How To Make Aioli: 3 Easy Garlic Mayo Recipes

Here we’ll teach you how to make aioli, an addictive traditional Spanish garlic mayo.

Aioli is an incredibly popular sauce that is a traditional Spanish recipe and the perfect addition to a wide variety of dishes, including the ever so famous french fries with garlic aioli.

Olive oil, egg yolk, and garlic are usually the three main ingredients of this recipe. However, the egg-free recipe is actually the most authentic and traditional version. Besides, there's another recipe that uses milk as a substitute for the egg as an emulsifier.

Below, we go over the main recipes for this variety of garlic mayo. To be more specific, we'll take a look at the basic steps on how to make aioli without egg, with egg, and made with milk.

What is aioli?

Aioli comes from the Catalan word  allioli which means garlic and oil. This is a traditional Spanish mayonnaise and is made by smashing olive oil and garlic. Depending on where you are, this sauce is also often referred to as garlic mayo.

This condiment is especially popular in Mediterranean cuisine, but now it is starting to gain fame worldwide. This sauce typically has a thick texture and goes well with a wide range of foods, for example:

  • Fish

  • Seafood

  • Grilled meat

  • Vegetables

  • French fries or baked potatoes

  • Rotisserie chicken

  • Bread

  • Appetizers

Usually, it's eaten cold or at room temperature.  However, if you put it on roasted cod, the aioli will melt deliciously.

Although the traditional recipe just contains garlic, salt, and olive oil, there are also other recipes that use either milk or egg as an emulsifier so that it doesn't curdle. If it curdles, this means that the garlic aioli has separated since the garlic hasn't attached itself entirely to the olive oil and has the appearance of a vinaigrette, rather than a thick sauce.

There are a lot of different varieties of aiolis out there too -lemon, truffle, olive, parsley or even pear. These versions stray far from the traditional recipe, but they could give certain dishes just the pizazz that they need. Lemon, in particular, adds an extra fresh flavor that goes great with fish.

The history of this garlic based sauce dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. The customary recipe for this condiment involves smashing garlic and olive oil with a pestle and mortar until it takes on an almost creamy texture.

Traditional recipe (no egg)

Authentic aioli needs to be made by hand  so that the garlic releases all of its tasty juices. In this case, the oil needs to be added drop by drop to get the garlic to blend well and release its flavor. You can't stop smashing during this process, because if you do, the sauce could curdle and get ruined. 

If you try doing this with a food processor, it will be much harder to get the mixture to blend well without the help of the egg yolk or milk.  If you use these two ingredients, it will be much easier to get this garlicky dip to mix together and come out right.

1. Ingredients

Like we mentioned before, the only things that you'll need to make homemade aioli are these three ingredients:

  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • A pinch of salt

2. How to make it

First, throw a little bit of salt in the mortar. This will help the cloves of garlic to release their juices better which is what helps them to blend evenly. Then, toss in the peeled and finely sliced pieces of garlic. After that, the next step is mashing these ingredients together until they are well ground. Slowly, start adding drops of oil and keep smashing for 10 seconds. Once combined, add more oil and repeat the process until you've added it all.

Aioli recipe with egg

Making garlic mayonnaise this way is much quicker and easier. This sauce is the most similar to a garlic mayo since egg is blended in with the olive oil. Mainly, what you have to do here is mix the egg yolks first and then slowly add oil so that they fuse.

1. Ingredients

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 egg

  • A pinch of salt

Tres ajos rodeados de granos de pimienta sobre una mesa de madera
Although we can innovate by adding other ingredients, garlic and virgin olive oil are the two essential elements to make alioli. | Getty Images


2. How to make it

To make it, first, peel the garlic, chop it up into small pieces, and place it in the food processor or blender. Then, add the entire egg or just the yolk -depending on the desired flavor, but the whole egg is recommended to avoid curdling- after you can add the olive oil.

Then, blend all of the ingredients without picking up the food processor at any point in time. When you see that the garlic and oil are starting to mix, this means that your garlic mayo is almost ready. Lastly, add what's left of the oil to achieve the desired texture. Once the aioli is done, put it into a bowl to serve, and that's it!

Garlic Aioli with milk

You can get aioli to fuse using egg, but milk can also be used as a substitute and has a much lighter texture. This is the perfect option for people with egg allergies. Also, since this version doesn't contain raw egg, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Even so, you should be sure to store it properly in an airtight container.

1. Ingredients

  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 80 ml cold milk

  • A pinch of salt

2. How to make it

First, put the milk, peeled and chopped garlic, and salt into the blender -you can also add pepper and lemon juice if you want in this step. Then, right away, mix all of these ingredients at the same speed for approximately 1 minute. After, start adding the olive oil slowly until the mixture begins to take on a mayonnaise-like texture.