Skip to main content

Aioli (eye-o-li) could be described as the fancy name for homemade mayo. That is the word most often seen on menus, never “mayo” or “mayonnaise.” But they are a little different.  Traditional aioli is made with a mortar and pestle, to grind the garlic cloves into a paste first, and uses olive oil, never canola. Most of our tastebuds aren’t used to the strong flavor of real Extra Virgin Olive Oil in our mayo, and therefor other oils are used that are more mild.  The difference between mayonnaise and aïoli has blurred over time. I tend to call it aïoli if I have made it myself, even if it wasnt with a mortar and pestle.

With a food processor, making aioli or mayo yourself is so easy and so much better than anything you would get a store that you will want it around all the time. You will be much happier with the far smaller list of ingredients as well.  When made from scratch, the flavor is so much more alive and interesting than store-bought mayo. Your sandwiches and everything else will end up tasting better.

homemade chipotle aioli

My favorite combination to use is some Extra Virgin Olive Oil like Enzo’s, some lighter olive oil along with some avocado oil.  I want the health benefits of the stronger EVOO and thepolyphenols, but I also want to soften the spiciness that usually comes from an EVOO by blending it with the other oils.

With this basic aioli, you can create any flavor you want by adding fresh herbs and spices, or some roasted red bell pepper or sundried tomatoes. You can also use it to make a spicy chipotle aioli, which goes great with burgers and fish tacos. I’ve added some directions for that version in the notes section.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
homemade mayo

Aioli aka Homemade Mayo

  • Author: Andrea Sprague
  • Yield: 2 Cups 1x


Aioli (eye-o-li) could be described as the fancy name for mayo. When made from scratch, the flavor is so much more alive and interesting than the store-bought mayo. Your sandwiches and everything else will end up tasting better.


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed or avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup light or “delicate” olive oil


  1. Place egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice, mustard and salt in the food processor. Turn on and let run until garlic is broken up, about 15 seconds. The key to a good emulsion is to start very slow. Most food processors have a hole in the round insert for the processor lid. This is to help create a slow, small stream of oil, when you pour the oil through this part of the lid.
  2. Turn on the processor and begin pouring in 1 to 3 tablespoons at a time of oil through the hole in the lid, until you can see the mixture begin to gel, or bind together. Take your time here. If the emulsification doesn’t happen at the beginning, the mixture will just be runny no matter how much you run the processor.  Once you see the “mayo” forming, go ahead and pour the oil in a little faster. The hole will keep the oil flowing in a steady stream.
  3. My aioli tends to emulsify so well that the mixture is super thick half way through adding the oil. I then stop the oil and add a little warm water, about 2 tablespoons, and turn on the processor again. The aioli then thins a bit and looks like the consistency of regular mayo.
  4. Once all the oil is in, taste the aioli and see if you want to add any more lemon or salt.
  5. Store in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator.


For a spicy twist on this recipe, you can also use it as a base to make a chipotle aioli. Just combine 1 cup of the basic aioli recipe above with 1/2 chipotle in adobe sauce (look for brands with no wheat flour), 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 3/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and the juice of 1 lime (or 4 tsp). Combine in a food processor and add more peppers if you want more spice.

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star