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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
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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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 10 tablespoons 1x
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This pesto aioli is full of incredible basil and Parmesan flavor! Use it for dipping fries or to slather on a burger or sandwich.


  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup high quality mayonnaise


  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
  • 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 and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. eva says:

    Made this without the parmesan, to dip with sweet potatoes fries. Really delicious.

  2. Anonymous says:

    what happens if the mayonaise sauce curdles a bit.

    margriet huisman

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Hi there! Interesting, we haven’t had this happen and have made it often. Are you using a food processor or immersion blender to make this sauce? You should be able to blend it so that it stays together.

  3. Amy says:

    Beautiful post! Your photography is gorgeous. I can’t wait to make this. And I appreciate the recipe suggestions of what to eat it with, too. Yum!!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Thank you!

  4. Andy says:

    We have a bumper crop of basil this year so I was searching for new ideas. This aioli is REALLY good! It is wonderful for artichoke dipping (my original plan.) But we’re on our second batch now and using it as dip for many veggies. It has also replaced mayo on all sandwiches.
    It is delicious! And so simple!
    If you have basil – you probably have all the other ingredients too.
    Thank so much for the recipe.
    It’s a keeper!