The Best Garlic Butter

Use this garlic butter to make garlic bread, melt over steamed vegetables, or make a quick pasta side dish.

Use this garlic butter to make The Best Garlic Bread, melt over steamed vegetables, or make a quick pasta side dish.

There is a fancy French name for this butter recipe, but it is so easy I don’t think we need to complicate it with hard-to-pronounce words. We’ll just call it the best garlic butter.

As a matter of fact, the most difficult part of this recipe is waiting for the butter to come to room temperature. But it is worth it.

Making Garlic Butter

I usually start with unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt that goes into my food. But salted butter works, too. Just remember to taste the mixture before you add more salt.

I like to use fresh ingredients so my best garlic butter has fresh garlic, minced shallot or onion, and fresh parsley in it. But since I don’t always have all of these things on hand, I also have learned how to make it delicious using pantry staples. If you know the amounts to use, you can totally use garlic powder instead of garlic, onion powder instead of onion, and dried parsley instead of fresh.

Here are the conversions from fresh ingredients to pantry staples:

  • I believe the more garlic the better. If you prefer less garlic, you could reduce the number of cloves. Not too much, this is garlic butter after all. To determine how much garlic powder to use in place of fresh garlic, remember that 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder approximately replaces one garlic clove.
  • I like the shallot to play a supporting role in this recipe, so I would caution using any more than 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder in its place. For reference, 1 teaspoon of onion powder is equal to a little over 5 tablespoons of onion.
  • When dried, parsley reduces to half its fresh volume, so 2 tablespoons of dried parsley will replace 1/4 cup of fresh.

Ways to Use the Best Garlic Butter

One of my favorite ways to use this recipe is for garlic bread. But don’t be fooled into thinking that is the only way.  How about melting a pat over your favorite vegetables? Need a quick side dish? Pasta with a garlic butter sauce and a grating of Parmesan is always a crowd-pleaser in our house. Need something a little fancy? Adding a dollop over a steak will make people wonder where you are hiding your personal chef.

Simple, versatile, and freezable are three reasons I always have this garlic butter on hand.



The Best Garlic Butter

  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup


Use this garlic butter to make garlic bread, melt over steamed vegetables, or make a quick pasta side dish.

Note: This recipe originally called for 2 tsp. of garlic powder. We’ve since retested and adjusted the measurements, but are letting you know in case you’ve made it that way before and enjoyed!


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/21 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley or 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. minced shallot or onion or 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


  • If freezing, make sure that you leave 1/2 inch of headroom (the space between the butter and the lid) as the butter will expand as it freezes.
  • Alternately, you can shape into rolls by placing 1/2 of the mixture on a piece or wax paper and roll into a log, twist the ends to seal. Repeat with remaining mixture, place in the refrigerator until firm and slice to serve. To freeze place the rolls into a freezer bag.
This post originally appeared in September 2018 and was revised and republished in April 2020.
The Best Garlic Butter

35 responses to “The Best Garlic Butter”

  1. Greg says:

    If one clove of garlic equals one eighth teaspoon, how does the recommended 4 cloves come to 2 teaspoons and not 4 eighths or one half teaspoon?  Please help me.  The recipe looks fantastic I’m just lost.  Thank you!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Thank you for noticing that, Greg. We’ve adjusted the recipe to recommend using 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp of garlic powder if you’re using that instead of fresh.

  2. Amanda B. says:

    Yummy! Saving this recipe to use on garlic bread!

  3. Sarah L says:

    I always have fresh garlic in my kitchen so no garlic substitutions. I’d put it into the rolls to keep since you can just slice off what you need.

  4. Francine Anchondo says:

    I love garlic butter

  5. Cheryl says:

    I’ve never tried making garlic butter. It sounds so good.

  6. Jennifer Phillips says:

    This is great, it got my son to quit using that horrible garlic salt, I always have fresh garlic but he doesn’t want to chop or make anything and this is just wonderful.

  7. sounds like something to try!

  8. Tina Woo says:

    I love having garlic butter on hand in the frig. It adds a little something to sooo many dishes!

  9. Calvin says:

    Smart idea, definitely would lke to make garlic bread.. it’s divine!

  10. Debbie Yoder says:

    We love garlic butter at our house, Im making garlic bread with this recipe!

  11. Maggie Smith says:

    This is an awesome recipe! Thank you for making something so wonderful and simple and not too intimidating!!

  12. Andrea Hatfield says:

    This would be perfect to make homemade garlic bread! Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

  13. Sandy says:

    I make a lot of compound butters and will have to add this to my rotation.

  14. Angelica says:

    Mmmm… Garlic butter is the best! I’ve never thought to add shallots to mine, sounds like the perfect compliment to add in!

  15. Elizabeth C. says:

    I love anything with garlic so this garlic butter would be perfect for bread, veggies, rice… even salmon. Yum

  16. Peacejen says:

    Thank you so much for giving equivalent measures for dried ingredients! Very helpful.

  17. Thomas L. Hart says:

    That’s it??? That’s what I found on the internet??? How uninventive! 

  18. Jill Underwood says:

    Why isnt the oven temp mentioned on a lot of the garlic butter receipes?

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