The Best California Garlic Butter Recipe (Spicy Option)


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The Best California Garlic Butter Recipe (Spicy Option)

June 1, 2024
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The Best California Garlic Butter Recipe (Spicy Option)

Prepare to meet your new kitchen hero: a luxurious blend of creamy Real California unsalted butter, fresh California garlic, and an optional fiery hint of Fresno chile peppers. This garlic butter isn’t just a condiment, it’s key to unlocking the next level potential of all of your dishes. And it’s ready to transform your meals from mundane to magnificent in no time flat.

How is Garlic Grown in California?

Let’s kick things off with a trip to the garlic capital of the U.S.—California. Here, garlic isn’t just grown, but rather cultivated with the kind of care and attention worthy of being the backbone of countless dishes. Nestled in golden fields, California garlic is nurtured to perfection. California’s garlic-growing regions, particularly Gilroy, boast the perfect combination of climate and soil, resulting in garlic that’s robust, flavorful, and aromatic. For a deeper dive into the garlic journey, from seed to harvest, check out this post on CA GROWN.

Grown to Be Great Garlic Collage

Incredible Garlic Recipes (in addition to garlic butter) that You’ll Definitely Love

Many of us have a love affair with garlic, from garlic bread and garlic aioli to garlic fries. The garlic recipes in this post make the best of the much-beloved allium, so get your Pinterest trigger finger ready! 

Fresh garlic from California is available year-round, so if you don’t see it in your local grocery, ask why it isn’t stocked. You’ll want the freshest, best, and safest product for these tasty dishes.

Click here to cook with garlic!

California garlic is typically planted in the fall, allowing it to take root over the winter and flourish in the spring and summer. The garlic bulbs are harvested in mid-summer when the plants dry out. This labor-intensive process ensures that only the highest quality garlic makes it to your table. It’s no wonder that CA GROWN garlic is a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike, known for superior taste and texture.

What is Garlic Butter?

Garlic butter is the secret weapon every garlic lover needs in their culinary arsenal. Think of it as your secret sauce, where unsalted butter meets the bold flavors of cloves of garlic and the heat of Fresno chiles. The combination of creamy butter with the pungent kick of garlic creates a versatile condiment that can be used in a myriad of ways.

Totally customizable, your version can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. At its core, it’s just butter and garlic. But adding the optional Fresno chile peppers? You bring it to a whole other level. This condiment is perfect for enhancing the flavors of your favorite recipes, making everything from roasted vegetables to seafood taste even better. It’s a simple recipe with a big impact, and it’s guaranteed to become a staple in your kitchen all year round.

The Only Ingredients You Need to Make Garlic Butter

Creating this simple recipe requires only the finest ingredients from California:

  1. Real California Unsalted Butter: The foundation of our luxurious sauce. Using unsalted butter allows you to control the saltiness of the final product.
  2. Fresh California Garlic: These cloves of garlic pack a punch. Fresh garlic has a sharp, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens as it cooks.
  3. Fresno Chile Pepper: This is totally optional, but it is the element that brings the heat. Fresno chiles are mildly hot with a sweet, fruity flavor, making them perfect for adding a little kick without overwhelming the dish.

These basic ingredients are all you need to craft a homemade garlic butter that’s destined to become a staple in your kitchen. The best part is that these ingredients are easy to find and store, so you can whip up a batch anytime you need it.

Step-by-Step How to Make Garlic Butter

We’re visual learners and our guess is you are too. So, here’s a visual step-by-step on how you make this recipe. This way, you can see the process before you start. Most importantly, be sure to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go. This recipe cooks fast, and you don’t want to risk burning the butter or thin slices of garlic.

How to Use Delicious California Garlic Butter

Now that you’ve whipped up the best garlic butter ever, let’s explore how to use it to its fullest potential.

Drizzled Over Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Imagine crispy roasted potatoes, fresh out of the oven, drizzled with our easy garlic butter sauce. The best part? Topping them with crisped garlic and chile wheels. This simple garlic butter takes your potatoes to the next level, turning them into a show-stopping side dish. The rich, savory flavors seep into the crispy edges of the potatoes, creating a delightful contrast of textures. This dish is perfect for a casual family dinner or a fancy dinner party.

Brushed Over Roasted Sweet Corn

Take your sweet corn game to new heights by brushing it with homemade garlic butter. The combination of sweet corn and garlic butter is a game changer, adding so much flavor with every bite. This method is one of our favorite ways to enjoy sweet corn during the summer months.

To achieve the sweetest most succulent sweet corn you’ve ever tasted, our friend Meg of This Mess is Ours swears by roasting it inside the husk in the oven. Click here to learn how she does it.

Everyday Meals Made Next Level

This isn’t an ingredient that is just for special occasions. Incorporate it into your everyday meals to elevate them from basic to next level. It’s a great way to add fresh flavor to simple recipes without much effort. Here are a few ideas for using garlic butter in your everyday cooking:

  • Garlic Bread: Drizzle a generous amount on slices of toasted French bread or baguettes. This homemade garlic bread is perfect for pairing with pasta dishes or soups.
  • Sautéed Vegetables: Use it to sauté your favorite vegetables such as green beans, asparagus, or mushrooms. The butter adds richness, while the garlic and chiles add a burst of flavor.
  • Seafood: Brush it over grilled shrimp, scallops, or fish for a deliciously flavorful seafood dish.
  • Pasta: Toss cooked pasta in garlic butter for a simple yet satisfying meal. Add a sprinkle of Romano cheese and a handful of fresh herbs for extra flavor.

Tips and Tricks You Should Know

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh ingredients like raw garlic and unsalted butter make all the difference. Fresh garlic has a much more vibrant flavor than pre-minced garlic, and using high-quality butter ensures a rich, creamy texture.
  • Spicy or Not, You Decide: Your spice level is your business. If you like it hot, add thinly sliced chiles to the mix. If not, leave them out and opt for a more mellow flavor experience.
  • Don’t Overdo the Garlic: Balance is key. Too much raw garlic can overpower your garlic butter. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.
  • Experiment with Herbs: For an herbaceous variation, add some fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary. These herbs add a fresh, aromatic note that perfectly complements the garlic and butter. Or try our friend Kate’s Garlic Butter Sauce, which is loaded with herbs, wine, and citrus!

Why You’ll Be a Big Fan

This essential cooking component is not just delicious, it’s also incredibly easy to make. With simple ingredients and a straightforward recipe, garlic butter is a great way to add a lot of flavor to your dishes. Once you start using it, you’ll find yourself reaching for it again and again. It’s the kind of ingredient that can turn a good dish into a great one, adding depth, richness, and a touch of California sunshine to every bite.

Ready to shake your garlicky groove thing? Check out this California Grown Spotify playlist:


Craving more CA GROWN goodness? Follow us on Pinterest for fresh and fabulous recipe inspiration!

Garlic butter next to a plate of crispy garlic and pepper slices.

California Grown Garlic Butter (with Spicy Option)

Meg van der Kruik
This recipe features the rich flavors of crispy garlic and spicy Fresno peppers, perfectly infused into smooth, melted Real California butter. The end result is garlic butter that's perfect for drizzling over almost anything and crispy garlic and pepper slices that make for a delicious garnish.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Rest Time 5 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 106 kcal


For the butter:

  • 8 TBSPS Real California butter
  • 8 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 Fresno pepper thinly sliced


To make the butter:

  • In a medium-sized saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter over medium-low heat.
  • Once the butter is melted, add the thinly sliced garlic and fresno pepper to the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly to ensure even cooking and to prevent the garlic and pepper from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Gradually increase the heat to medium while continuing to stir. The goal is to bring the butter to a gentle simmer, which will help in crisping up the garlic and Fresno slices without burning them.
  • Continue to stir and cook until the garlic just starts to turn golden brown, and the Fresno pepper slices become slightly crispy. This process should take about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn as it can turn bitter.
  • Once the garlic and Fresno pepper slices are crispy, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Carefully strain the butter through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl, separating the crispy garlic and Fresno pepper slices from the infused butter.
  • Spread the crispy garlic and Fresno pepper slices on a paper towel to absorb any excess butter and let them cool. They will become even crispier as they cool down.


Make sure to slice the garlic and Fresno pepper as thinly and evenly as possible for consistent cooking.
Monitor the heat closely to prevent the garlic from burning. If the butter browns, it’s still ok to eat and will be even more nutty and delicious. If the garlic burns, the taste will be bitter.
Pour the strained, infused butter into a clean container. Allow it to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating. The butter will solidify and can be used as flavored butter for various dishes. The infused butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 1TBSPCalories: 106kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 2mgPotassium: 20mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 372IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword apple butter, chile, Chili Garlic Sauce, Fresno chile, garlic butter, Garlic Butter Sauce
Tried this recipe?Mention @cagrownofficial or tag #CAGROWN!

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