This vegan chipotle aioli is rich and creamy without any mayo. It has a spicy and smokey flavor with hints of garlic and cheesiness. Perfect on top of tacos, bowls, or as a dip with fries.
I’m a big fan of sauces and think they’re key to eating healthier. This vegan aioli is perfect to have in the fridge for burrito bowls, tacos, fries, veggies or literally anything else you can think of.
Aioli is traditionally made with a base of mayo, so it contains egg and is therefore not vegan friendly. However, there are vegan mayos on the market but I have never been a big fan so I wanted to make a vegan aioli with no mayo!
Instead, we’ll be using a base of cashews, which creates a really rich and creamy sauce that I promise you will never know is dairy free.
This recipe is definitely healthier than a store bought mayo or aioli and you are in complete control of all of the ingredients.
What is aioli made of?
Traditionally, aioli is essentially just mayo that is generously flavored with garlic and some additional seasoning. This vegan recipe does not use mayo, but instead a base of cashews. Here’s what else you’ll need!
Cashews. The cashews make up the base of the recipe and are what will replace the mayo. They’ll make this vegan aioli super creamy and I promise you won’t be able to tell there is no dairy!
Chipotles. You’ll need about 3 chipotles from a can plus a bit of the adobo sauce from the can. If you don’t want this to be too spicy, you can start with just 2 chipotles, but feel free to add as many as you like depending on your spice preference.
Lemon Juice. Lemon juice will add that acidity that you usually find in mayo. Mayo usually uses vinegar, but I prefer the flavor of lemon juice here.
Non-dairy milk. This is just needed to help the cashews blend up into a rich and creamy sauce. I used almond milk, but anything you have will work such as soy. Just make sure it is plain (not vanilla) and unsweetened.
Salt & sugar. To help balance out the flavors. You only need a small amount of each, but feel free to add more if you want those flavors to pop.
Nutritional yeast & garlic. Nutritional yeast is not to be confused with regular baking yeast. It adds a cheesy flavor to this aioli.
How to make aioli
Soak the cashews. Instead of soaking the cashews overnight, you’ll want to soak them for just 30 minutes in boiling water. If you have a high speed blender like a vitamix, you can get away with not soaking them.
However, soaking nuts in general makes them easier to digest and blend and will yield a creamier sauce.
Add to a blender. Once the cashews have soaked, add them to a blender with all remaining ingredients.
Blend & serve! Let your blender run for a full minute to ensure the aioli is super creamy. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. It’ll probably get hot, so for best results, transfer to a container and pop in the fridge before serving.
This vegan aioli will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days. I suggest keeping it in an air tight container or jar and giving it a quick stir before serving.
How to use aioli
Vegan Chipotle Aioli
by: claire cary
- Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Once done, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add to a blender with all remaining ingredients.
- Blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.
- Transfer to a contanier and place in the fridge to chill. Serve with tacos, fries or on top of burrito bowls.