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If you haven’t tasted the Lebanese Garlic Sauce, then you’ve missed the tastiest sauce on Earth. Lebanese toum, a bold, creamy sauce, and dip packed with garlic flavor, is simple to make at home and goes well with almost everything!

The Crown Jewel of Lebanese Condiments

Lebanese garlic sauce in a jar and a saucer and some garlic cloves
It goes well with all dishes where garlic is appropriate.

Toum is a Lebanese culinary staple that is more than just a condiment. This garlic sauce is great for stirring into soups and pasta, marinating chicken, and tossing roasted vegetables.

It adds a lively punch of garlic to anything without the hassle of peeling and mincing garlic. It’s also a flavorful vegan alternative to mayo that brightens up any sandwich.

This garlic paste complements a variety of BBQ dishes, particularly Chicken Shawarma, Seasoned Air Fried Rotisserie Chicken, kebob BBQ, and Shish Tawook Recipe – Lebanese Grilled Chicken Skewers. It’s also delicious spread over baked or boiled potatoes with a sprinkle of Cayenne pepper and dried mint.

What Is Toum?

Toum is Arabic for garlic. It’s pronounced, “toom.” It is also a Lebanese garlic dipping sauce, the crown jewel of Lebanese condiments. It’s a thick emulsion of oil, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and salt.

You can serve toum with a variety of meats, vegetables, shawarma, shish tawook, charcoal chicken, French fries, and other dishes. You can also use it as an ingredient in soups, stews, pasta, and salads.

Pairs with All Dishes

Lebanese garlic sauce Toum on a white table. Universal garlic sauce as an alternative to mayonnaise. Pairs well with all dishes.
A versatile condiment that pairs well with grilled meats, shawarma, falafel, kebabs, and even as a dip for vegetables and bread.

Why You’ll Love this Sauce

  • It’s a recipe that works every time!
  • It refrigerates for several weeks.
  • It goes well with so many different foods.
  • It can be used as a dip, a sandwich sauce (shawarma), a sauce for pasta, bakes, salads, and so much more.
  • Is extremely garlicky!
  • It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free (vegan), and nut-free.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce Ingredients

Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves and avoid pre-peeled cloves and sprouting garlic heads (which will be bitter). Firm heads with no signs of spoilage, bruising, or sprouting are preferred – younger garlic tastes better overall!

Oil: The traditional oil used in this recipe is olive oil (if you want the authentic flavor). You can also use vegetable oil with a neutral flavor, such as canola or sunflower oil. Avocado oil may work, but it may change the color and turn it green.

Lemon: Use fresh lemon juice rather than concentrated lemon juice. It tastes better.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why did my toum separate?

There are a few reasons why toum can separate whilst making it. Either too much oil was added whilst blending or water is present in the mix or too much lemon juice was added at one time, these all contribute to breaking the emulsification process.

Is there mayonnaise in the Lebanese garlic Sauce?

This is not a potato or mayonnaise-based garlic sauce. One of the best qualities of garlic sauce is that there is no mayo – making it a much healthier alternative.

What is the shelf life of this sauce?

You can store toum for up to 1 month in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Take Your Sandwiches to a Whole New Level

Lebanese recipe of chich taouk, garlic cream, toum, in a Lebanese bread, tabbouleh and chickpea puree, hummus High quality photo
A must-have on any Lebanese table.

Top Tips

  • I recommend using a food processor and not a blender to make this sauce. Blenders lack the power to properly blend toum and may overheat. A food processor is the best option.
  • Use only fresh garlic to make this sauce and not minced or jarred garlic. Fresh garlic will yield the best and strongest flavor.
  • Avoid drizzling the oil quickly. This is not a competition. Drizzle the oil in gradually until it emulsifies. If you pour it in too quickly, it will liquefy and ruin the final product.
  • Canola oil, vegetable oil, and olive oil can be used. Other oils will change the flavor and possibly ruin the sauce.
  • Water should be avoided at all costs. Make sure the area, utensils, and equipment you’re using to make your toum are dry. The oil will be separated by water.
  • You can add some chili for extra heat. Use a small spoonful of chili oil or chili paste, or add a small bird’s eye chili.

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Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)

By: Lama
Lebanese garlic sauce, also known as "toum," is a popular and flavorful condiment used in Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is a creamy, white, and garlic-infused sauce with a strong garlic taste, perfect for complementing various dishes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • food processor


  • 2 cups garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, (or other neutral-flavored oil like canola or sunflower oil)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste


  • Peel the garlic cloves and make sure to remove any green shoots from the center, as they can add bitterness to the sauce.
  • In a food processor, add the peeled garlic cloves and pulse until they are finely minced. You might need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a few times to ensure even chopping.
  • Once the garlic is minced, add half of the lemon juice and start blending on low speed.
  • While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil in a steady stream. The mixture will begin to emulsify and thicken. Continue adding the oil until you achieve a mayonnaise-like consistency.
  • At this point, add the remaining lemon juice and the salt. Blend again until everything is well combined and the sauce has a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or lemon juice to suit your preferences.
  • Transfer the Lebanese garlic sauce (toum) to a clean, airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator. It should last for several weeks.


Important Tips:
  • When making toum, it’s essential to add the oil gradually to ensure proper emulsification. If you add the oil too quickly, the sauce might not come together properly.
  • Some variations of toum include using egg whites to help with emulsification, but the classic Lebanese recipe does not call for eggs.
  • Toum is a strong garlic sauce, so it’s best to use it sparingly. However, feel free to adjust the amount of garlic based on your taste preference.
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About Lama

I'm Lama, welcome to my blog where you will find simple and diverse recipes your entire family will enjoy. I am honored to connect with you through the recipes I prepare!

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