Fresh basil and lemon zest pair up with walnuts and Parmesan for extra umami in this 5-minute basil pesto aioli.
What is aioli?
A traditional aioli is a mix of olive oil and mashed garlic cloves. (Actually not just a mix but an emulsion, to be exact.) Nowadays, though, what is considered to be an aioli is simply a light and creamy garlicky mayonnaise. That’s delicious all by itself but it’s also a great starting point for any number of additional flavors. (For example spices, like in this smoked paprika and fried scallion aioli or even meat, like in this bacon aioli.)
What is pesto aioli?
Pesto aioli is a dipping sauce made with traditional pesto ingredients (like nuts, basil and Parmesan cheese) and aioli. Rather than using a food processor to make the pesto aioli, the recipe here calls for hand-chopping the ingredients to make a nicely chunky and substantial dip.
How to make it:
See full ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below!
Step 1. This aioli is very simple to make, just add all ingredients to a bowl and stir together.
Step 2. Keep the aioli refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.
How to use basil pesto aioli:
As a dip:
This aioli makes a delicious dip for potato fries and potato chips. (The combination of lemon, basil and potato is absolutely delicious. Be sure to also try it in these roasted lemon basil potatoes!)
With fried tilapia:
This aioli also works great with fried tilapia fillets and potatoes.
Coat both sides of the tilapia with all-purpose flour, then fry in melted butter until fully cooked and flaky. (This should take about 4 minutes per side.)
You can also spread this aioli on chicken or beef burgers for extra deliciousness.
Recipe notes, tips and questions:
Because of the fresh basil in the aioli, I recommend to use it up on the same day you make it.
You can certainly add salt to taste. However, if you use the aioli as a dip for something that is already salted, like fries or chips, I recommend you try the dip on the chips/fries first. You may find that it’s already salty enough that way.
More delicious chunky dip recipes:
See all condiments & sauces →
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating or comment! Join our mailing list to get all the latest recipes sent to your inbox!
Full Printable Recipe
Basil Pesto Aioli with Walnuts
- measuring cups and spoons
- knife and cutting board
- garlic press (optional)
- citrus zester
- cheese grater
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil (you need about 1 and ⅓ cup packed basil leaves for that)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (you need about 1 small lemon for that)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
- Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Nutrition Information (Estimated):
Nutrition values provided on this website are generated from a nutrition database and are estimates only. The accuracy of the nutrition information for any recipe on this website is not guaranteed.