This simple garlic butter recipe is the key that opens the door to all kinds of delicious dishes! Add it to meat, vegetables, and pasta—or slather it onto a loaf of Italian bread for the best homemade garlic bread you’ve ever had.
Why you’ll love it: Garlic butter is easy to make and can be frozen for up to a month. Make a double batch so you can easily pull some from the freezer when you need it.
How long it takes: 5 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: small mixing bowl
Servings: ½ cup
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 About this Garlic Butter Recipe
- 3 Ingredients you’ll need
- 4 Garlic 101
- 5 How to make Garlic Butter
- 6 Helpful Tips
- 7 How To Soften Butter Quickly
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Ways to Use Garlic Butter
- 10 make This Garlic Butter your own
- 11 Storage Tips
- 12 More Garlicky Recipes
- 13 Get the Recipe: Garlic Butter Recipe
Everyone needs to know how to make garlic butter for bread, veggies, meat, and more. And this is the best garlic butter recipe!
Bold statement, I know. But I can back it up! A lot of garlic butter recipes have garlic powder or fresh minced garlic. This recipe has garlic powder and minced garlic for double the garlic goodness.
You get the pungent bite of fresh garlic and the mellower, savory goodness of garlic powder. Your steaks and steamed veggies will never be the same.
About this Garlic Butter Recipe
- An effortless way to jazz up any dinner. The hardest part is remembering to take the butter out of the fridge so it can soften on the counter. (Anyone else always forget to do that?!) Just mix the butter with the two types of garlic and seasonings and your garlic butter is ready to use on all the things.
- A meal-time multitasker. Speaking of all the things! You can melt garlic butter in a skillet and use it for cooking; you can drizzle it over foods before baking or roasting; you can also use it for dipping or finishing a dish just before serving.
- Make and freeze. Garlic butter lasts for 3 days in the fridge, but you can store it in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw it out when you need it and add a dollop of garlic butter goodness to any meal!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Unsalted Butter: Using unsalted butter allows you to control the flavor of your finished garlic butter. If you only have salted butter on hand, skip the kosher salt, mix the garlic butter, and then season to taste.
- Garlic: Mince the garlic cloves very finely or use a garlic press. You don’t want to get big chunks of garlic in your garlic butter.
- Garlic Powder: Double the garlic, double the flavor! Garlic powder is simply dehydrated garlic that’s ground into a fine powder. Don’t substitute garlic salt which is mostly salt and very little garlic.
- Parsley: Parsley adds color and a little bit of herbaceous flavor. If you don’t have parsley on hand or if you don’t care for the green flecks, you can omit it.
- Kosher Salt: The best salt to use for cooking.
- Black Pepper: Coarse, freshly ground black pepper has the strongest flavor.
Choose a head of garlic that is firm and solid. Avoid garlic with green sprouts. Although the sprouts are safe to eat, they can be bitter. Store garlic in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. Do not store garlic in plastic bags.
Just as a reminder, a head of fresh garlic is made up of several small cloves. Peel the head, separate the cloves, and peel the cloves.
The cloves vary widely in size. If you love garlic, choose the larger cloves or use several small cloves.
How to make Garlic Butter
Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and mix until well-combined.
Use right away or refrigerate for later; be sure to let the garlic butter soften slightly before you use it.
Mince the garlic finely. A garlic press is ideal but if you don’t have one, mince the garlic as finely as possible. Garlic from a jar is okay but I really prefer the flavor of fresh garlic.
Dry the fresh parsley. After you wash the parsley, a lot of water may cling to the leaves. As we all know, water and oil don’t mix! Be sure to dry the parsley as well as you can. A salad spinner works well or pat off excess moisture with paper towels.
Soften the butter! This is indisputably the most important tip. If the butter is rock hard, it will be impossible to incorporate the added ingredients. The butter should be at room temperature. Take it out of the refrigerator an hour ahead of time, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Conversely, you don’t want the butter to get too soft and melty either. According to Land O’ Lakes, you can tell if it’s just right by squishing it lightly between your fingers. It should leave an indentation but still hold its shape.
How To Soften Butter Quickly
There are a few ways to soften the butter more quickly than leaving it at room temperature. Here are a few time-saving tips:
- Cut the stick of butter into small cubes and spread them out. The cubes will soften in a fraction of the time.
- Grate the cold butter. Partially unwrap the butter, using the paper to hold it while you grate. It will soften almost instantly.
- Microwave the stick of cold butter. This is a little tricky to do without melting the butter but I’ve done it many times. Microwave butter on low power (20%) in 15 -second increments. checking each time to see if it’s soft enough.
Because it contains fresh garlic and parsley, this recipe only lasts for about 3 days in the refrigerator. You can store it in the freezer for up to a month.
Garlic butter is fine in moderation. Garlic has a number of health benefits but butter is a high fat, calorie dense food.
Ways to Use Garlic Butter
Make the best crispy garlic bread with homemade garlic butter. Slather garlic butter on slices of Italian bread and broil them briefly. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, too, if you want. Be sure to try my Texas toast garlic bread recipe! It’s a hundred times better than pre-made frozen garlic bread.
Use this compound butter to give buttered noodles an upgrade; add a pat to mashed red potatoes or baked potatoes. Drizzle melted garlic butter over roasted butternut squash or Instant Pot sweet potatoes.
Spread fragrant garlic butter onto warm crusty Dutch oven bread or Irish soda bread. It’s wonderful on warm cornbread muffins, too. Take your burgers, pulled pork, and hot dogs up a notch by buttering the buns with garlic butter and toasting them briefly. You won’t believe how good that is!
Garlic butter slathered over corn-on-the-cob is heavenly. Try it on any roasted vegetable or sautéed vegetable, especially sautéed mushrooms.
make This Garlic Butter your own
- Use roasted garlic: Instead of fresh garlic cloves, add a whole head of mashed roasted garlic. Roasted garlic has a more mellow, caramelized flavor, giving this recipe a completely different spin.
- Make it vegan: Use your favorite plant-based butter for a dairy-free version of this recipe.
- Try a different herb: Minced thyme leaves, chives, rosemary, lemon balm, or sage will give your butter a more herbaceous flavor.
- Longer-keeping garlic butter: If you want your butter to keep longer in the fridge, omit the fresh garlic and fresh parsley. Use garlic powder (1 to 2 teaspoons) and a couple pinches of dried parsley.
- More compound butter recipes: If you like the idea of compound butter (butter with flavors added), be sure to try my cranberry cinnamon honey butter, orange honey butter, and gingerbread butter.
Refrigerate: Store for up to three days in the refrigerator. Because this compound butter contains fresh garlic and herbs, it won’t keep as long as plain butter does. If you would like to make a garlic butter that you can store longer, omit the fresh garlic and parsley. Use dried garlic powder and dried parsley instead.
Freeze: Roll the butter into a log in plastic wrap, place the butter log in an airtight container, and freeze for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
- In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, minced garlic, garlic powder, chopped parsley, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. Soften slightly before adding to steak, chicken, potatoes, vegetables, corn, pasta, bread or whatever you’d like!
- Storage: Refrigerate for up to three days. To freeze, roll into a log, place in an airtight container, and freeze for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. You can cut a portion off the log while it’s still frozen and put the remainder back in the freezer.
- Longer-keeping garlic butter: If you want a garlic butter that will keep longer in the fridge, omit the fresh garlic and fresh parsley. Use garlic powder (1 to 2 teaspoons) and a couple pinches of dried parsley.
- Instead of parsley, add an herb of your choice. Try finely chopped chives, rosemary, oregano, sage, or lemon balm.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.