Toum (Creamy Garlic Sauce)

Even though you may have never heard of Toum, I am certain that you have had it if you have eaten shawarma or falafel. This creamy garlic sauce is perfect for adding to grilled meats, veggies or just as a dipping sauce with pita or naan bread.

Servings: 2 cups

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time:  10 minutes   |   Cook Time: 0 minutes   |   Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 30 garlic cloves, about 3/4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups canola oil (or vegetable oil)


Begin by peeling the garlic cloves. Remove all the skin and then slice each clove in half. Remove any green bits from the centre of the garlic clove as it will make the sauce bitter. Add the garlic cloves to a food processor along with the salt. Pulse until the garlic forms a paste. You will likely need to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times to get all the garlic chopped.

Once the garlic is a smooth paste, turn the food processor back on and begin to add 1/2 cup of oil very slowly. The stream of oil going into the blender at all times should be no thicker than a piece of spaghetti.  You want to have the food processor going the whole time so that it blends evenly and does not split or separate the sauce.

After adding the first 1/2 cup of oil, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Incorporate this in a slow and steady stream just like the oil. Once the lemon juice is incorporated, drizzle in another 1/2 cup of oil and repeat this process until you have incorporated all the lemon juice and oil.

This entire process can take anywhere from 8-10 minutes. If your food processor begins to get warm part way through adding the oil and/or lemon juice, simply pop the food processor container off the machine and place it in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will cool down the machine and the mixture and ensure that the sauce will not split from getting too warm.

Once combined, the toum should have the same consistency as mayonnaise- that is exactly what you want! Scoop the toum out of the food processor and place into a serving dish or in a glass food storage container or jar (plastic containers will get ruined from the garlic oils) and store in the fridge. The longer the toum sits in the fridge, the more mellow the garlic flavour gets. I recommend making this a day or two before you want to serve it so that the garlic flavour is not too overpowering.

Add this tasty garlic sauce to any grilled meats, veggies or just serve it plain with pita or naan breads! Enjoy!