This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclaimer.
Prepare to be obsessed with Zhoug Sauce! This spicy cilantro sauce is a classic Middle Eastern condiment you can put on anything, like eggs, steak, sandwiches, and more. Whip it up in just 5 minutes and enjoy!
Push the chimichurri and pesto aside because it’s time for Zhoug Sauce to shine. This spicy Middle Eastern herb sauce is made from cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, spices, and oil. Its roots are in Yemen but has gained popularity throughout Israel, Syria, and even in Western countries thanks to Trader Joe’s pre-packaged version.
The beauty of this zhoug sauce recipe is that it takes 5 minutes to make and can be used on practically anything. You’ll often find zhoug being used as a dip for falafel and flatbread or stirred into hummus in the Middle East, but I especially love it spread onto breakfast sandwiches and as a dip for my easy steak bites. Lucky for you, there is no wrong way to use it!
- An easy, spicy cilantro sauce with Middle Eastern roots.
- It’s bound to become your new go-to sauce.
- So much better than Trader Joe’s zhoug!
- Brush it onto grilled meats, egg sandwiches, stir a dollop into hummus, or drizzle it over a salad.
- Cilantro - No substitutes here! Cilantro is the star of the show and provides the sauce with its signature bright and herbaceous taste. If you really don’t like cilantro, try making the sauce with part cilantro and part parsley.
- Jalapeño peppers - Remove the veins and seeds to make the sauce less spicy, but reserve the seeds in case you want it to be spicier.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic cloves make it extra savory.
- Spices - Red pepper flakes, cumin, cardamom, and salt will help round out the flavors.
- Olive oil - To help emulsify the sauce. Avocado oil works too.
Step 1: Place everything in the food processor. Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil into the food processor. Pulse to break up the peppers, garlic, and herbs.
Step 2: Slowly add the oil. Pour the olive oil into the processor slowly through the top. Keep pulsing until everything comes together.
Step 3: Serve or store for later. Use the zhoug sauce right away or store it for later.
Expert tips and FAQs
- You can make the sauce in a blender if you don’t have a food processor.
- A true zhoug should be spicy but if you want to lessen the heat slightly, make sure to remove all of the seeds and veins from the jalapenos or use one less jalapeno.
- Is it not spicy enough? Keep the jalapeno seeds or veins intact and add an extra sprinkle of red chili flakes.
- Deepen the flavors by letting the sauce chill in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.
How do you use zhoug sauce?
Zhoug sauce has endless uses and will give any meal a boost. Use these ideas to get started:
- Dip it: Surround a bowl of zhoug with pita bread, easy steak bites, roasted carrots, falafel, or chicken tenders for dipping.
- Swirl it: Into other dips, like homemade hummus, whipped feta, or yogurt sauce.
- Spread it: A little zhoug spread on a breakfast sandwich, lamb burger, or vegetable wrap goes a long way.
- Drizzle it: Over broccoli cauliflower salad, scrambled eggs, cod lettuce wraps, roasted red pepper hummus flatbread, Mediterranean hummus bowls, or roasted vegetables.
- Brush it: Onto grilled meat, fish, tempeh, tofu, or vegetables.
How long does it last?
Zhoug sauce will last for up to 1 week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Can you freeze zhoug sauce?
This herby green sauce is best served fresh but it can be frozen if you really don’t want to waste the leftovers. To freeze, pour the herby green sauce into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Transfer the zhoug cubes to a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 1 month.
More homemade condiments
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
- food processor
- Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil to a food processor and pulse for 15 seconds. Then, with the motor still running, pour the olive oil in through the top and pulse until the sauce is smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Taste, and add more salt if needed. If you want it to be spicier, add some of the reserved jalapeño seeds. Enjoy!