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Easy Lemon-Pepper Aioli

  • Sauce / Condiment
  • Easy
  • Fast
  • Grace Parisi
  • Dip / spread
  • Active Time:5 min
  • Total Time:5 min
  • Servings:¾ cup
Photo by Julia Gartland

Making aioli from scratch is not terribly complicated, but if you get a little distracted and add too much oil at once, a broken emulsion is no fun and not so easy to fix. Store-bought mayo, doctored with a bit of acid, some aromatics, and a drizzle of olive oil never fails to deliver.


  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked or regular paprika

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons minced roasted red bell peppers or piquillo peppers


Make the Aioli

On a cutting board, using the side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl and whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, and paprika until smooth.

In a slow and steady stream add the olive oil, whisking constantly until glossy and creamy. Stir in the roasted peppers and season with salt and pepper. Use right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Serve with fish and chips, fish sandwiches, pan-seared halibut, lingcod, or rockfish, or stir some into a brothy fish stew for extra body.