Vegan aioli is a delicious and versatile condiment perfect for dipping, spreading, or drizzling! Our recipe uses cashews, dijon, lemon juice, and garlic for a creamy, flavorful texture that is similar to traditional mayonnaise.
Aioli – a creamy, dreamy garlicky sauce – or mayo, if you will!
Traditional aioli is made with oil and garlic. Some cuisines add egg yolks for extra emulsion, and many today simply use mayonnaise as a base adding garlic and other flavors to their liking.
Today, I am sharing with you a recipe for a simple vegan, cashew-based aioli to pair with fresh and roasted vegetables or use as a spread for burgers and sandwiches. However you serve it, it’s fantastic, and I know you’re going to love it!
This Spanish-inspired aioli recipe is:
- ready in minutes
- super quick and easy
- vegan (of course)
- contains a good amount of protein per serving!
Vegan Aioli Ingredients
For this recipe, we’ll be using raw cashews as our base. Cashews blend up ultra-creamy and are the perfect ingredient for veganising and making an oil-free aioli. Simply put, cashews are amazing!
Add to the cashews a few garlic cloves, a dollop of dijon mustard, squeeze of lemon, pinch of salt, and you’ve got yourself the best aioli to share with family and friends or enjoy all to yourself.
What if I don’t have raw cashews? Since raw cashews have a neutral flavor, using roasted and salted cashews will yield a flavor that is bolder and toasted tasting. We highly recommend using raw cashews for the best flavor. But we have had a few comments from those who have used salted and roasted cashews and enjoyed the results. Do what works best for you!
How To Make Vegan Aioli
Start by soaking the cashews (this is optional):
Why soak cashews? It is beneficial to soak nuts, helping them to release an inhibiting enzyme that may block the absorption of vitamins and minerals, and it also helps with digestion. Plus, we like it to help soften the cashews before blending, ensuring a creamy smoothness.
How to soak cashews: Cashews only need 2 – 3 hours of soaking time at most, using cool water. For a quick soak, simply cover the cashews with hot water and soak them for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain water and give a quick rinse before using.
What happens if I don’t soak the cashews? You’ll be fine if you don’t soak them. Oftentimes, I skip this step. In the case that you don’t soak them, you may need a little more liquids and extra blending time to make sure the aioli is creamy without any grittiness or lumps of cashews.
Once cashews have been soaked, drained, and rinsed, add them to the blender cup along with the garlic, dijon, lemon juice, salt, and water, and blend for about 45 seconds.
Serve right away or chill in the refrigerator before using.
And there you have it, a healthy, vegan aioli that’s ultra creamy and ready for dipping & spreading!
Refrigerator: Vegan aioli can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Freezer: For longer storage, freeze aioli for up to 2 – 3 months in freezer-safe containers leaving at least 1/2 inch of headroom for expansion.
How To Use Vegan Aioli
Vegan aioli can be used as a spread or dip. Here are some of our favorite ways to use this aioli recipe:
- Smoky Black Bean Burger
- Baked Sweet Potato Wedges
- Baked Sweet Potato Shoe String Fries
- Quinoa & White Bean Veggie Burger
For a delicious spicy aioli, take a look at this Sriracha Cream Sauce.
If you try this easy aioli recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
VEGAN AIOLI (2-MINUTE + OIL-FREE)
This creamy, garlicky aioli is great as a dip for fresh or roasted vegetables or use as a spread for burgers and sandwiches!
- Prep Time: 2 min
- Total Time: 2 minutes
- Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: puree
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 1 cup raw cashews (if using soaked cashews, see notes)
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 – 4 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- pinch of mineral salt, or to taste
Place cashews, water, garlic, dijon, and juice of lemon in a blender and blend until creamy, about 45 seconds. Taste for flavor, adding a little more of desired ingredients to taste.
Serve at room temperature.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Adjust the garlic to your taste. For a mild garlic flavor, 2 will do. If you love your garlic, use more.
To make this completely raw, use 3/4 – 1 teaspoon mustard powder in place of dijon.
For thinner aioli, add extra water, 1 – 2 tablespoons, at a time until desired consistency.
If you don’t care for dijon mustard, omit it altogether. You can also start with 1 teaspoon, adding a little extra to taste.
For this task, I used a NutriBullet, which does a great job blending cashews into pure creaminess. Plus, you can keep your aioli in the cup it was blended in, easily storing leftovers in the refrigerator.
Soaking cashews: If you prefer to soak your cashews, 2 hours before preparing the aioli, place cashews in a cup/bowl filled with water, covering cashews about 1 inch. Let set for 2 hours. For a quick soak, place cashews in a bowl of warm water for 1 hour or in near-boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse well before blending. Use 2/3 cup of water instead of 3/4 cup, as the cashews will have plumped up, and you may not need as much. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to thin.
There are benefits to soaking your cashews, although I am sometimes lazy about it. It does help remove certain enzymes that may inhibit vitamin and mineral absorption, and also may help with digestion.