Cashews are magic, pure magic. While they are delectable on their own, cashews also rock in many vegan dishes. They can turn into a crunchy toasted topping, a vegan sour cream, or in this case, an incredibly delicious garlic lemon aioli. This vegan aioli is my take on the traditional mayonnaise-based one. And it’s darn good.
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What is Aioli?
Traditional aioli is made when oil is forcefully mixed with something water-based. Oils typically include mayonnaise or olive oil, while the water components are lemon juice or vinegar.
Other flavors are then added based on what result you want. Use it as a sandwich spread, dip or dressing. I love a versatile sauce, and my vegan aioli is a good one however you want to use it.
How to Make Vegan Aioli
I’m harnessing the magical power of cashews in my version of a classic sauce. To turn them into a creamy sauce, start by soaking the cashews for one to four hours before making the aioli. If you forget to soak them ahead of time, heat water and pour the hot water over the cashews. Let soak for 10-15 minutes before using.
Because I’m not mixing oil or cream with lemon juice, Dijon mustard and garlic, I don’t need to combine them in a fancy way. Simply toss all the ingredients into a good food processor and process until creamy.
If your food processor isn’t mixing them easily, add a tsp or two of water. Don’t add too much water at one time because the mixture will become too runny.
Garlic Lemon Aioli FAQs
To make aioli, you need an oil base and a water base. Begin by slowly mixing the two to break up the oil, then whip it to fluff and cream.
My garlic lemon aioli uses soaked cashews, lemon juice, dijon mustard and garlic. It’s super simple to make and requires a food processor.
Real aioli is olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Today aioli is pretty much mayo with a lot of garlic in it. My vegan version uses cashews (and is insanely good).
Using Aioli in Dishes
This delicious garlic lemon aioli pairs well with a variety of recipes. Swap it in as a sauce, dressing and more in the following recipes:
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Vegan Breakfast Bowl
- Crispy Potato Wedges
- Chickpea Tacos
- Crispy Tofu Nuggets
- Tacos de Papas
- Black Bean Burger
Don’t forget to rate and review this recipe when you make it. I love hearing how these recipes turn out and what genius ways you make my recipes your own!
More Great Sauce Recipes
If you loved making this homemade garlic lemon aioli, then try out one of these other delicious recipes:
- Arugula Pesto
- Almond Butter Sauce
- Spicy Cilantro Pesto
- Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Pistachio Pesto
- Lemon Vinaigrette
- Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- Avocado Crema
- Roasted Pear Vinaigrette
- Coconut Sriracha
- Basil Pesto
- Hemp Hearts Sauce
- Citrus Tahini Dressing
- Chipotle Ranch Dressing
Leave a rating + review of this yummy sauce once you’ve tried it. I’d love to hear your feedback!
Garlic Lemon Aioli
- 1 food processor
- ¼ cup raw cashews soaked 1-4 hours
- 1 garlic cloves peeled
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- lemon squeeze of juice
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
- In a food processor, blend all the ingredients until creamy. If needed, add a few tsp of water to help blend. The mixture should be thick and creamy.
- Store in an air tight jar in the fridge until ready to use.
- This dressing was originally created for my Kale Caesar salad.
- Swap out cashews for soaked almonds.
- This is meant to be mixed into a salad, not poured over it (which is why it is thicker).
- I have a larger food processor, so I like to double this recipe to help it blend well.
- Lasts up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
How much lemon is a squeeze? Like the squeeze of a wedge or the squeeze of a whole lemon? Can’t wait to try it!
I usually do a little squeeze (maybe 1/2 tsp) and then you can always add more if you like.
This aioli is AMAZING. I still can’t get over how creamy it is with no dairy in it.
Awesome, it’s def one of my favorites as well and a great dairy-free option!