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There are endless ways to eat this lemon garlic aioli sauce, and it’s so delicious that you’ll want to put it on everything! And it simple as can be – this easy lemon aioli recipe takes just 2 minutes to make, with just 5 ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Once you try it, you’ll never want to be without it!
What Is Garlic Aioli?
Homemade lemon garlic aioli is a savory, creamy sauce similar to mayonnaise, but with garlic and lemon flavor added in. It originated in Catalonia, Spain and has since become very common in French cuisine.
Why Is It Called Aioli?
Aioli literally means “garlic oil” in Catalan.
What Does Aioli Taste Like?
It tastes delicious! Aioli has the same creamy texture of mayonnaise, but with bold flavors of garlic and lemon. It’s also possible to make it with additional flavors.
People tend to have a lot of questions around aioli vs mayo and how to make aioli – I’m aiming to answer them all below!
What Is The Difference Between Mayo and Aioli?
So, is aioli just flavored mayonnaise? Not exactly.
Both are created by adding oil to something to create a creamy emulsion. However, aioli was traditionally made by adding olive oil to mashed garlic, while mayo uses a more neutral oil added to egg. (I like to use avocado oil to make avocado oil mayonnaise, but many recipes use canola, a less healthy option.) As you might expect, aioli has a much stronger flavor than mayo.
Today, some aioli recipes include egg and some don’t. Even though garlic aioli did not traditionally include egg, I included it in this recipe to make it faster, easier, and most importantly, creamier. We still get the bold flavors from the garlic, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Aioli Sauce Ingredients
The aioli ingredients are just five simple staples that you probably already have in your kitchen:
- Egg – This emulsifies the homemade aioli, and makes it luxuriously smooth and creamy.
- Garlic – Adds a delicious garlic flavor and by definition makes the best aioli recipe – you can’t have aioli without garlic!
- Dijon mustard – Also helps to emulsify the sauce.
- Lemon juice – Adds acidity and tang.
- Olive oil – This is the base of the lemon aioli sauce. I highly recommend using extra virgin for maximum flavor.
…And we also add sea salt, but don’t include it in the ingredient count by convention, since everyone always has salt.
How To Make Lemon Garlic Aioli Sauce
This lemon garlic aioli recipe is very similar to my homemade mayonnaise process, it’s four simple steps:
- Crack egg. In the bottom of a tall, wide mouth glass jar, crack your room temperature egg.
TIP: Make sure your jar (or large glass) can fit your immersion blender! Don’t use a bowl though, because it won’t emulsify properly using this immersion blender method.
- Add garlic, lemon juice, and other flavorings. Being careful to not disturb the egg, add the garlic, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and sea salt on top of the egg. Don’t whisk or stir!
- Add oil. Gently pour oil over the top and don’t whisk or stir! You want the oil to sit on top.
- Blend. Carefully submerge the immersion blender into the bottom of the jar so it’s right where the egg is. Blend on low for about 20 seconds without moving, until most of the jar has turned white. Then, slowly start moving the blender upward, without lifting the blender into the air. Once you reach the top, slowly move back down to the bottom. Go up and down a few times until the aioli forms and is smooth.
Aioli Sauce Troubleshooting
Struggling with your lemon garlic aioli? Don’t worry – there are some easy tricks.
How Do You Thicken Aioli?
Aioli naturally thickens as it emulsifies, simply by following this recipe. If you have any issues with aioli not thickening as expected, read these tips for how to fix broken aioli.
How To Fix Broken Aioli
The strategies for fixing split aioli are the same as the ones for fixing broken mayo. Here are the two methods that work best for fixing broken garlic aioli:
- Add an extra yolk. Place a yolk into a clean bowl, and whisk in just a little bit of the broken aioli. Once it begins to thicken, gradually whisk in the rest – constantly whisk as you pour it in a steady stream. The extra yolk helps to re-emulsify the mayo.
- Hot water. Whisk a couple tablespoons of boiling water into the aioli sauce. This is a good trick to fix sauce that is too thin, even if it’s not broken. It cooks the egg in the mayo very slightly, making it thicker.
Does Aioli Thicken In The Fridge?
Yes, aioli will thicken more after chilling. This won’t fix aioli that completely failed to emulsify (use the tricks above for that), but it does thicken more if it’s already formed properly.
Can You Make Aioli From Mayonnaise?
Yes, you can, if you’re not being super strict about the definition.
If you already have mayo, you can make aioli by pureeing that with garlic and lemon juice. It will just be slightly different, since mayo isn’t typically made with extra virgin olive oil, but is still delicious.
But since this simple lemon garlic aioli recipe already comes together in a few minutes, making it from scratch is almost just as easy. And the price tag is not only better than that of store bought aioli, it’s better than adding garlic to mayo as well.
Aioli Flavor Variations
This is a basic aioli recipe with just 5 ingredients, but there are about eleventy-billion ways to make flavored aioli. Here are the most common ways to change it up, if you like:
- Roast the garlic. I skipped this step to keep it simple, but roasted garlic aioli is so good. Simply roast your garlic in the oven, then peel before using it in this homemade aioli recipe.
- Add fresh herbs. Popular options include dill, tarragon, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, or basil – not all together!
- Add heat. The creamy nature and garlicky flavor of aioli pairs beautifully with anything spicy. Try adding sriracha, minced jalapenos, chipotle peppers, red pepper flakes, or chili powder.
- Use infused oil. Swap the plain olive oil with a flavor infused one. You could also add a splash of another flavorful oil, such as truffle oil.
Do you have specific aioli flavors you like? Let me know in the comments below!
How To Store Lemon Aioli
Store this aioli sauce recipe in the glass jar in the fridge for up to 10 days. It will last about the same amount of time as your eggs or opened jar of mayo.
Can you freeze aioli?
No, freezing aioli is not recommended. The emulsion is likely to break as it thaws. While it’s safe to use, you’d have to either pour off the extra liquid or try to re-emulsify what’s left using my tips above for broken aioli.
Since it only takes a few minutes to make aioli in the first place, and it stores well in the fridge, there’s no reason not to make it fresh and keep it in your fridge.
How To Use Garlic Aioli
- Baked Salmon – Quite possibly the most-delicious way to make salmon is to slather it with aioli before baking. Restaurant-quality, but secretly easy!
- Crab Cakes – Top homemade crab cakes with the lemon aioli sauce, just like the fancy restaurants!
- Lobster Tail Recipe – Want to take your date night in up a notch? Serve lobster with lemon and garlic aioli instead of just butter!
- Roasted Artichokes – Dip them in garlic aioli for even more flavor.
- Oven Baked Asparagus – Double the recipe, asparagus + this aioli recipe is a perfect match!
- Rutabaga Fries – If you’ve ever dipped fries in mayo, aioli dipping sauce is even better.
Tools To Make Lemon Garlic Aioli
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Wide Mouth Jar – Make sure your immersion blender can fit into the jar. Use glass jars to make and store this aioli recipe.
- Immersion Blender – This is the easiest and best way to make perfect aioli sauce every single time!
Lemon Garlic Aioli Recipe
See how to make the BEST lemon garlic aioli sauce at home, with just 2 minutes + 5 ingredients! Put this creamy garlic aioli recipe on veggies, meat, or fish.
Like this video? Subscribe to my YouTube cooking channel for healthy recipes!
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Crack the egg into the bottom of a tall, wide mouth glass jar. (You can also use a tall glass, but make sure it's wide enough for an immersion blender to fit. Do not use a bowl.)
Add the garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and sea salt on top of the egg, trying not to disturb the egg. Do not whisk or stir.
Pour the oil on top. Again, do not whisk or stir.
Carefully submerge an immersion blender into the bottom of the jar, so that it's right where the egg is. Blend on low power for about 20 seconds without moving, until you see most of the jar has turned white. Then, slowly start to move the blender upward, without lifting the blender out into the air. Once you reach the top of the oil, slowly move back down to the bottom. Go up and down like this a few times, until the aioli forms.
Store the homemade aioli right in the jar, in the refrigerator.
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Serving size: 1 tbsp
Entire recipe makes 1 1/4 cups total.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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