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Try this Chipotle Aioli sauce anytime you need a smoky, spicy heat! It’s ideal for burgers, fries, veggies, and more.

Chipotle Aioli
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Here’s a rich, creamy and spicy sauce that makes just about anything taste irresistible: Chipotle Aioli! This sumptuous sauce is ideal for dipping a hot crispy fry, slathering on a burger or sandwich, or even drizzling on a taco. At restaurants these days you’ll find all sorts of flavored aiolis for dipping fries. But the best aioli? Homemade. Here’s a bit more about this special sauce and how to whip up a killer homemade chipotle aioli.

Aioli vs mayo

What’s aioli? Isn’t it just another word for mayo? Aioli is a sauce that comes from the South of France and Spain. The traditional version is made from garlic blended in a mortar and pestle with egg yolk, lemon juice or vinegar, and olive oil. But since the 1990’s, people in the US have been calling any flavored mayonnaise “aioli”. Mayo is just made with canola oil and no garlic. As a shortcut, many flavored aiolis you’ll find at the store or at restaurants are made using mayonnaise.

Chipotle aioli

Ingredients in chipotle aioli

This chipotle aioli recipe uses a base of mayonnaise because it’s the quickest way to make a stellar aioli at home. However, you can make this using the traditional aioli method too (keep reading). Here’s what you’ll need for the base recipe:

  • High quality mayonnaise: the quality really does make a difference here! We like a mid-priced mayo like Sir Kensington’s
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: the key! Read more below.
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Salt

Using chipotle chilis in adobo sauce

The key to chipotle aioli? A can of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce! This magical ingredient adds a smoky heat to the aioli, and you can use it in loads of other recipes. Here’s what to know about working with this ingredient:

  • Chipotles in adobo sauce are sold in most grocery stores here in the US, available near the Mexican products. The can includes chipotle chiles: smoked and dried jalapeños that are rehydrated and canned, and adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and other spices.
  • Use a knife to finely chop then grind the chili peppers into a paste. This makes the most forward, spicy chipotle flavor! The sauce comes out slightly chunky with this method.
  • If desired, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. If you’re looking for a perfectly smooth sauce, pass it through a fine mesh sieve using a spatula. It’s an extra step, but it makes it lovely and smooth, just like in the photos.

Why can’t you just use adobo sauce in this recipe? In many of our recipes, we just use the adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers: not the peppers themselves. However, we found that the chipotle aioli becomes too watery if you use only adobo sauce. The peppers are key!

Chipotle aioli

Customize the sauce to your tastes

Using the specified 2 tablespoons of chopped chipotle chilis, the heat level of this chipotle aioli comes out as medium. It’s not terribly spicy, which we like for an aioli so it’s not overwhelming. Do you love the heat? Taste the aioli and customize it to your desired heat level by adding more chili pepper to taste.

Skip the mayo and make a classic aioli

Want to skip the mayo make a classic, standard aioli for this chipotle aioli recipe? It takes just a few more minutes to whip up a classic aioli. It tastes even more rich and delicious than using mayonnaise. Here’s what to do:

  • Substitute 1 recipe Classic Aioli instead of the mayonnaise, garlic and salt.
  • Add the chipotle peppers and cumin as specified in the recipe below.

More aioli recipes

Love aioli? There are lots of flavored sauces to try! Here are a few more ideas:

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Chipotle aioli

Chipotle Aioli

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ½ cup 1x


Try this Chipotle Aioli sauce anytime you need a smoky, spicy heat! It’s ideal for burgers, fries, veggies, and more.


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce*
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ cup high quality mayonnaise
  • ⅛ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Use a large knife to finely mince the chipotle peppers, then use the side of the knife to grind them into a paste as finely as possible. 
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the mashed chipotle peppers with the grated garlic, mayonnaise, cumin, and kosher salt. (Taste and if desired, you can add more chipotle for an even spicier kick.)
  3. For a perfectly creamy sauce, use a spatula to press the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Stores up to 2 weeks refrigerated. 


*To make a traditional aioli instead of mayo-based, make 1 recipe Classic Aioli and then combine it with the chipotle peppers and cumin as noted in Step 2.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Sauce
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!