Naturally vegan and gluten-free, this Lebanese Garlic Sauce is thick, creamy and packed with flavor. Serve with grilled meat, shish kebobs or warm pita.
I am so lucky. As much as I would love to say that I am a self-taught, self-made home chef, I really can’t take credit. It’s in my DNA. My family is full of incredible cooks on both sides, but today’s post is about one woman, in particular, my Aunt Paula.
She won’t let anyone photograph her, ever. As you know, I’m a bit camera happy and always have it out at family gatherings and parties. Whenever she sees me come near, she looks the other way.
My Aunt Paula is also known for gifting friends and family with food all year round. If you’re sick, she will defrost homemade chicken soup and deliver it with a bag of Fritos – the best chicken soup topping in the world. Just have a baby? She’ll stop by at dinner with a platter of Hushwee rice.
At Christmas, she is notorious for The Gift of Butter (Clarified Butter). If we happen to stop by for a walk during the weekend, it’s almost a guarantee she is baking up a loaf of barley bread for my Uncle Randy to pack in his lunch box during the week. Inevitably, she’ll have a loaf to send you home with. Aunt Paula is the best, and I owe all of my Lebanese food skills to her.
As you probably guessed, this Lebanese Garlic Sauce was the most recent food gift I received from my Aunt Paula. The recipe is just four simple ingredients, but with a little love it turns into a magical, intoxicating, and addictive sauce you’ll be spreading on pita sandwiches, serving with Beef Shawarma, or dipping with Chicken Tawook.
While it does require a little knowledge and know-how, my Lebanese garlic sauce recipe uses just four simple ingredients. Garlic cloves, salt, canola oil, and lemon juice are all you need to prepare this thick and creamy spread. Grab your food processor, and you’re only 15 minutes away from enjoying this addictive sauce.
If you’re a visual person like me, I encourage you to watch this step-by-step video. It explains the entire process from start to finish.
Frequently asked questions:
Toum is a creamy and fluffly garlic spread that carries a fragrant garlic punch to it.
No! One of the best qualities of garlic sauce is that there is no mayo – making it a much healthier alternative.
Since the recipe does call for a larger amount of garlic, it can tend to be a little bit on the spicy side. If you’re looking to tone down the spice level, you can certainly use less garlic. Additionally, the type of garlic you use does make a difference. If you’re using elephant garlic, it’s going to make the sauce a little milder. If you’re looking for a spicier sauce, then use fresh garlic.
You can store the sauce for up to 1 month in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
It’s most commonly used with grilled meats or roasted vegetables. We also love to use it on warm pita bread. The options can be endless!
Your fork is waiting.
Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)
- 1 cup garlic cloves peeled (roughly 3 heads of garlic)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups canola oil you may not need all of this
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about one lemon)
- Place the garlic cloves and salt in a large food processor and puree until smooth. It’s a good idea to scrape down the sides two or three times to ensure that all of the garlic is finely processed.
- Turn the machine back on and slowly drizzle in the oil through the lid starting with 1/2 cup. After the first 1/2 cup has been added, pour in a teaspoon of the lemon juice.
- Continue alternating between 1/2 cup of the canola oil and a teaspoon of the lemon juice until you've added all of the oil and lemon juice. Alternating between the two is the key to proper emulsification which creates the light and fluffy garlic sauce. One tip is to let the machine run between oil additions to let the emulsion thicken. NOTE: This process requires you to drizzle in the oil — not dump in the oil right away. When you see it begin to thicken up THEN you start with the lemon juice.
- You know it’s done when the sauce is white and thick with a similar consistency of mayonnaise. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
Need more delicious, homemade Lebanese food in your life? Check out my Pinterest board!