Nothing beats homemade Aioli, so this simple way of making your very own Vegan Aioli with aquafaba to replace the eggs will change your life (maybe). I love dipping this garlicky vegan mayonnaise with fries, smearing it on burgers and pretty much as my all time favourite condiment. Read on to find out how easy it is to make your own Vegan Aioli.
Aioli, or as it's called in Spain Alioli is a thick sauce common in Southern France and Spain made with Garlic (al) and olive oil (oli), and often contains eggs to help bind it. It's very similar to mayonnaise (IE, it's an emulsion of oil and eggs) but the level of garlic and the use of good olive oil makes it a sauce of its own.
I make this vegan version regularly to smear onto burgers (like this super yummy Spicy Oyster Mushroom Burger), or when I'm making a batch of my favourite Oven Baked Patatas Bravas.
I'm going to include below some variations because once you have the method sorted, it's pretty easy to mix and match flavours for your own tastes. Oh- and head to the 'Variations' section where I'll give you my 'cheat' to making Vegan Aioli with store-bought vegan mayo!
- Aquafaba is, quite simply, the liquid you drain from a tin of chickpeas. (Or the liquid you use to boil the chickpeas in if you're cooking from scratch). It's not at all weird, just bean juice. The proteins that end up in the water when you cook chickpeas are really similar to egg protein, and it behaves just like egg white. It can be whipped into meringues, used as an egg substitute when making cakes, or as we are using here, to make mayonaiise.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and/or a neutral oil such as grape seed or sunflower seed oil, or even an ordinary mild olive oil. This depends on personal taste. Pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil is traditional, but can be quite potent. I tend to do a mixture of half olive oil and half nuetral oil. If you leave out the olive oil, the recipe becomes more like a traditional mayo in flavour.
- Fresh Garlic: Use with your heart! One clove gives a lovely flavour of garlic. Use up to four cloves for a properly 'hot' garlic flavour that is definitely not for vampires!
- Lemon Juice: This adds a little acidity and balance.
- Dijon Mustard: Mustard does two things, it helps with the emulsification process, and adds acidity which balances the flavours.
- Sea Salt: A sprinkle of flakey sea salt is a flavour enhancer. Add bit by bit to taste.
- Optional: Kala Namak/Black Salt: If you want a more authentic 'eggy' taste, add in some kala namak salt, also known as black salt. This has sulfurous compounds that give everything it is added to a subtle eggy flavour.
Follow along with these simple instructions for the perfect vegan garlic mayo!
1. Peel and slightly squash the garlic (this helps them blend better in the blender)
2. Add the aquafaba, mustard, lemon juice and garlic to a blender cup and blend until the garlic is smooth.
3. With the motor running, slowly add the oil. If you have a hand held blender, move it up and down in the beaker cup to help the process.
4. The oil will emulsify with the aquafaba and create a thick, creamy mayonnaise. Keep adding oil until it's super thick. Taste and add salt/more lemon juice as needed.
🌶Substitutions & Variations
It's easy to make this vegan Aioli into different variations. Get creative and experiment!
- Smokey Paprika; Add smoked paprika and chilli powder to taste.
- Lemon: Add lemon zest and extra lemon juice, while toning down the garlic to just one clove.
- Roasted Garlic: omit the fresh garlic and add 4 -8 roasted garlic cloves.
- Herby: Add dill, parsley and/or basil for a fresh herbal flavour.
- Truffle Aioli: Add truffle oil or salt to the mixture. Be careful not to overdo it as it can be quite potent!
- Sriracha Mayo: Add your favourite Hot Sauce. I have a complete Vegan Sriracha Mayo here.
- Japanese Style Kewpie Mayo: This uses a similar technique, but has a few key alternative ingredients. Head to my full Vegan Kewpie Mayo recipe for tips and hints to make your own iconic Japanese style mayo!
If you're short on time and don't want to make aioli from scratch, use a good quality vegan store-bought mayo and add one or two cloves of crushed fresh garlic and mix in a good drizzle of olive oil to taste. No one will know!
I find that Hand Held Stick Blender that you can move up and down in a tall beaker or glass works best, as you want to be able to drizzle the oil into the beaker as you blend. You can also use a jug blender or a food processor, but as these are large, you might end up making a huge quantity of vegan mayo!
This recipe keeps well in an air-tight container or jar in the fridge for up to three weeks. It will not freeze well.
Alioli is the Spanish version and Aioli is the French version. Both have regional variations, but are essentially an emulsion made with garlic and oil, often with egg to help it emulsify.
Aioli is often made with egg, so is not vegan (although some are just pure garlic and olive oil). This recipe is vegan as we use aquafaba (chickpea water) to replace the egg. This creates a more stable, thick and creamy emulsion.
Vegan Aioli: Garlic Mayonnaise with Aquafaba
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 50 ml (3 tablespoon) Aquafaba (water from a tin of chickpeas or that chickpeas have been cooked in. )
- 2 garlic clove (or up to 4, depending on how garlicky you like it. )
- 125 ml (½ cups) Olive Oil (play with the ratios of oil depending on how strong you want the olive oil flavour.)
- 125 ml (½ cups) Sunflower Oil
- 25 ml (⅛ cups) Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon Kala Namek -Black Himalayan Salt (if you want an eggy flavour. Optional )
- flakey sea salt to taste
- In a blender cup , start whizzing up the garlic, lemon juice and mustard so it's smooth.2 garlic clove, 125 ml Sunflower Oil, 25 ml Lemon juice, 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Add the aquafaba and whizz again to blend.50 ml Aquafaba
- With the motor on, add the oil bit by bit.125 ml Olive Oil
- It should start looking like very thin cream, keep adding oil, it will start to thicken up.
- Add the olive oil, and keep whizzing.
- Add the salt and taste. Add more lemon juice or salt as needed.⅛ teaspoon Kala Namek -Black Himalayan Salt, flakey sea salt to taste
- It's not an exact science, and you'll know when you reach the right 'flavour' and consistency.
- Keep adjusting, maybe adding bit more oil & whipping more to thicken the mayo up.
- Pour into a sterilised jar (I pour hot water over a jar, drain, & pop it in the oven on a low heat for 15 mins to dry out). This helps preserve the mayo a little longer. I have to say however, we (2 people!) managed to go through almost the whole jar in less than two weeks! No chance of it going off!
Omit the garlic and olive oil for a less 'Spanish' and more standard tasting mayonaise.
Eat on everything. Fries, sandwiches, burgers.. add to coleslaw. I wouldn't add it to smoothies though. That would be weird.