Butter & Garlic Cream Sauce

A 5 minute garlic and butter cream sauce that pairs perfectly with pasta, ravioli, shrimp, seafood or steak!

Do you need a sauce to put over pasta or shrimp or ravioli that is done in less than 5 minutes and has less than 5 ingredients!!!!

Look no further!

This garlic and butter cream sauce is restaurant worthy and has fast become one of the most popular recipes on this site.

I had these Butternut Squash Ravioli from Trader Joe’s in the freezer but kept passing them by because I had no idea what sauce to put on top of them.  I don’t buy those processed Alfredo jarred sauces anymore or the ones you can make from the dry ingredients in a pouch.  I find they contain too many chemicals and preservatives.

So today my husband called and said he was coming home for lunch and I literally had nothing on hand.  Great!  With no other choices, I decided to pull out the ravioli and just put a garlic butter sauce on it.

butter garlic cream sauce pasta ravioli shrimp steak

While I think that would have been really good too, I decided to make this one creamy instead.

It came out DELISH!  We were both moaning over it.

If you have a lactose intolerance or just don’t prefer creamy type sauces, you can just omit the flour and milk and have a butter garlic sauce.   I’ve made this both ways and they are both outstanding!


Butter & Garlic Cream Sauce

garlic butter cream sauce

Every cook needs a staple recipe and this one is it ! A versatile garlic and butter sauce that uses few ingredients and comes together in minutes.



  • 1/3 cup organic salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced organic garlic
  • 1 Tbsp whole wheat white flour
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • pinch of dried oregano, basil and parsley


  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute
  2. Add the flour and stir for 2 minutes to cook off any raw flour taste
  3. Add the milk and spices stirring constantly so no lumps form, continue cooking for a few minutes until thick
  4. Serve over your favorite pasta


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 192
  • Sugar: 2.8 gr
  • Sodium: 139 mg
  • Fat: 17.4 gr
  • Carbohydrates: 7 gr
  • Fiber: .2 gr
  • Protein: 2.7 gr
  • Cholesterol: 50 gr

Recipe Source:  HappilyUnprocessed.com
I used all organic ingredients when making this recipe and hope you do too!  🙂

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  1. Mike Drayton says:

    In Berlin, we get wonderful fresh ravioli at the outdoor markets, and for most of the varieties, e.g. Gorgonzola with walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes with ricotta; a marinara or Bolognese sauce would overpower them. So I tried your sauce and loved it. It’s easy and robust; I have no good measuring cups or spoons in my temporary home, yet the results were great. Be sure the roux (flour-butter-garlic mixture) is not real hot when you start adding the milk, a little at a time. If it becomes too thick, add small amounts of milk to adjust it. This sauce provides just the right complement to these nicely made pasta delicacies.

  2. Absolutely delicious! So glad I found this recipe

  3. Very easy! Added some Parmesan though to add a little something.

  4. This was OUTSTANDING! i made ravioli with a very intersting filling, only saying interesting because I cant remember the name…hint,, its the inside of buratta. Used your cream sauce with fresh tyme
    me and topped with ricotta salata. OMG so good. many thanks from Viriginia!

  5. I layered chicken and cheese ravioli from Sams (boiled for 4 mins) with sauteed mushrooms and this sauce in a 8×8 pan, topped with mozzarella and baked at 350 for 20mins. Seriously good.

  6. How much ravioli do you recommend using for one “batch” of this sauce? 8 oz? 16 oz? Thank you!

  7. Colleen Vallese says:

    Made this tonight for Aldi’s shrimp and crab ravioli. Perfect combination. Smell of it cooking is divine.

  8. This tastes great but I can never get it thicken without using a whole bunch of cornstarch. Any tips?

    • Colleen Vallese says:

      It could be that you’re not cooking the butter and flour long enough. Be sure to cook it like you’re making a roux. Hope that helps. Also after you add the milk cook, while stirring, basically like a cream sauce, which this is.

    • Kelso MacC says:

      It’s a long slow process with milk based sauces in my experience. Well worth it though!

  9. So tasty! I have a bit of sauce leftover from when I made it for lunch. Does this keep in the refrigerator?

  10. So good and simple!

  11. Tasty! I made this last night to go on cheese ravioli and my family liked it.

  12. Just made this for lunch. It was delicious! Added a little garlic powder, salt & pepper once it thickened up and poured the sauce over cheese ravioli. Was Amazing! Definitely making again.

  13. I just loved this my husband said this will be on the menu again seeing he can’t eat sauce anymore

  14. I didn’t have any fresh garlic so I used garlic powder. I also used all purpose white flour. It turned out a little brown (I’m new at cooking lol) but it tasted so good, almost like Red Lobster’s sauce! Super easy, love it.

  15. Connie Bobb says:

    Thank you I was looking for a good cream sauce without cheese and I found yours. I tried it and was well please with the results, my husband is on on dialysis and he cannot have dairy so much anymore. He enjoyed it also. Thanks again

  16. This was so tasty! I used a few variations such as used jar minced garlic, 2 % milk and white flour. It was as good as any restaurant sauce.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Can I use tapioca flour instead?

  18. I made crusted garlic and rosemary chicken breast for dinner and it was a tad dry so I made this sauce and used more valid anr added some rosemary to match the chicken and it was perfect. . keeping this recipe

  19. Anonymous says:


  20. I love this recipe! I did add a touch more Garlic and also added some salt and pepper to taste and it is DELICIOUS!

  21. 5 stars all day long !!!!!!!

    • Janice Peters says:

      I went to an Asian restaurant in New York where they served this sauce over lobster so I looked up the recipe, found this one and made it. FREAKIN DELICIOUS. I tweaked it just a little. OMG I pouŕed it over half steamed lobster and let it cook until done. Thank you for posting it.

      Too much garlic????? Never thought of that
      Like Luther said “never too much “

  22. OMG! I was looking up garlic butter sauces when I stumbled led across this, I couldn’t help but laugh as I read you were using the same exact ravioli from trader joes! How convenient.

  23. Good recipe, but i think 2 teaspoons of garlic is too much, i added one and i cant imagine adding any more. Also i had to add Parmesan to add more flavor.

    • there’s no such thing as too much garlic

      • Judy Marker says:

        I would not use that much garlic either, just a touch, I like garlic, but hubby not a big fan. and I don’t like recipes that are over powerful on one flavor, they should meld together. That said though, I can’t wait to make this sauce and I’m looking forward to following your blog and more recipes! I told my husband just the other day I’m bored with the same old stuff week after week! Thank You!

    • Jerry Hazelip says:

      I added parm as well. Always good in a white sauce. And also used all purpose flour.

  24. I haven’t tried this yet but sounds great going to try it on spinach ravioli without the milk or flour and possibly with parm cheese .. Can’t wait .

  25. This recipe sounds great I’ve used Alfredo sauces and tomato sauce in the past for my kids because I’m highly allergic but I crave for raviolis now I should be able to have some with this recipe thanks

  26. Yummy… This butter & garlic cream sauce was perfect sauce with chicken and cheese ravioli that I bought from Costco. This sauce is really fast and simple to make, I also added fresh basil to the sauce. My family love it. Thanks for sharing

  27. Hi, was wondering if I could use plain flour instead of white whole-wheat? Thanks.

  28. This was simple to make and delicious on the mushroom ravioli we had for dinner. I always get nervous making sauce and default to a mix from a packet, but I am happy I came across this. I love garlic so added a little more than the recipe called for. Delicious! Thanks!

  29. This was simple to make and delicious on the mushroom ravioli we had for dinner. I always get nervous making sauce and default to a mix, but I am happy I came across this. I love garlic so added a little more than the recipe called for. Delicious! Thanks!

  30. I made this and it was great! I only used 3 tablespoons of butter to limit the calories and used 1 percent milk. I added a pinch of italian seasoning, a little bit of Parmesan cheese and some lemon juice. Served it over shrimp ravioli…delicious!

  31. I’m thinking one could add a little lemon peel & juice and turn this into a lemon-garlic sauce…? Does that sound do-able?
    Haven’t been able to try this recipe yet. I’m looking for a lemon-garlic cream sauce in which to toss, maybe, fettucini and shrimp, or chicken, etc. If I have to rate the recipe in order to post the comment, I’ll give it a 5 for its simplicity!

  32. Easy and delicious recipe

  33. This is a keeper for me. It is so versatile. Add what you want, play with the spices. I haven’t read all of the comments, but to respond to the person who commented that chemicals are in everything and why “bitch”. I am very prone to migraines and some of my triggers are the preservatives use in canned foods. I avoid the middle of any grocery because of that, although my favorite store just finished a huge remodeling and have put the organic in with the regular. Just takes some extra detective work.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I’d also like to add that one of the main reasons I started this blog (almost 7 yrs ago now!) is to gently remind people that we can make these ‘convenience’ boxed foods in almost the same exact time as the boxed versions !! This recipe is a perfect example. So is our hamburger helper recipe. Almost to the minute as far as time … simple real ingredients… no excuses! 🙂

  34. I have short rib ravioli, same as you, it needed a creamy butter sauce. This was perfect & delicious! Thank you!

  35. Excellent sauce! Quick and easy; I will definitely be making again in the future.

  36. Isn’t this just bechamel sauce?

    • No, it is a white sauce with garlic.

    • Well, I believe a basic bechamel (a ‘mother sauce’ from which many other sauces are made) is made by making a roux, then adding cream, so, it certainly sounds like a basic bechamel starter. Love that it calls for milk instead of cream. Just can’t imagine eating THAT much fat for a regular daily meal! Maybe cream for a special occasion meal…

  37. Lol, I’m in 8th grade and most of the family is out of town, and my mother had a bad headache, so we didn’t really have any options for dinner. We’re out of cream, so I was looking for alfredo sauces without because we did have pasta. I made this and it actually worked out great. I only had garlic powder, and I think I added a bit too much, but it was still pretty good. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  38. Make sure to add either salt or parmesean cheese, needs some more flavor

    • Salt is a very personal preference which is why so many recipes will say ‘season to taste’. I agree with your statement to add ONE or the other but not both b/c Parm cheese is also very high in sodium. Thanks for your comment.

    • I agree, completely bland without the addition of s&p. Some Parmesan on top helped just a bit, but really needs to be added with the flour or herbs.
      Also a bit too much butter to this, it can be scaled back a bit and still make a good bechamel.

      For another version, skip the herbs, cut back the butter, add s&p and a spoonful of already made pesto to taste. Great for stretching the pesto if you don’t have enough for a full dinner.

  39. What happened to the recipe? No longer showing up?

  40. Once you try this rich and creamy sauce it will be your easiest and best go to for every pasta! We didn’t have any milk and substituted 2/3 cup half&half with fresh minced parsley. Not the healthiest choice, but it was beyond amazing! It was more than enough sauce for a Trader Joe’s box of mushroom ravioli (with green salad, it fed four). It’s so incredibly easy to cook while your pasta boils. In the time it takes to warm up jarred sauce, this one is already done! Thank you!

  41. Made this in between paychecks when the pantry was low. It was an absolute hit. Even my extreamly picky 1 1/2 year old wanted more.

  42. Oh my YUM! This was wonderful and oh so easy! I did put a little parm cheese in it and I used a bit of half and half because I ran out of milk. We had it on ravioli with plain dinner rolls for dipping. The possibilities are endless. Thanks so much!

  43. Aubrey Band says:

    Very tasty recipe, especially when you use fresh herbs, however it DOES NOT make enough for a while box of pasta.

  44. Rebecca Bentley says:

    How much does this recipe make?? I need to feed 5. Should I double it?? We also like lots of sauce on our pasta.

    • Made this to go with some lobster Ravioli. Added a little salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Sooooo good!!

  45. Ohmygoodness! This is SO GOOD! It was super easy and came together quickly. I served it over spinach ravioli from Sam’s Club for the win!

  46. I added some other spices I didn’t have fresgmh garlic on hand so I did use garlic powder I also added parmesan cheese while thickening process I love it thank you for sharing this easy recipe.

  47. I made this so I could prep quick meals for my freezer: chicken, noodles and mixed vegetables. I added some nutritional yeast to give it a cheesier flavor… So yummy!!!!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Made this tonight with almond milk and gluten free flour. Was perfect with frozen spinach/cheese ravioli. Loved it!

  49. Susana Reynolds says:

    This was so delicious and easy to make. Specially on a day when there’s nothing in your pantry or fridge but pasta, milk, butter and some dry herbs.
    Thank you so much Debi for a yummy recipe!

  50. I was thinking of adding parm. Cheese and using the sauce to top chicken potatoes and green beans and bake. Has anyone tried baking with this sauce?

    • Hi Heather, the addition of a parm sounds wonderful. Be careful how much you add however, it could make the sauce thick. I would add a splash of milk. I have not baked with it. Let me know how it turns out!

  51. Would I be able to swap out the whole milk for table cream? I don’t have whole milk and I want to make this tonight

  52. I’m sick of people bitching about “too many chemicals in a thing”. All matter is made up of chemicals! Pick up a book and start learning please instead of bashing what you don’t understand.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should do your research before posting such an ignorant comment. The chemicals in our food are alarming. If you don’t mind GMO that’s your choice, but posting something without knowing what your talking about is just as bad as ingesting chemicals which you obviously know nothing about.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said…Unfortunately, you can fix stupid

        • ^ True, but the ‘stupid’ one of you is debatable, I’m going with the disrespectful troll complaining on a thread about pasta sauce that the author had the nerve to express her opinion regarding her beliefs about food.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m going with both of them are correct. There are too many preservatives and additives in our food (the jury is still out on GMOs being bad, regardless of what you have read).
            And all matter, except elemental matter (pure hydrogen, pure carbon, the entire periodic table) is in fact “chemicals”. All bound atoms of elements are chemicals by definition. Water is a “chemical”.
            No need to be a jerk about it though. Proper scientific terms are often used “incorrectly” in the vernacular.
            Be a pedant all you want Vivian, but you know what Debi meant.

  53. I’m making this tonight with shrimp and lobster ravioli. Have someone with lactose intolerance in the house so I’m going to use spread instead of butter and almond milk. I’ve found that to be a great replacement in soups and sauces. I use the unsweetened kind.

  54. Good after school snack just to put it on pasta

  55. I was looking for just such a sauce to serve over mushroom ravioli tonight, and I’m happy to have stumbled upon this one first. Fantastic recipe! I’ll be following you for sure! Thanks!

  56. Any thoughts on adding cheese to the sauce?

  57. About how much pasta could you serve with the recipe above? Hosting Thanksgiving (15 people) and want to make sure I have enough sauce for 2-3 pounds of ravioli. Thank you!

  58. Tried this today and it was a hit. Luckily I had some left over chicken fricasse so just made some pasta and served. The kids (2 & 1) ate it up, the husband was impressed. Definitely a good go to recipe. Can’t wait to try this with seafood.

    • Hi Renia – it’s one thing when the hubs and wife like something, but when the whole family likes it then it’s a HIT ! And like you said, this sauce is one of them in our family too! It’s just so versatile and I’d love to hear back from you when you try it over seafood. Are you thinking shrimp and angel hair pasta or linguini like I am?? 😉

  59. I try to keep on hand 2 or 3 cans of minced clams and it never hurts to have a bag of raw shrimp in the freezer, as well. Simply saute the peeled shrimp in butter first, then set shrimp aside. I double the recipe above, add the clam juice from the cans of clams, herbs, pepper flakes and stir until the sauce is thickened. Add the minced clams and sauted shrimp at the end just to heat through. During the Summer months, some lemon zest and lemon juice can lighten up the recipe. Serve over the pasta of your choice.

  60. Debi, THANK YOU!! Good god that was good, had it with Pork medallions, chat potato’s and asparagus!

  61. I’m going to try this tonight for my parents! They love garlic. I’m making it with chicken and fresh garden picked zucchini and organic carrots! Wish I could add a picture!

  62. I made this Friday night and it was delicious. The only sad part? I should have doubled the recipe. Next time! 🙂

  63. Totally didn’t have many groceries for dinner today so I threw some pancake mix in for flour and garlic powder for minced garlic. By adding 1 more tsp of garlic, it came out great! Served with fish, I’m in heaven for a last minute no ingredient dinner!

  64. Christine says:

    WOW! just the thing I was looking for. I guess just adding fresh cream instead of making the cream sauce is also an option right?

  65. Is it possible to add ground beef while making the pasta sauce? If so, do I put it in first before the butter and garlic or pour it after it’s finished? 😐

    • I think what I would do Lynelle is maybe cook up the ground beef with some onion and garlic. Then make the sauce in another small saucepan. Then I would even combine the two and serve it over whole wheat penne pasta. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  66. This looks FABULOUS!! I’m going to be making this tonight and mixing it with ozoro noodles and sauteed mushrooms!! Can’t wait to try this!!

  67. Made this tonight and couldnt believe how something so simple could taste soooo good !!!

  68. !!!! Thanks for the recipe

  69. I am making it tonight to add some kick to boiled cabbage that my husband loves!

  70. I made this sauce with 3 -4 teaspoons garlic & to give sauce a thicker consistency, used 4 Tablespoons of flour. Found that a whisk worked well while adding flour in by the Tablespoon. I opted for ground black pepper & parsley. Loved the flavor, recipe was very easy to make & all ingredients were on hand.

  71. Made this sauce tonight and it’s a keeper. I ended up adding lemon juice to it because originally it was just going to top our shrimp. I ended up cooking the shrimp in butter and garlic as well which thinned out the sauce a little and added the whole mixture into a cup of cooked jasmine rice. It turned out amazing (it kind of reminded us of Risotto) and it’s definitely a sauce to keep in my book.

    My additions:
    A pinch of salt.
    A pinch of pepper.
    1 tsp of lemon juice.

  72. Yippee!!

  73. I just made this for the second time, this is definitely my go-to quick pasta sauce! Thank you so much!

  74. Oh my DELISH!!!! Topped spinach raviolis with this wow super tasty and as if cooked all day. I was in a bind, all I had was raviolis for a quick dinner, 2 kids begging for “plain” pasta….perfect compromise. 🙂

    Thank you!
    I will be making this again and again!

  75. I’m literally about to make this sauce right now. Sounds delish!

  76. Hi, I made this recipe tonight to go on our linguini noodles and it was absolutely awesome! Thank you so much and I will definitely be making this one again. I also make a homemade alfredo sauce, but this one is just as good, a LOT easier, and probably a whole lot less calories!

  77. I added lemon and abit of zest and cooke pasta with shrimp awesome. thanks


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