Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (2024)

Published: by Shadi HasanzadeNemati · This post may contain affiliate links .

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Lebanese garlic sauce, also known as toum, is a rich and creamy sauce made with only four ingredients. It's dairy-free, vegan and ready in no time!

Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (1)

Homemade condiments, sauces and spreads are an important part of our meals because they add so much flavor to elevate our cuisine. Easy sauce and spread recipes such as zhoug, tahini sauce, skordalia, tzatziki and harissa can elevate any dish effortlessly. Today's recipe is for all of you garlic lovers! Toum is a classic Lebanese garlic sauce that you're going to keep making because it's the best!

Table Of Contents:
  • All about toum
  • What goes into toum?
  • How to make toum
  • Tips to make the best garlic sauce
  • Serving suggestions
  • Benefits of garlic
  • Frequently asked questions
  • More Middle Eastern Recipes
  • Step-by-Step Recipe

All about toum

This Lebanese garlic sauce, also known as toum or touma, is made with only four ingredients. It's very versatile and can be used as a sauce with chicken, beef or seafood or as a sandwich spread. While the texture is creamy and thick like mayonnaise, this garlic sauce is actually egg-free, dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free.

If you like garlic, don't miss out on this sauce. The best part is that you can make a large batch and enjoy it for months!

Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (2)

What goes into toum?

Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (3)
  • Garlic: This sauce is all about garlic. It's best to use young garlic and you should remove the germ (i.e., the green sprout in the middle). The sauce will be bitter if not removed. You need about one cup peeled garlic cloves, which is about 3 heads of garlic. Jarred, pre-peeled or minced garlic will not work for this recipe.
  • Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice works best for this recipe. This recipe calls for ¼ cup lemon juice which is equal to 1 lemon.
  • Oil: To make toum, you need oil to make an emulsion with the garlic. You can use canola, vegetable, sunflower, avocado or any neutral oil
  • Salt: Use kosher salt to add and balance the flavors of the sauce.

How to make toum

  1. Peel the garlic cloves and cut them in half to remove the germ (the green sprout) in the middle. Make sure to remove all the germs since they would make the sauce bitter.
  2. Place the garlic cloves in the bowl of the food processor and add the ice water. Blend for about 2 minutes to mince the garlic. Scrape down the bowl using a spatula.
  3. Add half of the lemon juice and salt to the garlic and blend.
  4. As the food processor is running, slowly pour in about 1 cup of the oil into the food processor. This should take about 3 minutes. Stop midway to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the rest of the lemon juice and keep the food processor running. Add the rest of the oil as slowly as possible to avoid breakage. It should take you about 6 minutes to pour in 2 cups of oil. Again, stop a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. When ready, the sauce is creamy and rich with a consistency similar to mayonnaise.
Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (4)

Tips to make the best garlic sauce

  • Use young garlic: To have a full flavor toum with rich and creamy texture, make sure to use young garlic. Garlic acts as a stabilizer in this sauce and is also the main ingredient. Slice each clove in half and remove the germ before you start making the sauce.
  • Slow and steady: Drizzle the oil as slow as possible. It should take about 3 minutes to pour one cup of oil into the food processor. This will ensure that the sauce emulsifies well.
  • Refrigerate: This is not a must, but I prefer to refrigerate the sauce for at least a day before serving so the flavor mellows a bit.
  • Alternate between the liquids: You need to alternate between the oil and the lemon juice and make sure to finish the blending with the oil. Since lemon juice is acidic, it might break the sauce if added all at once or at the very end of the process.

Serving suggestions

  • Condiment: Add it to lavash or pita wraps and sandwiches such as shish kabob and kofta kebab to chicken shawarma, beef shawarma and falafel with some pickled turnips.
  • Dip: Use as a dip for grilled meat and seafood such as grilled chicken, shrimp skewers, steak and chicken kabobs or grilled vegetables and grilled asparagus.
  • Marinade: Add it to marinades such as salmon marinade, zaatar chicken or Mediterranean garlic chicken.
Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (5)

Benefits of garlic

In addition to adding a lot of flavor to any dish, garlic comes with some other benefits beside flavor:

  • It can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Garlic has antibiotic properties and will boost your immune system.
  • It can work as an anti-inflammatory and could improve heart health.

Love garlic? You've got to try my fool-proof roasted garlic too! It's just perfect with almost anything.

Frequently asked questions

What's the difference between toum and aioli?

Toum and aioli are both sauces with strong garlic flavor. In the past, aioli was also made with only garlic and oil. However, in recent years, most recipes call for egg as well whereas toum is still made with only garlic, oil, salt and lemon juice.

How long does garlic sauce keep?

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 months. Give it a good stir before using. I don't recommend freezing toum as it would change the texture and consistency.

My garlic sauce had a very strong flavor, how can I make it mellow?

Sometimes the garlic sauce can have a strong flavor and there are two ways to make it more mellow:
1- Refrigerate the toum for one or two days before serving. This would give the flavors enough time to mix and become smoother.
2- Soak the peeled garlic cloves in cold water for 20 minutes before mincing them in the food processor. Make sure to dry the cloves thoroughly before making the toum.

Can I use a blender to make toum?

Once upon a time, people used a whisk or pestle and mortar. In a contemporary kitchen, a small food processor would work perfectly. I don't recommend using a blender or an immersion blender since the mixture won't emulsify as well as it would in a food processor.

My garlic sauce broke! What went wrong and how can I fix it?

There are a couple of reasons for a broken garlic sauce: first, you've added the oil too fast, which means there wasn't enough time for it to emulsify and second, you've added the lemon juice at the end and the acidity of lemon juice caused breakage. To fix the sauce, you can add 2 tablespoons cooked and mashed potatoes and blend again until smooth.

What kind of oil do you recommend for this recipe?

The oil used for this recipe should be colorless and neutral in flavor. You can use sunflower oil, vegetable oil, canola oil or avocado oil. I don't recommend using olive oil or grapeseed oil because of their strong flavor and color.

More Middle Eastern Recipes

  • Grilled Zaatar Chicken Recipe
  • Mujadara Recipe - Lebanese Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions
  • Kibbeh Recipe (Baked and Fried)
  • Easy Lebanese Rice with Vermicelli

Did you make this recipe? I'd love to hear about it! Please comment and leave a 5-star🌟 rating below. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or subscribe to our newsletter to get a free e-Cookbook!

Step-by-Step Recipe

Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (10)

Toum Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Shadi HasanzadeNemati

Lebanese garlic sauce, also known as toum, is a rich and creamy sauce made with only four ingredients. It's dairy-free, vegan and ready in no time!

5 from 16 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 20 minutes mins

Course Side Dish

Cuisine Lebanese

Servings 36 servings

Calories 167 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup garlic cloves about 3 heads of garlic
  • cup cold water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice about 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 cups vegetable oil see notes

Instructions

  • Peel the garlic cloves and cut them in half lengthwise to remove the green sprout (germ).

  • Add the garlic cloves to the bowl of a food processor with the cold water. Blend to mince the garlic. Stop the food processor and scrape the sides of the bowl using a spatula.

  • Add half of the lemon juice (⅛ cup) and the salt to the garlic. Blend again.

  • As the food processor is running, very slowly drizzle 1 cup of the oil into the bowl. This should take about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the bowl again.

  • Add the rest of lemon juice and keep the food processor running. Drizzle the rest of the oil (2 cups) as slowly as possible. It will take about 6 minutes to pour the oil. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times to make sure all is combined.

  • The garlic sauce will be fluffy and thick. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Video

Notes

  • Make sure you use young garlic and remove the green sprout (also known as germ) in the middle of the garlic clove. The germ can make the toum bitter.
  • You can use any neutral flavor oil such as vegetable, canola, avocado or sunflower oil. I don't recommend using olive oil or grapeseed oil because of the distinct flavor and color.
  • Store the garlic sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 months. Do not freeze this sauce.
  • There are a couple of reasons for a broken garlic sauce: first, you've added the oil too fast, which means there wasn't enough time for it to emulsify and second, you've added the lemon juice at the end and the acidity of lemon juice caused breakage. To fix the sauce, you can add 2 tablespoons cooked and mashed potatoes and blend again until smooth.
  • Sometimes the garlic sauce can have a strong flavor and there are two ways to make it more mellow:
    1- Refrigerate the toum for one or two days before serving. This would give the flavors enough time to mix and become smoother.
    2- Soak the peeled garlic cloves in cold water for 20 minutes before mincing them in the food processor. Make sure to dry the cloves thoroughly before making the toum.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 98mgPotassium: 17mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe? Let us know how it was by leaving a comment and a 5-star review!

More Dips and Spreads

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Dina

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (15)
    We never would have thought to make this before, and now that we have, we are hooked! I can't believe how long it lasts in the fridge! Although not long cause we use it so often. THANK you for the VIDEO--THAT made us see how easy it is to make!

    Reply

  2. Debby

    How long does this sauce last for in the fridge

    Reply

    • Shadi HasanzadeNemati

      Up to 2 months!

      Reply

  3. Tara

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (16)
    This toum is delicious! Love a vegan and dairy-free sauce.

    Reply

  4. kushigalu

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (17)
    Love this 4 ingredient sauce recipe. So delicious. Pinned to try this soon

    Reply

  5. Janie | Naughty Kitchen

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (18)
    This is my favorite sauce to make! I love this garlic spread. I use it on my breakfast toasts and sandwiches. It also gives flavor to soups too!

    Reply

  6. Irena

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (19)
    I love this sauce so much!!! I always order it when I get Lebanese food (also Greek food) but I haven't made it at home. Glad to find this recipe that doesn't use eggs as I often have to cater for vegan friends. Plus, I feel like it keeps better without eggs.

    Reply

  7. Maddie

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (20)
    I made this Toum last night using our homegrown spicy garlic. Wow! What a delightful fluffy garlic sauce. I've just thrown out all of my other garlic sauce recipes LOL. Thanks Shadi 🙂

    Reply

  8. Katherine

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (21)
    This garlic sauce looks so fluffy and delicious! I adore garlic so can't wait to give it a try.

    Reply

  9. Amanda Wren-Grimwood

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (22)
    I've not heard of this sauce before but it will be perfect for summer barbecues. I really appreciate all the tips too.

    Reply

  10. Ieva

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (23)
    Just lovely! We are huge garlic lovers, and this simply hit the spot. Served it with turkey kebabs and flatbreads. Full of flavour and so easy to make!

    Reply

  11. Tara

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (24)
    I love toum! This looks so good and is such a wonderful use for garlic. Especially appreciate the tips to help make it perfect.

    Reply

  12. Sara Welch

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (25)
    I love how easy this was, and with minimal ingredients! Such a great sauce to have on hand!

    Reply

  13. Katie

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (26)
    This is so easy to make and packed with so much flavor! Love how bright and light it is.

    Reply

  14. Dana

    Toum Recipe - Lebanese Garlic Sauce (27)
    This is the perfect sauce with grilled chicken for our family of garlic lovers! I love that I can make a big batch and pull it out when we need it.

    Reply

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