Papa John’s Garlic Dipping Sauce

If you are like me, you love the garlic dipping sauce from Papa John’s. I love this buttery garlic sauce. It is the perfect dipping sauce for pizza. What is the best part of this Papa John’s copycat recipe? Not running out of this creamy garlic dipping sauce on homemade pizza night!

bowl of homemade Papa John's garlic sauce and a pizza.

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Creamy Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

You might wonder how you can make your garlic dipping sauce for pizza like Papa John’s. I have a recipe for you. Papa John’s garlic dipping sauce is a creamy garlic sauce that is perfect to dip those pizza crusts into.

When you make it from scratch, you can use it for so many more things. You can spread it on bread for a simple garlic toast, or even spread some on a steak just before serving.

Why This is the Best Papa John’s Garlic Sauce Recipe

There are a couple of reasons my copycat recipe is better than all the others:

  • Liquid Margarine – It’s the real secret to this recipe. Papa John’s doesn’t use butter and so margarine is the right ingredient to use.
  • Consistency – My copycat sauce has the same consistency as Papa John’s sauce. It’s thick and creamy and not melted.
bowl of copycat Papa John's garlic sauce and a pepperoni pizza.

Garlic Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you need:

  • Garlic – use fresh garlic cloves
  • Liquid Margarine

Yes, just 2 simple ingredients are all you need!

Papa John's garlic sauce ingredients.

Ingredient Notes about Papa John’s garlic dipping sauce

Fresh garlic is key and grating the garlic cloves brings out the flavor and gives it the right texture. Chopped garlic will make the sauce lumpy and you want the sauce to be smooth. Use a Microplane grater for best results.

I recommend using Parkay Squeeze Margarine because it is the closest match to the margarine Papa John’s uses in the sauce, if you will note their sauce has a creamy consistency. This recipe will have the closest sauce consistency of any recipe you will try. Many recipes use garlic powder, but garlic powder does not dissolve, because of this I do not recommend using it.

How to Make Garlic Butter Sauce

  1. Peel and grate the garlic.
  2. Place the grated garlic in a small bowl and add the margarine.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes.
copycat Papa John's garlic sauce in a bowl.

What to Serve with Garlic Sauce

Pizza and breadsticks are the perfect companions to this sauce. You can also use it for:

  • Baked Potatoes – use it instead of plain butter.
  • Mashed Potatoes – great for making garlic mashed potatoes.
  • Pasta – for a simple garlic pasta dish.
  • Seafood – melt it for dipping lobster or shrimp into it.
  • Steak – spread it on while the steak is hot.
  • Vegetables – great for adding flavor to steamed or roasted veggies.

How to Store Garlic Dipping Sauce

Place the sauce in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will last for 4 to 5 days.

If you love garlic, you should make garlic aioli and garlic wings.

overhead view of copycat Papa John's garlic sauce and pizza on a plate.

Try These Great Copycat Sauce Recipes

Popular Pizza Recipes

Be sure to check out more of my easy sauce recipes and the best fast food recipes here on!

bowl of homemade Papa John's garlic sauce and a pizza.

Papa John’s Garlic Sauce

You can make Papa John's garlic dipping sauce with this easy copycat recipe.
4.98 from 38 votes
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Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Garlic Dipping Sauce, Garlic Sauce, Papa Johns Garlic Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 417kcal


  • 1/4 cup liquid margarine Parkay squeeze margarine recommended
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons grated garlic about 4 garlic cloves


  • In a small bowl, combine the grated garlic and the liquid margarine, and stir well.
  • Allow the garlic sauce to rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with pizza.



Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Sodium: 536mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2030IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thoroughly Amused

    A table of contents for a recipe that is “stir together two ingredients” – its like the author knows theyre making fun of what recipe websites have become.

  2. R.E.S.

    Made this today following the directions per recipe and video exactly, Liquid Parkay spread with fresh GRATED garlic. It was so good that I ended up making a whole bottle’s worth to keep on hand.

  3. Tara

    4 stars
    I use roasted garlic I make and clarify a salted butter.i keep a small mason jar of it in the pantry at all times to go with homemade pizza crust,sauce,bacon and onion jam.for pizzas anytime.

  4. MWHstd

    I would like to mention that Papa John’s sauce is not vegan. Lactic acid comes from milk. Very misleading.

  5. Lizzyizzy

    I found that the most effective way to recreate the sauce is to not entirely melt the butter, so it remains partially a solid. This way, when you mid your Salt and garlic powder in, nothing falls to the bottom. The soft, sticky butter hold all the seasonings the same.

  6. HashBoy

    Some of the confusion in the comments in regards to the garlic not mixing in a probably due to semantics. Many people call granualized garlic, garlic powder when they are 2 very different things. I would not expect granualized garlic to mix very well, where as garlic power would.

  7. Tom

    The picture can’t be correct. The garlic powder doesn’t dissolve and just sits as a brown powder below the clarified butter. This was a waste of butter.

    • Glen

      Try a different form of garlic instead of the garlic powder. I used a garlic paste out of a tube since I didn’t have any powder on hand, and it worked fine. Also, if using salted butter, it doesn’t really need any more salt. I have also created it just using Smart Balance in a microwave, and that was much less of a hassle, too.

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Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2023


Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.