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This lemon garlic butter sauce is zingy, savory, and perfect for dipping! It takes minutes to whip up with just 5 ingredients.

Lemon garlic butter sauce
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Looking for a tasty and easy dipping sauce? This lemon garlic butter sauce is just 5 ingredients and tastes like a dream! The sauce is punctuated with the zing of fresh lemon juice the irresistible savory notes of garlic. It’s the ideal sauce for fish or chicken, and it’s great for dipping or drizzling over grilled or roasted vegetables. Really anything tastes better with a little garlic lemon butter sauce (in our opinion, at least!).

Ingredients in lemon garlic butter sauce

Lemon garlic butter sauce is simple to whip up and uses only a handful of ingredients! As long as you have a lemon on hand, you’ll likely have the remaining items in your pantry and refrigerator. Here are the 5 ingredients you’ll need for this simple sauce:

  • Salted butter: Salted butter has the best flavor for savory dishes like this sauce! If you don’t have it, you can use unsalted butter and add ⅛ teaspoon extra kosher salt.
  • Garlic cloves: Use real fresh garlic! There’s no substitute here: the jarred version doesn’t hold up flavor-wise.
  • Lemon juice and zest: Again, use a real lemon! Bottled lemon juice doesn’t hold a candle to the real stuff, plus you’ll need lemon zest to really infuse that citrus flavor.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley adds a nice color contrast; it’s optional if you don’t have it on hand.
  • Kosher salt: salt is crucial for the flavor here.
How to zest a lemon

Best way to zest a lemon

The quickest and best way to zest a lemon is to use a microplane grater. A microplane is a handheld grater with sharp holes in it, which is quicker and more consistent than using a box grater or a zester. Here’s how to zest a lemon with a microplane:

  1. Hold the microplane in one hand, place one end on a flat surface and hold it at an angle.
  2. Hold the lemon in the other hand, and drag it down over the microplane holes (or the holes of the box grater). Important: make sure to remove the yellow part of the skin only; avoid the bitter white pith.
  3. Gradually turn the lemon until all yellow parts of the peel have been removed.

Dietary swaps

This lemon garlic butter sauce is vegetarian and gluten-free. Want to make it dairy-free or vegan? Simply use vegan butter! This simple swap works well and still offers great flavor.

Lemon garlic butter sauce

Ways to use garlic lemon butter sauce

There are endless ways to use lemon garlic butter sauce: it’s fantastic with fish, chicken, wings, vegetables, and more! It’s intended as a dipping sauce, though you could also use it with pasta as well. Here are some ways to use it:

Variation: try it with pasta!

This lemon garlic butter sauce also works with pasta! Though it’s intended for dipping, it also works well to make a tasty and simple side dish. Combine this recipe with 8 ounces of spaghetti noodles: and if desired, top with grated Parmesan cheese! You can also double the garlic for an even more garlicky flavor. See Garlic Butter Noodles.

Lemon garlic butter sauce

Storage info

Lemon garlic butter sauce is best the day of making, but it also stores well! Store leftovers refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 1 month. Keep in mind, the sauce solidifies when cold so re-heat on the stovetop before serving. Also, the parsley loses its bright green color during storage. If you’d like, add more fresh chopped parsley when serving.

More sauce recipes

Simple sauces take a meal from good to great! Here are a few more of our favorite easy sauce recipes:

This lemon garlic butter sauce is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, use vegan butter.

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Lemon garlic butter sauce

Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ¼ cup 1x

Description

This lemon garlic butter sauce is zingy, savory, and perfect for dipping! It takes minutes to whip up with just 5 ingredients.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter*
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan or skillet over low heat.
  2. Once melted, add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute (keep the heat low and don’t let it brown!).
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, chopped parsley and kosher salt.
  4. Serve immediately. Store leftovers refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 1 month; it solidifies when cold so re-heat on the stovetop before serving. Note that the parsley loses its bright green color; you can add more fresh chopped parsley when serving.

Notes

*This quantity makes ¼ cup and is easy to double to make a larger recipe. If all you have is unsalted butter, add an additional ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt to the recipe.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • 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 for memorable kitchen moments! 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!