Home Copycat Recipes Papa John’s Garlic Sauce (Easy Copycat)

Papa John’s Garlic Sauce (Easy Copycat)

If it’s wrong to order pizza just for the Papa John’s garlic sauce, then I don’t want to be right.

And I don’t just save it for the crust! Oh no! That stuff goes onto every single bite. 

Papa John's Garlic Sauce (Easy Copycat) featuring homemade Papa John's garlic butter sauce in a bowl
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Believe me, when you have something as perfect as this dipping sauce, you’ll be putting it on everything. So, I suggest you make it in bulk.

But don’t panic, it’s just three ingredients and a little bit of your time. That’s it. 

Trust me when I say it’s worth every second!

Papa John’s Garlic Sauce

Are you looking for a way to jazz up homemade pizza night? Or for something to add flavor to pretty much any dish? This sauce is for you!

Made using margarine, garlic powder, and salt, you’ll wonder how you’ve never made it before. 

Simply melt your margarine and add in the garlic and salt to your liking. Let it sit for a few minutes to marry the flavors.

I promise there won’t be a crust discarded ever again. And it’s so easy to make, you can have it ready to go in a matter of minutes.

The beauty of making this sauce at home is that you can modify it to your own preference.

I can’t be the only one that adds double the garlic to every recipe… right? 


Three ingredients. It really is that easy. Of course, there are a few variations out there, and you can change things up if you want. 

Maybe add in some parsley or even chili flakes for a little heat?

  • Margarine – It might seem strange to use margarine over butter, but it’s how they do it at Papa John’s HQ. And who am I to argue?
  • Garlic powder – This stuff is pretty potent, so you won’t need to use as much as you would fresh.
  • Salt – I would suggest using a good sea salt.

Tips for Making Papa John’s Garlic Sauce

  • Use margarine for best results. I know you panicked when you saw margarine on the list. But it does work, as Papa John’s can attest to. And it is ideal for that buttery texture.
  • Okay, you can use butter, too. Use full-fat, unsalted butter. Not only will it melt beautifully, but it will also impart tons of irresistible flavor.
  • Only have salted butter? You can to make the sauce by omitting the additional salt.
  • Try it with fresh garlic. It will give you a strong flavor. Typically, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder= 1 fresh clove. For this recipe, you will need approximately 12 cloves of minced garlic. Let it steep and then strain it out, or keep it in the sauce for pops of garlicky goodness. 
  • Or, even better, use roasted garlic. It has a slightly less intense flavor and will make the sauce even creamier.  
  • Use clarified butter to avoid butter separating. As you gently melt the butter, you will see milk solids rise and float to the top. Carefully remove these with a slotted spoon, leaving behind pure butter. This will give you a smooth sauce and is a great way to incorporate into cooking as it has a higher smoke point. It’s ideal for cooking steaks. 

What to Serve With This Sauce

As mentioned before, this garlic and salted sauce is pure flavor. And it tastes amazing on anything. But it was created for pizza, and that is where it truly belongs. 

  • Try making a simple pizza dough recipe. Then, you can have this sauce on the table for those crusts.
  • You could even double the dough and make a garlic bread pizza. Brush the sauce all over and sprinkle with cheese for an easy and amazing side. Don’t forget to bake!  

The great news is that garlic and butter will more or less elevate every dish you make.

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These might include:

  • Easy parmesan pasta made by melting butter and parmesan through the hot spaghetti. Using garlic butter would give you tons of extra flavor. 
  • Garlic butter baked salmon is made on one tray with roasted potatoes and vegetables. This will become a fast favorite.
  • Skillet steak made by heating the pan on high heat- perfect for that clarified butter option.
  • Baked garlic butter chicken is literally baked in a dish full of garlic butter. It is the most flavorful and juicy chicken dish you’ll ever try.
  • Garlic mashed potatoes will be your new go-to once you try them with this sauce stirred through.

How to Store Papa John’s Garlic Sauce

You will need to let the sauce cool completely before putting it in the fridge. 

Once cooled, scrape every last drop into an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

You can also freeze the sauce. Once in the container and covered, it will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

I would suggest making a big batch and pouring into these ice cube trays with lids. This gives you perfect portions. And you also won’t need to thaw a large tub just for one dish. 

Ice cube portions are perfect for cooking steak! You can pop them out and right onto the steak. They will slowly melt and add incredible flavor without burning. 

Papa John’s Garlic Sauce (Easy Copycat)



Prep time


Cooking time



You don’t need to order pizza to enjoy Papa John’s garlic sauce. This copycat recipe makes it so easy to have it right at home!


  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup margarine

  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • In a microwave-safe bowl, add the margarine and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add in the garlic powder and salt, mixing to fully incorporate.
  • Carefully taste and adjust accordingly – add in extra margarine if you added too much salt or garlic.
  • Microwave for another five seconds and stir until everything has dissolved.
  • Serve with freshly made pizza or crunchy French bread.
Papa John's Garlic Sauce

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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