Tight view of garlic butter in a scalloped serving dish with bread and fresh herbs nearby.

Butter is a delicious addition to so many meals. But do you know what’s even better than butter? Garlic butter! It takes the smooth creamy taste of butter to the next level by adding garlic, Parmesan cheese, and spices. You can use it to make garlic bread, melt it over top of your favorite veggies, or slather it on a thick piece of warm bread.

The best part is that it doesn’t take any effort or special cooking skills to make this garlic butter recipe. You can whip it up in a few minutes and store it in the fridge or freezer so you have it ready the next time you need it!

Five ingredients needed to make garlic butter including butter, herbs, garlic, and salt.

What is garlic butter?

Garlic butter is butter that’s leveled up. Using salted butter, minced garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese, chives, and parsley, you can quickly make a versatile and tasty butter that’s loaded with flavor.

Traditionally, this spread is used to make garlic bread—but its uses don’t end there. You can use it to top any kind of bread and it tastes great as a dipping sauce for all sorts of seafood. The garlic, cheese, and herbs in the butter lend a delicious flavor to veggies, and it’s really good in mashed potatoes and on grilled corn.

How do you make this garlic butter sauce?

This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. All you do is add all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix. That’s it! All-in-all, it’ll take you under five minutes to make this recipe. You can mince your own garlic, or use store-bought minced garlic to save even more time.

This recipe calls for freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh minced parsley, and fresh chives. You can use pre-grated cheese and dried parsley if you don’t have the fresh ingredients, but I recommend using fresh if you can find them because it elevates the taste of your garlic bread to a whole new level!

Wholefully Protip

It’s best to make this recipe with softened butter. Let your butter sit on the counter for one or two hours to allow it to soften naturally so it’s easier to mix.

Minced garlic and herbs on top of softened butter ready to be mixed. Close view of finished garlic butter on a serving tray with roasted garlic bread alongside.

How do I store homemade garlic butter?

After it’s been mixed, store your butter in an airtight container in the fridge. If you use fresh herbs, it’s worth noting that the longer your butter sits in the fridge, the less potent the flavor of the herbs will be.

Wholefully Protip

Garlic is potent and it can leave its scent behind on plastic containers. It’s best to use glass containers to store garlic butter as they won’t absorb the flavor of the garlic the way plastic ones will.

Can garlic butter sit out overnight?

It’s best if it doesn’t sit out overnight. Between the fresh minced garlic and the cheese, you’ll want to refrigerate your butter. However, the USDA says it’s alright for butter to sit out for up to three days without being refrigerated. If you forget to put your butter in the fridge, it’ll most likely be okay the next day, but it’s best to be safe and store it in the fridge.

A fork dips cooked shrimp into a bowl of garlic butter sauce.

How can I use this homemade garlic butter recipe?

This condiment is extremely versatile. It’s a great way to add yummy flavor to a variety of dishes. Some of my favorite uses for it include:

  • To make homemade garlic bread
  • Mixed with lemon to make a lemon butter garlic sauce for seafood
  • Tossed with pasta for an easy sauce
  • Over grilled corn
  • Melted over mashed potatoes
  • Drizzled on roasted or steamed veggies
  • Slathered on a slice of warm bread
  • As a dip for pizza crusts

How long will garlic butter last in the fridge?

If properly stored, homemade garlic butter will last for up to two weeks in the fridge. Any longer than that and it needs to be stored in the freezer. When it’s time to use it, bring it out of the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature on the counter for a few hours to make it easier to spread.

Can garlic butter be frozen?

Yes, you can definitely freeze homemade garlic butter! It’s best to freeze it in small portions, so you thaw only what you need when it comes time to use it. To portion out your butter, you have a few choices.

    1. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out scoop-sized pieces of garlic butter. Place the scoops on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, freeze for several hours, then transfer the frozen pieces to an airtight container or plastic bag.
    2. Cut the corner of a zip-top bag and use it the way you would an icing piping bag to lay dots of garlic butter on a parchment-lined baking tray. Freeze for several hours, then move the frozen dots to a glass container or plastic bag.
    3. If you have an ice cube tray you want to dedicate to garlic butter, you can fill it with the butter, then freeze it. When it’s time to use it, pop out a cube, and thaw. *Note—garlic can leave a strongly scented residue behind on plastic containers, so only use an ice cube tray if you don’t plan on needing it for anything else later on.

Once frozen, garlic butter will keep for up to three months in the freezer. When it comes time to use it, you can thaw it in the fridge for a day or you can toss frozen pieces directly into the recipe you’re cooking.

A soft breadstick dips into a bowl of melted garlic butter sauce. Close view of finished garlic butter on a serving tray with roasted garlic bread alongside.

Tight view of garlic butter in a scalloped serving dish with bread and fresh herbs nearby.

Homemade Garlic Butter Recipe

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Garlic Butter is a simple, easy seasoning that can be used with many dishes, from pasta to seafood to steak. Let's make garlic butter!


  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Use for baking garlic bread, melting over vegetables, fish, steak, or chicken, or for dipping breadsticks or shrimp!


This recipe makes double the amount you need for a loaf of garlic bread. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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