What can I use instead of aioli? The best substitutes for aioli are types of mayonnaise, including tartar sauce, rémoulade, and Thousand Island Dressing. Skordalia, tzatziki, pesto, and hummus are delicious alternatives, or use store cupboard substitutes like sour cream, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and avocado.
Aioli is a garlic-flavored sauce eaten in France and Spain. Serve lightly chilled as a dip or topping for bread, crudites, potatoes, cold fish or meats, hard-boiled eggs, and soup. Known as “the butter of Provence,” aioli has a tangy flavor and creamy texture. Try these twelve substitutes for aioli.
The Best Aioli Substitutes
The best substitute for aioli is mayonnaise.
Historians believe that mayonnaise developed from simple aioli emulsification of garlic and olive oil – aioli was a precursor to mayonnaise.
Today, both sauces begin with oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and raw egg, so mayonnaise has a similar appearance and consistency to aioli. However, it lacks the zestiness of aioli’s lemon, garlic, and mustard.
To use mayonnaise instead of aioli, stir a teaspoon each of crushed garlic, mustard, and lemon juice into good quality mayonnaise.
Use this mixture to replace aioli as a dipping sauce or topping in equal quantities.
Traditionally served with fish, tartar sauce is an excellent substitute for aioli.
Tartar sauce is a version of mayonnaise flavored with finely diced spring onions or shallots, dill pickles, capers, olives, and sweet pickle relish.
With a dash of lemon and a garnish of chives for zest, tartar sauce has a bright, herbaceous flavor.
Use tartar sauce as a 1:1 replacement for aioli when you need a sauce for fish or a dipping sauce for veggies.
A classic French sauce, rémoulade makes an ideal aioli substitute.
Rémoulade is similar to tartar sauce, traditionally served with fried fish.
It is also mayonnaise-based and contains finely chopped pickled cucumbers, anchovies, capers, hard-boiled eggs, parsley, tarragon, garlic, chervil, and mustard.
Use rémoulade instead of aioli as a salad dressing, with potatoes, on sandwiches, or as a topping for chicken, cold meats, cold or hot fish, and shellfish. Use in equal proportions.
Thousand Island Dressing
Thousand Island dressing, also called cocktail sauce or pink sauce, is a variety of mayonnaise popular across the US.
The most basic Thousand Island Dressing is a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup.
Other recipes include chili sauce, sour cream, horseradish, cayenne, finely chopped hard-boiled egg, pickle relish, onions, chives, and parsley.
In the 1980s, Thousand Islands Dressing topped shrimp cocktail, but it is also good with iceberg lettuce salads.
Commercially available Thousand Island Dressing contains sweeteners and coloring agents and lacks a garlicky bite, so it has a different flavor profile.
However, the consistency is much the same, so Thousand Island Dressing appeals to those who find aioli too harsh in flavor.
Use this pink dressing for salads, as a topping for seafood, or as a dip for veggies. You can replace aioli 1:1, particularly if you are serving a meal to children.
Skordalia is a zingy Greek condiment made with potato purée.
Like aioli, skordalia begins with crushed garlic and olive oil, but instead of egg, you add smoothly mashed potato, lemon juice, and parsley. Some varieties include ground almonds or breadcrumbs.
Skordalia is primarily eaten as a sauce with fried fish, as a side dish, or as part of a mezze platter. It is perfect for vegans as the dip is entirely plant-based.
Use skordalia as a direct substitute for aioli if you want a dipping sauce or accompaniment for fish, meatballs, or crudites.
Use the same amount of skordalia as aioli, but note that the potato dip is heartier and more filling.
Tzatziki is a Greek cucumber dish that lies between a dip and a salad.
It combines Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, salt, mint, and dill.
It is not an emulsified sauce like mayonnaise or aioli as it contains no eggs or oil and is, therefore, a healthier alternative.
A standard component of mezze, tzatziki is an essential topping for gyros, shwarmas, chicken skewers, and pita bread.
Use tzatziki instead of aioli as a dipping sauce for bread, seafood (especially calamari), and veggies. You can use more tzatziki than aioli as it is not as rich or heavy.
A zesty substitute for aioli is pesto.
Pesto is a versatile Italian sauce that combines basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
It is full of heart-healthy fats, vitamin K, and manganese.
Pesto has a bright, herbaceous flavor with a nutty undertone. The consistency and flavor profile of pesto are broadly similar to aioli, but it has a vivid green color.
Replace aioli with pesto if you need a tasty dipping sauce, garnish, or drizzle for veggies, salad, or pasta. You can use pesto in the same proportions you would use aioli.
An excellent vegan alternative to aioli is hummus.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas and tahini, often with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil added.
The chickpea condiment has several health benefits, as it is a source of fiber, protein, and micronutrients. It contains very little fat.
Hummus’s smooth, creamy texture and rich savoriness make it a versatile replacement for aioli.
However, the flavor profile differs as hummus is earthy and lemony, while aioli has a sharp mustard and garlic taste.
If you like hummus, you can replace aioli when you need a dip for veggies, an addition to salad dressing, or a topping for wraps and sandwiches.
Use hummus in equal proportions, although it is far more filling than aioli.
A simple store cupboard replacement for aioli is sour cream.
Sour cream is a nutritious dairy product containing protein, calcium, and vitamins A and B.
Sour cream is similar in texture to aioli and has an appealing tanginess.
However, it lacks a complex flavor profile, so if you want to use sour cream as an alternative to aioli, you need to jazz it up.
Add crushed garlic, lemon juice, and some mustard to sour cream, and use it instead of aioli as a topping or garnish.
Sour cream is richer than aioli, so it must be thinned with mayonnaise if you want to use it as a dipping sauce.
Another tasty dairy product that can replace aioli is cream cheese.
Cream cheese is nutritious, full of protein, and an excellent source of calcium.
This luscious spread has a thick consistency and slight sourness, making it delicious as a sandwich topping.
To replace aioli with cream cheese, you will need to add mayonnaise, milk, or yogurt to thin it slightly, as well as crushed garlic and lemon juice to replicate the flavor.
Use this mixture as a 1:1 replacement for aioli, especially as a dip.
A handy substitute for aioli that you may have in the fridge is Greek yogurt.
Rich in protein and healthy gut bacteria, Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of phosphorus, calcium, vitamin A and zinc. Avoid fat-free plain yogurts that are sweetened or contain additives.
Greek yogurt has a similar texture to cream cheese but contains far less fat and is a nutritious choice when aiming for a healthy lifestyle.
Although yogurt is creamy, it won’t have the rich consistency of an emulsification.
You can use Greek yogurt instead of aioli, but you’ll have to add garlic, lemon juice, and mustard to improve the flavor.
Use yogurt in equal quantities as a dip or a soup garnish.
For vegans and those allergic to eggs, avocado makes an excellent substitute for aioli.
Avocado is a healthy option, full of heart-healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamin E, and copper.
Mashed avocado has a luscious texture and adds creaminess to dishes.
To use avocado instead of aioli, mix it with olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic or onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Replace aioli with the exact quantities of avocado as a dip for crudites or a topping for salads. It is not ideal in cooked meals.