This Lime Aioli is an amazing dipping, dunking, and topping sauce! Great for chicken, sandwiches, chips, fried foods, rice, vegetables, and more!
Tangy Lime Aioli, or Molho de Limão e Alho in Portuguese, is divine! As if a creamy garlicky aioli wasn't already good enough, adding lime zest and juice just takes it completely over the top. The lime brings bright, fresh, and tangy flavor that pairs so perfectly with the sharper garlic. Then everything is mellowed out beautifully with mayonnaise.
I love this Lime Aioli for topping meat or chicken, as a dipping sauce for for french fries or any fried foods, or adding to sandwiches. My favorite pairing is with Panko Chicken, or frango empanado. Check out more ideas below for using and changing up a traditional aioli!
Brazilian Origins of this recipe
Well, the truth is that aioli originates from the Northeast Mediterranean region of Europe and perhaps was brought here from Portugal. It is an emulsification of garlic, egg yolks, and olive oil. However, the true Brazilian inspiration is the lime, or limão, which is abundant here in Brazil. Limes require warm weather and lots of sun, so Brazil is the perfect climate. Many people have lime trees in their backyards. You see lime flavoring in place of where we may typically find lemon. Limeade vs. lemonade, lime cakes vs. lemon cakes, just to name a couple examples.
Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
This recipe has only 3 main ingredients, plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Mayonnaise - You can use light or full fat mayonnaise. You can also substitute with plain greek yogurt, sour cream, or a combination of very soft cream cheese blended with a bit of milk or cream to thin it out.
- Garlic cloves - Fresh is best when it comes to garlic. You can buy pre-minced garlic to save time or mince it in bulk and freeze it for use when you need it! You can also substitute in dried garlic flakes or garlic powder.
- Lime - Fresh lime juice and zest is best in this recipe. You can substitute lemon zest and juice.
See recipe card for quantities.
Simple Equipment You'll Need with Options
Nothing special for this recipe, just a bowl and fork or whisk to mix.
How to Make this Lime Aioli Recipe
Mince the garlic. Zest the lime. After zesting, cut the lime in half.
Add the cup mayonnaise to a mixing bowl with the minced garlic, and lime zest.
Add juice from half of the lime. Mix and taste.
If you love lime, add the juice from the second half (I did!). Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to taste.
Making Homemade Mayonnaise
If you want to make the Mayonnaise from scratch, a blender or food processor is the easiest way.
Here is what you need:
- 1 egg yolk (room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
To the blender, add the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, lime/lemon juice, and salt. Blend on low speed for a few seconds until combined.
With the blender still running, slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil in a steady stream. Be sure to pour the oil in slowly to allow the mixture to emulsify properly. Continue blending until the mixture is thick and creamy, which should take about 1-2 minutes.
Taste the mayonnaise and add more salt or lemon juice if necessary.
Variations on Lime Aioli
If you love aioli as much as I do, then you will love these other variations!
- Spicy - Add Sriracha to this to taste for a flavoral kick! It brings a hint of sweet with as much spice as you want.
- Herby - Add your favorite fresh herbs! Basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, and dill are each delicious when added to aioli. I love turning this into a fresh Cilantro Lime Aioli Sauce.
- Sweet and Sour - Try adding some sweet chili sauce to this for dipping coconut shrimp, egg rolls, or dumplings into.
- Taco Aioli - Adding savory spices, such as Chili powder, cumin, and paprika take this into a Mexican-inspired sauce! Add to nachos or on top of fish tacos.
- Black Bean Aioli Salad - This lime aioli make a great dressing for a salad. There are so many ways to turn this aioli into a delicious salad. Try mixing it into black beans, red peppers, avocado salad.
Lime Aioli Recipe FAQs
To store aioli, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it immediately.
If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this Lime aioli will last about 5-7 days as it does have fresh ingredients.
It's best to use this fresh, but technically, yes, you can freeze it. To do so, use airtight container and leave some room at the top to allow for expansion. Thaw the aioli in the refrigerator overnight and stir briskly to try to re-emulsify it if it has separated.
Pairing with Lime Aioli
This lime aioli goes with these other recipes fantastically!
Here are more Brazilian-inspired sauces:
Lime Aioli - Molho de Limão e Alho
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Lime
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- Salt, to taste
- Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- Mince the garlic. Zest the lime. After zesting, cut the lime in half.
- Add the mayonnaise to a mixing bowl. Add the minced garlic, lime zest, and juice from half of the lime. Mix and taste. If you love lime, add the juice from the second half (I did!). Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to taste.