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How Mayo Can Replace Cream Cheese in Holiday Recipes

How Mayo Can Replace Cream Cheese in Holiday Recipes
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Mayo can work in many holiday recipes beyond your usual macaroni salad.

The holidays are a time for comfort food and indulgence, which is why you’ll spot cream cheese in many festive recipes. From cakes to casseroles, numerous dishes benefit from the addition of this soft cheese. The result is always rich and decadent – perfect for celebrations.

But as an in-demand dairy product, it can take up a big chunk of your cooking budget. If you want to use it in new recipes, you’d need to double up to make sure you don’t run out while experimenting. Those costs stack up, too. So, what do you do? You find a suitable alternative offering the same perks and none of the pricey drawbacks. That’s where mayonnaise comes in!

A staple in every household, this classic condiment has many uses beyond sandwiches and sushi rolls. Learn why it works in cream cheese recipes and get ideas to make the most of it. Some of these mayo applications might even surprise you!

7 Recipes to Make With Mayonnaise Instead of Cream Cheese

The two are similar in texture and flavor: both are creamy and thick, easy to spread, and slightly tangy. Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise also has a mild sweetness that Pinoys love, so it’s the go-to for local faves like macaroni salad. Mayo won’t work as a substitute in every cream cheese recipe, but these seven are guaranteed winners. Try them out!

Garlicky spinach dip

No party is complete without chips and dip! Most spinach dip recipes feature cream cheese as a primary ingredient alongside other creamy components. You can lean on mayo as the main and bulk it up with shredded cheese. Mix in spinach, minced garlic, and your choice of seasonings. You’ll still get an ultra-creamy dip, just with fewer ingredients. Win-win.

Jalapeño poppers

These deep-fried treats are excellent bar chow. They’re crispy, creamy, and savory all at once, with just enough heat to keep you munching. Start with hollowed-out jalapeños or other alternatives, like small bell peppers. The stuffing is endlessly customizable – make sure you have mayo in there for an ooey-gooey bite. Flavor it with chilies, herbs, and other spices to your liking, then the rest is up to you.

Loaded garlic bread

This Korean street food has been a social media favorite since 2020. Instead of using a baguette, this garlic bread calls for a fluffy bun or dinner roll. Partially cut each piece into equal wedges and stuff with a sweet-savory filling. You can recreate it with mayo, sugar, minced garlic, and dried parsley. Toast it until crisp on the outside but custard-like on the inside. Pull on the wedges and enjoy! FYI, sharing is optional.

Velvety mashed potatoes

The secret to the best mashed potatoes you’ll ever have isn’t more butter, creamy cheese, or heavy cream. It’s mayonnaise. That’s right! The condiment will give your spuds a soft, velvety texture and a slightly richer profile without overpowering flavors. Just add a dollop or two along with your usual ingredients and mash away. Use a potato masher if you want it a little chunky. Otherwise, an immersion blender can deliver a smoother consistency.

Creamy tuna casserole

If you have canned tuna and dry pasta in your pantry, you’re already halfway done with this casserole. Atypical recipe calls for soft cheese and heavy cream as binding ingredients, but mayo works as a reliable sub. You can also add a cream of mushroom soup mix for extra flavor. Cook your pasta, toss in the sauce, and combine with drained tuna. Feel free to load it with peas and carrots for a more nutritious plate. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs before baking for a golden-brown crust. 

Chicken Alfredo pasta

Traditional Alfredo sauce uses butter and Parmesan. Some modern versions add cream cheese to make it richer. Achieve the same effect with mayo! Whisk your ingredients in a saucepan until everything melts together into a silky sauce. Add your al dente pasta and toss to coat. Enjoy with pan-seared or grilled chicken or your preferred protein. Make a big batch of this sauce and freeze it for more meals later. Alfredo goes on everything – bread, grilled veggies, egg noodles, you name it!

Chocolate cake and frosting

Surprise! You can make desserts with mayo, too. Pastry chefs have been doing it since the ‘20s. The secret to many moist chocolate cakes? Real, high-quality mayonnaise! Since the condiment already has eggs and oil, it makes perfect sense in any recipe. But did you know you can make cream cheese frosting with mayo, too? Mx it with cocoa, sugar, butter, and milk to create a rich and decadent ganache.

Now you know what to do when you’re out of cream cheese but eager to complete a recipe. As long as you have mayonnaise on hand, you can make it to the finish line. Who knows, you might end up with an even better dish with mayo in the mix!

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