Homemade Garlic Aioli Recipe

Nearly everyone is familiar with mayonnaise — it's a fundamental part of so many foods, from tuna salad to your average deli sandwich. Some people hate mayo, while others say they'd never live (or at least make a grilled cheese) without it. Then there's aioli, which is basically like mayo's high-class, punchier cousin. It's not too different — mayo involves a neutral oil, while aioli is made specifically with olive oil and garlic. Per The Spruce Eats, the term "aioli" even means "garlic oil" in Italian.

Whether you're an aioli fan who hates Hellmann's or love any type of creamy condiment, you may not have tried to make your own aioli at home. But if you have a food processor or blender, recipe developer Stephanie Rapone's garlic aioli recipe makes it easy to do. Making aioli is a relatively simple process, but can have seriously memorable results. "With so few ingredients, I think each one matters, so don't skimp or skip any," Rapone says. "Go for a good olive oil, spend the money to get grapeseed oil, and use fresh garlic, lemon, and pepper." Here's how to make it.

Prep your ingredients for garlic aioli

You don't have to do any real cooking to make this aioli, but there are a couple of preparatory steps that must be taken. Don't worry, they're all relatively simple. For this recipe, all you need is a large garlic clove, a lemon, salt, eggs, grapeseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, and pepper for garnish.

Start by putting the two uncracked eggs in a bowl of water to bring them to room temperate. Then, get to grating the garlic using a microplane or garlic press. You can also mince it with a knife, just make sure you turn the garlic into a paste. 

After that, juice half a lemon, putting 1 teaspoon in a small bowl and the rest of the juice in another. When the eggs are no longer fridge-chilled, crack one whole egg into a small bowl along with just the yolk of the second egg.

Are you in the mood to shake things up? "I've done chipotle instead of garlic and lemon, which is delicious too," Rapone says. That's not her only suggestion: "If you're feeling fancy and can find it, my real favorite is to use black garlic instead of regular garlic."

Fire up the food processor

It's time to defer to your food processor (or blender, depending on what you have). "I prefer the food processor, but a blender would work great, too, as long as you can stream the oil in while it's running," Rapone says. Start by putting the ingredients you just prepped in (garlic, a small amount of lemon juice, eggs, and salt) and pulse until frothy. Add the olive and grapeseed oils into a measuring cup meant for liquids, which will make the process of adding it to the aioli easier.

It's time to emulsify

With the processor running, slowly drip tiny amounts of oil in. When you notice that the mixture is looking uniform and there's no obvious spots of oil visible, increase the rate at which you're pouring until you've added all the oil. Give it a taste, and if the flavor and texture feels right, you're good to go. If not, add some more salt or lemon juice as needed. Then, let your newly-born aioli sit for about an hour, which will make it more flavorful.

Thorough emulsification is key here, which is why you need the help of an electrical appliance. "I think it would be pretty difficult to get the sauce to emulsify by hand if you don't have a food processor or blender," Rapone says. "I would recommend just doing a 'shortcut' version, instead. In a 'shortcut,' you could use ¾ cup mayonnaise instead of the eggs and oil. Then just whisk in the garlic paste and lemon, and top with fresh cracked black pepper."

Enjoy your homemade garlic aioli

Your homemade aioli is ready! Top it with a generous dusting of freshly-cracked pepper and use it however you desire. "Hands down, my favorite way to eat it is with fries. It's just the perfect fry sauce," Rapone notes. You can spread it on sandwiches, serve it with crudités or homemade fritto misto — the possibilities are endless. And if you wind up with extra, that just means more aioli for future you. Just keep it in an airtight container in the fridge — Rapone suggests "enjoying any leftovers within three days."

Homemade Garlic Aioli Recipe
5 from 27 ratings
Whether you hate or love mayo, there's no denying that you'll enjoy this homemade garlic aioli.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
8
servings
bowl of aioli with pepper garnish
Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 large garlic clove (or more to taste)
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Optional Ingredients
  • freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
Directions
  1. Place the eggs in a bowl and cover with warm water to bring to room temperature.
  2. Paste the garlic using a microplane or very fine grater. You can also use a garlic press, or finely mince the garlic then smash it with the side of your knife until it turns to a paste.
  3. Juice ½ of the lemon. Measure 1 teaspoon of fresh juice and set aside.
  4. Separate the yolk from one egg and discard the white.
  5. Add the egg yolk, the white and yolk of another egg, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, the garlic paste, and salt to a food processor or blender.
  6. Pulse the food processor until the ingredients are evenly blended and frothy.
  7. Add the grapeseed oil and olive oil to a measuring cup. Turn the food processor on and add the oil very slowly (drop by drop, not a stream).
  8. Once the mixture starts to thicken and you can see it emulsifying (it's a consistent mixture and you can't see the oil), then start pouring faster, in a thin stream.
  9. Once all the oil is added, stop the food processor. Check the mixture — the consistency should be similar to mayonnaise. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice, if desired.
  10. Let the aioli sit for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  11. Transfer the aioli to a serving dish and top with fresh cracked black pepper.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 201
Total Fat 21.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 46.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 0.2 g
Sodium 76.9 mg
Protein 1.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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