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Vegan Aioli (2-Minute + Oil-Free)

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.

top down angled view of a small glass jar with vegan aioli and spoon, surrounded by a small white bowl of cashews, sliced lemon half and bulb of garlic

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:

  • oil-free
  • gluten-free
  • ready in minutes
  • super quick and easy
  • vegan (of course)
  • contains a good amount of protein per serving!
top down view of ingredients to make vegan aioli on a round wooden cutting board
Vegan aioli ingredients include: raw cashews, garlic, Dijon, lemon, and salt.

Ingredients You’ll Need

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 a few garlic cloves, a dollop of Dijon mustard, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt to the cashews, and you’ve got 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!

top down view of cashews soaking in water before making aioli, surrounded by minced garlic, dijon, salt and lemon halves

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. Often, I skip this step. If you don’t soak them, you may need a little more liquid and extra blending time to make sure the aioli is creamy without any grittiness or lumps of cashews.

side by side photo of cashews in a small personal blender with water garlic and salt and lemon, next is a pic of the finished aioli

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!

top down close up view of a spoon full of garlic vegan aioli sitting across a glass jar of aioli

Storage Tips

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 Aioli

Aioli can be used as a spread or dip. Here are some of our favorite ways to use this aioli recipe:

For a deliciously spicy aioli, take a look at this Sriracha Cream Sauce.

straight on view of vegan aioli in a glass jar with spoon sticking out, in the background is a small bowl of cashews, garlic bulb and half of lemon

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.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 9 reviews

This creamy, garlicky aioli is great as a dip for fresh or roasted vegetables or use as a spread for burgers and sandwiches!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 2 min
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: puree
  • Cuisine: Vegan


Units Scale
  • 1 cup raw cashews (if using soaked cashews, see notes)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 24 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.

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  1. I made a half recipe to try it out on a tomato sandwich, thinking if I liked it, I’d make a full recipe later. I didn’t feel like peeling garlic so I substituted a 1/4 teaspoon of roasted garlic seasoning. This aoli was one of the best I’ve had! So quick and easy to make. Will definitely be making it again.

  2. Nice recipe. I am not vegan, but wanted to find a quick recipe without the oil etc. I had no raw cashews, so I used roasted salted cashews. I think 2 garlic cloves is plenty, although I used 3 large ones and it was a bit too strong. Love the idea that simply nuts and water can eliminate the use of oil etc. Will make it again for sure. Also, I couldn’t be bothered getting my blender out for this, so, I just used a stick blender. It worked perfectly.

  3. I used about 1 1/4c cashews, juice small lemon, a tsp nutritional yeast & drizzle of honey. It was too spicy for the toddler so we cut his with a lil more honey and Dijon. It was the perfect sauce for grilled portobello sandwiches and sweet potatoes

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