This Dill Aioli recipe is easy, filled with garlicky lemony flavor amplified with fresh dill. It is creamy, velvety and perfect for dipping fries, roasted veggies, chicken or fish. Best part? It takes no time to make thanks to a genius shortcut hack.
What is aioli?
Aioli is cold thick sauce made with oil, emulsified eggs, lemon juice and garlic. It comes from the Mediterranean region, especially France (Provence), coastal Spain, Italy and Malta.
Aioli resembles mayonnaise but it’s definitely not the same. The main difference is that aioli is traditionally made with olive oil and lemon juice, while mayo uses neutral tasting oil and vinegar. Both are made with emulsified egg yolks, although some variations of aioli use no egg at all and have a more pasty texture.
The biggest difference between aioli and mayo is that aioli MUST contain garlic. The word “aioli” literally means “garlic” and “oil” in Provencal and Catalonian.
Despite all the differences, “aioli” is a word that can be found in restaurant menus all over United States but it’s usually a fancy word to describe flavored mayo.
What’s special about this aioli recipe
While I love the idea of emulsifying fresh garlic and olive oil in a store mortar and pestle into a paste, it is not the most practical and definitely not quick. Instead, I decided to use a genius trick seen on Cookie & Kate and make aioli using good quality mayo and garlic infused lemon juice.
It sounds complicated but it’s really not and anybody can make it, as long as you have a fine mesh strainer. Fresh garlic added directly to mayo can be pretty harsh, plus it adds coarse “bits” to the texture. To fix this problem, pressed or finely minced garlic is added to freshly squeezed lemon juice where it sits for 10 minutes, and then it’s strained and added to mayo.
This trick produces the most velvety and deliciously garlicky, lemony aioli. Add as much or as little finely chopped fresh dill and enjoy as dipping sauce or with literally anything. I absolutely love it with shrimp or fish.
- Mayonnaise: use good quality mayo. I like avocado oil mayo and my favorite brands are Sir Kensington’s and Primal Kitchen
- Lemon juice: freshly squeezed lemon juice works best
- Garlic: there is no aioli without garlic!
- Salt: use coarse salt such as kosher or sea salt
- Fresh Dill: I highly recommend fresh dill weed over dried
How to make it
Step 1: Soak garlic in lemon juice. Press peeled fresh garlic cloves into a small bowl. Here’s world’s best garlic press that’s super easy to clean. If you don’t have one, just mince it finely with a knife. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt and stir well.
Step 2: Wait 10 minutes for the garlic to release its flavor into the lemon juice. Take a small fine mesh strainer and strain pressing into a medium bowl. Press with a back of the spoon to get every drop in the bowl. I strained the garlicky juice directly over mayo but you can add mayo after. It’s up to you!
Step 3: Add freshly chopped dill and stir well. This is where the magic happens – lemon juice thins the mayo and all the flavors come together!
Step 4: Enjoy immediately or chill for 30 minutes or longer.
Store Dill Aioli in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I love these 4-ounce mini mason jars for storing homemade aioli.
What to serve dill aioli with?
My favorite way to enjoy dill aioli is with these Air Fryer Sliced Potatoes or French fries. It also goes really well on chicken, pork, shrimp or fish. Here are some ideas on what to serve the aioli with:
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries
- Pork Kebabs (Air Fryer or Oven)
- Brined Chicken Wings
- Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta
Here are more suggestions on how you can use Dill Aioli
- On fried or grilled white fish in place of tartar sauce
- With baked or seared salmon (so good!)
- As burger sauce
- On fish or shrimp cakes
- As dipping sauce for shrimp skewers or shrimp cocktail
- With smoked salmon – add it as part of this Smoked Salmon Charcuterie Board
- As fancy sandwich spread or in veggie wraps
- Try marinading chicken tenders in this aioli for 30 minutes and bake them in the oven for the juiciest chicken ever. I use the mayo marinade trick in this recipe for Chicken Caprese Sheet Pan
Yes. Fresh is best but sometimes it's not available at the grocery store. In that case you can use dried dill but reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon.
Yup! Just use vegan mayo in place of regular.
No. Mayo doesn't freeze well.
You may also like
- Cajun Salad Dressing
- Homemade Greek Salad Dressing
- Musabaha (Whole Chickpea Hummus)
- Herbed Egg Avocado Salad
- Greek Chickpea Salad
If you make this Dill Aioli, be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. Or better yet, send me a photo! I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
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- ⅓ cup good quality mayo
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 cloves garlic crushed or minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- A pinch of salt
- Place crushed or minced garlic in a small bowl and pour in lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to infuse the lemon juice with garlic flavor.
- Strain the lemon juice using a small mesh strainer over a medium bowl pressing the garlic down with a spoon. Discard the garlic.
- Add strained lemon juice to mayo together with chopped fresh dill. Stir together until combined and creamy.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.