Aioli is mayonnaise’s garlic-flavored cousin, and it can be spread on sandwiches, used as a dip for veggies, and more!

For a long time I thought of Aioli as restaurant food, meaning fancy-sounding and complicated.

But it can be made at home with a bowl and whisk in less than 10 minutes, with only 5 ingredients.

Aioli - Shown in Ramekin with Dipping Vegetables on Side (Asparagus, Carrots, and Bell Pepper)

If you’ve ever seen my mayonnaise post, I use a food processor to make that, but for aioli I don’t think there’s a point to breaking out the machinery. 

We only use the egg yolk here, and about half the oil that the mayonnaise calls for. There’s a little bit of whisking, but not an amount that will make your arm feel like it’s about to fall off.

It’s actually nice to have a bit less to work with here, as freshly made aioli will not last you more than 4-5 days. I’ll share plenty of ways to use it further down in the post, but my two favorite uses are for sandwiches and potato recipes (like fries…oh boy do I love fries dipped in aioli).

How to Make Aioli:

In a large and very clean mixing bowl, combine one large egg yolk, salt, lemon juice, and pressed garlic:

Garlic Aioli - Beginning Ingredients in Bowl with fresh pressed Garlic, Egg Yolks, Salt, and Lemon

I prefer to use an actual garlic press (affiliate) here instead of mincing the garlic finely, because it almost “juices” the garlic so it distributes really well into the spread.

If you don’t have one, mince the garlic as finely as you can, then smash it with the side of your knife to turn it into more of a paste-like texture.

Whisk the ingredients to combine:

Aioli Recipe - Made from scratch with a bowl and a whisk with egg yolk

As you whisk, slowly drizzle in a little bit of your oil of choice:

Drizzling Olive Oil into the Egg Yolk, Garlic, Salt, and Lemon mixture

I prefer olive oil, but really any oil will work here so long as you enjoy its flavor

Start with just a few drops and little drizzles of oil, and whisk for about 15-20 seconds, until incorporated. You can see it starting to thicken:

How to Make Aioli - Egg Yolk Mixture In Bowl Thickening From Scratch with just a Whisk and a Bowl

Keep drizzling in the oil slowly, until the oil is fully incorporated and the texture is thick and creamy.

Lemon Aioli - Thickened in Mixing Bowl with lots of fresh raw garlic

As a general rule of thumb, the longer you take to drizzle in the oil, the thicker your aioli will be. This is true of homemade mayonnaise too. 

I usually take about 60-90 seconds total to incorporate the oil.

How to Make Garlic Aioli - Plate in Ramekin In Big Dollop for Dipping or Spreading

For a thinner aioli, whisk the oil in more quickly overall, but still start slowly at the beginning with only a few drops, and proceed with a thin stream as the egg incorporates the oil.

I also have this recipe for Fingerling Potatoes with Dipping Aioli that’s made a little differently, with a piece of vinegar soaked bread. Enjoy!

Recipes that Pair Well with Aioli:

FAQ:

  • How to Store: Keep refrigerated for up to 4-5 days.
  • Can you freeze? Not recommended. The emulsion won’t survive and it will get chunky.
  • What about the raw egg? This is a judgment call that only you can make. As I discuss in my mayonnaise post, it is estimated by the CDC that 1 in 20,000 eggs have salmonella, so the odds in my opinion are very low. If you can find them, you can probably use pasteurized eggs.
  • Dietary Compatability: This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, keto friendly, paleo, and Whole30 compliant.
Small ramekin filled with aioli and surrounded with bell pepper, carrots, and asparagus

Aioli

Aioli is similar to a homemade mayonnaise, but with a pronounced garlic flavor. It's a great spread for sandwiches!
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Ingredients

  • 1 large egg yolk*
  • 1 tsp pressed garlic (3 to 4 small cloves)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil**

Instructions 

  • In a large, very clean mixing bowl, combine the egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk for about 30 seconds by hand, until combined.
  • While whisking, drizzle in a few drops of olive oil. After a few seconds of whisking, the olive oil should be incorporated, so start drizzling in a little bit more. Generally speaking, the slower you add the oil, the thicker the aioli will be. After the first few drops, I start adding the oil in a light stream. It should take about 60-90 seconds total to incorporate the olive oil.
  • Once the aioli is thick and creamy, taste it and make any necessary seasoning adjustment.
  • The aioli is best served within 24 hours, but is good for 4-5 days in the fridge. You can enjoy it spread on a sandwich like Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini or Croque Madame, with potato dishes like Crispy Smashed Potatoes, or with roasted vegetables like Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus. Enjoy!

Notes

*I discuss my personal stance on raw egg risk in my mayonnaise post. Consume raw egg at your own risk.
**You can use any neutral oil here so long as you enjoy the taste. However, I do not recommend extra virgin olive oil here, because its flavor is too strong.
Recipe adapted from my homemade mayonnaise which is based off the Whole30 method in It Starts With Food.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 147mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 31IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.