Shortcut Aioli (Garlic Mayo)

Garlic Aioli
The Spruce
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Makes 1 cup (serves 8)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
213 Calories
21g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Makes 1 cup (serves 8)
Amount per serving
Calories 213
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 250mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 33mg 3%
*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.)

Garlic mayonnaise, or aioli, is one of America's most popular cold sauces. This shortcut aioli recipe has countless uses; from a super sandwich spread, to a great dip for vegetables, to a sauce for grilled seafood. There are many variations of this garlic mayonnaise aioli recipe, but this is a shortcut recipe that starts with store-bought mayonnaise, to which you can add any number of herbs and spices. And it's pretty foolproof because there is no need to create an emulsion.


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  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Garlic aioli ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat of a knife, and remove the skin. Then mince the garlic very fine.

    Crush and mince garlic
    The Spruce
  3. Add a pinch of salt, and using the flat of the knife again, scrape and press the garlic against the cutting surface to make a paste that is as smooth as possible. It's making this paste from the fresh garlic that gives aioli its intense garlic flavor. Note that making this paste smoothly is key to the success of this sauce. If you don't spend a few minutes on this step, you will be left with small bits of raw- and harsh-tasting garlic which will not do justice to the magic of aioli. (If you're looking for a shortcut, adding the cloves to a food processor along with the tiniest bit of oil needed to blend, and then mixing the mayo in the processor, will work.)

    Add garlic to bowl and add other ingredients for garlic aioli
    The Spruce
  4. Add the garlic to a small bowl, and whisk together with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

    Garlic aioli ready to serve
    The Spruce
  5. Serve cold and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Roasted Garlic Aioli: Roast the garlic before you mince it and add it to the aioli for a softer, more gentle flavor. This is great for chicken, sandwiches, or dipping french fries.
  • Lemon Pepper Aioli: Add 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons more of the lemon juice along with some lemon zest and 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper. Mix to combine. This aioli is wonderful for lamb, chicken, or sandwiches.
  • Mixed Herb Aioli: Chop up 1/4 to 1/3 cup of fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or dill and then add it to the aioli. Mix to combine. This variation would be a treat for any sandwich.
  • Cilantro Lime Aioli: Combine 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice with 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and mix it with the aioli base. This variation would be wonderful on a quesadilla or some other Mexican-inspired dish.
  • Chipotle Lime: Mince 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and combine that with the aioli base from this recipe, 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of chopped chives. This option is a lovely addition to a grilled chicken sandwich or for dipping some delicious sweet potato fries.
  • Rosemary Aioli: Chop up 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and add them to the aioli. Stir to combine. This aioli pairs well with any type of meat, but we find that it works wonderfully for meatballs.