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Garlic Butter Sauce

Jul 12, 2022 | 0 comments

This super easy garlic butter sauce takes less than 5 minutes to make and upgrades any dish. Serve with steak, drizzle over potatoes, salmon, shrimp, chicken, and roasted veggies, toss through pasta or use it as a dipping sauce for garlic dinner rolls.

Garlic butter sauce in a small glass bowl, with a gold spoon with sauce on it, on a grey marble background.

Let’s be honest. There’s not a lot garlic and butter doesn’t make better. But putting them together? Ohhhhh goodness me. This sauce is SO good and you won’t believe how easy it is to make. It’s literally a case of melting butter, adding garlic and a couple of other delicious add-ins and you’re done in less than 5 minutes.

Plus it’s the most versatile sauce around. No matter what you’re cooking, this sauce will take it to another level. It’s perfect with steak, drizzled over chicken or fish, tossed through roast vegetables, poured on top of flatbreads, used as a dipping sauce for your pizza crusts or tossed through garlic butter potatoes. The possibilities are endless.


Not only is this recipe super quick, but it uses just a handful of ingredients you’ll probably already have in your kitchen. And if you don’t, there are some easy substitutions you can make.

Garlic butter sauce ingredients lying on a grey marble background.
  • Unsalted butter. I’m using unsalted here because it means you can control the level of salt, but use regular salted butter if that’s all you can find. You’ll just need to give it a taste and check how salty it is, then potentially cut down the salt you’re adding.
  • Garlic. This recipe uses 6 raw cloves so it’s pretty garlicky, but this IS a garlic sauce so I love it that way. Cut out a clove or 2 if you’d like yours milder.
  • Parsley. I love the herby freshness parsley brings to the sauce (always use flat leaf) but you could skip it if you don’t have any, or use another herb like thyme, rosemary or oregano. You could also add some dried herbs if you like.
  • Lemon juice. Butter is rich, so the lemon is here to cut through that richness. It also provides a delicious acidic hit which makes the other flavours sing. Try to use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled for the best flavour.
  • Fish sauce. Ok, hear me out! Fish sauce is my biggest secret in the kitchen. It’s made from fermented anchovies which I know sounds scary, but I add it to A LOT of things. It just brings an insanely delicious, savoury, umami depth that salt alone can’t do. It doesn’t taste fishy at all when you add it to this sauce, I promise. But, if you’re a fish sauce hater, vegetarian or you just don’t have any, you can leave it out.

How to make the sauce

Melt your butter, then add the crushed garlic, fish sauce, lemon juice and salt and turn the heat to low. Let the sauce cook for a couple of minutes and keep stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.

PRO TIP: Keep an eye on it because garlic can very quickly turn, so once it’s starting to smell super fragrant and garlicky, take it off the heat. The garlic will keep cooking in the hot butter so you don’t want it to start getting golden and brown over the heat.

When the pan is off the heat, add the parsley and stir it through the sauce. You can use it straightaway, or store and reheat to use later. The sauce will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for 1 week and you can just microwave it at 30-second intervals when you want to serve it.

Got a question?

What can I use this sauce for?

The possibilities are genuinely endless with this sauce. There isn’t a lot that a garlic butter sauce doesn’t make better, but here are some of my favourite ideas!
– drizzle it over steak
– spoon on top of quick, no yeast garlic butter dinner rolls
– toss through pasta to make lemon garlic butter pasta
– pour over grilled shrimp
– use as a sauce with grilled chicken
– make garlic butter potatoes
– drizzle over flatbreads for instant garlic bread.

Can I freeze the garlic butter sauce?

I wouldn’t freeze the sauce because it won’t defrost well – melted butter doesn’t act the same as non-melted butter in this way – because melting it essentially separates the solids from the liquid, when you freeze it it will turn out a little grainy in texture which you don’t want. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 1 week and use it in lots of ways, so don’t be worried about having too much leftover.

Do I have to use fish sauce?

No, you don’t! It will be delicious without it, it just makes it even more delicious. If you’re a vegetarian or just don’t like or have fish sauce around, then just leave it out.

I don’t have any fresh herbs, what else can I use?

You can add dried herbs into the sauce in place of the fresh herbs, but add them along with all the other ingredients, rather than stirring them off the heat. Dried parsley, mint, thyme, rosemary, basil or oregano would work really well here.

Like this recipe? Here are some others you might enjoy

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

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Garlic butter sauce in a small glass bowl, with a gold spoon with sauce on it, on a grey marble background.

4 Minute Garlic Butter Sauce

  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 3/4 cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This super easy garlic butter sauce takes less than 5 minutes to make and upgrades any dish. Serve with steak, drizzle over potatoes, salmon, prawns, chicken, roasted veggies, toss through pasta or use it as a dipping sauce. You’re going to love it!


Units Scale
  • 125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Prepare the garlic. If you prefer chunkier pieces of garlic, chop them finely with a knife, otherwise, use a garlic press or grate the cloves using a fine grater like a microplane.
  2. Make the sauce. Add 125g / 1/2 cup of butter to a small pan over medium heat and let it melt, stirring. Turn the heat to low and add the garlic, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (if you’re using it) and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring until the garlic is starting to smell deliciously fragrant. This should take 2 minutes. Keep the heat on low and make sure you’re watching the sauce because you don’t want the garlic to burn. You also don’t want the butter to start browning.
  3. Finish the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the chopped parsley. And you’re done! It’s now ready to be used however you like. This sauce is gorgeous with steak, fish, and chicken, drizzled over roasted vegetables or tossed through garlic butter potatoes.


INGREDIENT NOTES: The fish sauce adds a lovely deep, savoury element to the sauce (and I promise it’s not fishy at all), but you can leave it out if you like. Swap the parsley for fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano, or use dried herbs. We’re using unsalted butter so that it’s easier to control the level of salt in the sauce, but you can use regular salted butter. Give it a taste before starting so you know how salty it is, then you can reduce the salt you add if you like.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Store the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week. To reheat, pop in the microwave and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring, until melted.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: There are so many things you can use this sauce for. I love it with steak, drizzled over chicken, fish, shrimp, or tossed through roasted vegetables or potatoes. It’s also fabulous as a dipping sauce with flatbreads, quick dinner rolls or pita, and delicious for dunking your pizza crusts into!

  • Prep Time: 2
  • Cook Time: 2
  • Category: sauces
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: mediterranean


  • Serving Size: 30g

Keywords: butter sauce, garlic butter,


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





This e-book includes my absolute favourite fakeaway recipes (popular takeaway dishes you can make at home!)

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