Garlic butter sauce is a super simple sauce that can be used for many things like pasta, steak and seafood.
This garlic butter sauce recipe can be used for a variety of different dishes. Today I am using it to toss with pasta for a simple side.
Why this recipe works
- The sauce is 2 basic ingredients that add lots of flavor to many dishes.
- Served on pasta makes a quick and easy side dish or even main meal.
- Also makes a great dipping sauce for things like bread sticks, mozzarella sticks and pizza rolls.
Butter – Use unsalted butter so that you can control the sodium. Each brand adds different levels of salt so using unsalted lets you season to your taste.
Garlic – You will need 6 cloves of garlic, minced small. You can use a knife, microplane or garlic press.
Salt and Pepper – Add a little seasoning to the sauce.
If using this garlic butter sauce for pasta, you will also need about one box of your favorite pasta shape like spaghetti or fettuccine.
How to make garlic butter sauce
Scroll to the bottom for full printable recipe, ingredients and video.
- Pasta: Begin by cooking your pasta according to box directions.
- Sauce: Place butter in a large saucepan or skillet and melt over medium heat. Add in minced garlic and stir until the garlic becomes fragrant. This takes about 30-45 seconds. Turn off heat and add salt and pepper.
- Serve: Pour sauce over pasta or whatever dish you are serving it with like steak or seafood.
- Optional garnish: Optional sprinkle with grated Parmesan and parsley.
How to thicken garlic butter sauce
To thicken this sauce, whisk together 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/2 tablespoon of cold water. Turn the heat down to low and whisk the cornstarch mixture in with the melted butter and garlic. Keep whisking until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
How to store
Store: This sauce and pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Reheat: Since it is made out of butter is will solidify, just add back into a small saucepan to reheat. It can also be warmed in the microwave.
Freeze: This sauce does not freeze well. It’s very quick and easy to make so I would recommend making it fresh.
Recipe tips and variations
- It’s important not to burn the butter or the garlic. Make sure to cook over medium heat or even medium-low. Once the garlic is added to the skillet, constantly stir so that it doesn’t burn.
- For a small variation, add about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the sauce once it’s finished cooking. This is great for seafood like lobster or shrimp.
- If you like a little extra spice, add 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
- How much butter is in a stick? Find out all about butter conversion and get a free printable measurement chart.
What to serve with garlic butter sauce?
I love serving this sauce over pasta. It is a great way to give plain pasta a little flavor without having to use a marinara or alfredo sauce. A few of our favorite things to pair it with are:
More pasta recipes
- Baked Mostaccioli – Pasta, sausage and cheese baked together for a comfort food meal.
- Baked Ravioli – Super easy dinner using frozen or fresh ravioli.
- Chicken Lasagna – A different twist on classic lasagna.
***If you made this recipe, please feel free to leave a comment and star rating below.
Garlic Butter Sauce
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- ground black pepper
- 1 lb pasta fettuccine or spaghetti
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- optional parsley for garnish
- Cook the pasta according to directions and drain once finished cooking.
- While pasta is cooking, add butter to large saucepan or skillet and heat over medium.
- Once butter has melted, stir in garlic. Keep stirring to prevent it from burning for about 30 seconds. Turn off heat and stir in salt and pepper.
- Pour over cooked pasta or desired food like steak or fish.
- If making pasta, sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for garnish.