This lemon dill aioli is a creamy, herby tangy sauce that's super versatile.
My recipe's base is some simple store-bought mayo. But with a few additions like fresh dill, lemon and garlic, it transforms into a condiment that can rival a professional chef's creation. Yep, that good!
You'll love it with fries, fritters, seafood, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, chicken nuggets – basically anything that can use some fresh flavor.
Here are some helpful notes on ingredients you'll need. See the recipe card below for exact quantities.
- Mayonnaise – choose a good quality option. If you prefer a lighter aioli, use low fat or eggless mayo. But remember that it will alter the taste and texture.
- Fresh dill – needs to be finely chopped/minced.
- Lemon juice and zest – use freshly squeezed juice. Bottled juice is not the same. And avoid the white pith when zesting – that will make the aioli bitter.
- Garlic – finely minced or grated.
- Thai green chili – optional but recommended. It adds a slightly spicy kick. Adjust the amount to your heat preference.
- Yellow mustard – for some tang and complexity. Dijon mustard can be used for a more intense flavor.
- Seasonings – include ground black pepper, onion powder and salt. Feel free to adjust salt to taste.
How to make lemon dill aioli
Follow these simple, photo-assisted instructions to prepare this recipe. Check out recipe card below for a printable version that has quantities, instructions and notes in one place.
Step 1 – put all the recipe ingredients in a bowl.
Step 2 – mix together using a spoon or fork.
Step 3 – if you have an immersion blender, use it to blend the mixture for a few seconds. The aim is to break down the dill to help release its flavor. A small-sized food processor or regular blender will work too.
Step 4 – cover the aioli with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can meld. When ready to use, give a stir and use as desired.
Do not over-blend! That may cause the emulsion to break and result in a runny mixture. But – if that happens, there's a way to fix.
Start by placing an egg yolk in a bowl suitable for immersion blender. Also add a few tablespoons of your runny aioli and then blend. Gradually add more aioli. Blend after each addition until the mixture returns to a creamy consistency. This method will work with a regular blender as well. You might need to adjust the seasonings afterward.
Substitutions and variations
- Mayonnaise alternatives – if you're looking for a lighter sauce, check out this yogurt-based lemon dill sauce. You can also use vegan mayo varieties.
- Dried dill – doesn't give the same great taste as fresh dill but you can use 1 teaspoon of it instead.
- Lemon substitute – if you don't have lemon, use lime juice and zest.
- Additional herbs – you can add a small quantity of other fresh herbs like parsley, mint or chives for some added complexity.
- Spice variation – adjust the heat level by increasing or decreasing the amount of Thai chili – or try other types of chili for different flavors and spiciness.
What to serve it with
- Fried foods – use it as a dipping sauce for fried calamari, zucchini fritters, French fries or sweet potato fries.
- Seafood – drizzle on top of grilled fish, shrimp or scallops.
- Sandwiches and wraps – spread it on chicken or turkey sandwiches/wraps for an extra burst of flavor.
- Fish tacos – drizzle over tacos filled with grilled/fried fish, such as cod, haddock or tilapia.
- Crab cakes – serve as a condiment for a creamy herby touch that complements the sweet crab meat.
- Chicken tenders or nuggets – because who doesn't enjoy a nice dip with these!
Store this aioli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Give a good stir before using. Not freezer friendly.
Just so you know
- Traditional Mediterranean aioli is made by emulsifying garlic with olive oil and is used in Spanish, Italian and French cuisines.
- Modern versions of aioli (like this recipe) often include mayo for ease of preparation.
- If you don't have a blender/food processor you can still make this recipe. Just mince the garlic, dill and chili as fine as you can and whisk together vigorously with mayo and other ingredients. The blender version is more uniform and potent tasting, but the handmade variation is good too.
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill - finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice - fresh
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- ½ small green Thai chili - minced (Note A)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon yellow mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix together using a spoon or fork.
- If you have an immersion blender, use it to blend this mixture for a few seconds. The aim is to break down the dill to help release its flavor more effectively. A small-sized food processor or regular blender will work too.
- Cover the aioli with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can meld. When ready to use, give a stir and use as desired.
The nutritional information provided here is calculated using a third-party nutrition calculator. These values are estimates, and we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed numbers. Please see our disclaimer page.