An easy lemon aioli sauce recipe with capers and garlic that just takes 7 minutes to put together. You'll love this simple flavorful lemon aioli recipe for seafood like crab cakes, cod, and shrimp. It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
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When you're looking for an easy seafood sauce to serve with crab cakes, shrimp, or even a seafood boil, this easy lemon aioli for seafood is a winner!
Usually, I'd say that if you're cooking high-quality seafood, no sauce on the side is even necessary. But to take your dinner up another notch, this fast 5-minute garlic lemon aioli recipe is a fabulous addition.
Why You'll Love This!
- Full of flavor - rich and lemony plus a punch with zesty capers and
- Great with all sorts of seafood dishes!
- Easy! - Our lemon aioli sauce recipe starts with high-quality store-bought mayo - no raw eggs or homemade mayo here, just use high quality jar stuff.
- Lighter- Low carb, gluten free, and keto friendly.
Ingredient Notes for Caper Aioli
Our aioli sauce adds zesty capers (which we highly recommend!), if you don't have them or don't like them, just make a simple aioli sauce without them. The sauce is super delicious regardless, if you don't add capers we recommend adding fresh dill instead.
- Mayonnaise - a high quality brand is recommended
- Sour cream -we used regular sour cream but it's totally fine to use low fat
- Lemon juice - fresh lemon juice is best, not concentrate.
- Fresh Lemon zest - For a stronger lemon taste, add lemon zest as well.
- Pickled whole capers
- Garlic cloves - we used fresh minced garlic cloves but garlic paste or garlic in a jar works too.
- Freshly chopped parsley or other types of fresh herbs
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
How to Make Lemon Aioli
Making garlic lemon aioli is a super simple and delicious recipe since we use store-bought mayo instead of homemade mayo. Just add the ingredients to the bowl and then ideally, let it rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours to blend the flavors.
Step 1: In a small mixing bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest (if you're using it), and capers. Stir until fully combined. Add ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste.
Step 2: Place the bowl in the fridge for 1-2 hours for flavors to blend. This is optional and you can eat it immediately if you're in a hurry.
Step 3: Use the aioli sauce with crab cakes, shrimp, and other types of seafood. Enjoy!
Lemon Caper Aioli Recipe Tips
- This recipe makes ½ cup of lemon aioli sauce, which is perfect for a seafood dinner recipe serving 4 people. Double the recipe if you need more than this.
- We love the zesty punch of capers in this recipe, but if you aren't a fan just leave them out.
- Other ways to season this aioli sauce includes adding Old Bay seasoning, minced garlic, pesto sauce, or minced fresh herbs.
- For a richer flavor, increase the mayo and decrease or skip the sour cream.
- Make a from scratch aioli recipe starting with homemade mayo.
- Add a spicy kick with jalapeno, red pepper flakes, or chipotle in adobo sauce.
- Swap the lemon zest for lime juice and lime zest.
Ways to Use Lemon Aioli
- With crab cakes
- Dipping Sauce for French Fries: Elevate your regular French fries by using lemon aioli as a tangy dipping sauce.
- Burger Spread: Spread the lemon aioli sauce on your burgers for an added zesty flavor, especially for fish burgers, shrimp burgers, turkey, or chicken.
- Sandwich Dressing: Use lemon aioli as a dressing for various sandwiches, especially with a seafood sandwich
- Grilled Vegetable Dip: Pair the sauce with grilled vegetables or roasted vegetables as a delicious and creamy dip.
- Serve with fish tacos
- Salad Dressing: Mix lemon aioli sauce into your salads as a flavorful dressing, this it out with buttermilk or a plant based milk.
- Serve with a Seafood Platter: Serve it alongside a seafood platter as a perfect complementary sauce.
- Dip for Artichokes: Use lemon aioli sauce as a dip for steamed or grilled artichokes.
- Store: Our recipe for lemon aioli keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days, store it in an airtight container.
- Freeze: We don't recommend freezing aioli sauce since the texture turns grainy.
FAQ's Lemon Aioli for Seafood
Both aioli and mayonnaise are emulsions made with eggs and oil, the primary difference is that aioli traditionally is a sauce made with mayo that sometimes adds lemon juice, garlic, and other seasonings.
Mayonnaise is generally milder, made with just raw egg yolk, olive oil, and vinegar or lemon juice.
Yes, you can make our easy aioli sauce without raw eggs by using store-bought mayonnaise as a base. Traditional aioli uses homemade mayonnaise but we're simplifying things by making a homemade aioli recipe but still giving you that homemade aioli taste. Just mix in lemon juice, capers, and any additional seasonings to achieve the aioli flavor you're looking for.
Yes, you can make a dairy-free or vegan aioli by using vegan mayo as the base for this recipe plus a vegan sour cream.