My Garlic Butter Sauce recipe is super simple, super delicious, and super quick - ready in just 5 minutes!
Why you will love this recipe!
Whatever you’ve cooked that you feel needs a little added flavor, this easy garlic butter sauce is an excellent option. It pairs particularly well with pasta to create a simple but tasty side dish. Or drizzle it over vegetables like potatoes, broccoli and mushrooms to really pack a punch of flavor! Alternatively, this makes an amazing garlic butter dipping sauce to accompany your favorite steak or seafood meal.
You might be wondering what is garlic butter sauce made of? This delicious sauce is just butter, garlic, parsley and salt. It's very simple but incredibly flavorsome!
The rich, buttery, and full bodied flavor appeals to adults and children alike, and can be easily adapted to complement cuisines from all around the world. Please see the ‘variations’ section below for some suggestions, including how to turn my sauce recipe into a zesty lemon delight!
Best of all, you can whip this recipe up in literally five minutes and using only a few basic ingredients. It really is that easy!
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
Table of Contents
Remember I said that my homemade garlic butter sauce used only a few commonly found ingredients? It’s true! Just four ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen:
- Butter - Please use unsalted butter, if you have it. We’ll add a little salt into the recipe, so we don’t need the extra salt from salted butter. Please also use real butter - not margarine, and not olive oil. Real butter adds a depth of flavor that you won’t find in margarine or oil.
- Fresh garlic - I use four cloves, but if you’re looking to keep vampires away, feel free to add an extra clove or two. The hero of this recipe is garlic so fresh garlic is best. Garlic powder won't deliver the same flavor as fresh garlic because it tastes different. Although you can use garlic powder in a pinch!
- Parsley - Fresh, please! I will always let you know if I think you can get away with using dried herbs, but in this instance, fresh parsley is by far and away the better choice. You can use curly/ common parsley, or flat/ Italian parsley. Both will provide a lovely flavor, although the flat/ Italian variety usually has a slightly stronger taste.
- Salt - We’ll add in half a teaspoonful to really bring out the flavors of the butter, garlic, and parsley.
There are several ways you can modify my recipe, which makes it supremely versatile:
- Stir through a tablespoon of lemon juice or the zest of a lemon to add a tangy lemon element to my sauce - perfect over vegetables, fish, or chicken.
- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like to spice things up. Hot-hot-hot!
- Experiment with a range of different fresh herbs to give you the customized accompaniment you’re looking for. You could try basil, tarragon, thyme, sage, or coriander.
- Sprinkle in a decent amount of freshly ground black pepper.
I would love to hear from you if you’ve made this recipe and tried one of the variations - or even if you haven’t! Please feel free to leave me a note below and tell me about your experience, and if you have any suggestions or comments.
Please note that my instructions below correspond with the numbered photos above. For greater detail, see the recipe card.
1. Crush the garlic with half of the salt in a mortar and pestle until it becomes a puree. Alternatively, mince the garlic on a microplane grater or press using a garlic press. Whichever method you use, make sure the garlic is very fine with no large chunks.
2. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat.
3. Add the minced garlic and salt and cook gently medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Don’t allow the garlic to color.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
Alternatively, you could melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Then add the minced garlic and salt and microwave on low power for 1 or 2 minutes in 30 second bursts.
Tips for Success and FAQs
This really is a quick recipe. You do want to make sure you crush the garlic as finely as you can, but please also keep in mind that this is supposed to be quick and easy. Don’t spend so much time making the sauce that your meal gets cold.
If you have some extra time, or you’re already roasting vegetables, try roasting a bulb of garlic. Then mash the soft cloves and stir them through the melted butter - mmmm!
The sauce contains garlic, which is a fabulous source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, and manganese. However, butter is a saturated fat, so although it’s fine to have sometimes, too much or too often is not good for you.
The sauce is a warm, basic butter sauce made from melted butter, pureed (or finely crushed) garlic, salt, finely chopped parsley, and sometimes a little lemon juice. It’s delicious drizzled over vegetables, pasta, steak, or seafood.
Simmering won't thicken this garlic sauce. If you want a thicker sauce, I recommend that you mix together 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cool water and whisk this mixture into the garlic butter sauce. Simmer until it thickens slightly.
I can’t overstate how delicious this sauce is - over almost anything! I suggest using it as a dipping sauce for your favorite seafood or steak recipes, but do you know what I love? Drizzling it over vegetables, like Instant Pot Cauliflower!
My recipe is also a fabulous garlic butter sauce for pasta; try stirring it through tagliatelle or busiate as a very quick, easy, and flavorsome side dish. And don't forget some crusty bread on the side!
Made this recipe?
Let me know if you liked it by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and a comment below. Please share a photo of your creation by tagging me on Instagram @marcellina.in.cucina!
Garlic Butter Sauce Recipe
- 4 oz unsalted butter ½ cup or 115 grams
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In a small mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with half of the salt until it’s minced well. Alternatively mince on a microplane grater or press through a garlic press. Whichever method you use, be sure to have the garlic very fine with no large chunks.
- Heat the butter in a small pan over medium heat until fully melted. Don't allow the butter to boil and burn.
- Add the minced garlic and remaining salt and cook gently for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Don’t allow the garlic to color.
- Remove from the heat and stir in parsley.
- You want to make sure you crush the garlic as finely as you can.
- If you have some extra time, or you’re already roasting vegetables, try roasting a bulb of garlic. Then mash the soft cloves and stir them through the melted butter - mmmm!
- Crush or mince the fresh garlic as per the instructions above.
- Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.
- Add the minced garlic and salt and microwave on low power for 1 or 2 minutes in 30 second bursts.
- Remove from the microwave and stir in the parsley.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.