This garlic butter sauce for seafood is a must with any fresh crab, shrimp, or clams. Just 4 ingredients, takes a few minutes to make and compliments that fresh seafood; bringing out all the flavors with out covering them up.
My all-time favorite seafood is the Pacific Northwest Dungeness crab. Every year we camp out at the beach and spend time at the docks catching our own to enjoy throughout the year.
While cleaning and processing crab, we always end up with a bowl of this garlic butter sauce and fork. Let's just say a lot of the crab never sees the refrigerator...
Dungeness crab has a sweet taste to it and can really stand on its own. It does not need a lot of other flavors to melt in your mouth.
This butter sauce is the perfect companion for that fresh crab, clams, or even shrimp.
Get all my go to Dungeness crab recipes.
⭐️Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: Takes less than 10 minutes to put this garlic butter sauce together.
- Just 4 ingredients: Calls for very little ingredients but still delivered tons of flavor.
- Pairs well with all kinds of seafood: The combination of butter, garlic and lemon pair very well with all kinds of seafood.
- Easy to customize: Can easily be customized to fit your taste. Add more garlic or fresh herbs.
Unsalted Butter: I really like to have control over the amount of salt that is in this dish. Using unsalted butter allows for that. If using salted, do not add more sea salt until you taste it.
Fresh Garlic: Fresh crab deserves fresh garlic. Mince really fine or use a garlic press. I prefer a garlic press because it really gets all that juice out of the cloves. Start with 6 and add more as needed.
Fresh Herbs (Optional): Fresh herbs and crab go really well together. Some great additions are parsley, chives or dill. Just add after removing the pot from the heat.
See full information on ingredients and quantities in the recipe card.
🫕How to Make
Step 1: Dice the butter into cubes. Add to a small pot with the salt and start warming over medium low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer
💡Pro Tip: Keep the burner low. If too warm, the butter will start to burn.
Step 2: Add in the minced or pressed garlic and stir to combine. (Image 1).
Step 3: Simmer just until the garlic starts to smell fragrant. That should take only 30 seconds. (Image 2).
Step 3: Remove from heat and add in the lemon juice. Mix everything well and transfer to a small dish.
Step 4 (Optional): If you do not want the chunks of garlic, this sauce can be ran through a fine mesh strainer.
🍽Ways to Serve
Serve this butter sauce warm with the following seafood:
- Lump Crab Meat
- Manila Clams
- Drizzle on Fish
Garlic butter sauce can become bitter if it is cooked too long or too hot. The garlic should be cooked just until it starts to become fragrant. That takes just about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Seafood butter sauce is usually a mix of melted butter, fresh garlic and salt. Lemon juice and fresh herbs can also be added for additional freshness.
🦀Other Seafood Recipes
Garlic Butter Sauce for Seafood
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter - 1 Stick
- 6-8 Garlic Cloves - Pressed or minced
- Pinch of Sea Salt - Taste and add more as needed
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- Fresh Herbs - Dill, parsley, or chives.
- Dice the butter into cubes. Add to a small pot with the salt and start warming over medium low heat. Bring to a gentle simmerKeep the burner low. If too warm, the butter will start to burn.
- Add in the minced or pressed garlic and stir to combine.
- Simmer just until the garlic starts to smell fragrant. That should take only 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and add in the lemon juice. Mix everything well and transfer to a small dish.
- If you do not want the chunks of garlic, this sauce can be ran through a fine mesh strainer.
- Add in fresh herbs if desired.
Butter: Cut the butter into cubes and cook on a low heat. This will prevent it from burning. Garlic: Cook just until it starts to get fragrant. If cooked too long it can become bitter.