Home Articles Miracle Whip vs. Mayo: What’s the Difference?

Miracle Whip vs. Mayo: What’s the Difference?

Ah, the good old Miracle Whip vs. mayo debate. 

Chances are you’re on one side of the fence. And NOT the other.

Miracle Whip vs. Mayo: What's the Difference? featuring A Bowl of Mayo on a Wooden Table with a Basil Garnish

It may seem silly that people have such strong opinions about Miracle Whip vs. mayo. But they do. 

In fact, this argument nearly ruined my Fourth of July dinner. 

(My aunt and mother were making potato salad. Long story short- they did not agree on which condiment to use.)

But this article is not about which one is better. 

Instead, we will take a fact-based look at both spreads and what makes them different. And similar. 

Miracle Whip vs. Mayo (What’s the Difference?) 

There are several differences between Miracle Whip and mayo. 

Foremost, Miracle Whip is a brand. But many companies put out mayonnaise. 

And while they share several ingredients, there are differences there, too. 

We will look at the most significant differences between the two in the following sections. 


Both mayo and Miracle Whip share several ingredients, including: 

  • Egg yolks
  • Oil
  • Acid (lemon juice or vinegar)

However, Miracle Whip has less oil than mayonnaise. 

And it includes a few ingredients mayo does not have. These are water, sugar*, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and spices for flavor. 

The differences in ingredients also mean the two products have distinct nutritional profiles. 

For example, Miracle Whip has fewer calories and less fat than mayo. (They designed it as a low-fat alternative to regular mayo.)

Miracle Whip also has more carbs than mayo (thanks, sugar!), which often has zero carbs. 

*Note: A few mayonnaise brands contain sugar. But they have far less of it than Miracle Whip. 


Because of the high-fructose corn syrup, Miracle Whip tastes much sweeter than mayonnaise. It even has a hint of spice in its flavor. 

Mayo is blander; it has a much more neutral flavor. (Though it has more tang.) 

Because of its thinner viscosity, mayo is smoother and creamier than Miracle Whip. 


Both condiments have several uses, some of which are the same. These include: 

  • A condiment- for burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and other things
  • An ingredient in salad dressings and dips
  • Added to vegetable-based recipes (like potato salad)

However, the two have their separate uses, as well. 

People often use Miracle Whip when they want a sweeter, spicier flavor in recipes. 

Mayo is fantastic in savory recipes and can also act as a binding agent. 

A Plastic Jar of Miracle Whip on a Wooden Table

What Is Miracle Whip?

Miracle Whip is the specific brand name for a condiment. Kraft Foods created it in the 30s. 

It is a white, creamy condiment created to be a low-fat alternative to mayo. 

According to the FDA, it’s a “dressing,” not mayonnaise.

Still, its taste is like mayonnaise but is sweeter, spicier, and less tangy. 

It has a unique texture that sets it apart from mayo. Miracle Whip feels less creamy and more airy. And this fabulous spread is optimal for slathering on bread and buns.

A Bowl of Mayo with Herbs Spices and Quail Eggs on a Wooden Board

What Is Mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise, or mayo, is a white, creamy condiment that dates back to the 1700s. It contains a mixture of oil, egg yolks, and acid. 

The FDA requires that it be at least 65% oil to be true mayo.

It’s thick, and tangy, and has many uses, including as a condiment or salad dressing. 

It has a milder- but tangier- flavor than Miracle Whip. Mayonnaise is more popular than Miracle Whip in savory dishes. 

Can I Substitute Miracle Whip for Mayo and Vice Versa? 

Despite what my mom and aunt would tell you, yes, you can swap these condiments. 

However, they do not have the same flavor, so substitute carefully. 

Remember, Miracle Whip is noticeably sweeter than mayonnaise. It also has more sugar and carbs. (Though it still doesn’t contain large amounts of either.) 

Still, those few carbs can make all the difference if you’re on a low-carb diet. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to make Miracle Whip any less sweet. 

So if you don’t want the sweetness in your recipe, substitute something else. 

(Greek yogurt is a fantastic replacement for mayo in most recipes.) 

If you’re substituting the other way around, you have some options. 

For example, a few mayo brands contain sugar in their recipes. Reach for one of those if you want to substitute mayo for Miracle Whip. 

Cucumber Slice Dipped in Mayonnaise with Carrots and Cucumber Slices on a Plate in the Background

Miracle Whip vs. Mayo (Which One Should You Use?)

When choosing between these two condiments, it comes down to preference. 

If you want something sweeter, go with Miracle Whip. If you want a creamier, milder condiment, opt for mayo instead. 

You can keep a few things in mind if you’re trying to decide, though. 

They are: 

  • Mayo works best in classic savory recipes like tuna salad. 
  • Miracle Whip works best in sweeter recipes, such as those with fruit. 
  • Miracle Whip has less fat and fewer calories than mayo. 
  • Mayo has less sugar and fewer carbs than Miracle Whip. 
  • Mayo is the more natural choice and includes fewer chemicals. 

But it all comes down to you! 

Miracle Whip vs. Mayo

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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