Remoulade vs. Aioli: Everything You Need to Know About the Cold Sauces - Eat Think Be Merry (2024)

Remoulade and aioli are two cold sauces that people refer to interchangeably. Mostly, this is because they both share a mayonnaise base. Yet, traditional aioli doesn’t usually contain mayonnaise!

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Cooking purists will tell you that the remoulade and aioli are nothing alike. Remoulade has four varieties, ranging in flavor from earthy to spicy, while aioli is just garlic and oil.

Remoulade vs. Aioli: Everything You Need to Know About the Cold Sauces - Eat Think Be Merry (1)

In this article, we’ll compare remoulade vs. aioli as well as help you master the two sauces. Let’s dive in!

What Is Remoulade?

Remoulade is a cold sauce made primarily from eggs. It’s incredibly similar to mayonnaise and can even be described as a zestier version of the popular condiment.

Typically, remoulade uses mayonnaise as a base, adding herbs and seasonings to make a tangy sauce.

There are many varieties of the cold sauce. In France, the mayonnaise-based sauce is made with savory herbs. It’s a popular side dish of fish, hot dogs, and fries.

Danish remoulade is sweet and sour. It combines unique ingredients you wouldn’t expect in one dish, but surprisingly, they work amazingly. This remoulade contains cabbage, cucumber, sugar, and curry!

On the other hand, the United States has its interpretation of remoulade. For starters, remoulade in Creole cuisine is pink, spicy, and contains various vegetables.

In Central Mississippi, the condiment is simple, consisting only of mayonnaise and chili sauce. It’s mainly used for sipping and is called comeback sauce.

What Is Aioli?

Aioli is one of the simplest sauces out there. Its ingredients are in the name!

The cold sauce is an emulsion of oil and garlic. Though, some chefs might experiment by adding extra herbs and seasonings.

Aioli is a Mediterranean condiment. Yet, different countries have their own spin on the sauce.

Some European countries add eggs to further emulsify the sauce. Others might incorporate tomatoes, mustard, lemon juice, or crackers for extra flavoring.

Differences Between Remoulade vs. Aioli

Many people confuse remoulade and aioli. After all, the two sauces are cold, and their variations include mayonnaise, eggs, and garlic. However, the two sauces couldn’t be more different.

Here are the main distinctions between remoulade and aioli:


It can be easy to determine the origin of the two classic sauces from their names. Remoulade is a French sauce that quickly spread throughout Europe due to its simple ingredients, yet unique taste.

Traditionally, the sauce was the main part of the tangy entree, céleri rémoulade. As its popularity increased, each country had its own spin on it, ending with the spicy Creole remoulade. The latter is even available ready-made!

As for aioli, it’s a Mediterranean sauce. Though, it’s trickier to pinpoint the exact country of origin. The ancient recipe has a history in the cuisine of the Spanish coast, Italy, and Malta.


The major difference between traditional remoulade and aioli has to be the ingredients. Both sauces include simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry. However, the base of the remoulade is mayonnaise, while aioli is an oil emulsion.

To explain, remoulade is always made with mayonnaise. You can combine this ingredient with whole grain or Creole mustard, dill pickles, radish, parsley, curry, or hot cayenne peppers.

Aioli is essentially just olive and garlic. When the two ingredients are blended well, the resulting sauce is white and creamy aioli. Some versions of the sauce include lemon juice, vinegar, egg yolk, or mustard.

Each remoulade ingredient variation results in a completely distinct taste. In contrast, the various supplies you might use to make aioli only serve to stabilize the emulsion instead of altering the taste.


Though both remoulade and aioli are cold sauces, their flavors are entirely different. To start, remoulade is a sharp-flavored condiment.

Remoulade vs. Aioli: Everything You Need to Know About the Cold Sauces - Eat Think Be Merry (2)

Its base flavor is zesty because of the mayonnaise and pickles. Yet, it can be spicy, earthy, or peppery depending on the seasonings.

While there are four basic types of remoulade sauce, the possibilities are endless when it comes to its flavor profile. You can add any vegetables or herbs you want, as long as you have the correct base.

Aioli is a garlic sauce, first and foremost. You can add lemon zest, as in toum, sesame paste as in tahini, or an egg yolk to help emulsify the condiment. However, the garlic flavor will persist.


Remoulade and aioli taste nothing alike. However, both are perfect dipping sauces. If you want to add more vegetables to your diet, simply use these two sauces as a dip!

That said, the taste profile of the cold sauces makes them more compatible with some dishes than others.

Remoulade is the jack-of-all-sauces. You can use it as a side to finger foods, a salad dressing, or a spread! Here are the best dishes that include remoulade:

  • Potato salad
  • Hamburgers
  • BLT sandwiches
  • Crab cakes
  • French fries

Aioli is an incredibly versatile sauce. It’s stable on many European menus. You might find it served as a dipping sauce or as a side to seafood.

Here are some other uses for aioli:

  • Wraps and Panini
  • Lamb and rabbit
  • Grilled snails
  • Boiled cod


If you’re still unsure what remoulade or aioli tastes like or how you can use them in different dishes, you might find it helpful to know their substitutes.

To start, remoulade is mayonnaise mixed with different herbs and seasonings. It’s usually tangy. So, here are similar, zesty condiments:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Tartar sauce
  • Thousand island sauce

As for aioli, you can just use plain garlic as a substitute! Still, if you’re looking for a twist on the traditional aioli recipe, here are some other sauces you should try out:

  • Toum
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Taleya
  • Sweet chili garlic sauce

How to Make Remoulade Sauce

Remoulade sauce is one of the easiest sauces you can make. Yet, the flavor profile will convince your dinner guests that you spent hours making it.

As you probably know by now, remoulade can be anything you want. Though, in this recipe, we’ve opted for Louisiana-style Creole remoulade. It’s spicy, zesty, and creamy.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup mustard
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pickle juice, or diced pickled for an extra crunch
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice
  • Finely chopped green onions to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together.
  2. Then, add more creole seasoning, hot sauce, or pickle juice to taste.
  3. Chill the mixture for at least an hour so the flavors meld together.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to three days.

How to Make Aioli Sauce

Many amateur chefs find making this popular condiment intimidating. After all, how can you achieve the creamy texture of aioli using only olive oil and garlic?

Unlike remoulade, this garlicky sauce combines basic ingredients. In contrast, while you can throw all the remoulade ingredients together, aioli’s mixing method is where all the magic happens.

You can easily make the emulsion using mayonnaise or egg yolk as a base. That said, if you want to master traditional aioli, follow this simple recipe!


  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (optional)
  • Lemon juice (optional)


Remoulade vs. Aioli: Everything You Need to Know About the Cold Sauces - Eat Think Be Merry (3)
  1. Add the garlic into a mortar, then mash with a pestle into a paste.
  2. Slowly mix the olive oil into the paste, one tablespoon at a time.
  3. Thoroughly stir and mash the mixture until the texture is white and creamy.
  4. The aioli should thicken in minutes. If it gets too thick, you can add water to get the desired consistency.
  5. Finally, mix in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  6. If you don’t own a pestle, you can also use a blender, blending in short pulses.
  7. Serve the aioli while fresh, or store it in the fridge for no more than 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you substitute remoulade for aioli?

Remoulade and aioli pair greatly with almost all dishes. However, if you’re looking for a distinct taste of one of the cold sauces, you can’t replace it with the other.

That’s because remoulade is usually spicy or tangy. Additionally, most remoulade recipes don’t call for garlic. On the other hand, aioli is a pretty garlicky sauce.

Can you make aioli without olive oil?

Aioli contains two ingredients, olive oil, and garlic. Luckily, if you’re out of olive oil or just can’t get the ingredients to emulsify properly, you can use any of the following:

  • Egg yolk
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water and starch

To Conclude

Comparing remoulade vs. aioli is easy. Remoulade is a mayonnaise-based sauce with various herbs and seasonings, and aioli is an emulsion of oil and garlic. Accordingly, it’s easy to understand how each sauce has a distinct flavor profile and uses.

Still, both remoulade and aioli are great as dipping sauces. They also pair perfectly with seafood and as spreads for paninis and wraps.

As for making the sauces, you might find remoulade ingredients harder to come by. In contrast, aioli only requires olive oil and garlic. Though, correctly emulsifying the sauce needs practice.

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Kaitlyn James

Hi, my name is Kaitlyn James, and I am a stay at home Mom, and a food blogger. I have always had a passion for good food.

When I gave birth to my first kid, I could no longer skip dinner, or just cook easy meals.

This is what inspired me to create

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Remoulade vs. Aioli: Everything You Need to Know About the Cold Sauces - Eat Think Be Merry (2024)


Remoulade vs. Aioli: Everything You Need to Know About the Cold Sauces - Eat Think Be Merry? ›

To Conclude

What's the difference between remoulade and aioli? ›

Both are mayonnaise based. A remoulade has mustard and, usually, capers, so has more bite and texture than an aioli, which is usually flavored with lemon and garlic.

What is the difference between remoulade and tartar sauce? ›

Classic French remoulade resembles tartar sauce in both its ingredients and uses, but there are some important differences: tartar sauce uses herbs sparingly, while remoulade makes liberal use of tarragon, chervil, and other aromatic herbs.

What makes an aioli and aioli? ›

True aioli is an emulsion of just mashed garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Making it is laborious, because you have to add the oil a drop at a time, pounding it together with a mortar and pestle. Aioli is extremely thick and used as an ingredient in traditional Mediterranean dishes.

Is aioli just garlic mayonnaise? ›

Unlike mayonnaise, which is made by emulsifying oil into egg yolks, aioli is made by pounding garlic into a paste and then gradually adding olive oil to the mixture, creating a thick and creamy sauce. The garlic gives aioli its characteristic pungent flavor, while the olive oil adds richness and depth.

What the heck is aioli? ›

Nowadays, the word aioli is pretty much synonymous with mayo, and is often just a simple mayonnaise (store-bought or homemade) that is flavored generously with garlic—a nod to its origins.

What do Americans call aioli? ›

Since about 1990, it has become common in the United States to call all flavored mayonnaises aioli.

Does aioli always have raw egg? ›

I love aioli, of all types. Though making your own aioli (like mayonnaise) calls for raw egg yolks. Food safety in mind, I prefer to temper my eggs in a double boiler, much like one does when making hollandaise sauce. Alternatively, these days, you can purchase pasteurized eggs in most grocery stores.

What is traditional aioli made of? ›

What is aioli sauce made of? At it's simplest, an aioli recipe starts with egg yolks and olive oil which is seasoned with a little lemon juice, a generous pinch of salt, maybe a little dijon mustard, and most often garlic. The two liquids are emulsified together so they don't separate over time.

What emulsifies aioli? ›

Aioli translates to “mayonnaise seasoned with garlic,” but it's much, much more than that. It's heaven-sent sauce. When the garlic, olive oil, and eggs are combined, these ingredients emulsify (aka combine fat with water) to create a luscious, creamy, and tangy sauce.

What sauce is similar to aioli? ›

Aioli and mayo are both creamy sauces made by emulsifying oil with a few additional ingredients. True aioli is simply olive oil and garlic while mayo adds egg yolks and other seasonings.

What's the difference between hollandaise and aioli? ›

What's the difference between each sauce? Mayonnaise combines egg, acid (vinegar or citrus juice, sometimes both) and oil, while aioli combines egg, garlic and oil. Aioli's texture is a little thicker than glossy mayonnaise. Meanwhile, hollandaise is a warm sauce that uses butter in place of oil.

Is chipotle mayo the same as aioli? ›

Chipotle aioli is essentially the same thing as Chipotle mayo. Aioli is a term used to describe a mayo-based sauce that is typically flavored with garlic. Chipotle aioli refers to a version of aioli that includes chipotle peppers for added spice and smokiness.

What is remoulade made of? ›

Remoulade is a traditional French sauce, originally made with ingredients such as mayonnaise, herbs, capers, pickles, and perhaps some anchovy oil or horseradish. French cuisine has a lot of influence on Louisiana cuisine, and the Cajuns and Creoles have a lot of influence on Louisiana cuisine.

What is aioli sauce made of? ›

What is Aïoli Sauce Made of? The number-one ingredient in aïoli is garlic, plus the standard mayo ingredients for mayo: egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, and olive oil. Additional flavorings are up to you.

What is similar to remoulade? ›

Classic French remoulade resembles tartar sauce.

What is a substitute for aioli? ›

If you ask me, aioli is quite similar to mayonnaise. They're both made of raw eggs emulsified with oil (mayonnaise is made with neutral oil, while aioli is made with olive oil) and a little bit of acid (mayonnaise uses vinegar, while aioli uses lemon juice). Sometimes the French add a little bit of mustard.

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