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This garlic butter sauce is a flavor bomb you didn’t know you needed in your kitchen. It super simple to make and is a great way to level up the flavors in so many great dishes.
What’s so great about this garlic butter sauce
Two simple ingredients come together to make magic. Garlic is one of my favorite “spices” and its found in almost every dinner I make whether it’s pasta, sides or soups.
This homemade butter sauce elevates the garlic to a new level and I've figure out a way to make it quickly and easily. I’m a fan of frozen garlic cubes and that makes this compound butter recipe easier to make than so many others.
- Minced garlic: use a garlic press to easily prepare fresh garlic or use the shortcut frozen garlic cubes to save time
- Butter: Use a good quality butter because it's the star of the recipe. Different butters have different flavors so use one that you love on it's own. Using unsalted butter is important. Salted butter brands each have different salt levels and you want to be in control the amount of salt in the finished dish.
How to make garlic butter sauce
It’s such an easy process you’ll find yourself making this buttery garlic sauce all the time!
Start by adding the butter and garlic cube to small pan. Over medium low heat, melt the butter with the garlic and let cook for a minute until fragrant but not burnt.
Add the remaining butter and salt and cook until completely melted.
Remove from heat and use immediately OR see below for how to prepare ahead of time and store for later use.
Yes, but I would suggest using a garlic press to be sure the garlic is crushed as finely as possible. This will help make sure your garlic butter is evenly flavored. You can also use a jar of minced garlic if that's what you have on hand.
Yes, absolutely. Roasted garlic is a great way to boost the flavor in this butter sauce. Simply squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the butter and follow the recipe as written.
If you want a slightly thicker silky sauce, you can add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to the melted butter and whisk until it's thoroughly combined. This will get you closer to the consistency of that delicious sauce Papa John's sends you with your pizza order 🙂
Garlic butter is great in lots of recipes
While this butter is delicious slathered on a thick piece of sourdough toast or other crusty bread, it’s equally as good in the following places:
- Stirred into the end of a risotto dish with some fresh herbs
- In lemon garlic one pot pasta
- Sauté your favorite veggie in the garlic butter for a real pop of flavor
- As a garlic butter dipping sauce mixed with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (yummy with pizza or breadsticks)
- Melt over low heat and pour over fresh made popcorn
- Spread onto baguette and bake for a quick garlic bread recipe
- Drizzled over sauteed fish like in this recipe
Best way to soften butter
Because you'll want to start off with softened butter in this recipe, here are two simple ways to soften it.
- Simplest method: Leave the butter on the counter for an hour to soften at room temperature.
- Quickest method: Put the stick of butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat at 10 second intervals until the butter is soft enough that when you push on it with your finger it leave a small indention. If it melts too much, simply let cool on the counter for a few minutes until it solidifies a bit.
How to store garlic butter
The best part about this quick recipe (other than the flavor) is that it can easily be made ahead of time. After you've made the sauce, let it cool to room temperature. Then pour it into a small glass airtight container (like to use pint sized mason jars) and pop into the fridge.
Make a compound butter from this recipe
For longer storage you can make this garlic butter sauce into a compound garlic butter. Here's how:
- Instead of melting the butter in small saucepan when you are making it, mix the ingredients together with a mixer (either a stand mixer or hand mixer will work).
- Once the ingredients are all incorporated, lay out a piece of plastic wrap and put the butter on it lengthwise to form a garlic butter log.
- Then using the plastic wrap to help form the log wrap completely in plastic wrap and put into the freezer.
- When you are ready to use, either slice off the amount you'll need or melt the entire log into the garlic butter sauce for your recipe.
One more simple tip
You can play with adding flavors to this simple garlic butter sauce once you have the technique down.
- Want to turn this delicious garlic butter sauce into a lemon garlic butter sauce? Simply add fresh lemon juice to the melted butter and stir to combine. The lemon adds so much flavor.
- Like things a little spicier? Add red pepper flakes to the melted butter sauce right before taking off the heat.
- Like the flavor of fresh herbs? Make a garlic herb butter sauce by finely chopping your favorite herbs and adding them in along with the garlic.
Here are a few other recipes you could easily add the garlic butter sauce to!
Did you try this recipe and and love it? 😍 Let me know by leaving a comment below or 5 ⭐ rating!
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Simple Garlic Butter Sauce
- 1 stick butter
- 3 frozen garlic cubes or 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Melt 2 TB of butter in the pan with the garlic over medium heat. Let cook until fragrant but not browning (about 1 minute)
- Add remaining butter and the salt to the pan and whisk while cooking over medium low heat until the butter is completely melted.
- Take off heat and use immediately.
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