Zankou Chicken's Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Copycat)

"The BEST garlic sauce on the planet can be found at Zankou's Chicken. Those who know this place know their recipe is a very closely-guarded secret. Serve with a Lebanese (or other Mediterranean) chicken (or beef) dish like Recipe #127262. Also great with chicken or beef shawarma. I lined pita shells with this sauce and loaded them up with chicken, lettuce, tomato and roasted peppers and onions. Just make sure you aren't coming face to face with anyone for the next month or so... WHEW! Garlic!"
photo by palprincess_10988115 photo by palprincess_10988115
photo by palprincess_10988115
photo by Sandi From CA photo by Sandi From CA
Ready In:




  • Peel the potatoes and boil in water until soft. Mash and let cool.
  • Crush and peel a whole head of garlic. Cut into quarters. Place raw garlic in a heavy duty blender with the salt and lemon juice. Pour a light layer of oil onto garlic. Puree the garlic, salt lemon juice on high and begin pouring a slow steady stream of the rest of the oil through the blender's handle hole until everything has mixed.
  • At this point, you'll have extreme garlickiness (new word), which some people like, but for "texturizing" like Zankou's, you'll need the taters.
  • Add the mashed potatoes, about 2-3 tablespoons at a time and mix. Continue adding/blending potato until the sauce is mixed well. At some point in this process, you might consider changing blending vessels. After all this work, my blender was starting to think twice about helping me out.
  • Transfer to a bowl and allow to chill completely in the fridge. After about an hour, the flavors will blend together nicely and the texture will take on that library paste consistency like Zankou's sauce.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Extreme garlicness (as you say) and extreme deliciousness! We just loved this, and want to figure out how else to serve it. I halved the salt and oil (so it was thicker, but that was OK with us) and used a really good olive oil, which I think made a huge difference. Served 5 for us, since we couldn't get enough!
  2. This is as good as any I have had in a restaurant, absolutely divine! Just have to be careful how much potato is added otherwise it becomes garlic mashed potato.
  3. GREAT! I have never been to a Zankou Chicken restaurant even though I am from SoCal. I will have to check one out to see how this version of the sauce compares to the original. That said, the sauce I made following this recipe is REALLY OUTSTANDING, and I am going to bake a chicken tomorrow so I can try it that way. I think I used less potatoes, but the consistency is a lot like home made mayonnaise, which is exactly the way I wanted it. It emulsified perfectly. Thanks for sharing such a great "copycat" recipe!
  4. Sooo good. I have never been to Zankou but I know Grand Chicken in Pasadena is similar and they have garlic spread there that I am addicted to! This recipe is 4 stars as is - I thought the lemon sort of over powered the garlic too much so I added probably about a half to a full head of garlic MORE. I know that sounds crazy but it seriously made the sauce taste exactly like the one at Grand. The texture is a bit different but that doesn't matter to me. Definitely watch the amount of potato you add - use just enough to thicken and make sure you taste it before you put more in! You don't want too much potato flavor. THANK YOU for you posting this.. for real.
  5. This is an incredible recipe. Easy!!!!! We have gone to Zankou and Sevan Chicken and love their chicken. Basically, we go there for their garlic sauce. Now I can make it myself which is the best. Sandi did a great job describing how to make the sauce and it went exactly how she said. Thanks!!


  1. This recipe is not Zankou garlic sauce. The author attempted to add potato(starch) to stabilize probably a broken sauce. The sauce you are attempting to make with this recipe is called toum. The secret to making toum and why the emulsion works with just salt, garlic, lemon juice, and oil is the process in which the emulsion is created. First process the garlic and salt in a food processor repeatedly scraping down the sides until finely chopped. Then grind it into a smooth garlic paste by processing with lemon juice little by little. This step is important. It will allow the cellular walls of the garlic to break down and release the emulsifiers needed to make the sauce. Then you drizzle in the oil with the tiniest drizzle you can to complete the emulsion and create something fluffy. It's in technique, not the starch



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