Salsas & Sauces/

Garlic Mojo

Mojo de Ajo

There's always a container of mojo in my refrigerator.  I use it to season chicken, steaks, fish, vegetables, just about anything.  In fact, in Season 7 of  "Mexico-One Plate at a Time"  Rick will be using it for several recipes including as a seasoning for popcorn. 

Servings: 3cups


  • 4large heads of garlic OR 10 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) peeled garlic cloves
  • 2cups fruity olive oil
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice


Heat the oven to 325˚.

Break the heads of garlic apart, then mash each clove (a fist against the side of a knife is what I do) to release the clove from its papery skin; if using already-peeled garlic, scoop the cloves into a heavy recloseable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to mash them slightly.

Stir together the garlic, oil and salt in an 8x8-inch pan (make sure all the garlic is submerged), slide it into the oven and bake until the garlic is soft and lightly brown, about 45 to 55 minutes. Add the lime juice and return to the oven for 20 minutes for the garlic to absorb the lime and turn golden brown.

Using an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork, mash the garlic into a coarse puree. Pour the mixture into a wide-mouth storage container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to enjoy some deliciousness. This mojo will keep for up to three months in the refrigerator as long as there's enough oil to keep the garlic covered.



  1. Your recipe calls for a fruity olive oil…….what is a fruity olive oil? Is there a certain brand? I made this recipe with extra virgin olive oil (Colavita) that I had in my kitchen. The recipe is wonderful and now know why this is a great seasoning for several food preparations.

    Thank you.

    1. I don’t wish to jump on Chef’s toes but thought I would answer your question for your and others benefit. The highest quality oils will have a fruity flavor and crisp complexity reminiscent of apple or under ripe stone fruit, coming from early harvest olives. There is a deeper, sweeter tropical fruit flavor, pineapple, papaya, banana from more ripe late harvest olives. Like the complex flavors in wine, olive oil flavors vary greatly by varietal, growing region and even pressing technique. Basically it comes down to trying multiple olive oils of different brands and regions, until you find one or more that make you swoon. It is important to understand that these complex and subtle flavors are only tasted and enjoyed, ” out of the bottle. ” Once olive oil is heated above 110 degrees or so, like in Garlic Mojo, the complexity is lost and pretty much all olive oils are reduced to their base olive flavor. Always have at least two olive oils in the pantry. Have one quality oil, Colavita, Bertolli or other, that tastes good to you, for cooking and another super high quality olive oil that is only used as a ” finishing oil ” added to any dish off heat, and just before serving, so you and your guests can taste all the wonderful, complex, flavors that olive oil can have…Enjoy…JJ

      1. This is not true, you definitely want to use EVOO with this. Mr. Bayless even mentions in several of his books that EVOO is preferred.

  2. I’m making a batch today. This is the third time I’ve done this. There’s nothing like this concoction. I use it for salads, marinades, anything savory calling for garlic and/or olive oil. I’ll be putting today’s batch into a green pint Ball jar to give as a hostess gift tonight.

  3. Love your shows, wish you were on more. I worked in Mexico for many years and love to try the different cooking.

  4. This is delicious! So good on things from shrimp to popcorn chicken (the kids love that), even on a lettuce wedge, we’ve not found anything so far that we don’t like it on, with, etc. ;0)

    Thank you!

  5. Mojo de Ajo is an absolute go to. I do it by simmering over a low heat on the stove, same thing ultimately. The perfect complement to so many dishes from fish to chicken to pork to mushrooms to anything you can imagine. I always have a jar in my fridge. Hard to believe it is only rated at three stars, this is five stars plus!

  6. I put lemon juice until I’m ready to use it, and don’t cook it. Place the garlic, salt, a little bit of First Cold Press Olive Oil, in the food processor and then palce it in a container and cover it with more olive oil. I also add parsley to the mix sometimes. If you use only the oil for salads be sure to refilll to cover the mix and avoid oxidation.

  7. Delicious! I have made this so much now that the garlic smell is permiated the walls! I’ve made hummus (without the lime) and used as marinade ( with lime) so versatile!

  8. Is the addition of lime juice or other acid to mojo de ajo to make certain this oil-garlic mixture does not go rancid? Or just for added flavor? Thanks

  9. Hi, I made the Garlid Mojo and I love it. You mentioned in your show that it keeps three months in the refrigerator. I took it out today to use and it’s solid. I used extra virgin olive oil. How do you scoop out a little when this happens if the garlic is underneath. I just want to use a little and don’t want to leave the whole jar outside.

    1. You can either pull it out early and set it at room temperature, or what I normally do is just use a spoon to remove the hard layer of oil, place it in a small bowl and allow it to soften. Use the spoon to pull out the garlic mixture, and then pour the softened/melted oil back into the jar.

  10. This is my second attempt. Tastes fantastic as a chicken marinade! But both times after I refrigerate it the mix wants to solidify into a jelly. Still works enough but doesn’t look too good. I used 2 different jars each time and idk what the problem is.

    1. Hi Robin, I’m going to echo the comments from Katy, Rick’s culinary assistant, who says you can take it out early and set it at room temperature. Or, you can use a spoon to remove the hard layer of oil, place it in a small bowl and allow it to soften. Use the spoon to pull out the garlic mixture, and then pour the softened/melted oil back into the jar.

  11. I make this several times a year and give as gifts as well. It is fantastic for grilled sandwiches, on top of pizza, popcorn, eggs, garlic bread. The most versatile spread I have ever used. Obviously it will get hard in the fridge, it is an oil based product, but it melts really quick. I just stir it when it is solidified and use it as a spread or I leave the jar out, if I don’t want it like that. Everyone I have given it to has really enjoyed it. Great replacement for your butter options.

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