5-Ingredient Chipotle Aioli

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Wood cutting board with a bowl of creamy vegan chipotle aioli and ingredients used to make it

Whoa, guys. Like whoa.

Chipotle aioli with 5 ingredients?

This calls for a french fry and veggie burger party.

Wood cutting board with cashews, maple syrup, lemon, chipotle peppers, almond milk, and salt for making vegan chipotle aioli

Origins of Aioli

Aioli is a popular condiment in many regions of the Mediterranean including France, Italy, and Spain. But the origins of a sauce resembling aioli date as far back as the Roman Empire (source)!

It’s traditionally made with a combination of garlic, egg yolk, oil, and lemon juice. Our plant-based version is not traditional but resembles the flavor and rich, thick texture of aioli with the addition of heat from chipotle peppers. Learn more about chipotle peppers in adobo and their origin here.

How to Make Chipotle Aioli

This dip has been a long time in the making.

Any time we go to a restaurant, my eyes always go to the sauce section. I’m a sauce freak and always hope they have some dairy-free options.

My favorite dip – besides ketchup, obviously – is chipotle aioli. It’s creamy, it’s salty, it’s spicy – it’s everything.

This is my 5-ingredient, vegan, gluten-free restaurant-inspired version.

Blender with ingredients for making delicious savory vegan dipping sauce

I tried using chickpea brine as a base to whip up a “mayo-” like texture, but it failed miserably. Trusty cashews never let me down.

The rest is simple: lemon juice, salt, water (or almond milk), and a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.

The result is an intensely creamy, savory, spicy “aioli” perfect for:

Grillable Veggie Burgers
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
Mexican Green Chili Burgers
Sun-dried Tomato Chickpea Burgers
Chickpea + Sunflower Seed Sandwich
Cajun Sweet Potato Fries 
Crispy Matchstick Oven Baked Fries
& more!

If you try this recipe, let us know! We love seeing your comments, ratings, and your photos tagged #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of homemade spicy vegan chipotle aioli

5-Ingredient Chipotle Aioli

Spicy, delicious, 5-ingredient Chipotle Aioli that's entirely vegan and gluten-free. Perfect for slathering on veggie burgers, fries, onion rings, and more.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of Vegan Chipotle Aioli on a cutting board with chilies and lemon
4.87 from 46 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 (2-Tbsp servings)
Course Sauce, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 5 Days

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water (or unsweetened plain almond milk for creamier sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup or agave nectar (or sub organic cane sugar or stevia to taste)
  • 2-3 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (plus 1 tsp adobo sauce as original recipe is written // more or less to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado, grape seed, canola or other neutral oil (optional // for creaminess)
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika (optional)

Instructions

  • Add raw cashews to a mixing bowl (or a high-speed blender) and cover with boiling hot water. Let rest for 1 hour (uncovered). Then drain thoroughly.
  • Add soaked, drained cashews to a high-speed blender with the water (or almond milk), lemon juice, sea salt, maple syrup, pepper + adobo sauce.
  • Blend on high until creamy and smooth, adding more water or almond milk as needed to encourage blending. Scrape down sides as needed.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste, lemon for acidity, maple syrup for sweetness, or adobo sauce for heat. I added more salt and another 2 chipotle peppers (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Adding a little oil is optional and adds extra creaminess. Smoked paprika is also optional and adds a sweet smokiness to the sauce.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. This sauce is perfect for veggie burgers, sweet potatoes fries, french fries, onion rings, and more!

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without any oil.
*Recipe makesĀ ~1 cup aioli.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 2 two-Tbsp servings Calories: 73 Carbohydrates: 6 g Protein: 2 g Fat: 5.2 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 62 mg Fiber: 0.7 g Sugar: 1.8 g

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Reader Interactions

  1. Sara says

    Yes! I’m pretty stoked for this recipe! I have a good chipotle aioli recipe already but it uses 1 cup of oil, yikes. Can’t wait to buy some cashews and try it out!

  2. Dan says

    Just curious if anyone would know of a way to make this nut-free. While I know cashews are all the rage in the vegan world, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas to make this nut-free for my vegan friends who have nut allergies?

    I would be open to any suggestions or ideas!
    Thanks! :D

    • Sara says

      I’ve read on forums online of people substituting in sunflower seeds instead, you just might have to tweak the seasonings a little.

      • Jeff says

        I like sunflower but it sometimes has a bit of a bitter taste. I’d opt for the silken tofu if you want to go nut free.

    • Lacey says

      While this modification isn’t exactly healthy, in the past I’ve made this using vegan mayo as the base, and it tasted great.

      If you do end up substituting the cashews for vegan mayo, I’d then suggest excluding the recipe’s call for water, salt, sweetener, and oil– as the mayo will likely be salted or sweetened enough on its own, and it should already have the right consistency/texture. That said, the recipe’s ingredients will then be reduced to vegan mayo, lemon juice, chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce.

      However– I think Dana’s suggestion to swap cashews for silken tofu may be better!

  3. Pauline says

    Oh heck yea. I can never get enough Chipotle:-)

    I would put this on a Mexican bowl (black beans and the veggies, etc.)

    Gracias Dana.

  4. Mary says

    Ohh I love this idea. I cannot stand mayo, and too many aioli’s have that mayo-y flavor that I cannot get behind. Can’t wait to try this.

  5. Rhian @ Rhian's Recipes says

    This looks gorgeous! What a great idea to use cashews!! Your creations never fail to inspire me :)

  6. Tom ~ Raise Your Garden says

    This looks absolutely fantastic. The only issue is that we are completely out of cashews because I was munching on them late last night watching t.v.

  7. Tracy | Pale Yellow says

    I’m in the middle of a Whole30 and am always looking for sauce-y ideas! This looks fantastic! I’m envisioning some sort of crunchy tuna bowl!