Garlic Butter Sauce

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Loaded with robust garlic, zesty lemon, and a kick of red pepper flakes, this Garlic Butter Sauce (a.k.a. Cowboy Butter Sauce) transforms any vegetable into something crave-worthy.

a close up shot of asparagus spears in a white baking dish.

Cowboy Butter Dipping Sauce

This recipe was inspired by a scoop of leftover cowboy butter. And let me tell you, every vegetable dipped in this sauce was very happily devoured. I’ve since decided to keep cowboy butter on hand for all eternity.

My success with the cowboy butter recipe had me wondering whether I could make a cowboy butter dipping sauce. Turns out, you can! The golden elixir it produces is not simply a sauce; it’s a whole experience.

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Lemon Butter Sauce for Asparagus

I’ve made this a couple of different ways and I like it best as made below. Yes, you can melt the butter on the stove and simply add the other ingredients to it at that point.

However, I found that the fresh taste of the lemon, garlic, and parsley are best preserved when made as directed, then warmed in smaller portions as needed. If you have a better strategy, I’d love to hear about it.

If you know that you’ll be using a full batch of this garlic butter sauce recipe, make it with whichever method you find easiest. Just remember that once melted, it will not keep as nicely as the compound butter made in this recipe.

You can absolutely use other vegetables with this sauce. But, if you’re looking for a place to start, you can’t go wrong with a side of roasted lemon butter asparagus using this recipe.

A clear glass bowl with melted compound butter in it and a spear of asparagus is being dipped in the butter.

Garlic Butter Sauce Recipe

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • butter
  • Italian parsley
  • garlic
  • lemon zest
  • red pepper flakes
  • black pepper
a sheet pan of roasted asparagus.

Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Squeeze half of a lemon into the bowl, and beat until well combined.

Transfer the sauce mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. When ready to use, scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into a small glass bowl and melt it until it is a liquid.

Use as a lemon butter sauce for asparagus or steak bites, or pour the sauce over vegetables and toss lightly to coat. The butter sauce mixture will keep nicely in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or until melted.

Two scoops of cowboy butter are in the bowl beside a pan of roasted asparagus, ready to be melted.

Garlic Butter Asparagus

This garlic butter sauce took a basic tray of roasted asparagus and transformed it into food heaven. We simply could not stop eating it. About a tablespoon is enough to generously season a pound of garlic butter asparagus.

I recommend stashing a batch of this in the fridge as the perfect way to quickly dress up pretty much any vegetable you are cooking. Whether the vegetables are dipped in the sauce or tossed with it, your taste buds will be happy.

a white baking dish is loaded with roasted asparagus spears. beside it on a wooden tabletop there is a small glass bowl with melted garlic butter sauce.

Looking for more incredible dips like this lemon butter sauce for asparagus?

If you’ve never tried Homemade Ranch Dressing before, you are missing out. This is a tangy, flavorful dip that you can make from scratch in just 5 minutes!

Queso Blanco is a creamy, spicy, perfectly smooth and cheesy dip just like they serve at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Queso blanco is a melted cheese dip that’s delicious every which way you eat it.

Oven roasting is my favorite way to cook asparagus. Simple Roasted Asparagus results in slightly crisp and completely tender spears that are neither mushy or soft. And, they’re fabulous with garlic butter sauce.

a white baking dish is loaded with roasted asparagus spears. beside it on a wooden tabletop there is a small glass bowl with melted garlic butter sauce.

Swap the butter in this Sauteed Broccoli and Asparagus with Parmesan for cowboy butter sauce and you won’t regret it. It makes a terrific side dish for any meal.

Creamy, spicy, and with just a touch of sweet, Bang Bang Sauce can take literally any vegetable and elevate it. I wouldn’t have believed it a year ago, but this dip is on par with homemade ranch, in my opinion.

Creamy Avocado Sauce is seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, and lime. You won’t believe how simple it is to whip up. It’s absolutely amazing on meat and roasted vegetables.

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A clear glass bowl with melted compound butter in it and a spear of asparagus is being dipped in the butter.

Garlic Butter Sauce

Loaded with robust garlic, zesty lemon, and a kick of red pepper flakes, this garlic butter sauce (a.k.a. Cowboy Butter Sauce) transforms any vegetable into something crave-worthy.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • ½ cup finely minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lemon zested and halved
  • ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the parsley, garlic, finely minced lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Then, squeeze half of a lemon into the bowl (about 2 tablespoons of juice). Beat again until well combined.
  • Transfer the sauce mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. When ready to use, scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into a small glass bowl and warm until liquid.
  • Dip vegetables or steak bites into the warm butter sauce or pour the sauce over foods and lightly toss to coat. The butter sauce mixture will keep nicely in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcal · Carbohydrates: 2g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 23g · Saturated Fat: 15g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 6g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 61mg · Sodium: 186mg · Potassium: 54mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 0.4g · Vitamin A: 1047IU · Vitamin C: 13mg · Calcium: 19mg · Iron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!
A top down photo of a pan of roasted asparagus is overlaid with white text that reads, "Garlic Butter Sauce"
A clear glass bowl with melted compound butter in it and a spear of asparagus. White lettering has been overlaid the image, which reads, "cowboy butter sauce"

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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