I will show you just how easy it is to make homemade Garlic Aioli Sauce! Making it from scratch is quick and easy, but I have a cheater version that is even quicker and easier. Either way you make it, aioli is lemony garlicky heaven! It will be your new favorite condiment in no time. Originally published July 14, 2020.

close up shot of garlic aioli recipe with french fries

I ran out to Carl’s Jr. to get fries for these pictures. I went in the drive through and ordered 3 large natural-cut fries and nothing else. I pulled through and waited at the window. I sat there spacing out for who knows how long, thinking that it was kind of taking a while, but maybe it was the lunch rush?

garlic aioli sauce in a jar with french fries

Then I saw one of the employees walk out a back door and wave me forward with this funny look on her face. I was at the wrong window, which I only then noticed looked totally shuttered up. They must have thought I was a complete weirdo, ordering nothing but fries and then not even making it to the right window??

What is it with me!! I did ask if I was the first one to stop at the wrong window and they said no, I wasn’t the only one. Small comfort that I’m not the only oblivious person out there.

how to make garlic aioli

How’s July treating everyone? We went up to visit Eric’s parents in Montana and had the best time. It’s a two day drive one way. We got home last night in time to make scrambled eggs and smoothies for dinner (the only food we had) and Eric was trying desperately to herd the children to bed quickly.

He said, I don’t know why but I just want them IN BED ALREADY. I said, could it perhaps be that it’s because you spent two days in an enclosed space with literally no escape from the heathens?? Probably. Our kids are actually pretty well behaved on car trips, we are lucky. But still. I mean, they are kids. They can’t help themselves. We must all go through what we put our parents through at some point, right?

garlic aioli sauce in a jar with a plate of fries

What is Garlic Aioli?

I wish they gave out tubs of aioli instead of ketchup packets at fast food joints. (It would make road trips with children much more bearable). Garlic Aioli is basically mayonnaise with some lemon and garlic added in. You can either make your own homemade mayonnaise with eggs and olive oil (classic recipe) or you can start with store bought mayo and add in some lemon and garlic (cheater recipe). Both are ridiculously delicious!

What is Garlic Aioli Sauce Made Of?

This ridiculously simple garlic aioli sauce recipe consists of ingredients I bet you already have in your kitchen. Here are the ingredients you need (full recipe and instructions in the recipe card below!)

  • Garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon zest and lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Egg and egg yolk
  • Vegetable oil and/or olive oil

How to make Garlic Aioli Sauce

using a chef's knife to crush salt into minced garlic

Here’s how to make the classic version. Start by crushing some kosher salt into some minced garlic. Gimme alllll the garlic.

crushing garlic with a knife to make paste, and rubbing a knife to eliminate garlic scent on fingers

Keep crushing it together until it forms a paste. Then rub your fingers on the side of your chef’s knife under running water. Do you know about this trick? It gets the garlic smell off your fingers. It works so well. If you’ve never tried it, you will be amazed!

using an immersion blender to make garlic aioli

Let your garlic marinate in some lemon juice for about 15 minutes. The lemon juice will take on the garlic flavor and get all cozy. At this point, if you are garlic shy (or like, if you have a hot date or something) then you can remove some of the garlic, up to half or even a bit more. It’s already worked it’s magic on the lemon juice and you will be left with a more subtle garlic flavor. I’m a garlic freak so I left it all in!

Add in an egg and a yolk.

This next step is important guys! Pay attention, now. You must emulsify the oil into this lemony-garlic-egg situation. That means your lemon mixture must be in constant movement when the oil hits it. If it’s not moving, it will never combine and there’s really no going back. There are 3 ways to do this:

  • Blender: You must turn the blender on low and SLOWLY drizzle in the oil through the spout on the top.
  • Bowl and whisk: You must be whisking constantly and vigorously while you SLOWLY drizzle in the oil.
  • Immersion blender: This is the only method where you can add the oil in all at once. Add the oil on top of the eggs. Smash your immersion blender all the way to the bottom of the jar, and turn it on low. SLOWLY and gradually move the blender up toward the top of the jar, until the aioli is emulsified. See photo above.

If you follow these steps, you will have a beautiful creamy aioli! If you don’t, you will have a sad oily mess.

We are using half olive oil and half vegetable oil in this recipe. (Olive oil has kind of a strong flavor so we’re tempering it with a more neutral oil)

Cheater Garlic Aioli Recipe

The cheater version doesn’t even deserve pictures. Just take some mayo, stir in some garlic infused lemon, and voila! That’s it. And it really is so good.

The best part about making it at home, either classic or cheater, is that you can adjust it to taste. Hopefully you can tell from the photos that this aioli is a mayonnaise consistency. I love it thick and creamy! If you like a thinner aioli, add a little more lemon juice, or a teaspoon or two of water.

what is garlic aioli

What to Eat with Garlic Aioli

Really the question is what NOT to eat with Aioli, because once you try it, you’re going to want to put it on everything. But here are some ideas:

I’m sure you can come up with about a hundred other ideas. Basically anything you would pair mayonnaise with, you can sub aioli. I really should have some pictures of other things you can dip in this magic stuff. I kind of have tunnel vision though. Aioli and fries go together like salt and pepper!

Garlic Aioli Sauce Recipe Variations

While I do absolutely love this garlic aioli recipe as is, it’s also super customizable! Feel free to play around with flavors! Here are a few ideas:

  • Add more lemon. Thin it out and give it even more lemon flavor with an extra squeeze of juice.
  • Spice it up. Give your aioli a kick of heat with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. You could also mix in a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce!
  • Use other herbs. Add some freshness with a sprinkle of chives or rosemary.
  • Cilantro lime aioli. Swap out the lemon for lime and use cilantro in place of the parsley for a fun and fresh flavor twist.
  • Roasted garlic aioli. Roast the garlic first for another layer of flavor. See recipe notes for details!
overhead shot of garlic aioli with a plate of fries

More aioli ideas and dipping sauces!

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close up shot of garlic aioli recipe with french fries
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Garlic Aioli Sauce Recipe (Classic and Cheater Versions)

I will show you just how easy it is to make homemade Garlic Aioli Sauce! Making it from scratch is quick and easy, but I have a cheater version that is even quicker and easier. Either way you make it, aioli is lemony garlicky heaven! It will be your new favorite condiment in no time. 

Ingredients

Classic Homemade Aioli

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or light-tasting olive oil
  • parsley, to garnish, optional
  • French fries from Carl’s Jr. Just kidding

Instructions

How to make Classic Homemade Aioli:

  • Use the side of a chef's knife to smash 4 cloves of garlic. Remove the peels and mince the garlic finely.
  • Top the garlic with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Use the side of the chef’s knife to smash the salt into the garlic, over and over, making a paste. See photos.
  • Add the salt and garlic to a blender, or if you plan to use an immersion blender, add it to a mason jar or whatever to want to blend in.* (See note if you are not using a blender!) Add about 1 teaspoon lemon zest to the garlic and salt. (I love to use my microplane grater for zesting. It's so sharp!)
  • Add 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons lemon juice to the garlic. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Stir it together with a spoon and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes, to let all the flavors get nice and friendly.
  • At this point if you are garlic shy, you can use a spoon to strain out some of the garlic. The garlic has already worked a lot of magic on the lemon juice just from the 15 minute marinade. I left it all in because I am a garlic freak. But if you plan on kissing anyone soon, you might want to remove some (up to half or more) of the minced garlic, being careful to strain it well so you don’t lose any lemon juice.
  • Add 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk.
  • Pay attention now. Lots of people mess this up, but you're not one of them. WITH THE BLENDER RUNNING, slowly drizzle 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup light tasting olive oil** (or any vegetable oil). If you are making this in a bowl, SLOWLY drizzle the oil into the bowl while you are whisking constantly.* Blend or whisk until smooth. If you add the oil all to the blender or the bowl all at once without having the blender on or whisking constantly, it will not combine (emulsify) and you will be left with an oily mess.
  • If you are using an immersion blender, add all the oil at once and place your immersion blender all the way at the bottom of your container. Blend on low, SLOWLY moving the blender up higher and higher, until it is all emulsified.
  • Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed, or a bit more lemon or Dijon if you want.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Eat with Carl's Jr. french fries. I'm only joking, but aioli really is great with fries. It's also great with a fresh relish tray: carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, etc. Try dipping roasted Brussels sprouts in aioli. Slap it on a sandwich. It's also really great on this Bacon and Goat Cheese Aioli Burger. The options are endless!
  • See notes for ingredients and instructions for making cheater aioli!

Notes

How to Make Cheater Aioli:
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced finely
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice, depending on what consistency you want
  • 1 cup high-quality mayonnaise
  • 1/2 or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
  • pepper to taste
  1. Use a chef’s knife to smash 2-3 cloves of garlic. Remove the peels and mince the garlic finely.
  2. Top the garlic with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Use the side of the chef’s knife to smash the salt into the garlic, over and over, making a paste. See photos.
  3. Place the salted garlic in a medium bowl.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir it together and let sit for 15 minutes.
  5. At this point if you are garlic shy, you can use a spoon to strain out some of the garlic. The garlic has already worked a lot of magic on the lemon juice just from the 15 minute marinade. I left it all in because I am a garlic freak. But if you plan on kissing anyone soon, you might want to remove some (up to half or more) of the minced garlic, being careful to strain it well so you don’t lose any lemon juice.
  6. Add in 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and some cracked pepper. Taste it and check the consistency and add more lemon juice as desired. Devour with french fries!
 
Variation: Aioli reaches a whole different level when you roast the garlic first. Spread 4-5 cloves of unpeeled garlic on some foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap up. Roast at 400 for about 30-40 minutes until a fork slides in easily. Let cool. Prepare aioli with the garlic as usual. 
*If you do not have a blender or immersion blender, you can do all this in a bowl. Whisk all the ingredients together up until the eggs, then SLOWLY whisk in the oil in a gradual stream. Whisk constantly while slowly adding oil to make sure it emulsifies. 
**The flavor of olive oil is kind of strong, which is why we are toning that flavor down with a lighter flavored oil. (But if you only have one kind or the other, it’s still going to taste great!)

Nutrition

Serving: 1 g, Calories: 259 kcal, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 28 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 46 mg, Sodium: 303 mg, Potassium: 18 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin A: 65 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 10 mg, Iron: 1 mg