Garlic & Caper Aioli

So if words like “aioli” make you think, “Ew, weird, clicking away now,” don’t–clicking away from things that sound weird will keep you from enjoying things like Portlandia clips and naughty, hilarious websites that chronicle text message typos. Aioli is just a fancy word for garlicky mayonnaise. And this magical, garlicky mayonnaise, which is fabulous with homemade fries (like these ones or these ones), as a dipping sauce for fish (like these fish sticks or the beer-battered fish from these tacos) is a crucially delicious element of the sandwich I’m going to post next week.  Mark your calendars. Prepare yourselves.

You’ll need mayonnaise (homemade would be delicious, just leave out the garlic and rosemary; clearly, I’m not using homemade mayonnaise here…), kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and capers. Unless you really hate capers–just leave ’em out if that’s the case.

Chop the capers and then peel the garlic and mince or press it. Now…some of you may remember last fall when I was using a big knife to smash and peel my garlic and the blade wobbled on the garlic and I sliced the heel of my hand open. We can’t forget it around our house because, in addition to my lovely scar, my four-year-old keeps talking, especially to strangers and visitors, about the time I used a big knife to cut my wrist open while I was making dinner. Since then, I’ve been scared of smashing garlic with big knives, so I’ve put my once-rarely-used meat mallet to good use.

Just give each clove of garlic a good smash (which is also a great way to take out some unresolved aggression) and the papery skin slips right off, no stitches required.


Whisk the capers, garlic, and lemon juice into the mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper…

and whisk together until combined. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Spread onto sandwiches or use as a dip for fries, veggies, chicken, or fish. Or whatever sounds good (because garlicky mayonnaise sounds good with an abnormally large number of food items, at least for me).




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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. jst I like the caper aioli is international selection of main. the english fish -n – chips .

  2. Hello! I’m Spanish and I’m so glad you have this recipe in your website! Here is writen “alioli” or “all i oli” in a different language spoken in the peninsula (valencian, where this sauce is from). It’s completely delicious, and there is a second version done with mortar, just with the garlics, one yolk and Olive Oil. You just have to mashed the garlics and when they are like a dough, you add the yolk and move it very slowly adding the oil gradually. This is the original one (very old, now we have mixers, haha). I hope you like this not-so-new recipe! ^^

  3. Made this the other day, and it was sooo good! It reminded me of the aioli dip that’s served at the Cheesecake Factory with the fried artichoke hearts. And while we’re on the subject, you gals wouldn’t mind trying to re-create that recipe for us would you? Thanks! 🙂

  4. Could this possibly be made without the capers…just garlic aioili? Not a big fan of capers.

  5. I did the same thing to my hand smashing garlic with a chef’s knife a while back. I always knew that method was dangerous! Should have trusted my instincts! Now I use my meat mallet too…great minds think alike. 🙂 It’s so much safer and kind of fun in a weird way. It works super well and there’s none of that last second hesitation because you just know you’re gonna slice open your hand on that super sharp knife.

  6. Yu-um. Ive been obsessed with artichokes lately. Trying all sorts of dips to eat them with. This is a must make. Thank ya.

  7. U have quickly become my go-to cookbook! Love ur recipes! This aioli is gonna be a hit cause my hubby doesn’t know he’s making it for me on Mothers Day yet 🙂

    1. Not dumb! 🙂 Kosher salt is a lot like sea salt, only it’s generally less expensive. It’s coarse and un-iodized and has a very clean taste to it. You’ll generally need a bit more to get the same level of saltiness, although we don’t use as much because we like the flavor better (even if it’s not as strong).

  8. This comment has nothing to do with this recipe. I just wanted to make sure you got it, I have tried many of your recipes and EVERY SINGLE ONE is wonderful. I am so completely in love with your site. Just today I was craving lemon bars (36 weeks pregnant with my 4th, what can I say) so I thought to myself “what recipe might the girls at ourbestbites have?” Sure enough, once again you did not disappoint, the glazed lemon bars are fabulous. Thank you for sharing your life and families as well as wonderful, fail-proof recipes!!!

  9. The timing of your post couldn’t be better! I’ve spent most of today searching for ways to use up the “15 heads” of garlic I have leftover from a recent crawfish boil (for some reason, every relative felt compelled to bring a bag). I’m going to triple this garlic aioli recipe and slather it on everything!!!

  10. I had an aioli drizzled on top of a mushroom pizza at Mellow Mushroom and it was divine! It was only available for a short time, we went back and were disappointed when we couldn’t order it again.

  11. I’m so glad you posted this recipe! Mmmmm… I had aioli with fried asparagus once at Burgerville USA. AMAZING! Now I can make it at home!

  12. Aioli just has way too many vowels, doesn’t it? Glad to see you’ve moved on to a new way of smashing your garlic. I have a silicon tube that I put the garlic into, then I rub the tube between my hands and the peel slips right off. It’s magic.

  13. leave it to the kids to share stories that you would prefere be kept secret. when my son was just over a year old he went thru a stage where he had to shake everything. well one day his father forgot and put his dinner plate on the entertainment center because the kids were already in bed when he got home. well the next day my son had to shake it and the plate fell on his head. an emergency room trip and 2 staples later and he was fine. but my daughter who was 2 at the time just had to tell everyone how bubby shook the thing and how the plate fell on him and he had to go get staples. you name it she told them. standing in line at the grocery store, church, in a restaurant, EVERYBODY who would listen. it’s been just over 2 years and she will still randomly tell people. lol