Are Aioli and Mayo The Same Thing?

Apr 28, 2023

are aioli and mayo the same thing?

One of the easiest and tastiest ways to spice up your meal is by adding a flavorful sauce or condiment. Two of the most popular are aioli and mayo—and you might have even used them interchangeably without giving it much thought.

Whether you’re dipping your fries or adding some extra zing to your sandwich, both of these sauces can be a great addition to any meal. However, with so many similarities between the two, it’s not surprising that many people wonder if aioli and mayo are actually the same thing.

Let’s take a look at the similarities between aioli and mayo and what sets them apart—and discover the best uses for these creamy condiments, including how to make them at home.


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What is mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise is a creamy and tangy sauce made from oil, egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice and salt. The process of making mayonnaise involves emulsifying oil into egg yolks, creating a thick and stable mixture that can be seasoned with various ingredients, such as mustard, garlic or herbs. Commercially produced mayonnaise often includes preservatives and stabilizers to extend its shelf life.

Mayonnaise has a rich and versatile flavor that makes it a popular condiment in many cuisines around the world. It can be used as a base for dressings, sauces and dips or as a spread for sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs. In addition, mayonnaise can be used as a binder for ingredients in dishes like potato salad or deviled eggs.

What is aioli?

Aioli is a Mediterranean sauce that’s traditionally made from garlic, olive oil, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt. It doesn’t contain any vinegar.

Unlike mayonnaise, which is made by emulsifying oil into egg yolks, aioli is made by pounding garlic into a paste and then gradually adding olive oil to the mixture, creating a thick and creamy sauce. The garlic gives aioli its characteristic pungent flavor, while the olive oil adds richness and depth.

Aioli is often served with seafood, vegetables and bread. It is also used as a spread for sandwiches and burgers, as well as a dip for fries and chips.

Best homemade aioli recipes

Aioli is a creamy and garlicky sauce that can be served as a dip, spread or dressing for various dishes. And while the traditional aioli recipe is made with garlic, olive oil, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt, there are many ways you can spice it up and make it your own by incorporating different ingredients and flavors.

Here are a few of our favorite variations:

are aioli and mayo the same thing

Smoked Roasted Garlic Aioli

This smoky and savory variation is perfect for adding depth and complexity to your favorite dishes.

In this recipe, the garlic cloves are oven roasted until they’re caramelized. Then, the garlic is mashed into a paste and combined with egg yolks, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and a combination of vegetable and olive oil. The smokiness comes from a pinch of hickory wood chips and this Breville Smoking Gun, which infuses the distinct, slightly sweet and robust wood flavor into the aioli.

Get the Smoked Roasted Garlic Aioli recipe!

are aioli and mayo the same thing?

Citrus Herb Aioli

This super simple aioli recipe is a fresh twist that uses mayo as its base—so you don’t have to emulsify the sauce itself.

The herb seasoning adds a bright and aromatic flavor that is complemented by the tangy notes of the lemon zest—making it a great addition for fries or sandwiches.

Get the Citrus Herb Aioli recipe!

are aioli and mayo the same thing?

Truffle Aioli

Truffle aioli is a luxurious variation of the classic aioli that is infused with the rich and earthy flavor of truffles.

This recipe features a little less garlic and truffle salt, which gives the aioli its distinctive aroma and flavor. Pair it with grilled meats, roasted vegetables and crusty bread—this smooth and creamy sauce is sure to impress guests or simply indulge in as a gourmet treat.

Get the Truffle Aioli recipe!

Are aioli and mayo the same thing?

Aioli and mayonnaise are both creamy, flavorful sauces that are used as condiments in many dishes. They are both made by emulsifying oil with egg yolks and an acidic liquid, which creates a thick, creamy texture. They can both be used as a base for other sauces and dips, such as ranch dressing or tartar sauce.

The main differences between aioli and mayonnaise are their ingredients and flavor.

While both sauces are made from oil and egg yolks, aioli does not contain vinegar and is typically flavored with garlic, whereas mayonnaise contains vinegar or lemon juice and can be seasoned with a variety of ingredients.

In addition, the texture of aioli is typically thicker and denser than mayonnaise, with a more pronounced garlic flavor. Mayonnaise, on the other hand, is smoother and tangier, with a more neutral flavor that can be customized with different seasonings.

Another key difference between the two sauces is their cultural origin.

Aioli is a traditional condiment in Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in France, Spain and Italy, while mayonnaise is widely used in American and European cuisines.

Finally, aioli and mayonnaise have different uses in cooking. Aioli is often used as a dipping sauce for vegetables or as a spread for sandwiches and burgers, while mayonnaise is used as a base for dressings, dips and sauces or as a condiment for sandwiches and burgers.


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