Lebanese garlic sauce is a creamy condiment made with pureed garlic, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Make this recipe in just 15 minutes!
This garlic spread recipe is really easy to make and has a consistency similar to mayonnaise without using eggs.
In fact, many different cuisines have their own way of making this creamy, unctuous spread that dazzles the tastebuds.
Greeks call it “skordalia,” French and Spanish versions are called “aioli,” and the Lebanese call it “toum.”
Make a homemade batch to keep in the refrigerator, but it won’t last long because you’ll be spreading it on everything!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Garlic - Be sure to use fresh, raw garlic cloves and not the pre-peeled or pickled kind. If you’re sensitive to the heat from garlic, there’s an easy way to take the bite out of it first. Microwave the cloves in a small bowl for 2 to 3 minutes, or until warm to the touch but not cooked. All them to cool before continuing with the recipe.
- Vegetable oil - You should be able to replace this with another neutral cooking oil, depending on your flavor preference or what you have on hand. Olive, avocado, and sunflower oils would make great substitutes but try a smaller test batch first to make sure it emulsifies properly.
How to make Lebanese garlic sauce
- Puree the garlic and salt: Blend both in a food processor until the garlic is finely chopped. Then, scrape down the sides and run again until it forms a paste.
- Add the oil and lemon juice: This step is VERY important to do correctly. While the food processor runs continuously, slowly drizzle in the oil and lemon juice in alternating amounts. If you add too much too quickly, it will break the emulsification and the sauce will come out too thin.
- Finish and store: Once all of the oil and lemon juice has been added, the consistency should be thick like mayonnaise. Transfer to a lidded jar or airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.
Ways to use Lebanese garlic sauce
- Deli wraps - This is a popular addition to gyros and shawarma. Spread a thin layer on a piece of flatbread or lettuce leaf before making your wrap. You can even use it on cold sandwiches or hamburgers in place of regular mayonnaise.
- Kabob plates - Pair with my Beef and Lamb Kabobs, or use it with a variety of other meats and vegetables.
- Grilled cheese - Use this instead of butter or mayo on the outside of bread for an amazing grilled cheese sandwich.
- Roasted poultry - I actually rubbed this under the skin of my Christmas dinner turkey once, and it added so much flavor and kept the turkey moist. It would taste great on roasted chicken or cornish hens as well.
- Garlic bread - Spread a layer on fresh bread and top with herbs for a delicious side to any meal.
- Storage - This will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- Adjust the quantity - If you don’t plan on using this garlic spread recipe too often, simply halve the recipe to make a smaller batch.
- Kitchen tools - You should be able to use a high-speed blender if you don’t have a food processor. Some have also had luck with an immersion blender, but I wouldn’t recommend trying until you have made this successfully a few times already.
MORE DELICIOUS SPREADS TO TRY
Just like toum, any one of these recipes can be spread on wraps, sandwiches, or grilled meats. Make a platter with a little bit of each and see which is your favorite!
- Charred Eggplant Dip (Mutabal)
- Feta Cheese Spread (Tyrokafteri)
- Roasted Red Pepper Dip (Muhamarra)
- Shatta Sauce (Middle Eastern Chile Paste)
Toum - Lebanese Garlic Sauce
- 28 garlic cloves
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp salt
- Add the garlic and salt in the food processor and run for 10-20 seconds to purée.
- Stop the processor and scrape garlic down the sides, then run processor again until you get a fine paste.
- From this point on keep processor running until completed. With food processor on, start pouring the oil at a very slow rate, a third of a cup at a time. After adding the first third cup you will start seeing the garlic emulsify and turn into a paste already.
- Next pour in a 1 ½ teaspoons of lemon juice very slowly. Wait on it a few seconds until the lemon juice is well absorbed. Then go back to repeating the same process of slowly adding a third cup of oil, waiting a few seconds, then adding 1 ½ teaspoons of lemon juice until you’ve used all ingredients. This process should take 8-10 minutes.
- The result should be a thick sauce, mayonnaise like in consistency. Place in a airtight jar and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.