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Miracle Whip (Recipe: wild rice and chicken salad)

While working on a new recipe index, I've been revisiting some posts from the early days of The Perfect Pantry. Here's one of my favorites -- a true confession! Welcome to Oldies Week, Day Two.


Strangers are about to learn a dirty little secret my family has known for years.

I eat Miracle Whip (gasp!).

In fact, I like it better than real mayonnaise (gasp!).

My favorite thing is to smoosh up Season sardines, mix in some Miracle Whip, and scoop it up on wheat crackers (gasp, gasp!). I learned this from my dad. My cousin Martin used to ship the sardines to me from Maryland (no other brand will do, just like no other mayo will do), because until recently I couldn't find them here. Finding the Miracle Whip was never a problem.

Invented at Max Crosset's Cafe in Salem, Illinois, Miracle Whip was originally called Max Crossett's X-tra Fine Salad Dressing. Crosset sold his formula to Kraft Foods in 1931 for $300.

A patented "emulsifying machine" helped produce a uniform blend of existing mayonnaise products and less expensive salad dressing. The machine, informally called "Miracle Whip" by inventor Charles Chapman, ensured that pre-measured ingredients could continuously enter the appliance and become thoroughly whipped and blended.

Kraft introduced its new product at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933, with the tagline "Salad Miracles with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing." It was an instant success.

While Miracle Whip is not an all-natural product, the list of ingredients contains nothing I can't identify: water, soybean oil, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, modified food starch, egg yolks, salt, mustard flour, artificial color, potassium sorbate as a preservative, spice, paprika, natural flavor, dried garlic. Doesn't sound too bad, does it? And from a nutrition standpoint, it's actually a lower-fat alternative to mayonnaise, with no trans fat and only 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon.

In junior high school, my friends and I used Miracle Whip as a hair conditioner, and for facials (gaspgaspgasp!).

I grew up with Miracle Whip, and I guess I'll never outgrow it.

Wild rice and chicken salad

This isn't really a salad, and it's not made with real wild rice. It was a favorite with our kids when they were young, and now our grandsons love it, too. A great way to get children to eat some vegetables. Use instant rice and a rotisserie chicken, and this meal comes together in less than 10 minutes. Serves 4.


1 box Uncle Ben's Instant Long Grain & Wild Rice, prepared according to package directions
2 Kirby cucumbers, or 1/2 of a long seedless cuke, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1/2 lb roasted chicken breast, skin removed, diced (a rotisserie chicken from the market works well, or use leftovers)
1/4 cup Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Black pepper, to taste


Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix Miracle Whip and mustard. Add to the rice mixture, and season with black pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Horseradish dip
Caesar dip
Curried orzo chicken salad

Need more ideas for how to create salads with pizzazz? Get Dress Up Your Salad, my e-book packed with easy mix-and-match recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. Exciting salad recipes from everyday ingredients can be just one click away, on any computer, tablet or smart phone, with the FREE Kindle Reading app. Click here to learn more.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Gasp...I eat Miracle Whip too...it is what I grew up on.

I'm afraid I am not a MW eater nor a mayo eater. It's a taste I cannot develop. I seem to substitute everything with mayo or MW with quark. So I will be trying that wild rice dish with quark too because it sounds awesome!

Lydia, i like mayo so i imagine that i would like MW? :D Thanks for sharing your fav product.

Ahhh, Miracle Whip! Yup, all we had in the house. My mother never bought "mayonnaise".
It was M.W. on the sandwiches and M.W. on the salads. I loved it!

It does make a 'better sandwich'. That jar brings back memories!

Had no idea it's kinder to the diet-concious than regular mayo. tho i'm not big on mayo i do love aioli... indulgence...

My favorite as a kid was white bread (but good white bread, we had a great bakery in town) with BUTTER (preferably cold so it could be thick) slathered with peanut butter (smooth or chunky) slathered with mayonnaise (we didn't bother with the high falutin' name Miracle Whip, it was just mayo, we knew) and topped with iceberg lettuce. Funny, it STILL sounds good to me. These days, I turn to the lower-fat version which to my taste is fine.

I've had both Mayo and MW in the house for as long as I can remember. I wouldn't dream of making a turkey sammich without MW, nor would I EVER use MW for tuna salad. I love 'em both, I just think that each has its own uses

I knew a man once who always had both when he served sandwiches and always called MW dressing. In fact, he got upset if anyone called MW mayonnaise.

It's ok, I still like you. But NO MIRACLE WHIP for me under any circumstances.

Peabody, I think MW eaters are a special breed, and I'm an unrepentant Miracle Whip fan!

Meeta, I've never had quark, believe it or not. Time to try it.

Anh, Miracle Whip is a bit sweeter than mayo, so if you like mayo and you have a sweet tooth, this might be for you!

Katie, I'm so glad to know you're a MW person. I think Miracle Whip on a tomato sandwich is one of the best things ever.

Kel, welcome to The Perfect Pantry. Who doesn't love aioli??? The more garlic, the better!

Alanna, we only had Miracle Whip in the house for most of the time I was growing up, too, and we called it mayo. I love the sound of your slather sandwich!

Jerry, although you are completely wrong about MW and tuna (it's one of my absolute favorite combinations), I'm glad to know that you're in the MW camp.

Rupert, that sounds like one fussy guy....

Kalyn, thanks -- I still like you, too!

Lydia, my Mom always put a dollop of MW on our fruit salad -- I loved it! It's always been my favorite over mayonnaise (at least, the non-homemade kind of mayonnaise...). This salad sounds really good -- thank you for sharing the recipe!

I was weaned on Miracle Whip and cheerios. Nothing like MW on tomato sandwiches, etc.

I grew up on it, too, but now find it too sweet & thin. I'm happy w/ low-fat mayo. This doesn't mean MW isn't in the house; my husband INSISTS on it.

Haven't had the MW in a long while, but I know I can go slap-happy with it on any sandwich. The idea of it mashed with sardines... heaven I tell you, I must try it!

I like mayo, so I'm sure I'd like this :)

Genie, nothing compares with homemade mayo. But I think MW is a totally different product...which, I guess, is my way of justifying have both MW and mayo in my pantry.

Alexandra, MW on tomato sandwiches is THE best. (You didn't have Miracle Whip and Cheerios together, did you? Or did you?!)

Susan, I think I would like your husband!

Callipygia, MW also makes a mean egg salad sandwich. I love it -- no apologies for that!

Kelly-Jane, you can see that people who love it really love it. Something about taste memories, at least for those of us who grew up thinking that Miracle Whip was the same as mayonnaise.

LOL! I hate to sound really ignorant but I didn't know there was a difference. ;-) I like them both.


I don't take mayo but this certainly sounds like a better alternative to mayo.

I have never before heard of Miracle Whip. We dont have it in the uK. Does it have superpowers? ( Im wondering about the miracle bit of the whip)

Oh, baby, you lost me.

I think Miracle Whip is like the Listerine or Jell-O or astroturf of fake mayo.

It's okay, we all have our foibles. My intention is for my hypocrisy to be completely transparent, but golly gosh, NO MIRACLE WHIP.

: D

LOL!! I remember the Miracle Whip hair conditioner! It sure was hard to get out of my hair. I never had Miracle Whip until we moved to the Midwest. It baffled me at first, but I started to like it over time.

Paz, I do too, but if I could only have one, it would be Miracle Whip.

Tigerfish, I think it's an acquired taste, like nam pla or anchovies.

Charlotte, it does have superpowers -- it obviously has the power to make people laugh!

Tana, hope I'll get you back later in the week! Now, will you confess one of your culinary sins?!

Sher, I never realized how mayonnaise changes so much from one region of the country to another. Sweeter in one place, tangier in another. Miracle Whip seems to stay the same, though.

hahaha i think miracle whip and sardines on crackers sounds awesome! i wonder if it's a RI thing?

Lydia, I tried it and then I tried it again. Sorry, I'm a dyed in the wool MAYO fan.

Nooo... NOOOO! Oh Lydia, how could you?


My dirty little secret? Cheetos. Of course I never buy them, because when I do I eat the whole bag, no matter how big the bag is.

Love love love sardines! Canned sardines. In any variety - with tomato sauce, mustard, olive oil. Pickled herring too. Yum.

Aria, definitely not a Rhode Island thing! I grew up in New York, and my particular brand of sardines was only available in the mid-Atlantic region. It's only in the last year or two that I've been able to indulge this particular passion from our local supermarket!

Pauline, you are forgiven.

Elise, cheetos? I'm giggling -- we all have our Achilles heel!

We all have our little pantry secrets ;-) I've had little exposure to mayonnaise. The first time I had mayonnaise was when I was 15 years old and I tried miracle when I first went to the US in my early 20's. I have to say that I am not partial to either, but I do like japanese mayonnaise and when my friend makes homemade mayonnaise. That said, your recipe with the seasoned sardines ceratainly sounds enticing!

Nora, I remember the first time I saw that Japanese mayonnaise in the squeezy bottle -- Kewpie, is that the name of it? I thought it was the coolest-looking thing. But when I tasted it, I didn't care for it. Go figure.

I've never tried mayo for hair conditioner, but they say olive oil is supposed to be great! ;) P.S. Your secret is safe with me.

Susan, whew! I wouldn't want anyone to know....

Miracle Whip - in the same catagory to me as Kewpie in Japan - YUCK!

Hellman's/Best Foods reigns!

Nate, welcome -- and thanks for weighing in on the Miracle Whip/mayo debate. I agree about Kewpie, and Hellman's is fine... but it's just not Miracle Whipe!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I love this stuff.

Mimi, you're a woman after my own heart.

My deep sin is 3 Depression (economic, not - usually- emotional)-style bologna sandwiches. One slice of bologna, 2 slices cheap white bread, for each. One with mayo, one with MW, one with ballpark mustard, eaten in that order. There IS a difference between mayo and MW, although I learned inadvertently that if you don't have any MW in the house, just mayo, that equal parts sugar and vinegar, anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoonful per cuppa mayo, stirred into the mayo, produce a reasonable substitute.

I think the things we learn from our dad's always taste best (even if they use Miracle Whip instead of Helmans!) :)

Lemons, welcome to The Perfect Pantry. There are no sins when it comes to Miracle Whip, so go ahead and indulge!

Christine, I agree. My dad wasn't much of a cook, but I've definitely inherited some of his food habits.

Maybe someone can help answer a question for me. I have two brother-in-laws who say that they can eat MW but not Mayo. They say that the Mayo upsets their stomach & they have a allergic reaction to it (swollen eyes, skin rashes, etc.)
I have looked at the ingredients of both - I don't see a difference in the ingredients other than MW has MORE ingredients than Mayo !! What do you think ????

Nancy, that's so interesting. If the allergic reaction only happens with homemade mayo, I'd suspect the raw eggs, but in processed mayo the eggs are pasteurized. I would email to Harold McGee, food scientist extraordinaire (harol[email protected]) and ask him. Please let us know what he says.

Your recipe with the seasoned sardines sounds very exciting. I am first time visitor to your site and am quiet enjoying reading about pantry's. That being said, you would love for you to contribute recipes to the event i am hosting. Its a ONE DISH MEAL - SAlad event. the rules for participating are in my website. Will look forward to seeing somethings from your pantry.

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