Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce | Family Cuisine

Doner sauce is a delicious, spicy, and tangy dip that is common in Turkish cuisine. It's made with yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, cumin powder, salt and pepper.

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Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce

This Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce is easy to make with just 7 ingredients in two easy steps, and tastes just like your favorite kebab shop’s garlic sauce! It’s wonderfully creamy with a slight hint of tang, and is delicious in kebabs, on salads, with grilled meat, and as a dip!

Have you ever wondered how to make the addictive and delicious creamy garlic sauce that they use in kebab shops?

Reading: how to make doner sauce

Good news! I have an easy recipe for that garlic sauce today, so you can make and enjoy it anytime at home!

This recipe was inspired by the garlic sauce at my favorite and the BEST kebab shop (in my honest and humble opinion) in Hong Kong – 27 Kebab House. After years of relishing (read: inhaling) their sauce and asking for EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA sauce in my chicken shish rolls, doner meat kebabs, and doner meat and salad boxes, I decided it was time to make it at home so that I could douse everything in it.

This garlic sauce is wonderfully creamy with a mayonnaise and Greek style yogurt base. It also has lovely garlicky notes, and is seasoned with a sprinkling of a Middle Eastern spice blend called za’atar (more about it below).

Once you make this sauce, you’re going to be making it over and over again because it’s SO GOOD on and with everything! 😋

Chicken Shish on tortilla with lettuce, onion, cherry tomatoes, and sauces.

Why This Recipe Works

  • You only need 7 ingredients and 5 minutes to make this garlic sauce in 2 easy steps!
  • It’s made with mostly everyday ingredients. You’ll most likely only have to pick up the za’atar if you don’t have it on hand.
  • It’s wonderfully creamy thanks to using a combination of mayonnaise and Greek style yogurt – not one or the other.
  • It’s versatile because you can use this sauce in many ways. It tastes great in kebabs, but also makes a spectacular salad dressing, dip for french fries or chips, on pizzas, sauce for grilled meats and fish…the options are limitless!
  • It’ll keep for a few days in the fridge, and can be made ahead.


Labeled ingredients for Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce on wooden board.
  • Garlic: I used three fat cloves. I personally like a strong garlicky flavor in my kebab garlic sauce, but see below for tips on how to make garlic milder if you’d like this sauce to have less of a garlic bite to it.
  • Mayonnaise: I use Kraft’s full-fat mayonnaise in my home, but any brand will work. Coincidently, I spotted a few gallon sized bottles of Kraft mayonnaise at my favorite Turkish kebab shop. I highly recommend Kraft Real Mayo to make this garlic sauce because it’s less egg-y tasting than some other brands, and has the perfect amount of creaminess.
  • Plain Greek Style Yogurt: Or use plain yogurt. Don’t use Greek yogurt though – it’s thicker and less fluid in consistency than Greek style and plain yogurt.
  • Lemon: For freshly squeezed lemon juice to give the garlic sauce a hint of tang.
  • Extra Virgin OIive Oil: To make the sauce smooth and more fluid. You can use olive oil instead if you don’t have EVOO on hand.
  • Za’atar Spice Blend. This is a middle eastern spice blend made usually with dried thyme, sumac (a bright red lemony flavored spice), sesame seeds, and sometimes other spices and dried herbs. There are different regional variations, but the first three ingredients will be in most blends. I chose this spice blend because my favorite kebab shop told me they used a mixed herbs blend in their garlic sauce. One time, I “picked apart” their garlic sauce and discovered it had ground coriander, dried oregano, sumac, marjoram, and thyme. My store-bought blend of za’atar is from Marks & Spencer and it has all those dried herbs and spices (except the dried thyme), as well as ground cumin incorporated in it. I recommend it for making this sauce if there’s an M&S near you. Or you can use another store-bought blend or a homemade one. I’ve linked to one that’s similar in flavor to the one I’ve used in the recipe card below if you’d like to order it online.
  • Dried Oregano Flakes: I like to add an extra sprinkle even though my za’atar already has it incorporated in it. You can add more or less to taste.

Read more: how to make a simple white wine sauce | Family Cuisine

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

How to Make Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce

  1. Smash the garlic: Simply smash the garlic cloves into a paste. I like to use my mortar and pestle to achieve a nice and smooth texture.
Smashed garlic in mortar with a spoon.

But if you don’t own a mortar and pestle, you can use a mini blender to pulse the garlic into a paste instead. Alternatively, crush the garlic with the flat side of your knife and then use the back of the knife to smash it into a paste.

2. Combine all the ingredients: Then combine the smashed garlic paste with all the other ingredients in a bowl. Mix it all together until evenly combined, then enjoy!

You can make a spectacular Chicken Shish Kebab Roll with the sauce and drizzle it all over the meat and salad.

Close-up of chicken shish on a tortilla with garlic sauce.

Or make a tasty grilled salmon kebab for an easy lunch!

Close-up of salmon kebab with garlic sauce wrapped in foil.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips to Make Garlic Milder

Read more: How to make Teriyaki Sauce | Family Cuisine

If you prefer this sauce to have a milder garlic flavor, you can…

  • Blanch the garlic. Place the peeled garlic cloves in a bowl of warm water from the kettle for 5 minutes. Then pat-dry the cloves and let cool completely before smashing into a paste.
  • Microwave the garlic. Place the peeled cloves in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Let cool completely before smashing into a paste.

I don’t recommend roasting the garlic for this sauce in the oven as it will make it sweeter.

Front view of garlic sauce in a bowl with a spoon.


Ways To Serve Garlic Sauce

Besides drizzling the delicious sauce over the meat and vggies in your kebabs, you can use it as a…

  • Dip for chips or french fries. (Fritos Corn Chips and thick cut fries taste AMAZING with this sauce!!)
  • Dressing for salads.
  • Dipping sauce for pizza.
  • Sandwich spread.
  • Sauce for grilled meat or fish. (Grilled chicken, pork chops, salmon, cod, etc.)
Garlic sauce in bowl and close-up of chicken shish. Text overlay

More Dips, Condiments, and Sauces

  • Thai Sweet Basil Roasted Tomato Salsa
  • Cooling Cumber & Mint Yogurt Dip
  • Homemade Spicy Mayonnaise
  • Or browse the entire Dips, Condiments, and Sauces recipe collection.

MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment and review it below with a star rating! I always appreciate your feedback. Take a photo and be sure to tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick so I can see. 😉

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