This small-batch of Garlic Aioli, made with just three ingredients, is your new best friend if you want to upgrade your sandwich, french fry, and veggie dipping game.
Today’s recipe is a total game-changer of a recipe: Small-batch Garlic Aioli.
It’s made with just three ingredients, mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice (plus a little salt and pepper), that when mixed together basically become magic.
You get a creamy spread perfect for dipping fries and veggies or slathering over sandwiches. The kick of garlic and acidic tang of the lemon really bring out the best of whatever you’re eating it on/over/with.
Trust me, if you’ve never made aioli at home, you need this recipe in your life.
- Mayonnaise: Any mayo will work here including vegan and low-fat. If you want to lighten up your aioli, you can substitute up to two tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt for part of the mayonnaise. Especially when using it as dip, you don’t miss the fat, and it dramatically cuts the calories.
- Fresh garlic: It’s best to steer clear of sprouted garlic in your aioli. While you can usually get away with using sprouted garlic to some degree in cooking, when using it raw, it can give your aioli an “off” flavor even if you cut away the sprouted portion.
- Lemon juice: Fresh or bottled lemon juice works just fine in this recipe.
How to Make Small-batch Homemade Aioli
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, pressed garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
- Stir, and add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
That’s it. I included measurements in the full recipe below to get you started, but after you’ve made it once or twice, you won’t need them. Just a couple dollops of mayo in a bowl, a crushed garlic clove and lemon to taste. You’ll be able to make aioli in your sleep in about 30 seconds.
It’s a perfect back-pocket recipe to pull out any time a turkey and cheese sandwich at lunch feels a little boring or homemade batch of sweet potato fries needs a little spicing up.
- Chipotle aioli: You can make chipotle yogurt aioli by stirring 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder OR 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers for a smokey, spicy flavor.
- Greek yogurt aioli: Replace the mayonnaise with plain, unsweetened yogurt for a light and delicious aioli.
I don’t have a garlic press. What can I use instead?
If you don’t own a garlic press, consider buying one! They’re a really handy piece of kitchen equipment that doesn’t take up a ton of space, and they are cheap on Amazon and at most stores where kitchen supplies are sold.
If you own a microplane, you can also use it to grate your garlic. Or in a pinch, you can crush garlic with a knife (read on for instructions).
How to Crush Garlic Without a Garlic Press
To crush your garlic without a garlic press, peel and finely dice a clove of garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt and then use the flat of your knife blade to smash/scrape the garlic into a paste. (Here’s a good video of this being done.)
Then just scrape that paste into the bowl with the rest of your aioli ingredients (salt to taste since you’ve already added some salt), and you’re good to go.
Can I make garlic aioli ahead of time?
Yes. You can make aioli up to 48 hours in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Aioli not used within 2 days of being made should be discarded because of the raw garlic.
Can I make a big batch of garlic aioli?
Yes! The recipe can be scaled up with no recipe changes needed. To change the recipe yield, in the recipe card below, hover over the serving size or click if you’re on mobile, and slide the slider.
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- Pesto Chicken Sandwiches
- Chipotle Turkey Sandwiches
- Carne Asada Sandwich
- Homemade Panini
Small-batch Garlic Aioli
- 1/4 cup (56g) mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove pressed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until well-combined.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve and enjoy!
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