Ready to bring your dishes to the next level? Look no further than our creamy Pesto Aioli! A zesty and deliciously versatile aioli packed with flavor that's perfect to dip or spread on your favorite eats!
Whether you are topping grilled chicken breasts or need a great dipping sauce for some crispy fries, this twist on the classic aioli is the finishing touch for anything you can imagine!
❤️Why we love this recipe
- Creamy texture. This recipe creates a velvety aioli that is very satisfying with each bite!
- Crowd-pleaser. The combination of fresh garlic, flavors of basil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, and its bright green color is sure to wow anyone you serve this to!
- Simple ingredients. All of the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery or may already be on hand in your pantry.
- Versatility. This aioli is easy to customize and works for a variety of sides, meals, and snacks. It's a flavorful spread for sandwiches, or on this portobello mushroom burger, a perfect condiment for chips and fries, and a great topping for beef and chicken!
- Quick & easy. This recipe comes together in under 10 minutes, with minimal effort for an extraordinary must-have staple. Easy for parties and quick bites.
Here are the ingredients we used for this recipe. You can find more information for substitutions below.
- Egg & raw egg yolk - Use the best quality eggs you can find. We use one whole egg, and one egg yolk.
- Dijon mustard
- Lemon - For lemon zest and juice.
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Homemade pesto or store bought - We like using our homemade walnut pesto recipe that we make usually a day or two in advance.
Visit the recipe card for the full quantities and nutritional information.
✨Substitutions & variations
Here are a few suggestions on additional flavors to try, or simple variations to this recipe.
- Eggs - If eating raw eggs makes you uncomfortable, you can use pasteurized eggs to greatly decrease the risk of food-borne illness. You can also try using an egg substitute such as aquafaba.
- Dijon mustard - Swap Dijon for regular or whole grain mustard for a different flavor.
- Pesto - Swap a traditional pesto for a different version (like spinach pesto or red pepper basil) for a more unique flavor.
- Olive oil - Swap olive oil for a more neutral oil such as avocado oil for more basil forward flavor.
- Lemon juice - Swap fresh lemon juice with lemon juice concentrate, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar to keep the tangy element of the dish.
- Vegan - Swap traditional pesto with a vegan version and use a plant based egg substitute. You can also just skip emulsifying the oil and eggs entirely and just use vegan mayonnaise.
- Herby flavor - Add in additional herbs like parsley or fresh basil leaves for a more herb-forward flavor.
- Spicy - For more of a kick, add red pepper flakes or cayenne to the mixture.
- Garlic - Swap raw garlic with roasted garlic for a milder and sweeter flavor.
- If making pesto from scratch, do this first. Here is our walnut pesto recipe. This can be done 2-3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Separate one egg from the yolk. Save the egg white for a morning scramble.
- Peel the garlic cloves.
- Zest and juice the lemon.
- Measure out the remaining ingredients.
In a tall and narrow blender, add the whole egg first, followed by the garlic, salt, and Dijon. (Image 1)
Next, add the fresh lemon juice. (Image 2)
Cover with oil and let the mixture sit for about 15 seconds. Allowing the olive oil to drop to the bottom is necessary for proper emulsification. (Image 3)
Make sure that the immersion blender blade is in contact with the egg and egg yolks at all times, and emulsify the mixture at a high speed until it's nice and thick. (Image 4)
✨Pro Tip: Make sure to use a tall and narrow container for your immersion blender to prevent splashing and for a vortex to form to properly emulsify the mixture.
Add in your pesto and lemon zest. (Image 5)
Mix well, topping with basil, and enjoy! Use it as a spread, dip, or topping for your next meal!
✨Tips & tricks
- Use high quality ingredients. High-quality ingredients will ensure the best flavor out of this aioli.
- Use a tall narrow container for mixing. This will prevent a mess from splashing and allow the aioli to become fully emulsified. If using too wide of a container, the aioli will not emulsify properly.
- Pesto color. Depending on the yolk color and quality of the egg, this recipe can either produce a more neutral green or more of an orange undertone. Our eggs were very high quality so it had a bit of an orange undertone, so please keep this in mind!
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💭Frequently Asked Questions
Store the aioli in an airtight container and eat within one week of to ensure freshness. We don't recommend freezing as it can cause the consistency to become undesirable. Re-emulsify if separation occurs.
Continue to blend it more while adding a slow and steady stream of oil. If not thickening, add more Dijon or pesto.
Yes, you can, although technically it isn't "aioli" anymore. It will still be incredibly delicious! If swapping for mayo, we recommend using a high-quality mayonnaise for the best flavor. Leave out the eggs and oil and mix together the mayonnaise with all other ingredients.
Aioli and mayonnaise are close cousins, but there are a few key differences. Mayonnaise is made with a neutral oil like canola oil, while aioli is made with olive oil. Aioli uses lemon juice, while mayo uses white vinegar. Aioli always has garlic added, along with mustard sometimes as well!
Side dish ideas
Not sure what to serve with this pesto aioli? Here are a few suggestions!
More Recipes To Consider
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- immersion blender (or can use high powered blender)
- narrow mixing glass
- Prepare the egg yolk by separating the yolk from the egg whites. Crack the other egg into a separate container.
- In a large narrow container, add the whole egg first, followed by the egg yolk, followed by garlic, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard.
- Pour in the ½ cup of oil and allow it to settle to the bottom for 15 seconds.
- Make sure that the immersion blender blades are in contact with the egg yolk at all times, and emulsify the mixture at a high speed until it is thick, and everything is incorporated.
- Add in the 6 ounces of pesto and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and mix well! Enjoy!
- Store the aioli in an airtight container and eat within one week of to ensure freshness. Re-emulsify if separation occurs. We don't recommend freezing as it can cause the consistency to change and become undesirable.
Use high quality ingredients. High quality ingredients will ensure the best flavor out of this aioli.
Use a tall narrow container for mixing. This will prevent a mess from splashing and allow the aioli to become fully emulsified. The narrow container creates a vortex. If using too wide of a container, the aioli will not emulsify properly.
- Make sure the immersion blender blades are always in contact with the egg yolk. For the mixture to properly come together, the oil, egg yolk, and blender blades need to be in contact at all times when mixing.