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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman, Design: Kitchn

Garlic Butter Sauce

updated Aug 17, 2022
Snapshot Cooking
Garlic Butter Sauce

This simple formula upgrades everything it touches, from shrimp and salmon to mushrooms and potatoes.

Makes1/2 cup

Prep5 minutes

Cook5 minutes to 10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn’s easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.

Garlic butter strikes the perfect balance of simple and stunning, making everything it graces more luscious and flavorful. If you hadn’t thought to cook or finish your weeknight favorites in a basic garlic butter sauce, then your Wednesday potatoes are sorely missing out.

This Snapshot Cooking will walk you through a basic formula for garlic butter, and then show you how to use it to flavor everything from shrimp to steak.

Five Flavorful Garlic Butters for Every Night of the Week

  • The basic garlic butter formula: 1 stick unsalted butter + 4 cloves minced garlic + 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs + 1 teaspoon kosher salt/spice 
  • The cooking methods: Garlic butter is as straightforward as cooking garlic and butter together, but how you use it (and when you add the garlic) depends on what you’ll be cooking in it.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman, Design: Kitchn

Creole Garlic Butter Shrimp 

Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, and 1 1/2 pounds medium cleaned and peeled shrimp. Simmer until the shrimp are opaque‚ about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and garnish with 1/4 cup sliced scallions.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman, Design: Kitchn

Classic Garlic Butter Steak Bites 

Cut 2 pounds thick-cut New York strip steaks into 1-inch cubes and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium high-heat. Add steak cubes and sear until browned, flipping them halfway through, 6 to 8 minutes total. Add 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and garnish with 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman, Design: Kitchn

Herby Garlic Butter Mushrooms

Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 pound cremini mushrooms and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook undisturbed until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip the mushrooms and cook undisturbed until browned on the second side and tender, about 5 minutes more. Add 4 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme leaves, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Get the recipe: Garlic Butter Mushrooms

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman, Design: Kitchn

Greek Garlic Butter Roasted Potatoes

Heat the oven to 400ºF. Peel and cut 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 stick melted unsalted butter in a large bowl. Add 4 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss again. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast, flipping the potatoes with a wide, flat spatula halfway through, until tender and golden-brown, 35 to 45 minutes total. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves and toss to combine.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman, Design: Kitchn

Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon  

Pat 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets dry with a paper towel, then season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the salmon skin-side up and and sear until golden-brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip the salmon. Add 1 stick unsalted butter and 4 cloves minced garlic and continue to cook, occasionally using a spoon to baste the salmon with the butter, until the salmon is just cooked through cooked, about 4 minutes more. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves and drizzle with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve with lemon wedges.

Garlic Butter Sauce

This simple formula upgrades everything it touches, from shrimp and salmon to mushrooms and potatoes.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Makes 1/2 cup

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup

    (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 4 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup

    chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, or chives

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, or spices of your choice

Instructions

  1. To make garlic butter in advance, combine the butter, garlic, herbs, and salt in small bowl and mix until well combine. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

  2. When you're ready to use, melt the garlic butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, cook until fragrant, about one minute.