White Garlic Sauce

This White Sauce with Garlic is made with butter, garlic, cream, and Parmesan cheese, and has a rich garlicky flavor. It works well as a topping for pasta or as a dipping sauce for chicken, seafood, grilled red meats, and vegetables.

More Sauces You Can Try

Chinese Garlic Sauce
Easy Curry Sauce (With Coconut Milk)
Ranch Sauce (Without Buttermilk)
Simple Roux Sauce (White Sauce)
Easy Marinara Sauce

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Butter: Butter adds richness and flavor to the sauce. You can use salted butter, but be mindful of adjusting the added salt accordingly to avoid over-salting.

Garlic: Fresh minced garlic provides the signature garlic flavor in the sauce. Garlic powder is a good substitute, but fresh garlic will yield a more robust flavor.

All-purpose flour: Flour creates the roux, which thickens the sauce. Use cornstarch for a gluten-free alternative. Use about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of cold water for each tablespoon of flour.

Black pepper and salt: Adjust the amount to your taste. You can use white pepper for a milder flavor. Sea salt or kosher salt works well too.

Milk: Whole milk makes a creamy sauce, but you can use skim or 2% milk. For a richer sauce, use half-and-half or cream. Vegan options like almond milk or soy milk are also suitable for use in this recipe.

Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor, as well as thickness to the sauce. Replace it with Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese for a different flavor profile. For a vegetarian option, use a vegetarian-friendly Parmesan cheese.

Fresh parsley: Chopped fresh parsley provides a fresh, herby finish to the sauce. Dried parsley is acceptable to use, but fresh parsley will give the rich garlic sauce a brighter flavor.

How to make White Garlic Sauce: Step by step

Step 1: Melt Butter
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, add minced garlic, and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Step 2: Add Flour & Season
Sprinkle flour, stir to make a roux, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add black pepper and salt.

Step 3: Gradually Add Milk & Parmesan Cheese
Pour in milk while whisking.
Continue whisking until the sauce thickens.
Reduce the heat and sprinkle in the cheese, while whisking.

Step 4: Finish with Parsley & Serve
Remove from heat and add chopped fresh parsley.

White Garlic Sauce Variations

Lemon garlic sauce: Add the juice and zest of one lemon to the sauce for a bright and zesty twist. This pairs exceptionally well with seafood dishes.

Herb-infused sauce: Infuse the sauce with fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, or basil for added aroma and flavor. Add the herbs during the cooking process and remove them before serving.

Creamy mushroom garlic sauce: Sauté sliced mushrooms in butter until they’re tender and golden brown. Add them to the sauce for a creamy mushroom garlic sauce. You can also use a mix of different mushrooms for complexity.

Pesto garlic sauce: Mix in a couple of tablespoons of your favorite pesto sauce for a fusion of flavors. This works particularly well with pasta and grilled vegetables.

Cajun garlic sauce: Add Cajun or Creole seasoning to the sauce for a spicy kick. It’s great for Cajun-style pasta dishes with shrimp or chicken.

Smoked paprika garlic sauce: Enhance the sauce with a pinch of smoked paprika for a smoky, earthy flavor. This variation pairs nicely with pasta and grilled meats.

Blue cheese garlic sauce: Crumble in some blue cheese for a bold and tangy sauce. This variation is excellent with steak or a hearty pasta like gnocchi.

Vegan garlic sauce: Replace the dairy butter, milk, and Parmesan cheese with vegan alternatives. Use plant-based butter, almond or soy milk, and dairy-free Parmesan to create a creamy vegan version.

Truffle garlic sauce: Drizzle truffle oil or add finely grated truffle to the sauce for a luxurious and gourmet twist. Truffle garlic sauce pairs wonderfully with mushroom dishes or pasta.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Minced garlic: To maximize the garlic flavor, finely mince the garlic cloves. You can use a garlic press for even finer mincing.

Roux thickness: Pay attention to the roux (butter and flour mixture). Cook it for a couple of minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste, but be careful not to let it brown.

Whisk continuously: When adding the milk, whisk continuously to prevent lumps from forming in the sauce. A flat whisk works well for this task.

Heat control: Adjust the heat as needed. If the sauce is cooking too quickly or bubbling vigorously, lower the heat to medium-low or low to avoid scorching.

Season to taste: Season with salt and black pepper to your preference. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Cheese melting: Add the grated Parmesan cheese gradually, stirring continuously. This helps to ensure a smooth and creamy sauce without clumps of cheese.

Fresh herbs: If using fresh herbs like parsley, add them at the end, just before serving. This preserves their vibrant color and flavor.

Thin sauce as needed: If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a little more milk to achieve your desired consistency. Do this gradually to avoid over-thinning.

Pasta pairing: Pair the white garlic sauce with pasta that has nooks and crannies or ridges (e.g., fettuccine, penne) to help the sauce cling better.

Grated cheese garnish: For an extra burst of flavor, serve the pasta with additional grated Parmesan cheese at the table. It’s a simple but effective garnish.

What to serve with Garlic White Sauce

White garlic sauce is a versatile condiment that pairs well with various dishes. Some popular options to serve with white garlic sauce include:

Pasta: White garlic sauce is a classic choice for pasta dishes like fettuccine Alfredo, linguine, or spaghetti.

Chicken: Drizzle it over grilled or roasted chicken breasts or serve it as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders.

Seafood: It’s an excellent accompaniment for seafood, such as shrimp, scallops, or fish. Try it with shrimp scampi or as a sauce for grilled salmon.

Vegetables: Use it as a creamy dressing for roasted or steamed vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or cauliflower.

Potatoes: Serve it over baked or mashed potatoes for a flavorful twist.

Pizza: Use white garlic sauce as an alternative to tomato sauce on pizza, especially for white pizza variations.

Bread: Serve it as a dipping sauce for breadsticks, garlic bread, or even as a spread for sandwiches.

Grains: Try it as a sauce for grains like rice or quinoa to add richness and flavor.

Salads: Thin the sauce with a bit of milk and use it as a creamy salad dressing for salads with chicken or seafood.

Dips: Serve it as a dip for veggies, chips, or finger foods at parties or gatherings.


To store white garlic sauce, cool it to room temperature and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze the sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months, reheating as needed before use.

White Garlic Sauce FAQs

How do I thin the sauce if it becomes too thick?

You can add a little more milk or cream gradually and stir until you reach your desired consistency.

How do I prevent the sauce from curdling when reheating?

Reheat the sauce gently over low to medium-low heat and stir continuously to prevent curdling.

White Garlic Sauce

This White Sauce with Garlic is a luscious sauce made with butter, garlic, cream, and Parmesan cheese, and has a rich garlicky flavor.
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic sauce, garlic white sauce, white sauce with garlic


  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped


  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic sauté for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the garlic and butter mixture. Stir continuously until a smooth paste forms. Cook for about 2-3 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  • Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Reduce the heat to low and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce becomes creamy and smooth.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the chopped fresh parsley.

This garlic sauce is so easy to make, with basic ingredients, and doesn’t take a ton of time to prepare. If you give it a try, let me know what you like to add to it to make it taste even better!

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