Garlic Lemon Aioli – A Creamy, Versatile Dressing that’s 100% Plants

simple vegan aioli in a glass jar

Cashews are magic, pure magic. While they are delectable on their own, cashews also rock in many vegan dishes. They can turn into a crunchy toasted topping, a vegan sour cream, or in this case, an incredibly delicious garlic lemon aioli. This vegan aioli is my take on the traditional mayonnaise-based one. And it’s darn good.

ingredients for vegan aioli

What is Aioli?

Traditional aioli is made when oil is forcefully mixed with something water-based. Oils typically include mayonnaise or olive oil, while the water components are lemon juice or vinegar.

Other flavors are then added based on what result you want. Use it as a sandwich spread, dip or dressing. I love a versatile sauce, and my vegan aioli is a good one however you want to use it.

easy homemade dressing

How to Make Vegan Aioli

I’m harnessing the magical power of cashews in my version of a classic sauce. To turn them into a creamy sauce, start by soaking the cashews for one to four hours before making the aioli. If you forget to soak them ahead of time, heat water and pour the hot water over the cashews. Let soak for 10-15 minutes before using.

Because I’m not mixing oil or cream with lemon juice, Dijon mustard and garlic, I don’t need to combine them in a fancy way. Simply toss all the ingredients into a good food processor and process until creamy.

If your food processor isn’t mixing them easily, add a teaspoon or two of water. Don’t add too much water at one time because the mixture will become too runny.

vegan dressing using cashews

Garlic Lemon Aioli FAQs

What’s in traditional aioli?

To make aioli, you need an oil base and a water base. Begin by slowly mixing the two to break up the oil, then whip it to fluff and cream.

How do you make vegan aioli?

My garlic lemon aioli uses soaked cashews, lemon juice, dijon mustard and garlic. It’s super simple to make and requires a food processor.

What’s the difference between mayonnaise and aioli?

Real aioli is olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Today aioli is pretty much mayo with a lot of garlic in it. My vegan version uses cashews (and is insanely good).

plant based recipes

Using Aioli in Recipes

This delicious garlic lemon aioli pairs well with a variety of recipes.

Don’t forget to rate and review this recipe when you make it. I love hearing how these recipes turn out and what genius ways you make my recipes your own!

homemade garlic lemon aioli

Garlic Lemon Aioli

Rate this Recipe Print Recipe

100% vegan and 100% scrumptious. This aioli is the perfect dressing for my Kale Caesar salad. Make sure to soak those cashews for a soft and creamy result. You’ll enjoy this incredibly simple recipe!

Total Time4 hours 5 minutes



  • ¼ cup cashews (soaked 1-4 hours)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • ½ test Dijon mustard
  • squeeze of lemon


  • Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

  • In a food processor, blend all the ingredients until creamy. If needed, add a few teaspoon of water to help blend. The mixture should be thick and creamy.

  • Store in an air tight jar in the fridge until ready to use.


  • This dressing was originally created for my Kale Caesar salad.
  • Swap out cashews for soaked almonds.
  • This is meant to be mixed into a salad, not poured over it (which is why it is thicker).
  • I have a larger food processor, so I like to double this recipe to help it blend well.
  • Lasts up to 3-4 days in the fridge.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 92kcal (5%) Carbohydrates: 5g (2%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 7g (11%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monnounsaturated Fat: 4g Sodium: 16mg (1%) Potassium: 114mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 1IU Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) Calcium: 9mg (1%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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