Homemade Aioli is so easy and quick to make and tastes great with veggies or burgers! Check out my foolproof way to make this garlic lemon sauce at home.

Homemade Garlic Aioli in a Jar

Let me show you how easy it is to make this famous Mediterranean garlic sauce at home! Many recipes just use regular mayonnaise and add some stuff to it and call it Aioli, but making it from scratch is so worth it. The taste is just so much better and by using quality ingredients that you probably have in your pantry anyway, you can make something extremely delicious and fancy in no time!

It makes a perfect dipping sauce for potato wedges, chicken tenders, or french fries but also tastes great on a burger or sandwich or simply served with rustic bread and olives.

We tried many ways to make Aioli – immersion blender, whisking by hand, food processor, electric hand mixer, and Vitamix – but the easiest, most foolproof method is the electric hand mixer in our opinion! This way, you can easily control the consistency and avoid over-processing the oil, which often results in bitterness or splitting of the mixture.

What is Aioli?

The word aioli translated means garlic and oil. It is a creamy sauce made with olive oil and garlic that’s found in the cuisines of the Mediterranean coasts of Spain, France, and Italy. There are many variations, but today it is usually made with egg yolks, lemon juice, and sometimes a little bit of mustard.

Like mayonnaise, aioli is an emulsion, a mixture of two unmixable liquids. The main difference between aioli and mayo is that aioli is always made with garlic and olive oil. Mayonnaise, on the other hand, is made with flavor-neutral oil, usually canola oil. But they are similar in texture, so if you are short on time, you can make Cheater’s aioli sauce by adding a few simple ingredients to store-bought mayonnaise.

Cheater’s Aioli

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp olive oil, or use olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced to a paste
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, adds color

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with a little bit of salt to taste.

How to Make Aioli

How to make Aioli from scratch

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found at the bottom of the page on the printable recipe card.

Ingredients

  • Garlic: The main ingredient, without garlic, it’s not aioli! Use 1 clove for a milder taste and 2 cloves for a more intense garlic flavor.
  • Egg yolks: I recommend using organic egg yolks because you can taste
  • Lemon juice: I prefer freshly squeezed lemon juice because it tastes better.
  • Dijon mustard: A popular add-in in France. It adds flavor and color to the sauce and makes emulsification easier.
  • Salt: Finely ground salt works best.
  • Sugar
  • Cayenne pepper: A pinch of cayenne brings out the flavor of the sauce without making it spicy.
  • Light olive oil: Adds authentic fruity flavor without bitterness. Don’t use extra virgin olive oil in this recipe; it’s just too intense and easily gets bitter.

Instructions

  1. Make a paste from the Garlic cloves by using one of the methods below.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine garlic paste, egg yolks, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Mix with a hand mixer set on medium speed.
  3. With the hand mixer set to high, slowly pour in the oil, mixing continuously.
  4. When all the oil is added, keep mixing until the aioli thickens and gets paler (see picture), about 2 more minutes.

How to make Garlic paste

One of the main ingredients in aioli is garlic. It gives the sauce its flavor and has to be transformed into a paste, so the aioli has a smooth texture and you won’t bite into little garlic pieces. There are different ways to do this, depending on what you have on hand:

Mortar and pestle: This is the traditional way to make garlic paste. The garlic is pounded into a paste before being added to the other ingredients.

Microplane grater: Grating the garlic on a fine grater works too, just be careful not to hurt yourself because those graters are sharp.

Knife and salt: This method is perfect if you don’t have any of the above tools. The garlic bits will be noticeable but less than if you just mince it without salt. Coarsely chop the garlic, then sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of salt and mince until a paste forms. The salt helps to grind the garlic down.

Aioli, bread, olives, and antipasti on a table

Variations

We love our aioli without any mix-ins, just simple garlic aioli as we always had it on Mallorca or with our Spanish friends, but I added a few variations below so you can make your own unique sauce!

  • Roasted Garlic Aioli: Roast a whole head of garlic in the oven and then use one or two roasted garlic cloves in this recipe.
  • Spicy Aioli: Stir 1 teaspoon or more of hot sauce into the finished sauce or use Sriracha instead to make Sriracha Aioli.
  • Chipotle Aioli: Stir 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or chipotle hot sauce into the finished sauce.
  • Pesto Aioli: Stir 2 teaspoons pesto into the finished sauce.
  • Basil Aioli: Stir one tablespoon chopped fresh basil into the finished sauce.
  • Truffle Aioli: Add 2 teaspoons truffle oil to the sauce while mixing it with the hand mixer.
Aioli, bread, olives, and antipasti on a table
Servings: 8

Aioli

Homemade Aioli is so easy and quick to make and tastes great with veggies or burgers! Check out my foolproof way to make this garlic lemon sauce at home.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Pantry
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: Aioli
Calories: 196kcal

Ingredients

  • 1-2 garlic clove, made into a paste
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup light tasting olive oil

Instructions

  • Make a paste from the Garlic cloves by using one of the methods below.
  • In a medium bowl, combine garlic paste, egg yolks, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Mix with a hand mixer set on medium speed.
  • With the hand mixer set to high, slowly pour in the oil, mixing continuously.
  • When all the oil is added, keep mixing until the aioli thickens and gets paler (see picture), about 2 more minutes. Fill into a container and use right away or refrigerate for a few hours, so it thickens more.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • The aioli will get firmer when chilled! Don’t worry if it doesn’t look as thick after whisking; it should roughly keep its shape but will firm up more in the fridge.
  • Dijon mustard helps with emulsification and adds color. Feel free to leave it out.
  • I recommend using light olive oil! Extra virgin olive can make the sauce overly bitter. If you don’t have light olive oil, you can use 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, this way you get the flavor without the bitterness.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge. I use Weck glasses.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 5mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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