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5 from 14 votes

The Best Lebanese Garlic Sauce: Toum

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!
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Lebanese
Servings: 36 servings
Calories: 167kcal


  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg