Garlic butter sauce for spaghetti or other pasta is easy to make at home. The key to making a great sauce is in using real butter and garlic—this is one instance where substitutions do not work well. This sauce can be whipped up in minutes and served with pasta of any type. Or, try it over seafood or as a dipping sauce for vegetables.

Things You'll Need

Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions found on the package.

Heat a heavy or sauté skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and allow it to warm.

Place the garlic cloves into the hot oil and sauté for five to six minutes until the garlic is soft but not browned. Remove the garlic pieces with a slotted spoon.

Add one stick of whole butter to the pan. Whisk the butter into the oil as it melts.

Whisk 1 teaspoon of cornstarch into the butter mixture to thicken the sauce.

Place the cooked spaghetti in a large serving bowl and pour the sauce over the pasta. Toss the cooked spaghetti with the sauce and serve.


  • You can add other spices to the butter sauce, such as a tablespoon of chopped, fresh oregano; a tablespoon of chopped parsley; 1/2 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil; or 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

  • You can season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, if you like.

  • Try not to use salted butter for this recipe because it can brown quickly and it will not have the same visual appeal as the unsalted variety provides. You will also reduce the sodium content of the dish by using unsalted butter.

  • While you can make this sauce using margarine and garlic powder, the resulting sauce will be inferior to the real butter and garlic version.