Simple Garlic Butter

Simple garlic butter recipe in a crock with bread alongside

The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1/2 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
52 Calories
6g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 52
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 46mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 5mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Garlic butter is the key ingredient in garlic bread, but it can also be used to add flavor to seafood, steaks, vegetables, and pasta. Although you can purchase pre-made garlic butter, it is easy to make at home and better tasting. This simple recipe combines salted butter with minced garlic and some chopped parsley if you like.

When making garlic bread, the ratio of butter to garlic in this recipe is ideal, but if you plan on using the compound butter to add flavor to meat, fish, or vegetables, you may want to increase the amount of butter to mellow out the intensity of the garlic. You can technically use the garlic butter "raw" or cold, but its flavors bloom when served warm. Drizzle it over beer-steamed shrimp, mashed potatoes, or roasted asparagus. For a steakhouse experience, shape your garlic butter into a log, refrigerate it, and cut off a thick coin to top the meat. It's also delicious drizzled over egg noodles with a grating of Parmesan.


Click Play to See This Delicious Garlic Butter Come Together

"This recipe for garlic butter is such a simple one! Within just two steps you have a delicious condiment to top bread, fish, or steak. And, if you happen to have some day-old Italian or French bread, transform it into delicious garlic bread in just 15 minutes by slathering it with this melted mixture." —Victoria Heydt

Simple garlic butter in a small bowl with a spoon
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Simple garlic butter with herbs ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  2. Using a whisk, beat the softened butter until smooth. Blend in the garlic until incorporated, about 1 minute.

    Softened butter being whisked with garlic

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  3. Mix in the parsley if using.

    Parsley added to whipped butter with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  4. If making garlic bread, spread the garlic butter on French or Italian bread before baking. To use on steak, seafood, fish, or vegetables, place a dollop on top of the cooked dish. Otherwise, transfer the butter to a ramekin, or form it into logs using parchment paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Serve and enjoy.

    Italian bread split open and spread with garlic herb butter

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

Recipe Variations

  • Roasted Garlic Butter: Add half a bulb of roasted garlic (about 4 to 6 cloves) to 1/2 stick of butter. Roasted garlic is sweet, so you can use more of it without the butter seeming overly garlicky. Blend per the recipe's directions.
  • Garlic and Parsley Butter: Purée the garlic butter with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley. Add about 3/4 teaspoon of salt (less if using salted butter) and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Lemon, Garlic, and Parsley Butter: Purée the garlic butter with 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon kosher salt (less if using salted butter), and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed black pepper. If desired, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of minced shallot.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil/Butter: Instead of 4 tablespoons of butter, use half butter and half extra-virgin olive oil; beat along with the crushed garlic.

How to Store Garlic Butter

The compound butter can be kept in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for up to two weeks. For longer storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer where it will last up to a year.


  • If you use unsalted butter, be sure to season it with a pinch of salt before making this recipe.
  • Although you can substitute jarred garlic or garlic powder in this recipe, the complexity of flavor will be a mere shadow of what it would be if you used fresh.
  • If you prefer your butter less garlicky, use just 1 fresh clove of garlic to start.


How to Use Garlic Butter for Garlic Bread

  • Heat the garlic butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes.
  • Split a large 12 1/2-ounce loaf of crusty Italian or French bread in half and place it on a baking sheet, cut-side up. Place the bread under the broiler on high until it is toasted and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully.
  • Generously brush the bread with the garlic butter mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley.
  • If desired, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Return the bread to the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove, cut into wedges, and enjoy.