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Garlic Butter Seafood Sauce

Learn how to make the perfect dipping sauce for a seafood boil! Made in under 5 minutes, this flavorful sauce is rich, buttery, and seasoned with garlic and herbs. Made with simple ingredients, this will be a staple every time you serve seafood. Perfect for seafood boils, dipping shrimp, crawfish, crab legs, and any other type of seafood! 

dipping shrimp into garlic butter sauce

If you enjoy dipping sauces, this recipe is for you! This recipe is a nice change from cocktail sauce or tartar sauce and much better than anything you’ll find at a seafood restaurant.

Best Garlic Butter Seafood Sauce Recipe

When it comes to serving fresh seafood, you need a reliable dipping sauce! I love serving this with a low country boil, shrimp, crab legs, lobster tails, and more. If you serve this alongside a shrimp boil, dipping the potatoes, corn, and sausage is a real treat.

small ramekins of melted garlic butter

Many people simply toss their cooked seafood with a little seasoning and melted butter. But, I think serving warm garlic butter on the side takes your seafood dish to the next level.

I love this recipe because it is so basic and simple to make. The main ingredient is obviously butter, but also includes garlic, herbs, and lemon juice. Of course, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or Old Bay seasoning to increase the spice level. 

Ingredients for Seafood Sauce

  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper
ingredients for garlic butter seafood boil sauce

How to Make Garlic butter Sauce for Seafood

This easy seafood sauce recipe is so incredibly simple to make. It’s only melting the butter and stirring in ingredients. Since this recipe only makes about 2 servings, increase the ingredient amounts if you need to make more!

First, gather your ingredients together. Add the butter to a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Then, add the garlic and give it a good stir. Continue cooking over low heat for a minute or two. You want the garlic to become fragrant and aromatic.

Next, add the lemon juice and herbs to the butter. Stir until the ingredients are combined. 

After the mixture is combined, divide the butter into ramekins or small dipping cups for serving.

overhead image of bowls of seafood boil and ramekins of melted garlic butter

Alternatively, you can keep the pan on simmer so the butter stays warm until you are ready to serve with your low country boil or seafood dinner.

Store any unused leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

How to Make a Seafood Boil

A seafood boil is a delicious one-pot meal that’s great for feeding a large crowd. There are so many variations with different kinds of seafood. My recipe keeps it simple with potatoes, corn, sausage, and shrimp. 

There’s nothing better than a classic, southern seafood boil in the heat of summer. Spicy sausage, tender sweet corn, and plenty of shrimp and lobster tails are what summer dreams are made of. This super flavorful sauce pulls it all together!

I’ve included the basic steps below:

  1. Add seasoning mix and potatoes to the pot. Cook until potatoes are tender.
  2. Add the corn. Then, add in the sausage and onion.
  3. The shrimp should be added last since they only take a few minutes to cook. Be careful not to overcook!
  4. Pour out all ingredients on an outdoor table covered with a tarp or newspaper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Place the dipping sauce in small bowls along the table for guests! Don’t forget to wash it down with a cold beverage.

Here are the full instructions for a low country boil from start to finish. This recipe is pretty labor-intensive and time-consuming. Plus, there’s some equipment to set up, so we reserve this recipe for special occasions.

bowl of seafood boil with sauce for dipping

To make things easier, you can make a shrimp boil on a sheet pan for a simpler version that’s better for weeknight meals and smaller groups. It’s super easy and is made all on one pan!

sheet pan shrimp boil

What to Serve with Seafood Sauce

This recipe is a classic melted butter and garlic recipe that could really be used on anything. This will complement all of the seafood boil recipes, including a crawfish boil, shrimp boil, king or snow crab legs, lobster, and any other shellfish you can think of.

Other seafood to serve with this easy sauce:

Seafood Dipping Sauce Variations

There are so many different recipes for dipping sauces. Most of them start with melted butter. Some include Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, chili sauce, white wine, garlic powder, and other optional ingredients.

Here are a few simple variations for your homemade version:

  • Melted Butter
  • Melted Butter and lemon pepper
  • Melted Butter and garlic
  • Melted Butter and lemon juice or lemon zest
  • Melted Butter and Old Bay seasoning

To increase the spiciness:

  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, or tabasco sauce.
  • For New Orleans style flavors, add Old Bay, Homemade Cajun Seasoning, or Creole Seasoning

How do you make seafood sauce from Old Bay?

To make this recipe with Old Bay seasoning, follow the recipe card below but omit the addition of any extra salt. Instead, add Old Bay (or other Cajun or creole seasonings) one teaspoon at a time. Be sure to taste test the sauce to avoid over-salting.

To avoid overpowering the meal, I’d leave out the addition of a creole or Cajun seasoning if already used on the seafood.

What sauces go with seafood?

Classic seafood sauce recipes include tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and garlic butter sauce. I recommend serving all three with your seafood dish so guests can choose what they like.

This is a great recipe for dipping shrimp, crab legs, lobster tails, crawfish, or any other ingredient from a seafood boil. Enjoy!

Yield: 3 cups

Garlic Butter Seafood Boil Sauce

garlic butter seafood boil dipping sauce featured image

Learn how to make the perfect dipping sauce for a seafood boil! Made in under 5 minutes, this flavorful sauce is rich, buttery, and seasoned with herbs. Made with simple ingredients, this will be a staple every time you serve seafood. Perfect for seafood boils, dipping shrimp, crawfish, crab legs, and any other type of seafood!

Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the butter to a saucepan over medium heat and cook until melted. Turn the heat to low.
  2. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic begins to smell fragrant.
  3. Add the lemon juice and herbs to the butter stirring to combine.
  4. Remove from the heat and serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.

Notes

To avoid overpowering the meal, I’d leave out the addition of a creole or Cajun seasoning if already used on the seafood.

Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or Old Bay seasoning to increase the spice level. 

To make this recipe with Old Bay seasoning, follow the recipe card below but omit the addition of any extra salt. Instead, add Old Bay (or other Cajun or creole seasonings) one teaspoon at a time. Be sure to taste test the sauce to avoid over-salting.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate generated by a calculator.

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