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This garlic butter recipe makes magic with a pop of savory flavor! It’s perfectly seasoned and versatile for bread, pasta, steak and more.

Garlic Butter
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Here’s a kitchen trick that makes magic out of a few simple ingredients: and it’s so irresistible, you’ll want to slather it on everything. As if butter needed to taste better! Try this easy Garlic Butter: a spread so delectable, you won’t be able to pull yourself away from the dish. Slather it on crusty bread, or better yet throw that in the oven to make garlic bread. Or try it as a compound butter on steak, baked or roasted potatoes, and more. From our first taste, we were smitten: and we know you will be too.

How to make garlic butter

Garlic butter is a homemade compound butter: softened butter mixed with garlic, herbs and salt. The extra flavors make the butter into a makeshift spread or sauce that works on roasted or sauteed vegetables, steak, bread, crackers, and more. It’s simple to mix up in just a few minutes. Here are a few tips on how to make garlic butter:

  • Soften the butter. There are a few ways to do this; here’s a quick way: Cut the butter in half lengthwise, then into about 12 pieces total. Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes until softened.
  • Mix with seasonings. Place the butter in a bowl. Grate 1 medium garlic clove into the bowl, then add 1 tablespoon each fresh chives and parsley, and scant ½ teaspoon salt. Smash and stir into the butter until it’s fully combined.

If desired, you can add more herbs to the butter for an even stronger, more nuanced flavor. Go to Garlic Herb Butter.

Garlic butter

A faster way to soften butter: the microwave

Want to make this garlic butter recipe…ASAP? You can use a microwave to soften the butter. This isn’t traditionally our favorite way to do so, but it works here. Here’s what to do:

  • Microwave on low power for a few 5 second bursts until it softens, checking after each burst and taking care not to overheat.
  • The microwave method is touchy and cooks unevenly. Be careful that you don’t overheat the butter! Typically we don’t recommend a microwave for softening butter. However, since you’re not using the butter in a baked good (where texture is essential), this technique works as a quick fix.

How to reform garlic butter into a log

You can use this garlic butter right away, spooned out of a shallow dish. But if you prefer to keep it for later, it’s easiest to store it in a log shape. That way you can cut off pieces to use in recipes.

  • Place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use the wrap to roll it into a log shape. You may need to do it a few times to get the ideal shape.
  • Twist the ends closed and refrigerate the garlic butter until it’s solid enough to cut (or until serving). To speed up the cooling process, pop it in the freezer for a minutes until solid.
Garlic butter

A note on the salt content

One note on the salt content in this garlic butter recipe! We prefer using unsalted butter and adding salt so that you can control the flavor. The ideal salt content for us was somewhere between ¼ and ½ teaspoon, so we’ve specified a scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt here. It really makes the flavor pop! Feel free to taste and adjust as necessary.

Ways to use garlic butter

There are many ways to use a great garlic butter: and our favorite is simply on crusty bread. It’s the best fun and simple appetizer for entertaining! Everyone will be wow’ed. Here all our ideas for using this tasty spread:

  • Spread on crusty bread or crostini as an easy appetizer.
  • Make garlic bread! Spread on two sides of a loaf of bread and bake at 350 for 8 minutes, then broil 2 minutes until toasted.
  • Use on steak. Add a slice to a sizzling piece of steak for even more flavor.
  • Add to roasted, mashed or baked potatoes. Toss with Roasted Potatoes after they’re roasted, swirl into Mashed Potatoes or dollop onto a Baked Potato.
  • Add flavor to steamed or sauteed veggies. Try on Steamed Brussels Sprouts or Sauteed Green Beans.
  • Use on pasta. Make a quick pasta sauce by adding garlic butter to taste into a pot of warm pasta and stirring until melted.
Garlic butter

More garlic recipes

Garlic is one of our favorite ingredients of all time to use in the kitchen: the savory pop it brings to dishes is unreal! Here are a few more ways to use it:

This garlic butter recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Garlic Butter

Easy Garlic Butter


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ½ cup butter 1x

Description

This garlic butter recipe makes magic with a pop of savory flavor! It’s perfectly seasoned and versatile for bread, pasta, steak and more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium or 2 small garlic cloves (½ teaspoon grated)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Soften the butter: cut the butter in half lengthwise, then into about 12 pieces total. Let the butter sit at room temperature about 15 minutes until softened. Or, microwave on low power for a few 5 second bursts until it softens, checking after each burst and taking care not to overheat*.
  2. Place the butter in a bowl. Grate the garlic into the bowl, then add the fresh chives, parsley, and salt. Smash and stir into the butter until it’s fully combined.
  3. Use immediately, or if desired, place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use the wrap to roll it into a log. Twist the ends closed and refrigerate until it’s solid enough to cut (or until serving; you can freeze it for a few minutes to speed up the process). The flavor is great right away, and gets even better after refrigeration. Use for spreading on bread, making garlic bread, pasta, steak, potatoes, and more.

Notes

*The microwave method is touchy and cooks unevenly. Be careful that you don’t overheat the butter! Typically we don’t recommend a microwave for softening butter, but since it’s not being used in a baked good, this technique works as a quick fix.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!