This easy garlic butter sauce recipe is an excellent way to add savory, buttery flavor to meats, seafood and vegetables! Just four simple ingredients and 10 minutes of prep is all you need to make a buttery, delicious sauce that is rich and luscious and garlic-packed. It's bound to become your favorite way to serve seafood, steak or chicken, whether you're making an elegant "seacuterie" platter or drizzling it over smoked tri-tip.
Is there anything better than a rich, garlic-y, buttery sauce?! A small spoonful on halibut and steak is perfection, but it also makes a great dipping sauce too (lobster tails, anyone?!).
This one is quick, easy and versatile. So versatile, in fact, that I'm sharing a number of different flavor variations in the recipe so you have a garlic butter sauce that suits all your needs!
why this recipe works
Have I also mentioned it's an incredibly versatile recipe? I like to toss in fresh herbs like dill, rosemary or oregano, but you can also add a touch of lemon zest for a brighter, citrus-forward sauce.
- a homemade garlic butter sauce that's so simple to make
- versatile and easy to adapt
- low carb, gluten free and keto friendly
- a luscious sauce with a rich, buttery, savory flavor!
Four basic ingredients are all you need for this easy sauce recipe. I love using a European style butter or a high-quality, grass-fed butter like Kerrygold (you really can taste the difference). However, it's not entirely necessary.
Here's what you'll need:
- Salted butter. If using a grass-fed butter that comes in 8-ounce blocks, cut it in half. Otherwise, one stick of salted butter (4 ounces) is all you need unless you're doubling the recipe.
- Fresh garlic cloves. For that fresh garlic flavor. Store-bought minced garlic is also fine.
- Lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice adds a subtle, bright flavor that balances out the savory.
- Fresh herbs. A little bit of fresh parsley, fresh rosemary or dill tossed into the sauce at the very end can add a whole new depth of flavor. I recommend picking one fresh herb (versus a combination) so that specific herb is pronounced.
how to make garlic butter sauce
This homemade garlic butter sauce recipe is quick and easy!
Here's a look at the process but be sure to check out the full recipe card at the bottom of the page for all of the details and ingredient amounts.
In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Continue heating it until it reaches a very low sizzle.
Stir the minced garlic into the melted butter. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped herbs and lemon juice.
Remove the pan from the heat. Taste the butter sauce and adjust as needed, adding a bit of salt or lemon juice if desired. Serve immediately or transfer the garlic butter sauce to a small serving dish.
tips for the best results
This is such a simple garlic butter sauce recipe and a tough one to mess up, but I do have some tips for success.
- Do not overcook the butter unless you are going for brown butter, an entirely different process. If you're interested in how to make brown butter for seafood, check out my pan-seared halibut recipe.
- Only cook the garlic until it's lightly browned and fragrant. Watch it closely as it can burn quickly.
- If you'd like a thicker sauce, whisk in a thickening agent like cornstarch, arrowroot powder or xanthan gum. I prefer a pinch (about ⅛ teaspoon) of xanthan gum because it's low-carb and a little bit goes a long way.
- If you are sensitive to salt, I recommend using unsalted butter and adding salt to taste at the very end. Feel free to also add a dash of black pepper!
storing and re-heating garlic butter sauce
- Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Reheat it in the microwave, warming it for 10-second increments at a time and stirring afterward. You can also pour it in a small saucepan and reheat the garlic butter sauce over the stove.
variatons for garlic butter sauce
The best part about this simple recipe is that you can use it as a base and create other flavor variations! If you're looking for the perfect dipping sauce for seafood recipes, try adding these ingredients for different variations:
- Cajun seasoning
- Old bay seasoning (perfect if serving with seafood)
- a splash of white wine
- red pepper flakes, sriracha or a bit of hot sauce for a dash of heat and a mildly spicy sauce
- a dash of garlic powder for an even more intense, garlic-y sauce
- fresh lemon zest
If you give this recipe a try and love it too, please consider leaving a five-star review and/or comment below! Or connect with me on Instagram- I love seeing what you're making. 🙂
you might also love...
Tomatillo green chili salsa, a simple and flavorful green salsa made with charred tomatillos, green chiles and creamy avocado.
Traeger smoked asparagus, a.k.a. my favorite way to enjoy this vegetable! It's smoky, savory, and is also a great vessel for this rich garlic butter sauce.
- ½ cup salted butter (preferably grass-fed butter)*
- 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh herb of choice, chopped (parsley, rosemary, dill, chives, etc.)
- In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Continue heating it until it reaches a very low sizzle (about 2-3 minutes).
- Stir in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped herb and lemon juice and stir to mix well.
- Remove from heat. Taste and adjust as needed (i.e. a dash of salt or more lemon juice).
- Transfer the garlic butter sauce to a small serving dish and serve immediately.
- To use unsalted butter, add salt to taste at the very end.
- Cook the garlic until it's lightly browned and fragrant. Watch it closely as it can burn quickly.
- For a thicker sauce, whisk in a thickening agent like cornstarch, arrowroot powder or xanthan gum. I prefer a pinch (about ⅛ teaspoon or less) of xanthan gum because it's low-carb and a little bit goes a long way.
- Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Reheat it in the microwave, warming it for 10-second increments at a time and stirring afterward. You can also pour it in a small saucepan and reheat on the stove over low heat.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.