By Michelle Renee

Though typically thought of as a condiment, mayonnaise can also act as a prime ingredient for a wide variety of baked dishes. Whether you're preparing warm dip appetizers or a main dish, or you just ran out of eggs and oil while baking cakes or cookies, that jar of mayo in your fridge might just be the key ingredient you need.

mayonnaise
credit: ClaudioVentrella/iStock/Getty Images
Mayonnaise is made of whipped eggs and oil.

Baked Dips

Spinach and parmesan cheese dip
credit: Juanmonino/iStock/Getty Images
Mayo is a versatile base for all kinds of baked dips.

Mayonnaise makes a great base for a variety of baked dips. In just 25 minutes you can prepare a baked cranberry, blue cheese, pecan dip with a mayo and cranberry sauce base. Mix mayonnaise, refried beans, cheddar cheese and salsa for a spicy baked chili dip. Veggie lovers can use mayo and cream cheese as a base for an easy-bake spinach and artichoke dip. Whip some mayo with cheese spread, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for a creamy cheese dip with a bit of texture.

Hot Appetizers

Chicken Barbecue
credit: zhekos/iStock/Getty Images
Mix with ketchup and Tabasco for a moist and spicy chicken glaze.

Add some Asian flair to your chicken wings by tossing them in a mixture of mayonnaise and apricot preserves with a pinch of jalapeno sauce before baking. Combine mayo with onions, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to toss eggplant for a scrumptious baked baba ghanoush. Seafood lovers might enjoy a simple crab cake recipe. All you have to do is mix lumped crabmeat with mayonnaise, crushed potato chips, eggs, breadcrumbs and seasonings, and shape and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Main Meals

fish
credit: eldinledo/iStock/Getty Images
For a thicker crust, coat your cutlets in mayo before baking.

Whether you're serving steak, poultry or seafood, mayonnaise can help add moisture and flavor and prevent your meats from drying out in the oven. Coat your chicken or chops in mayo to bind your breading before baking. A mixture of mayo and balsamic vinegar creates a thick and tangy basting sauce to brush your pot roast with while baking. You can even use plain old mayonnaise and fresh parsley to adhere a cornmeal crust to cod fillets, or to your favorite catch.

Desserts

Slice Of Chocolate Fudge Cake
credit: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images
Mayonnaise adds moisture to cakes and confections.

Since mayonnaise is made up of eggs and oil, it's an ideal substitute when baking a variety of pastries. Just substitute the exact same amount of mayonnaise that the recipe calls for in oil and omit the eggs completely. If you're using a cake mix, you may need to add a little more water to achieve the right batter consistency. You can just as easily replace eggs and oil with mayonnaise in your favorite cookie recipes too.