Aioli: Garlic Mayonnaise

Garlic aioli in a white serving dish on a blue napkin
The Spruce
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
370 Calories
35g Fat
12g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 370
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 108mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 4g
Calcium 71mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Aioli, a garlic-flavored emulsion, is a popular condiment on the Mediterranean coasts of Spain, France, and Italy. It is typically described as a garlic mayo and is easier to whip up than you may think. The trick to getting the signature thick texture is to add the oil very slowly at first, allowing the egg and the oil to emulsify. You can do this two different ways: using either a blender or a whisk and a bowl. The blender method is faster and easier since you're not physically whisking it, but the aioli can also separate quickly, so watch it carefully. The whisking method may take a bit more effort, but it gives you the most control over adding the oil and the final texture of the aioli. This recipe calls for using a whole egg, and although most recipes call for just an egg yolk, using the whole egg works just fine.

Aioli is delicious as a dip for grilled or steamed vegetables, or dolloped onto simply cooked fish or spread as a condiment on a burger. You may even be tempted to eat it by the spoonful, which may not be a great idea in terms of nutrition, but it is delicious.

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Ingredients

Steps to Make It

Test both the blender and whisk methods to see which one works best for you.

Blender Method

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Whirl the egg, lemon juice, garlic, and mustard in a blender to combine.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. With the blender running on low speed, drip the oil in slowly, allowing each addition to incorporate into the egg mixture before adding more. As more oil is incorporated, you can add the oil more quickly, working up to a slow stream.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. As you add the oil, the mixture will thicken, changing from a liquidy mix of the beaten egg to a creamy-looking spread. If it's too thick, you can thin it a bit with drops of lemon juice. Don't try to thin it with more oil—it will actually make it thicker.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and chill for later use.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Serve and enjoy.

Whisk Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, lemon juice, garlic, and mustard.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Set the bowl on a silicone oven pad or wrap the bottom of the bowl in a kitchen towel to keep the bowl still on the counter without having to hold it.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Whisking constantly, add the oil, drop by drop, allowing each addition to incorporate into the egg mixture before adding more. As more oil is incorporated, you can add the oil in a stream.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in more lemon juice (a drop at a time) to taste, or use the lemon juice to thin the aioli, if needed.

    Aioli Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Serve the aioli immediately, or cover and chill for later use.

Tip

If the aioli separates and goes from being creamy to looking more like an egg-and-oil combo, there's an easy way to fix it. Start over with a fresh egg and a few tablespoons of oil in a clean bowl. Once you get the emulsion working, add the broken version in place of the remaining amount of the oil.

How to Store Aioli

The aioli will keep two to three days covered in the refrigerator. Keep in mind the garlic taste will get stronger as the aioli sits.

What's the Difference Between Aioli and Mayonnaise?

Although restaurant menus may name any flavored mayo "aioli," the two condiments are not completely synonymous with each other. Like mayonnaise, aioli is an emulsion, but where they differ is that aioli always includes garlic as the main seasoning. In addition, whereas mayo includes eggs, not all versions of aioli do. The traditional Spanish aioli is made by laboriously and vigorously whipping garlic and oil together until an emulsion forms. The term aioli, in fact, is a combination of the French words meaning garlic (ai) and oil (oil). There are many variations of aioli, some as basic as garlic and oil and others including eggs, lemon juice, and/or mustard.