Spicy aioli is the perfect spread for topping a sandwich or burger, and also makes a great dipping sauce! You only need four ingredients and about five minutes to whip up a batch of this creamy aioli.
You're going to be adding this spicy aioli to everything! It's perfect for dipping chicken tenders, adding to a grilled burger, or serving alongside grilled veggies.
Aioli is a cold sauce that's traditionally made with garlic, salt, and olive oil (and sometimes eggs). It has a similar texture to mayonnaise, which is why mayonnaise is often used as a base for quick aioli recipes (like this one!).
This spicy aioli comes together with mayonnaise, lemon juice, fresh garlic, and cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper can easily be adjusted to make your aioli spicier or milder.
Serve spicy aioli with a batch of grilled chicken tenders, hot wings, crab cakes, or as a sandwich topping.
What is aioli?
Traditionally, aioli is a creamy sauce that's made from an emulsion of olive oil and mashed garlic. Some versions of aioli include eggs and lemon juice, similar to a mayonnaise.
Since about 1990 (per Wikipedia), it is common for any type of flavored mayonnaise to be referred to as an aioli. The two have a similar consistency and are often used in the same ways, but can contain different ingredients.
If you'd like to learn more, here's a great article on the subject: Bon Appetit - OK, What is Aioli, Anyway?
Ingredients and substitutions
- Mayonnaise - Feel free to use homemade or store bought mayonnaise.
- Lemon juice - Can be substituted with apple cider vinegar.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic adds the best flavor to your aioli, but it can be substituted with garlic powder if needed. Add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder to substitute two cloves of garlic.
- Seasoning - Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper add flavor to your aioli. I highly recommend adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your tastes.
How long does aioli keep?
Your spicy aioli will keep for about 7 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
The flavor of your aioli, namely the garlic and cayenne pepper, will continue to get stronger as it sits.
After preparing your aioli, I highly recommend allowing to set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld.
Your aioli can also be made ahead of time, 1 or 2 days at most, if needed. Your aioli will continue to get spicier as it sets, so keep this in mind.
Ways to use aioli
Aioli can be used as a spread or a thick dipping sauce. Use it in any situation where you'd normally use a creamy sauce or spread (like mayonnaise on a sandwich).
- On a hamburger
- On brats or hot dogs
- With french fries
- With chicken tenders
- As a dip for a veggie tray
- With crab cakes
- With oven roasted potatoes
- On a grilled chicken sandwich
- With shrimp
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a bowl, add mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Use as a condiment on sandwiches or as a dipping sauce for fries, chicken tenders, and more.
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper will make a spicy aioli. Add more for spicier flavor, or cut in half for a milder flavor. This will also depend on how fresh your cayenne pepper is - older spices lose their flavor over time.
- Aioli will keep for about 7 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Flavors (garlic and cayenne) will get stronger over time.