The Mayo Swap For A More Flavorful Club Sandwich

The club sandwich – made up of lettuce, juicy tomato, crispy bacon, sliced turkey, and three slices of toasted bread — is completed with a smear of mayonnaise. The sandwich has been a staple in delis and diners across the U.S. for decades, and while we have nothing against its classic recipe or the zesty deliciousness of mayonnaise, there's an easy way to elevate the flavors of this sandwich: Swap the mayonnaise for garlic aioli.

What is garlic aioli? If you don't know, aioli is often compared to mayonnaise but it's a bit different. A traditional garlic aioli consists of garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice, and mayonnaise while mayo is made with eggs, oil, and some sort of acid. The result is a thicker, richer condiment than the store-bought mayonnaise you're used to. 

There are also variations of aioli with other ingredients like spicy chipotle aioli with peppers or lime aioli with cilantro. But no matter what flavor of aioli you decide on, it's the ideal condiment to complete your club sandwich.

Making garlic aioli at home

To make an easy version of garlic aioli, combine mayonnaise with chopped garlic cloves, lemon juice, and salt and pepper (or other go-to spices) in a mixing bowl, with a food processor, or in an emulsion blender. You can add chilis, peppers, or hot sauce if you want to kick up the heat.

If you want to skip the store-bought mayonnaise and make a more authentic garlic aioli, you should finely chop the garlic cloves, then mash into a paste in a mortar. Next, combine the garlic paste with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper and slowly pour olive oil in the bowl and mix until well combined. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, or just want to give your hands a break, you can also use a food processor or blender. And if you want to elevate the flavor, roast your garlic in the oven first for more umami in every bite. We think it's the perfect condiment for those club sandwiches we discussed earlier, but if you have leftover garlic aioli, serve it with fries, onion rings, or on any other sandwich you make this week.