufactured by Kraft Foods. It was first introduced at the World’s Fair in 1933 in Chicago. Soon, it became a success as a condiment on fruits, vegetables, salads, and sandwiches. 

The first ingredient in Miracle Whip is water and it has some oil, sugar, and cornstarch to thicken. It also contains a little bit of egg, salt, and some flavorings. Since it contains water, it has half the calories of mayonnaise. It is considered as a healthier version of mayo because it does not contain fats. However, Miracle Whip does not meet the minimum requirement of 65% vegetable oil for it to be labeled as mayonnaise according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

If you can’t tell the difference by just looking at them, then try to put them side by side and do the taste test. You will see that Miracle Whip tastes sweeter compared to mayonnaise because it contains high-fructose corn syrup and sugar. Aside from that, unlike mayonnaise, Miracle Whip is cooked. It also contains a blend of spices such as mustard, paprika, and garlic. 

Soybean oil is used in making Miracle Whip and it also contains additives such as modified cornstarch as a thickener, potassium sorbate as a preservative, and natural flavors. 

Which is a Healthier Choice?

You might think that Miracle Whip is a healthier choice instead of mayonnaise because it has fewer calories, but mayonnaise is less highly refined. Also, mayonnaise is made with healthy oils such as olive or avocado oil instead of the oils used in Miracle Whip like soybean, canola, or corn oil. Therefore, between the two condiments, mayonnaise is a healthier choice. But if you are using them in small quantities, then they should not affect your health significantly. 

We can conclude that mayonnaise and Miracle Whip or salad dressing are indeed different from one another. Now that you know their differences, would you change the way you use them? Or do you still see them as the same thing? Well, no matter how you like to use them, nothing can change the fact that they are both delicious condiments that can add flavor to foods. So, which do you prefer more, mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?