Aioli (Spanish Garlic and Oil Sauce)

Is Aioli vegan? You might think Aioli always contains eggs. We thought so too. But we were WRONG, since the traditional version appears to be completely vegan, has only two ingredients and is absolutely delicious. Well, that is: if you like raw garlic. Which we do. Today we share the traditional vegan Aioli recipe.

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Spanish Aioli doesn't ask for many ingredients.

Few recipes are simpler than this one. The ingredients are just garlic and oil, making for a 100% vegan aioli recipe. 

Is Aioli vegan?

Nowadays: no. You might find egg yolk between the ingredients. Along with lemon zest, mustard and what not. Yet, traditionally Aioli is just garlic and oil. The Spanish name aioli (or similar spellings) even literally translates into garlic and oil. Adding up to the traditional vegan Aioli recipe. 

Traditionally Aioli comes from Eastern Spain and Southern Italy, from which it has spread to other parts of the Mediterrean and nowadays: the world. In parts of Spain it is sometimes referred to as ajoaceite.

So is Aioli vegan? Well, traditionally: yes. Since traditionally it is only oil and garlic. And ok, a pinch of salt.

The traditional way of preparing Aioli

Nowadays you can use a food processor to mix, but the authentic method just uses a mortar and pestle. You know: because there was a time when people did not have food processors.

I personally use a mortar and pestle whenever I can, because I feel it brings out the flavors that much better. But feel free to use a food processor if that is your personal preference, if you’re in a hurry or simply having a lazy day. 

Kitchen Utensils

  • Mortar and Pestle (or food processor)


For 1 cup of vegan aioli

Is Aioli vegan? The traditional recipe certainly is! Garlic, Olive Oil and Salt are the only ingredients. Adding up to a vegan Aioli recipe.
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • ½ – ¾ cup (120 – 180 ml) of extra virgin olive oil (use the best quality as possible or affordable)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

NOTE: If there is one recipe on VeganEvergreens that asks for tasting and personal judgement, it’s this one. Luckily, it is easy to adjust this vegan aioli recipe along the way. Simply add more garlic or more oil. That’s all.

How to make Aioli

Prep time: 15 min.

  1. Peel 6 cloves of garlic and put into a mortar together with 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

    Pestle well until the garlic is juicy and saucy. Very carefully and slowly add some olive oil, drip by drip. This is important to refrain the sauce from curdling.
    Whilst adding the oil, keep on stirring (with a small whisk or just with a teaspoon). 

    After half of the oil has been added, you might add a bit more and faster — especially in the beginning there’s the chance of curdling. Keep on stirring though. 

    (Using a food processor just works the same: start with the garlic and salt and 2 tablespoons of oil. Whilst the food processor whisks, you can add extra oil slowly, drip by drip.)
  1. Aioli is meant to taste a bit spicy because of the garlic. Taste if it is too sharp for your taste. If so, just extra oil. If not spicy enough, add garlic. You can also add some extra salt. 

Serve with bread, baked potatoes or anything you like (veggies are a great dipper).

Spanish Aioli is a very simple yet delicious sauce.


Recipe: Aioli
15 min.
0 min.
15 min.
garlic, olive oil, salt
Type of meal:
side dish, sauce

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