With the perfect balance of creaminess, tanginess, and heat, this Tangy Horseradish Aioli will add a new dimension to your favorite dishes. Mix up a few ingredients and you’re ready to boost your sandwiches, meats, or veggies with zippy flavors.
Any use of the fancy word “aioli” and everyone is suddenly impressed. This fancified mayo is more than a name, it’s packed with tangy flavor that your food needs to be dipped or smothered in.
Why This Recipe Works
- SIMPLE TO PREPARE. If you can prepare toast without burning it, you might be overqualified for this recipe. Add everything into a bowl, mix, taste, and adjust.
- CHEAP INGREDIENTS. We’re not using truffle oil, this is a basic list of ingredients. Prepared horseradish may be the one you don’t have on hand, but once you make this you’ll be buying it regularly.
- EXTREMELY FLAVORFUL. Add this to burgers, steaks, chicken sandwiches, and roasted potatoes… the list just goes on. It’s bright, tangy, and very creamy, adding that something-something you might just be missing.
Aioli vs. Mayonnaise
Let’s clear the air about the differences between aioli vs. mayonnaise. While these two creamy condiments are similar, they do have very distinct differences.
Mayonnaise is a velvety emulsion of egg yolks and oil. It’s very common to add an acid, such as lemon juice, and also a bit of Dijon mustard if you’re making this recipe at home.
Aioli takes the flavors a step further with the addition of garlic, creating a bolder flavor. Traditionally in the Mediterranean, aioli was made into a sauce using large amounts of garlic mashed in a mortar and pestle with olive oil and salt. Over time, it has evolved and tends to be a more robust, slightly thinner sauce than mayo.
Now, we’re cheating today. I’m not forcing you to start from scratch and make your own mayo (though if you did, props to you). We’re going to use a high-quality mayonnaise and mix it with the rest of the ingredients to form a delicious, creamy horseradish aioli.
- Mayonnaise – Make sure you use the good stuff. At Chiles and Smoke, we love Duke’s Mayo, but you do you.
- Prepared Horseradish – Grab a jar and add a few tablespoons of this spicy, tangy ingredient.
- Fresh Lemon Juice – Skip the plastic bottle and grab a lemon. The flavor is worth the cost.
- Garlic – Mince some fresh garlic for a little texture, and a great aromatic flavor.
- Dijon – A little more tang tastes delicious.
- Hot Sauce – Optional, but the spice works really well if you want to kick it up.
- Olive oil – Adding just a little helps to thin it out and enhance the flavor.
- Fresh Herbs – Optional, adds a nice brightness to the sauce. Our favorites are chives, parsley, and dill.
How to Make Horseradish Aioli
This part is simple! Just add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine. I recommend using a whisk or a fork, to make sure all of the ingredients are fully emulsified into a creamy sauce.
Cover the sauce and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve. The waiting period allows the flavors to mingle together and mellow out.
How long does homemade aioli last?
Use the horseradish aioli within 1-2 weeks. You’ll have to go by taste once you’re past that, as the acid will start to turn the sauce sour.
Uses for Horseradish Aioli
This sauce tastes great on all grilled (or smoked) meats, but you’ll eventually find that it tastes good on almost anything.
- Smoked Prime Rib – Serve it right on top with plenty of vegetables for a flavorful meal.
- Reverse Seared Tri Tip – One of our favorites, try making a smoked Tri Tip Sandwich (seen above).
- Rack of Pork – The sweet and smoky pork pairs very well with this tangy sauce.
- French Fries
- Smoked Potato Skins – Use this aioli instead of the sour cream for an elevated flavor.
- Hamburgers – Grilled or smoked, it works.
- Steak – Any steak, trust us.
- Roasted Vegetables
Important Recipe Tips
- Use prepared horseradish for a smoother flavor. Fresh horseradish is extremely sharp, and the amount required for this recipe will need to be adjusted.
- Finish with cracked black pepper, especially if paired with steak.
- Fresh lemon juice is superior to the bottled juice. You can even zest a little bit of the skin for additional flavor.
- Use a high-quality mayonnaise, as it’s the base ingredient for the sauce.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine, ensuring all of the liquids are completely emulsified into the sauce. Taste and adjust to your preference.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. This horseradish aioli will be good in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Sauces & Salsas
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: Condiment, Sauce
Keywords: Aioli, Horseradish aioli, creamy sauce, condiment