Last Updated on 3rd August 2022 by Pauline Loughlin
Aioli used to be a sauce made entirely from garlic, mashed up finely, mixed with olive oil, and packed with flavor.
These days, it’s a mayonnaise-based sauce with lots of garlic flavor. In fact, the word aioli is often used to describe almost any kind of flavored mayonnaise.
But what is aioli sauce? It can actually be a few different kinds of foods. It might be a sauce made in the traditional way, made from mashed up garlic.
It could be sauce made with olive oil or made with mayonnaise as the base. It’s typically a light-colored sauce that can be used to flavor up a large variety of foods.
Is Aioli Vegan?
It definitely can be, but it depends on how you make it and which at ingredients you’re using. Mayonnaise is often not vegan food, because it is usually made with egg yolks.
However, you can have an eggless, vegan mayonnaise as your base for aioli, or you can make aioli completely without mayonnaise.
Like I said earlier, this sauce can be made using garlic and olive oil as its base, if you want to go the more traditional route.
However, most aioli sauces these days is made from mayonnaise, and that mayonnaise usually has egg in it. So, don’t expect aioli sauce to be vegan in most instances. Of course, if you make it yourself, you could make it vegan.
How to Make Aioli
I want to share with you a recipe for aioli sauce that you can make at home with just a handful of ingredients.
Feel free to make alterations to this or to even make it vegan, if you like. This isn’t made in the traditional Mediterranean method, as it’s a more modern take on aioli sauce, giving you what you probably are used to when you think of this kind of sauce.
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
• 4 cloves of garlic, grated finely
• 1/2 cup of olive oil
1. Mix together salt, garlic, and egg yolk in a bowl. Then, add in a teaspoon of water.
2. Mix your ingredients together and add in oil a little bit at a time. You should only add it by drops at first, and then you can add it in 8th of a teaspoon once the sauce starts thickening.
3. Keep whisking until the sauce is stiff and can keep its shape when you spoon out.
You want to be careful about how quickly you add the oil. If you add it too fast, your aioli sauce will break down and the oil will come apart from the rest of the ingredients.
Aioli sauce be stored in the refrigerator for several days in an airtight container.
What is the Difference between Aioli and Mayonnaise?
Aioli isn’t always made of mayo, and mayo isn’t always an aioli sauce. Aioli sauce often contains mayo, so it’s easy to understand why the two get mixed up sometimes.
Aioli is really considered mayo plus another ingredient or two, in most circles. It didn’t start out that way, and in some areas of the world, aioli means something very different. It could be used to simply mean a garlic and olive oil-based sauce that has nothing to do with mayo.
Be careful about assuming anything about aioli and try to avoid calling flavored mayo as aioli. You could upset some chefs or cooking aficionados that way.
Ingredients for Aioli
The recipe I gave you above for aioli doesn’t use mayonnaise as its base, though it has some of the same ingredients as you would find in mayo.
You are probably realizing by now that you can use all sorts of things to make aioli.
It should always have garlic in it, and you can include olive oil in most iterations. A lot of the simpler recipes for aioli will include mayo, but it’s not an absolutely necessary ingredient.
Roasted Garlic Aioli
I like to make a version of aioli that uses roasted garlic. It has a richer, more complex flavor that I absolutely adore, and I think you should give it a try sometime if you are an aioli fan.
Most variations of aioli sauce are simply the base sauce with an added ingredient or two. Siracha aioli can be just that- using the recipe I gave you earlier and adding some siracha to it.
I prefer mine with a mayonnaise base, since I think that helps deal with the spiciness of the siracha best.
Then, I add garlic and lime juice to that for a really flavorful sauce. This may be what you get with Chipotle aioli, if you order the sauce there. The ingredients are really similar.
I recommend a mayonnaise base for truffle aioli, which also includes lemon juice and black truffle oil, as well as a little salt, black pepper, and clove.
This creates a flavorful and lovely aioli sauce that works really well as a companion to your pasta, fries, sandwiches, and chicken.
Try this alternative version of aioli sauce for a nice twist on the classic formula.
Once again, I’m recommending a mayonnaise base, and then you add in pine nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, and basil leaves. Mix all of that together and blend it well to get a green, tasty sauce that is perfect for adding to your pasta.
I think lemon juice is a great partner for an aioli made from mayonnaise, crushed garlic, and olive oil. Just remember to add your oil slowly and whisk everything as you mix so that it comes out a bit stiff rather than runny.
There you have a few great aioli sauce ideas, and I hope you give some of them a try. They can really spice up bland dishes and take great foods to new heights.
I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food! You can find my Facebook here