• Helina Sanchez, Paella Barcelona Cooking School

Aioli, alioli or allioli! Catalan world-famous Aioli sauce! Vegan recipe.


The name Alioli means the only ingredients we use: garlic and olive oil. Ali in Catalan means garlic and oli is oil.


How to make an authentic aioli sauce? Use garlic, salt, and oil only. And nothing else! Don’t use a blender, work with your hands! These are the only secrets to your successful aioli sauce! Just crush garlic in a mortar with pestle and emulsify with a bit of salt and olive oil. Using only garlic as an emulsifier requires you to thoroughly crush it and add oil drop by drop so that an excess of oil does not "cut" the aioli.


Today, aioli is often made in a blender, but with blender, you will never get the same strong texture as real aioli is supposed to have!


There are some versions of the aioli sauce that use egg yolks, but they are closer to a garlic mayonnaise, whereas an authentic aioli is made without egg yolk and has more garlic in it. Making aioli without egg makes the process more laborious as the emulsion is harder to stabilize, but this gives the aioli sauce it’s pastier strong texture that you will never get by making it with an egg.


In Spain, we believe that the absence of egg distinguishes aioli from mayonnaise!


Since about 1990, in the US it has become common to call all kinds of flavored mayonnaise aioli. But in Spain, we insist that flavored mayonnaise can contain garlic, but true aioli contains garlic and no other seasoning.


In Spain, particularly in Catalan cuisine, aioli or alioli is often served with arròs negre (black rice or black paella with aioli sauce) or fideuà con alioli (paella where instead of rice you have pasta fideuá). Then, of course, it’s very typical to serve aioli with potato (famous Spanish patatas bravas con alioli). Aioli goes with codfish or any other seafood, with meat, aioli is great for barbecue, for vegetables (raw tomato with aioli for example:)


Alioli sauce Ingredients:

🧄 Garlic 2-4 cloves

🧂 Salt 1 generous pinch (about 3g)

🫒 Olive oil about 300ml or more. You will stop adding oil when you see that you have right amount of the Aioli sauce.



And once again: Aioli sauce is very finicky! Be very careful when adding oil, do it very slow!