Pesto Aioli

This pesto aioli is full of incredible basil and Parmesan flavor! Use it for dipping fries or to slather on a burger or sandwich.

Pesto aioli

Got basil? Great. Here’s a dipping sauce that you absolutely must try: pesto aioli! This flavor packed-condiment is a mashup between a traditional aioli and basil pesto. It makes a creamy sauce that’s full of big flavor: pepper basil, savory mayo, and a pop of salty Parmesan cheese. It’s perfect as a French fry dip, but it also works as a spread for burgers and sandwiches. Let’s make aioli!

What’s a traditional aioli?

Aioli is a sauce that comes from the South of France that’s very similar to mayonnaise. A traditional aioli is made from garlic that’s blended in a mortar and pestle with egg yolk, lemon juice or vinegar, and olive oil. It’s very close to mayonnaise, which is made using a similar method but with canola oil and no garlic.

Aioli and mayonnaise are so similar that many aiolis that you’ll see on the menu at restaurants or in the grocery are made with mayo: either purchased or homemade. To make an easy method for this pesto aioli, we’ve called for purchased mayonnaise. This also omits the need for whisking up a sauce with a raw egg yolk.

Want to make a traditional aioli? Go to our Aioli Recipe. Want a cheater way? Go to Mayo Aioli.

How to harvest basil

Ingredients for basil pesto aioli

That said: here are the ingredients for pesto aioli! You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make a seriously tasty sauce. What you don’t need? Pesto! You’ll make pesto at the same time as aioli, so you’ll just need pesto ingredients. This recipe is perfect for summer when you have fresh basil on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • High quality mayonnaise
  • Salt
Vegan cashew pesto

How to make basil pesto aioli

This pesto aioli is not made the traditional way with an egg yolk, olive oil and a mortar and pestle. It’s a faster and easier spin on the sauce made with high quality mayo. (For the reasons, see the “Traditional Aioli” section above.) Here’s how to make this quick and easy pesto aioli:

  • In a food processor, process the garlic for a few seconds until chopped.
  • Blend in the mayo, basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic and lemon juice until a sauce forms. Done and done!

Aioli storage

Store this pesto aioli in a covered container in the refrigerator. It’s best after 1 week, but you can keep it for up to 2 weeks without losing flavor. The batch below makes a small quantity, so you’ll likely plow through it within that time frame.

Pesto aioli

Ways to use pesto aioli

There are so many ways to use pesto aioli, from fries to sandwiches! Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Pesto aioli

More pesto and basil recipes

Got loads of fresh basil? This is the recipe to use it! But here are a few pesto recipes and basil recipes for using up more of this tasty herb:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Pesto aioli

*Best* Pesto Aioli


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 10 tablespoons 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This pesto aioli is full of incredible basil and Parmesan flavor! Use it for dipping fries or to slather on a burger or sandwich.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup high quality mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, blend the garlic until roughly chopped.
  2. Add the basil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and mayonnaise. Blend until a smooth, creamy sauce forms. Store refrigerated for 2 weeks.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Pesto aioli

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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