My husband I don’t argue about much, but we do argue about aioli. Yep, aioli. We argue about the degree to which it is similar or different from mayonnaise. I say that aioli is practically sisters with mayonnaise, while he claims that the two condiments might as well be second cousins.
This typically takes place over wine and French fries in our favorite restaurants. We ask our server, “What is aioli?” Somehow his or her answer is always a point for both of us. I know, it’s silly.
If you ask me, aioli is quite similar to mayonnaise. They’re both made of raw eggs emulsified with oil (mayonnaise is made with neutral oil, while aioli is made with olive oil) and a little bit of acid (mayonnaise uses vinegar, while aioli uses lemon juice). Sometimes the French add a little bit of mustard.
Aioli also contains garlic, which we agree must be included. The word aïoli literally means oil and garlic (ail is garlic in French). The most original form of aioli, which I’m hoping to taste in Provence this summer, is made only with garlic and olive oil emulsified in a mortar and pestle.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that there are many opinions about aioli. I’m surely going to upset someone with this quick and dirty version of aioli that tastes just like your favorite restaurant’s. Want to learn how it’s done?
How to Make This Quick & Easy Aioli
My easy aioli recipe is made with—wait for it—mayonnaise! To make it, you simply soak minced garlic in lemon juice for 10 minutes, strain it out, and stir the garlicky lemon juice into the mayonnaise. Essentially, you’re using mayonnaise as the creamy base, and adding the most characteristic aioli flavors to it.
I learned this trick from my tahini sauce. This way, you get nice garlic flavor without any actual garlic floating around in your mayo. Minced garlic would only distract from the creaminess and could make your sauce too garlicky with time.
Watch How to Make Aioli
Uses for Aioli
Anywhere you might use mayonnaise, you could probably use aioli. Here are some ideas:
- As a dip for prepared artichoke, French fries, crispy potato wedges (shown below) or sweet potato fries
- As a sandwich spread, perhaps in lieu of mayo on my veggie breakfast sandwich
- Serve a dollop with prepared vegetables, like green beans, roasted cauliflower, potatoes or a grilled kebab
- Generally speaking, aioli plays well with Spanish and provincial French cuisine, and also on seafood, apparently
Please let me know how your aioli turns out in the comments!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: ½ cup 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: French
Learn how to make creamy, tangy, garlicky aioli at home with this easy recipe! You’ll just need good mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic. Recipe yields ½ cup aioli; multiply as necessary.
- 5 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
- Sprinkle of salt
- ½ cup good quality mayonnaise (I like Sir Kensington’s), to taste
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- In a small, shallow bowl, combine the pressed garlic and lemon juice. Stir to combine and spread it into an even layer so the juice can work its magic. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, so the lemon juice can absorb the garlic’s flavor.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over another bowl. Using a silicone or rubber spatula, scoop the contents of the bowl into the strainer, then press on the garlic with the spatula to get as much juice out as possible. Discard the garlic.
- Stir the mayo into the garlicky lemon juice until combined. Taste, and adjust only if necessary—if the garlic flavor is overwhelming, stir in more mayonnaise by the tablespoon. If you want it to taste a little more interesting, add the Dijon mustard. For more tang, add another little squeeze of lemon juice.
- Aioli will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 10 days. It will thicken up more as it chills.
My family and I enjoyed this recipe on some Greek chicken skewers! Easy to make and the flavors were mild enough to balance out the chicken but definitely strong enough to just add some umph to the dish. Will be making it again!
I cheated on my wife Melinda last night just to try out this recipe. 10/10 would recommend!
How long would this last in the fridge if wanting to make ahead and store? Please and thanks :)
Hi! See the last step. I hope you like it!
My daughter just told me that I made the best sauce ever. Excellent. Thank you!
Time Saver!!! This is great. No need to get my food processor out and since i am just mixing the two liquids together it’s easy to scale the recipe back for smaller portions.
I’m glad you loved it, Lori! Thank you for your review.
Wouldn’t change a thing! Was great on bbq’ed burgers with bacon cheese. Thanks for the recipe!
Fantastic! Only aioli recipe I saw on Google that took 15 minutes, and it’s so easy I nailed it first try! My family was fighting over who got to lick the spoon
It was super easy and delicious – used it on artichoke hearts that I gave a little char to in the oven. Luckily I use Sir Kensington too!! I will definitely put this to good use in other recipes as well.
Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing.
TARA M COGHLAN
I used this for my very first tortilla espańola. I put the garlic in a press, added it to the lemon juice with a squeeze of Dijon, Mayo and salt. I did not strain it and it is perfect. Can’t wait for lunch. And dinner.
That sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing, Tara.
I virtually exclusively microplane my garlic, super potent, and it’s almost a cream. A single clove goes a long way.
I made this as a burger sauce and a fry dipping sauce, and I thought this was very tasty but a touch too garlicky with 5 cloves. I would definitely make this again, but I will try 4 cloves next time for a more subtle garlic flavor.
Tried this with Follow Your Heart brand Veganaise. One family member has an egg allergy so Mayo is out for us. It worked beautifully. this recipe is a keeper!
We loved it! One of our children (all adults) do not like mayonnaise. I didn’t tell her the ingredients. Thought she would share with her brother – she continued to dip her asparagus and exclaiming how delicious it tasted. The tip about the garlic worked out wonders! I saved the garlic to use again. Mahalo!
Can this be a dipping sauce for onion rings
This recipe is amazing! Made it exactly as directed and used Coleman’s powdered mustard… delicious with my asparagus fries
This is absolutely addictive. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
This recipe is amazing! I happened to make the sauce about 16 hours ahead, and we had it on a meal of grilled salmon, potatoes and steamed greens. Three generations of family absolutely loved it and fought each other for the last spoonful. I recommend letting the sauce sit to allow the garlic flavours to mellow a bit. Thank you Kate for this phenomenal addition to my repertoire!
I was looking for a dip for some zucchini fries I had made and came across this recipe. I’m vegan so i used vegan mayo instead of regular mayo and i used minced garlic. It was delicious!!! My boys asked for seconds just to get more of the aioli!! Bravo!! This recipe rocks!!
Thank you for sharing, Sharmon!
Planned to make tapas at home tonight with my husband and was dying to recreate aioli from our favourite tapas restaurant. Found a few recipes that called for a blender but can’t remember if we have one and that seemed like a huge faff just for a dip! I was super pleased to find this quick, easy recipe (if a little hesitant as I’m not sure I’d agree aioli tastes like mayonnaise and I didn’t want it to). Fast forward to our food coma post-tapas and had to leave a review to say this is awesome! Even better that it made enough for leftovers, yum!
Thank you so much
You’re welcome, Charlotte!
I use mayo made with olive oil and add basil garlic pesto to use as my sauce for Margherita pizza. I top it with plum tomatoes fresh mozzarella and after baking I put on fresh chopped basil. For my pizza crust I use whole grain Naan bread. So yummy.
How about starting with olive oil mayo?
I’m trying to break down an aoli dipping sauce from a local restaurant and I think they may have used red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice. Any thoughts?
Hi LL! I recommend this recipe as written. I hope you try it!
This is a great recipe ! I didn’t use as much garlic, but my cloves were large. I also used the Magic Bullet to mix the garlic, salt, and lemon juice. I let it sit for about 20 minutes before adding mayonnaise, and did not remove garlic – mostly because it was so small. I am adventurous, and so I added the mustard……. wow, what a difference!
I did a ‘before and after’ taste test, and this Aioli is definitely better with the addition of mustard.
Terrific! We used extra lemon juice, mustard, and two dashes of tobacco– licker a little kick in our airline, especially with crab cakes. Will do it again (and again)!
My love of this recipe is pretty intense. I never make less than double. Grilled asparagus, roasted sweet potatoes and this aioli are in my top 5 favorite dinner.
I’m happy you enjoyed it, Juliet! I appreciate your review.
This was wonderful – I added some brown mustard, and drizzled it over baked salmon — perfect.
I found this recipe in 2020 and use it for everything. My family loves it! Best easy aioli ever! Thank you for sharing this!
Love to hear that, MBJ! Thank you for sharing.
I look forward to making it this weekend for portabella mushroom burgers! I notice when you 2x or 3x the recipe, you do not increase the dijon. may I ask why?
Hi Mary, I’m sorry that seems to be doing that. You want to increase everything.
This is more work than putting a cup of oil and one egg in a processor. My recipe that takes five minutes is lemon, garlic, one egg, one cup of oil all thrown into a food processor and pulse for five minutes.
Hi Rina, I’m glad you have a recipe you enjoy. I hope you try this one sometime!
Made this to serve with artichokes. My boyfriend said, “Why don’t we throw away the artichokes and just eat the sauce!” It was that good. I did use the Dijon.
Thank you for sharing, Carole!
C. A. M.
I always make it this way – but with cloves and a garlic press. To me the minced is very easy, but only a fraction of the flavor of fresh. I most often use this as a base coat on chicken breasts or fish – add a sprinkle of panko, herbs to taste and it is wondergul.
This recipe is outstanding. I brushed it on cod and then covered the fish with Pablo crumbs. Baked it at 425 for 12 minutes. Yummy.
Thank you for your review, Joyce!
I tried it using puréed garlic so no need to stain out. Fabulous
That’s great, Yemisi! I appreciate your review.
I regularly make this to put on paninis. I make one version with grilled skirt steak, caramelized onions, and provolone, and another with grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, and sundried tomatoes. It’s great on both and everyone in the family loves it.
This recipe was fantastic! I served this with moules frites and my guests loved it!
Thanks for the recipeS
That’s great, Stacy! I appreciate your review.
I made this recipe to use as a spread on a Turkey Cuban panini. Given the thin application I doubled everything (including yellow mustard) except the Mayo. It really took the Panini to another level; absolutely delicious. 10 out of 10.
My 3 year old Grandson liked it also as a dip for his Cool Ranch Doritos
Great recipe!I have been using it since you first published it. BUT … take out the garlic? NEVER! Garlic is a food group ;) Garlic is good for cooking and for the health of all humans. Finely minced garlic “cooks” in the lemon juice, and cooked garlic doesn’t turn your breath into a stinkpot. With markets overflowing with beautiful basil, I’m about to make a batch of aioli that includes a generous amount of basil. I’ll drizzle it on some of the beautiful real tomatoes I can get now. Later, I’ll drizzle it — plain or Basil-ed — on seared scallops. YUM!
I’m glad you love it, Sandy! Thank you for sharing.
I made it Kathryne and it was garlicky deliciousness. My Farnborough kitchen is a total mess.
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Lance! Thank you for your review.
I’ve made this a few times and it is delicious. I have added 1 tbs (to the triple recipe) of Malt Vinegar Powder and used as a dip for homemade frites. Thanks for sharing
You’re welcome, Jerry! I’m happy you were able to enjoy it.
James St John
Firstly, I just want to say you have a fantastic blog, and the food photography is beautiful.
But I’m sorry to say, on this issue, that your husband is correct: mayonnaise is an emulsion of egg yolks, oil, and acid; aioli is an emulsion of garlic, oil, and salt.
(Aioli recipes that featured egg yolks were the original “cheat’s version”: the yolks were added because they make the emulsion more stable and so the recipe is easier for an amateur cook.)
Alisha C Nguyen
Where has this awesome recipe been all my life?! It tastes so fancy but with so little effort. It’s perfect.
Is the first time I name aioli sauce and I love it my son loves it also I will make this over and over again it’s good on hamburgers hush puppies fried fish a five-star flavor
That’s great to hear, Annie! I appreciate your review.
delicious! Great with roasted Brussel sprouts! (I marinate brussels with Olive Oil , garlic etc. Then roast them)
I just saw that I can leave a comment. I think this is genius. Thank you for sharing it with me!
You’re welcome, Jamie! Thank you for your review.
Of course it tastes just like restaurant aioli – a lot of them cheat too. I had a very disappointing aioli at a well regarded restaurant last night that could well have been based on your version.
I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this recipe, Keith. I appreciate your feedback.
The first time I made this was in a rush to make garlic sauce to go with fish and chips, so glad I stumbled across your recipe on Google.
I made this and it stole the limelight from the mains! The kids devoured it with their chips and the adults went for seconds and thirds.
The lemon, garlic salt absorption is key to the taste. The wait time gives the sauce that complex aioli flavour.
I’ve made proper aioli the non-cheater way but this recipe beats them each time!
I am making it again today to go with my Sunday roast and cannot wait to serve it.
Thank you for sharing! I’m glad the aioli was a hit, Maryam.
Really easy and good. I made this with Dijon and put on top of roasted Brussels sprouts with toasted almonds and Cotija cheese sprinkled on top. I think feta would work in place of the Cotija just as well. A very easy hors d’oeuvres or side.
Thank you, Ken!
I’ve been making this for years as a spread for garlic bread. Slice a french baguette in 1″pieces, lay flat on cookie sheet. Sprinkle finely grated Parmesan on top. Bake at 400 degrees 20 minutes. I don’t strain the minced garlic out. Lots of compliments
Thank you for sharing, Janet! I appreciate your review.
Made this last night, and by the end of dinner people were literally eating this aioli on its own. All the other recipes I have tried ended up tasting too much like raw garlic. This was PERFECT. Thank you!
You’re welcome, INES!
What a great idea. This is my kind of sauce.
Thank you for your review, Theano!