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
4.94 from 33 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 makes ~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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  1. Lo says

    This is simply an amazing recipe! I currently go to by Chloe CONSTANTLY for their (very similar) version of this. Now that I can make it… oh man! Also, this is so much better than the store-bought vegan chipotle mayo 🙋🏼‍♀️

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nathalie, Aioli is traditionally made with garlic. This version has garlic in the adobo sauce from the chipotle pepper. But the garlic is more subtle in this recipe. Feel free to add to taste!

  2. Paris says

    I tried this with walnuts instead since that’s all I had and it came out great. Can’t wait to try this on my tacos later tonight.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad it worked well! Thanks for sharing, Paris! And it should be amazing on tacos =)

  3. Wendy says

    This aioli is soooo good! We made the spicy fish tacos and the chipotle aioli, yum! So good together! This sauce could be used on so many foods, when I tasted it after blending I couldn’t stop eating it!! (We decided the 1 T of maple syrup is more to our liking than 2T and 2 chipotle 🌶 are perfect heat) Keep up the great recipe stream! What would we eat without you???

  4. Jacqueline says

    Wow! I have made this at least three times in the last month (is that too much?) – It is perfect on fried potato tacos or black bean burgers.
    Thank you so much for this recipe!

  5. Hailey says

    This aioli is absolutely delicious! I made it tonight to go with Dana’s Spicy Baked Fish Tacos and it was so good. I have a bit left and can’t wait to try pairing it with some other dishes.

  6. Elaina says

    My sauce just turned out sort of ok and it smelled kind of weird. Not sure if I did something wrong

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, assuming you didn’t modify anything? Do you enjoy the taste of chipotle?

  7. Ave says

    Can I swap out the cashews for already made vegan mayo? Are there any steps of the recipe I would need to adjust or change if I did this?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ave, we haven’t tried that, but it might work! Let us know if you try it!

  8. calgal says

    I’ve made this a few times now and it’s absolutely delicious! I use 1 tsp homemade date paste instead of maple syrup and 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, with just whatever sauce is clinging to the pepper. I leave out the oil. It’s so good on nachos! Can’t wait to find all the dishes I’ll use this for!

  9. Julie Harkey says

    Holy Moly! I made this to go on tacos yesterday and it is super delicious. There’s no way you’ll know it’s vegan. My non vegan husband loved it too. I used 2 chipotle peppers which is quite hot. So if you don’t want it too hot, I’d suggest using only 1 pepper.
    I’m so glad I discovered you. I can’t wait to make more of your recipes.

  10. Cale says

    This recipe is bananas! Wow it’s spicy, creamy and smokey; such a winner and absurdly easy to make. I haven’t had a good chipotle sauce since going veggie 6 years ago and this sauce really took our taco bowls to another level. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  11. Mary says

    This was the easiest and tastiest vegan cheese I’ve made to date! I didn’t have to modify any of the ingredients. This will be made quite often in our household!

  12. Kinara says

    Wow. This sauce is addictive and I want to lap it up straight from the blender! I slathered it on some potato-soyrizo tacos and it blew my mind. Nicely done.

  13. Darcy says

    This is such an amazing sauce! We smoked the cashews first on our Big Green Egg and that smokiness was so awesome in this sauce. We used it to top some veggie fajitas. Love this recipe!!

  14. Tanya W says

    I was going for the flavor of Cashew Dream by Salsa del Diablo. It was a great effort at copying. I looked at a lot of recipes and chose this because of the similarity of ingredients. I will stick with this recipe. I doubled it and it was gone in less than two weeks (I had to find a recipe because the 8 oz tubs of Cashew Dream are very expensive!). Next time I’ll add a little tomato paste, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, corn starch… trying to get a little closer yet.

    Thanks for a great recipe that will keep us out of the poor house. : )

  15. Jack says

    Why would you post an 8 ingredient recipe and say it’s a 5 ingredient recipe?
    Not making something when the author can’t count.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jack, only 5 ingredients + water (not included in count) are required. The other two ingredients are optional.

    • Kathy says

      I substituted 1/2 of an avocado for the avocado oil and it was great. This is an incredible sauce that I can put onto everything! Just want you to know I follow you on Pinterest and you are such an amazing influence over my healthier lifestyle!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Aw, thanks so much for sharing, Kathy! We’re so glad to be able to help! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  16. Dana H. says

    I don’t normally soak nuts because I have a vitamix, but I did this time and found it helpful as I used to double sauce recipes to make the blending easier. But many times I’ve regretted it because the sauce tasted just ok. Well, I could have tripled this recipe! It was way better than ok. I have been using it on all kinds of bowls and I’m not a “bowl” person, I mean I didn’t use to be a bowl person. I added an additional 1/4 tsp of adobo sauce. Loved it!

  17. Shelli says

    I’ve been making this every so often for a couple of years, and we put it on everything!
    But I need to know- how long is it good to store in the fridge? All the ingredients last a while individually, but what about together?
    Love this stuff more than any sauce ever.
    Thanks!

  18. Diane says

    Sooo good! Was looking for something spicey for our homemade vege burgers that tasted like, but was healthier than, Whole Foods chipotle mayo!
    This was it!! Our new favorite to put on everything!!!!
    Used the almond milk choice
    1 tsp of agave
    left out all the oil

  19. amanda cee says

    THIS IS AMAZING!!!! Well everything I have made from this website is. A local place makes something similar but it isn’t vegan. I boiled the nuts for 10 mins and used my high speed blender. Didn’t have almond milk, but water worked fine. This could go good on anything, veggie burgers, nachos, salad. It’s amazing!

  20. Hilary says

    One of my most favorite sauces that I use on everything. Would like to know if I can make ahead and leave at room temperature for a few house before dinner or if it needs to be refrigerated right away?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Hilary! I’d recommend refrigerating it beyond anything after a couple hours! Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

  21. Shanthi Bala says

    Damn! Made this sauce and it was the bomb! Paired it with your chickpea sun dried tomato burger. Yummmy! I added more chipotle peppers. Love it. Thanks Dana

  22. yana says

    My biggest grief with being vegan is that most vegan food is so boring. Well, until I found Minimalist Baker. Even my husband, who doesn’t care to vegan, prefers your recipes over non vegan ones.

    This chipotle aoli is amazing. We make a patch and eat it on everything for a week. Burgers, sandwiches, grain bowls, tacos, etc. It’s amazing, I don’t think I’ve tried a sauce this delicious in my life!

  23. Tomasa says

    This recipe is outstanding! Made it as directed but added more almond milk to thin it out to make it more of a sauce then a thick aioli. I used this to top my southwestern grain bowls. This was perfect! It has tons of flavor and is super easy! I made a double batch so we can use it the rest of the week ! Thank you so much!

  24. Shoo Shoo says

    I made this today and this is officially in my book of “Life Changing” recipes. IT LITERALLY TASTES LIKE REAL CHIPOTLE AIOLI!! I added an extra 3 chipotle peppers+1/3 the tin of the sauce it was in (need extra heat for the extra cold winter ;)), used unsweetened cashew milk, normal paprika, an extra splash of agave, and boiled around 1 cup of cashew pieces because I didn’t have time to soak them. Can’t wait to make sweet potato fries tomorrow to dip it in :P Seriously a game changer recipe. Thank you SO MUCH for all the time you put into making amazing recipes.

  25. Vernita says

    Made this as the dressing for “fish” tacos and man, oh man, was it good! The entire family loved it and we we’re looking fwd to using it as a dipping sauce and even thinning it out to use as salad dressing.

  26. Kim says

    This turned out amazing! Made some vegan enchiladas and topped it with this bad boy! Even my mother-in-law (who is the pickiest eater and non-vegan) loved it!

  27. Genesis says

    I made this tonight and LOVED the flavor. I used it as a topping for sweet potato and black bean tacos. Although it was super tasty, I couldn’t get it smooth and I blended for about 15 minutes. Any suggestions for the future?

      • Genesis says

        I used a small ninja. I guess the food processor. I have a larger ninja as well. Should I have used that one instead? It’s just that they both only have that one speed setting with the button on top so I figured it’d come out the same.

  28. Laura L MacKinnon says

    This was awesome! I served it with the sweet potato black bean burgers and really enjoyed the spiciness and creamy texture.

  29. Ruth says

    Made this last night to go with the sweet potato and black bean burgers. AWESOME is an understatement! I added extra Chipotles and Adobe sauce since I wanted a real kick of flavor and it was so good. Plenty creamy using water instead of nut milk. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks Dana.

  30. Candice says

    This looks fantastic but unfortunately I haven’t been able to find chipotles in adobo anywhere! I live in Canada and the only option I can find (online) is incredibly overpriced. Any substitutions you would reccomend? Thanks!

  31. Jenna Wamsganz says

    My die-hard, dairy-based, veggie dip lover boyfriend will finally eat this with his carrotts on a daily basis. Thank you, Dana! His name is Dana, too.

  32. Lisa Deez says

    Turned out good! I doubled the recipe and used 5 peppers which seemed perfect for a moderate spicy level. This was the first vegan sauce I’ve ever made so I needed something simple to try… this was it!

  33. Regina says

    This was so yummy! I added some avocado to make it creamier and it was a dream! Perfect on my black bean burgers!

  34. Carrie says

    Why soak the cashews?
    If I blend in my vitamix, it comes out creamy enough. Does the soaking have anything to do with the outcome of the flavor?
    TIA

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Carrie! Soaking the cashews just makes them much creamier and makes the texture much smoother overall. Additionally, by soaking them, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be absorbed properly. Nuts also have high amounts of enzymes inhibitors. This is another reason why un soaked nuts can be hard to digest. Soaking nuts neutralizes the enzymes allowing for proper digestion. Hope this helps!

  35. Phil says

    To all those trying to make this, I cannot recommend enough using a blender as she recommends! This sounded SO delicious, especially to go along with the sweet potato black bean burgers from here, so I tried making this aioli to top the burgers off. I used a food processor (since I don’t own a blender) and the cashews never fully broke down to make the mixture as creamy as advertised. That said, it tastes delicious, so I certainly can’t complain! Great recipe :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Doreen! We haven’t tried freezing this one so we can’t totally say for sure, but if you do, report back on how it goes!

  36. Doug says

    I made this with 4 ingredients (subtracted the sugar and added some more milk). It was still great! What’s the shelf life, give or take? Thanks!

  37. Elisa Nakamura says

    Amazing! Wow my omnivorous family of 4 has been SAVED by The Minimalist Baker – thank you so much! This sauce is an amazing addition to our 8th week of Eat To Live and it was both easy and delicious!

  38. Vanessa Dupuy says

    Hi Dana,
    Love your work by the way.
    This recipe is THE BOMB!!! I first tried it couple of months ago, with garlic and Nutri.yeast added, but no chipotle peppers in adobo sauce as they seemed impossible to find here in Melbourne Australia. The jar lasted 48 hours in my single person household.
    Couple of weeks ago those tinned impossible to find peppers appeared in mex section of my small local grocery store. Ahh! It turned out great.
    Tonight I made it again sans Nutri.yeast, with garlic powder. It is THE BEST!! Thank you!

  39. Rachel says

    This sauce is amazing! I made it as directed with 2 tsp agave, added a little olive oil, used almond milk instead of water, and it came out better than many sauces I’ve had in restaurants. Next time I would actually use just 2 chipotles because with 3, it came out very hot. I let the cashews soak all day and it was totally worth the wait, they’re amazing with tortilla chips and also good as a salad dressing if you thin it out and tame the spice with some almond milk. Will definitely make again and again!

  40. Abby says

    Omg this is insanely delicious!! I felt like my cashews didn’t get smooth enough, so I added a tad more milk and about a teaspoon of olive oil just to smooth it out. Super easy to adjust flavors. Can’t wait to eat tomorrow with fries!

  41. Kellie says

    Oh my goodness, there hasn’t been a recipe of yours I’ve made and haven’t LOVED !

    This turned out flawlessly, and was very quick to make since I had soaked the cashews overnight. I baked up some frozen gluten free/vegan onion rings and my husband and I thought it was delicious.
    I plan on serving this with sweet potato fries or on top of sandwiches/veggie burgers as well. Thank you again ! I can’t wait for your next recipes ! Xo

  42. Debra says

    I made this the other night for tacos and have since used it in almost every meal. Sandwiches, wraps filled with leftovers, on top of steamed veggies, etc.

    Thanks for this delicious addition to my life!

  43. Karly says

    Oh my gosh, LOVE this recipe! I always die for the aiolis I get at restaurants, and finally I can have one whenever I want! Looks amazing!

  44. Carol says

    I made this for fish tacos and it was amazing however, I only put 1 chipotle pepper and a little of its sauce and it was plenty hot! I also added a little Veganese. It stays a long time in the fridge and makes a lot so we’ve been dipping chips, ate it on some salmon cakes I made last night and the list goes on and on.

  45. Jamie says

    This is my new go to. I made it last week and ended up putting it on absolutely everything. It so simple and easy. Seriously, make this.

  46. Suzanne says

    Holy Cow Dana! This is the holy grail of vegan aiolis! I could SWAN DIVE into a vat of this stuff and be happy for the rest of my life! ;-) I did add a TBS of grapeseed oil, as I felt it did need a bit of “depth” to it, other than that this is an aioli of home run proportions. I added it as a topping to a veggie burger with lettuce, pickle, onion and tomato, and it was perfect!

    If it wasn’t for you and all the wonderful recipes you provide, I don’t think being vegan would have been such a success for me! Keep up the good work!

  47. Bec says

    Ok – this looks amazing! and relatively quick to make. I wonder how long it would keep in the refrigerator? Don’t know if it would get much of a chance in my house, thanks!

  48. Cynthia says

    I initially wrote off this recipe when I read the name, because I assumed with so few ingredients, it probably used vegan mayo as a base, which always leaves me feeling gross after I eat it. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that it’s actually cashew-based, and now I’m definitely going to try it!

  49. Brendan says

    Where do you find gluten free chipotle in adobo? Every can I have seen has wheat ingredients. Is there a certain brand I should look for?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Honestly I didn’t think any of them had gluten! I get a brand at Whole Foods but was sure it was GF. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

    • Jeff says

      You can buy dried chipotles and rehydrate them with an adobo recipe, which usually has some blend of cinnamon, clove, garlic, oregano, and other spices and a lot of apple cider vinegar. You can make your own blend to taste and keep it gluten free no problem!

    • Brendan says

      Most cashews have been toasted and often salted. My understanding is that the toasting helps them keep longer.

      Raw cashews have not been toasted. You can often find them in the bulk section of a grocery store.

  50. CAMILLE says

    I love this ! Looks so good <3
    However, I am french, and Aïoli call for garlic like the name says (aïl) so I would to it but with 2 or 3 cloves of garlic ^^ (french way ! )

  51. Melanie says

    Wow you had me at Chipotle but vegan too?! Awesome! I can’t wait to trick my meat-eating friends with this one.

  52. 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!

  53. 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!

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. Rhian @ Rhian's Recipes says

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

  57. 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.

  58. 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!