This recipe for basil aioli is perfect as an easy veggie dip, healthy sandwich spread or simple salmon marinade. The best part? My lemon basil aioli is only 7 ingredients and that's including salt!
Aioli is one of those things that sounds fancy and intimidating but is actually quite easy to make. Despite its simplicity, it can totally elevate a dish from boring to company-worthy.
Every year at Prep Dish we have a couple of 21-day challenges. Our last challenge focused on super fast meal prep. At the end of the challenge we asked for participant feedback and as soon as I read the results I knew I had to share this recipe. The lemon basil aioli was a huge hit!
It wasn't a coincidence that this recipe for basil aioli was included in our super fast challenge. It checks two boxes I always look for when creating our super fast meal plans.
First, lemon basil aioli can be used in more than one way. I love including recipes that you can use throughout the week in totally different ways. It minimizes meal prep time without leaving you feeling like you're eating leftovers all week. As you'll see below, basil aioli is super versatile!
Second, lemon basil aioli really ups the flavor of everything it touches with very few ingredients and minimal effort. “Super Fast” recipes don't have to be basic or boring, they just have to be strategic. Simple sauces, spreads and marinades are one of the keys here and this aioli works as all three!
Lemon Basil Aioli
- 1 1/2 cups avocado mayonnaise
- 2 tsp dijon
- 1 bunch basil leaves
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Nutrition information is based on 1 serving. Recipe yields 12 servings.
What's the nutrition like for Lemon Basil Aioli? Is avocado mayo healthy?
This simple lemon basil aioli recipe has several nutritious ingredients included. But what about the mayo? Is avocado mayo healthy?
Always check the ingredient list to be sure but, in general, I'd say yes, avocado mayo can be a healthy component of your diet. I personally always get the Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo. The ingredients are simply avocado oil, organic eggs, organic egg yolks, organic vinegar, sea salt and organic rosemary extract. I feel good about each of those ingredients individually so I consider the mayo as a whole a healthy item!
Here are some nutritional highlights you'll find in this recipe for basil aioli:
Basil (Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Manganese)
Lemon (Vitamin C, Beneficial Plant Compounds (hesperidin & diosmin))
Just one lemon provides 51% of the daily recommended vitamin C. This is important not only to fight colds, but for long term health as studies show consuming produce with vitamin C helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Consuming lemons can also help protect against anemia and kidney stones. The plant compounds hesperidin and diosmin may also help lower cholesterol.
Garlic (Beneficial Sulfur Compounds, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium)
While garlic does contain vitamins, many of its well-known health benefits come from its unique sulfur compounds. Garlic may boost the immune system, reduce high blood pressure, lower cholesterol and even help prevent Alzheimer's. It is a super healthy addition to your weekly meal plan!
Does aioli have dairy?
Many people assume aioli is dairy-based because it's so creamy but it's actually generally dairy-free. Aioli's main ingredient is mayonnaise (or avocado mayo in this case). Mayonnaise is made from eggs emulsified with oil and acid and does not actually usually have any dairy in it.
If you're interested in more dairy free recipes, check out this short video I made with some of my favorites!
Ways to Use This Recipe for Basil Aioli
As I mentioned above, one of my favorite things about this basil aioli is its versatility.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use this recipe:
Easy Veggie Dip
Enough said. Serve this aioli with any sliced veggies you love and you'll find your family eating way more raw vegetables than ever before. The recipe makes a fair amount of basil aioli so you could easily use some for an easy veggie dip and some as a marinade or spread.
Simple Salmon Marinade
Spread basil aioli on salmon filets before baking. Add some veggies to the sheet pan and you'll have an entire (delicious) dinner prepped in just a few minutes. This works well as a chicken marinade too!
Healthy Sandwich / Wrap Spread
Whether you're making a classic turkey sandwich or more adventurous collard wraps for lunch, a little basil aioli takes it to the next level.
In Chicken Salad
This is one of the ways we used the aioli in the Prep Dish challenge I was telling you about and it was a huge hit! All you have to do is shred some cooked chicken (baked, poached, slow cooker chicken or even rotisserie chicken work here!), mix with a 1/2 recipe of the basil aioli and add in 1/2 a diced cucumber. Add salt and pepper to taste and that's it!
You can of course add in any of your favorite chicken salad mix-ins like dried cranberries or toasted walnuts if you like. This chicken salad is excellent in wraps, sandwiches, atop greens or simply served with your favorite crackers.
If you want to elevate a burger, a flavor-packed spread is an easy way to do it. This one would be particularly good on my Mediterranean Lamb Burgers in place of the goat cheese.
In Pasta Salad
Stir some basil aioli into pasta or zoodles with your favorite pasta salad add-ins. (If you want a precise recipe, check out our BLT Pasta Salad and just use this aioli in place of the mayo mix there.)
On Potatoes / Fries
This creamy aioli makes the perfect dip for roasted potatoes or oven fries! It's such an elevated alternative to ketchup (though my homemade paleo ketchup is pretty tasty.)
Drizzled on Roasted Vegetables
If you'd like to use basil aioli as more of a sauce than a dip, blend in a little bit of water until it's the thickness you're looking for. Drizzle it over your favorite roasted veggies for a punch of flavor!
FAQ – Everything You Want to Know about Lemon Basil Aioli
What is aioli sauce made of?
Aioli sauce is made of mayonnaise mixed with other ingredients for flavor. In my lemon basil aioli, it's mixed with lemon and basil but aioli can also be simply mayonnaise and garlic.
What is lemon aioli made of?
Lemon aioli is made of mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest and often garlic. My version has lots of fresh basil as well.
What's the difference between mayonnaise and aioli?
Aioli is simply mayonnaise with additional ingredients, such as garlic, lemon or herbs for flavor. If you're adding lemon juice like in my recipe, the aioli will also be thinner than mayo. Aioli can also simply refer to an emulsion of garlic and olive oil, without any egg yolks or mayo.
What is basil aioli made of?
Basil aioli is made by blending fresh basil, often along with garlic and lemon juice, into mayonnaise.
Variations on This Homemade Aioli Recipe
While I personally love this basil aioli recipe, it's also super easy to adapt to fit your family's tastes or simply what you have in your fridge! Here are a few variations for inspiration:
- Cilantro Lime Aioli: Replace lemon juice and zest with lime and replace basil with cilantro. This would be great with sweet potato fries or on fish tacos!
- Spicy Aioli: Mix 1/2 cup avocado mayo with 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce and 1 tsp sriracha (or more to taste). This is excellent on pork, as a dip for roasted potatoes or on a burger.
- Dill or Parsley Aioli: Basically sub any fresh herb you have on hand for the basil. This is an easy way to use up those half packages of herbs that tend to wilt in the fridge!