How to Create the Perfect Garlic Butter Sauce

This incredible recipe for a white wine-based garlic butter sauce is a game-changer! Not only is it easy to make, but it also adds a touch of elegance to any dish. Whether you want to enhance your pasta, seafood, or veggies, this versatile sauce has got you covered.

Garlic butter in a white bowl and lobster tails on a plate

Do you ever find yourself making something so often that you forget it’s actually a recipe? Well, that’s how I feel about this easy garlic butter sauce. It’s a simplified version of my beloved garlic and herb compound butter. Consider it the everyday delicate sauce version of my favorite Cajun garlic sauce recipe. I even use a variation of this recipe for my popular garlic butter chicken wings.

Why This Recipe Works

To achieve the best garlic flavor, we skip the garlic powder and pre-chopped garlic. Instead, we use fresh garlic cloves – and plenty of them. The magic lies in caramelizing the fresh garlic, creating a rich and flavorful sauce.

To balance the richness of the butter, we add a hint of acidity. I prefer using white wine because it doesn’t overpower the garlic. However, I’ve also included a lemon garlic butter sauce variation, which is perfect for seafood lovers.

Ingredient Notes

Making homemade garlic butter sauce is a breeze with just a few simple ingredients. Quality is key when it comes to such a simple cooking technique. Let’s start with the butter.

  • Unsalted Butter: Always opt for unsalted butter when cooking from scratch. I highly recommend using European-style butter, which has a higher fat content and more flavor.
  • Fresh Garlic Cloves: This recipe calls for six finely minced cloves of garlic. Use medium to large cloves, which are equivalent to about half a head of garlic.
  • White Wine: I prefer a dry wine, but feel free to use your favorite. If you’re avoiding alcohol, substitute chicken broth or fresh lemon juice.
  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped parsley is my go-to, but chives work wonderfully too.
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Recipe ingredients on a counter

How to Make Garlic Butter Sauce

In case you missed it the first five times I mentioned it, this easy sauce recipe is ready in minutes. Trust me, resist the temptation to make it in the microwave. You’ll thank me later.

Step 1: Carmelize the Garlic

Begin by adding a tablespoon of butter to a small saucepan or saute pan over medium heat. Once melted and sizzling, add the minced garlic. Cook and stir for about a minute until the garlic turns light brown.

Step 2: Deglaze

Pour in the white wine, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for a minute. This step helps cook off the alcohol.

Step 3: Melt the Butter

Add the remaining butter and allow it to fully melt over low heat. Season the sauce to taste, adding about a ¼ teaspoon of salt if using unsalted butter. Stir in the fresh parsley just before serving. For an extra kick, feel free to add black pepper or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

Making garlic butter in a small saute pan

What to Serve with Garlic Butter Sauce

This versatile sauce goes well with a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Toss with pasta and a little pasta water for the perfect garlic butter pasta.
  • Drizzle over roasted zucchini or fresh cooked green beans.
  • Spoon over lobster or use it as a dipping sauce for shrimp.
  • Pair with blackened cod or other seafood recipes.
  • Use it as a replacement for garlic herb butter on gluten-free garlic bread.
  • Baste cast-iron seared steaks for an extra burst of flavor.

Expert Tip

For a creamier texture and better flavor, use unsalted European-style butter or American-cultured butter.

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The beauty of this buttery sauce lies in its adaptability. Here are a few variations to try:

  • Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce: Swap out the white wine for freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Garlic Parmesan Butter Sauce: Add ⅓ cup of grated Parmesan cheese along with the parsley. This version pairs exceptionally well with grilled chicken breast or chicken wings.
  • Roasted Garlic Butter Sauce: Replace the fresh garlic with half a head of roasted garlic.

Lobster tails with butter on a plate


Leftover garlic butter sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Alternatively, you can freeze it for two to three months using small silicone ice trays. It’s perfect for brushing onto pizza crust and other quick sauce needs.

More Easy Sauce Recipes

Looking for more mouthwatering sauce recipes to elevate your dishes? Check out these favorites:

Frequently Asked Questions

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For the full recipe with exact quantities, please visit Family Cuisine.

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