how to make aioli and ideas to flavour it


Aioli is a wonderful condiment to add a variety of flavours and is much easier than you may think to make. The flavour is far superior to any shop-bought mayonnaise and well worth the small amount of effort it takes to whip up a batch.

Essentially very similar to each other, the main difference between mayonnaise and aioli is that aioli is made with olive oil and has garlic added. Mayonnaise is a bit lighter, made with vegetable or canola oil and has more flavourings. I love both but do find that aioli made from olive oil only is too intense and bitter for me.

I played around in my kitchen with a variety of combinations and methods, and with this recipe, I used half olive oil and half canola oil to give it a more mellow flavour. I  added lemon juice to give it some zing and a lot of garlic for the flavour (add less if you want it milder).

To make it more foolproof I found that using my food processor was more effective than my hand whisk.

Recipe for a basic aioli (makes 500ml / 2 cups)

  • 2 free range egg yolks at room temperature (as fresh as possible)
  • 1 cup (250ml) Canola oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 T lemon juice

Place all the ingredients except the oils into the food processor and mix briefly. While the mixer is on, very slowly add the oil through the spout at the top ensuring that it emulsifies. It will get thicker the more oil you add.  At the end, if you find it a bit thick, add a tablespoon or 2 of warm water to smooth it out. If it splits,  keep mixing and it may come back together, add another egg yolk back into the bowl and re-emulsify with the split mixture.

This is the base aioli that is wonderful on its own or can be tweaked to make a variety of incredible flavours.

You could substitute the lemon with lime, chopped coriander and chopped pickled jalapeno chillis to make a fabulous dipping sauce for fish or prawns. You could do what I did and add already made spicy condiments to the aioli such as:  Harissa paste, chilli sauce, chipotle hot sauce, Tabasco, chopped chipotle in adobo sauce and Sambal Bajak (an Indonesian spicy sauce).  All were totally amazing.

Think of anchovies, capers, pesto, olives, fresh herbs and smoked chilli.

a range of flavoured aioli’s

The applications seem endless to me. I tried the smokey chipotle aioli I made using chipotle in adobo sauce from Mexicorn on a grilled mealie (corn on the cob) and it was delicious. The lime and green chilli aioli was superb with fish.

Use on salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps or stirred through pasta.

corn on the cob with chipotle aioli



  1. Thank you Sam, certainly a post to bookmark….

  2. Hi Sam, Thanks for spreading the news about aioli. At Escape Caffe we actually make aioli for our chicken mayo, but people used to ask me what is aioli, so I just call it Spanish Chicken Mayo. Sometimes in Spain, they add the sweet pimento paprika to the aioli.

  3. Hi Lameen and *oh wow* on a sweet paprika version. It almost seems like the variations are endless. I loved it with my smoked red bell pepper too and think smoked paprika could also be fantastic. All awesome as a base on a delicious sandwich. I must come and visit you soon 🙂

  4. Barbara Anello says:

    Best aioli recipe I’ve tried to date! Thank you!!! Curious why the 3 options below Submit button include first and second option that are essentially the same with the exception of “by email” and “via email”?

  5. Hi Barbara, thanks and glad you like. I am not too sure re the mechanics of WordPress and my site – sorry (its build in)

  6. Approx. how long does this stay good when kept refrigerated? I would be the only one my house using it and I don’t want it to go to waste!

  7. Hi Denise – the recommendation for fresh mayo is around 2 weeks. as you are dealing with fresh eggs. I however kept mine a bit longer. but it is a problem as it does not contain any preservatives and thus not ideal to keep for ages. It is the same problem I have as I don’t eat enough of it. So I tend to make it when I need it for a recipe and then try and use up the leftovers.

  8. Joseph Gorcsi says:

    Hello, and thank you for the help!
    I work at Bon Appetit and we cook for google in my view

  9. Hi Joseph, yes I guess we all cook for Google 🙂

  10. Hola, soy de Barcelona, Cataluña, de donde es el allioli original. La receta original es huevo, aceite de oliva, sal y ajo, nada más. Todas las variantes que se le puedan hacer, ya no es un allioli.


  11. Bernice Kirk says:

    I had to stop reading. I would NEVER use Canola oil (rapeseed). IT is horrible for you.
    I will have to go another route, like refined coconut oil. NO CORN unless it is ORGANIC, because otherwise it is Genetically Modfied

  12. Hi Bernice – eac to their own I guess. I prefer a neutral oil to 0live oil which I find quite intense.

  13. I am going to make aoli. I love to cook now that I have time to do it (retired, thank goodness).

  14. I hope you enjoy Gerry (and your retirement 🙂

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