Learn how to make Homemade Aioli with variations that are sure to bring incredible flavor to your favorite sandwiches or burgers, are perfect for dipping fries, chicken tenders, and meatballs, and can even be used to marinate meats before grilling!
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If I am being completely honest, I feel like such a gourmet whenever I order something off a menu that has aioli on it. It's silly, I know, when in reality, aioli is pretty much just a fancy name for what is essentially just flavored mayonnaise, thinned out a bit with a little acid like lemon juice and with fresh herbs or spices stirred in.
If you look up aioli recipes online, you will find lots of recipes that basically tell you to do just that - stir in a few extra ingredients to a cup of mayo and call it good.
But trust me, homemade aioli made from scratch is so, so, so much better. This classic aioli recipe is one of those things where you can really taste the freshness and quality of the ingredients and it literally comes together in just minutes. This garlic aioli recipe is my go-to base recipe with plenty of variations so you can change up the flavor to your liking.
What is aioli sauce made of?
At it's simplest, an aioli recipe starts with egg yolks and olive oil which is seasoned with a little lemon juice, a generous pinch of salt, maybe a little dijon mustard, and most often garlic. The two liquids are emulsified together so they don't separate over time.
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Egg yolks
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh garlic - This is one instance where garlic powder just won't do. Even purchased garlic paste doesn't have the same impact. For really great garlic flavor you should buy a bulb of garlic and peel and mince a few large garlic cloves.
- Kosher salt
- Fresh lemon juice - This is my secret ingredient for keeping this easy aioli recipe bright and fresh tasting without turning it lemony. If you want even more lemon flavor, be sure to zest your lemon first and add that to your base.
How to Make Aioli
Add the raw egg yolks to your food processor (affiliate link) or blender along with the minced raw garlic, dry mustard, salt, and lemon juice. With the blades running, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the egg yolks in a thin stream over a period of 1-2 minutes.
The liquid will gradually emulsify as the steady stream of olive oil incorporates into the egg yolks creating a thick, creamy aioli.
Add additional mix-ins like herbs, spices, etc. and pulse to combine.
How to Store
Aioli will keep in the fridge for about 1 week in an airtight container. Don't leave it out at room temperature for longer than 1-2 hours.
Can you freeze aioli?
No, like most oil-based condiments, you can't freeze aioli or it will separate when it thaws.
My favorite aioli sauces tend to be the garlicky variety, but you don't have to include the garlic at all in aioli if it's not your thing.
I have included a few of my favorite aioli variations below, rather than post what is essentially the same recipe over and over, but you can really add whatever mix-ins you like to make your own unique aioli.
- Roasted Garlic (use this tutorial for how to roast a whole head of garlic)
- Garlic & Chive
- Southwest Chipotle
- Rosemary Garlic (pictured in the photos in this post)
- Basil Garlic
- Sundried Tomato & Basil
- Cilantro Lime
- Cajun Spicy Aioli
- Red Pepper Aioli
Other possible mix-ins would be garam masala, fresh dill or thyme, jalapeno, avocado, sriracha, black pepper, cranberry sauce with orange zest, etc. The sky is pretty much the limit!
How do you use aioli?
There are so many delicious ways to serve up a batch of freshly made garlic aioli!
We like to put aioli on sandwiches or burgers like the rosemary garlic aioli on a lettuce-wrap burger with caramelized onions in the picture below.
It's incredible on grilled or pan-seared chicken breasts or with crab cakes. Or you could make a cranberry or sundried tomato & basil aioli to spread on a turkey sandwich (one of Paul's favorite things).
It's also wonderful as a dipping sauce for fries (like these Oven Roasted Barbecue Potato Wedges or homemade french fries!) or chicken tenders or meatballs.
You can even use it as a marinade for meat before grilling. It's so versatile!
Tips for Success
- I have made aioli with both a Vitamix blender and a food processor and it came out just fine both ways, although I think that the food processor was a little easier.
- You can use an immersion blender to make aioli by combining the egg yolks and oil in a mason jar, then blending until emulsified. It's slightly easier than using a food process or blender, but not as many people have immersion blenders (I just got one fairly recently myself) and my favorite way is still using my food processor (affiliate link).
Far too often the answer might be yes based on what you see at restaurants and on menus. However, the real answer is that no, classic aioli has a different taste and consistency than what you would have if you just mixed garlic paste or minced garlic into a bowl of store-bought mayonnaise.
The biggest difference between the two in my experience is that aioli tends to be flavored with herbs, spices, or other mix-ins like cranberry sauce while mayo tends to be plain. Another distinction between the two is in the type of oil used in the recipe. Storebought or homemade mayonnaise is made with a more neutral oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil, while an aioli base is going to be made with olive oil, which results in a noticeable flavor difference. That said, you can use any of the more neutral oils or avocado oil to make this aioli recipe and it will still turn out delicious.
Is it safe to eat raw eggs?
If there is any concern about eating raw eggs by using egg yolks in this aioli recipe, you should use pasteurized eggs which can be purchased from the grocery store and are safe for consumption.
Emulsification is the process of combining two seemingly incompatible liquids into a suspended form where they don't separate again. Here, it is achieved by slowly drizzling the olive oil into egg yolks while blending.
If you just want a cheater version using store-bought mayonnaise, you can just use 1 cup of regular mayonnaise mixed with whatever mix-ins you like listed below. Just please use REAL, high quality mayo, not Miracle Whip.
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Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
How to Make Homemade Aioli
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Additional Mix-ins (see notes below)
- Lemon or lime zest
- Cranberry sauce
- Fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, cilantro)
- Spices (Cajun seasoning, black pepper)
- Sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, chipotle peppers, in adobo sauce
- Combine the egg yolks, dry mustard, salt and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and process for 20 seconds.
- With the food processor or blender running, very slowly drizzle in the oil in a thin stream. It should take about 2 minutes to pour all of it in if you are going slowly enough so take your time.
- Add the remaining herbs or spices or other ingredients for whichever aioli variation you desire and process another 20-30 seconds to incorporate completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- Storage: Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container. Don't leave it out at room temperature for longer than 1-2 hours. Do not freeze.
- Roasted garlic aioli: Omit fresh garlic cloves in base recipe and instead add ¼ cup roasted garlic.
- Garlic and chive aioli: Add 1 teaspoon chopped chives.
- Southwest chipotle aioli: ½ teaspoon chipotle powder or 1 chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce and ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin.
- Rosemary garlic aioli: Add leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped.
- Basil garlic aioli: Add 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil.
- Sundried tomato and basil aioli: 1 ½ teaspoons chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, ¾ teaspoon oil from the tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil.
- Cilantro lime aioli: 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves and replace the lemon juice in the recipe with the zest from 1 lime, and 1 tablespoon lime juice.
- Cajun aioli: Add ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 extra clove garlic, 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence, 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and zest of 1 lemon.
- Red pepper aioli: Add ¼ cup chopped roasted red bell peppers.
This post was originally published in January, 2017. The content was updated in September, 2022.
Reader questions and reviews
I'm with you -- aioli from scratch is THE BEST! My Mom used to make them all the time when I was growing up -- and she'd flavor them with garlic and lemon juice. So good!
Garlicky aioli is the best! Love that you have childhood memories of this - it's something I didn't try until adulthood!
Aioli is best when made fresh at home with fresh ingredients. This is an awesome post with all the variations you list. I will have to try a few different ones. The cajun aioli would be delicious on any fish sandwich. Yum.
What a great post. The variations all look great. Cilantro lime on a fish taco. Southwest chipotle on a burger. Roasted garlic on everything. Thanks!
I love aioli and this one looks delicious!
WaOO awesome recipe thanks for sharing .
I've really only fairly recently discovered aioli but I wish I had earlier!! I put it on everything now, and can't wait to try and make some of my own!
That's kind of how it was for me as well! I always thought it was difficult to make or something but it's so easy and delicious and can be used in so many ways!
I love aioli and love all the options you have here! I could think of so many uses, but I think my favourite place to start is for dunkin' fries 🙂
Very easy and very good. A bit lemony (some sugar cut the acid) but very tasty!
looking for a suggestion. My Aioli was very runny. I will still use it , but would like it thicker. any suggestions.
Hmm, if you wanted to make it thicker, I would try adding an extra egg yolk.
i would like that recipe added to my Christmas dinner list especially since ill be cooking in a new home
It's not aioli if there's no garlic!
Question what kind of dry mustard did you use?
Just the McCormick brand. Nothing special. 🙂
Extremely salty. I'd cut the salt by half or more.
It sounds delicious however did you mean raw egg yolks? Won’t that be a little bit dangerous ? unless you meant cooked
No, they are raw egg yolks. You can use pasteurized eggs to make sure they are safe for raw consumption. But yes, that is how homemade aioli is made.
If you or a friend have a sous vide machine, you can pasteurize your own, to mitigate the risk, but yes, you need the raw egg proteins in order to get the emulsion.
I can concur with using an immersion blender, although you will have to chop the garlic clove ahead of time. It makes it that much quicker and simpler to make any emulsified sauce like aioli and mayo. Very quick and much easier cleanup as well. For those looking at getting one for yourself, DO get one where the “stick” and the motor detach. I don’t have to worry about getting water into the motor when cleaning up.
I do have a question. I see lemon juice listed in both the base recipe and the variations. Does that mean that I am using juice of a whole lemon in the Basil Garlic recipe?
Yes, that's what I do.
I just got to taste Aioli recently, And I Love It. It was the cilantro lime. I will definitely be trying to make in the near future.
I couldn’t help to not leave a comment when you compared aioli as a type of mayonnaise.
Aioli is a Catalán word that translates literally to garlic and oil.
The actual name of the sauce is allioli (all i oli = garlic and oil).
Thus, it’s funny to read Roasted Garlic Aioli and seeing the base of your aioli recipes without including the ingredients that exist within the name of the sauce.
Just wanting to share what I’ve learned while living in Catalonia where this sauce is from.
Thank you for sharing! It's so helpful to have this insight and I didn't know all of this!
I don't know what you're reading, but I see garlic in the roasted garlic recipe, and I see oil in the base recipe. Maybe you're confused by seeing the base and then the different flavors you add to the base.
This was super creamy and flavorful! Can't wait to make again!! 🙂
You can never go wrong with a good homemade aioli recipe! 🙂 Going to give this recipe a go soon.
Thanks for this easy Homemade Aioli recipe. I really enjoyed the garlic and chive variation. Super tasty.
That's a good one!
This was such a quick and easy recipe and hands down delicious! Way better than any store bought version too!
So delicious and I love all the flavor combos. It is definitely better and richer starting from scratch.
I will never buy aioli sauce from the store again! Tried this sauce with my chicken tenders and fries. It was heavenly. Thank you!
Great recipe! I love how easy it is to create different flavours too.
Thank you! Homemade Aioli is the best! It really is so easy and takes your burger, sandwich, fish, meat to the next level! A good sauce can't be beat. And yes, so fun to customize the flavor of the aioli!
its the best