This white wine garlic butter sauce recipe is a showstopping elegant sauce that only takes a few minutes to make and could not be easier! This versatile recipe can be used on pasta, seafood, veggies, and more!
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Do you ever make something so often and without thinking that you forget it is an actual recipe? That is how I feel about this easy garlic butter sauce recipe. It is the quick version of my garlic and herb compound butter.
📖Why This Recipe Works
In order to get the best garlic flavor, we need to skip the garlic powder and the prechopped garlic. Instead, this recipe uses fresh garlic cloves. And a lot of them.
The key to this delicious sauce is the caramelization of the fresh garlic.
A rich sauce made with butter needs an appropriate amount of acid to cut through the delicious fat. I like to use white wine because it doesn't compete with the garlic flavor.
But I did include a lemon garlic butter sauce variation. It is the perfect garlic butter sauce for seafood!
Homemade garlic butter sauce only requires a few simple ingredients. And with such a simple cooking technique it is critical that they are of good quality. Let's start with butter!
Unsalted Butter- Always use unsalted butter when baking or cooking from scratch. In this recipe, I recommend using European-style butter. In the EU, unsalted butter has to be at least 82% fat. While in the US butter only contains 80% fat and the rest is water.
Unsalted butter also will have a higher fat content than salted butter. More fat equals more flavor! Whichever style you get, just make sure it is high-quality butter.
Fresh Garlic Cloves- This recipe calls for 6 cloves of finely minced garlic. Use medium to large cloves, which are about half a head of garlic.
White Wine- I prefer to use a dry wine but remember, always use a wine you like to drink. If you are avoiding alcohol, try substituting chicken broth or fresh lemon juice.
Fresh Herbs- I prefer chopped parsley but chives are a great option for spring.
⏲️How to Make Garlic Butter Sauce
In case you skipped over the first 5 times I mentioned it, this easy sauce recipe is ready in a couple of minutes. Resist the urge to make this recipe in the microwave. I know that may seem like the easy way, but you shall regret it.
Step 1- Carmelize the Garlic
A quick and gentle saute of the raw chopped garlic will sweeten the flavor of the sauce. No need to use olive oil. Instead, take one tablespoon from your stick of butter and add to a small saucepan (or saute pan).
Melt the butter over medium heat. Once it begins to sizzle add the garlic. Stirring constantly, cook the garlic for a minute.
Step 2- Deglaze
The garlic should turn light brown. Pour in the wine, reduce the burner to low heat, and simmer for a minute.
This is just to cook off the alcohol.
Step 3- Melt the Butter
Add the remaining butter and allow it to fully melt over low heat. Season to taste.
When using unsalted butter I find about a ¼ teaspoon of salt is just about right. Stir in the fresh parsley right before serving.
Black pepper or even a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes is optional.
🥗What to Serve with Garlic Butter Sauce
This easy recipe is more than just melted butter and can add so much flavor to a wide array of dishes. Here are just a few ideas:
- Combine with a little pasta water to make the perfect garlic butter pasta.
- Drizzle over roasted zucchini or fresh cooked green beans.
- Spoon over lobster or use it as a garlic butter dipping sauce for shrimp.
- This sauce complements my blacked cod recipe and many other seafood recipes.
- Or swap out the garlic herb butter on my gluten-free garlic bread recipe.
- Use it to baste cast-iron seared steaks.
Using unsalted European-style butter or American-cultured butter will result in a creamier texture and better flavor.
💭 Garlic Butter Variations
This buttery sauce can take on so many different flavors. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce- Swap out the wine for freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Garlic Parmesan Butter Sauce- Add ⅓ cup of grated parmesan cheese along with the parsley. I especially love this version on grilled chicken breast or on chicken wings.
- Roasted Garlic Butter Sauce- Add half a head of roasted garlic in place of the fresh garlic.
Leftover garlic sauce will keep for 2 weeks when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
My favorite way to store leftover sauce is in the freezer where it will keep for 2 to 3 months. I use small silicone ice trays to hold the sauce. Pop them out whenever you need a quick sauce.
I personally save the leftovers for brushing on my pizza crust.
More Easy Sauce Recipes
💬Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, cooking the raw emphasizes the garlic flavor while sweetening it and reducing the harsh burn.
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📖 Printable Recipe Card
Garlic Butter Sauce with White Wine
- ½ cup unsalted butter divided
- 6 cloves garlic finely minced or grated
- ¼ cup white wine see substitution options in notes
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook until caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes.½ cup unsalted butter, 6 cloves garlic
- Pour in the wine and simmer for 2 minutes.¼ cup white wine
- Turn the heat to low and whisk in butter. Season to taste with salt.½ cup unsalted butter, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Stir in fresh parsley right before serving.2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- An equal amount of dry vermouth or chicken stock can be substituted for the wine. Or add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.