Papa John’s Garlic Dipping Sauce

If you are like me, you love the garlic dipping sauce from Papa John’s. Their garlic sauce is the best part of Papa John’s Pizza.  What is the best part of this Papa John’s copycat recipe? You can make it for your next homemade pizza night. Typically the only problem with this sauce, is that there is never enough, you won’t have this problem any longer, now that you have this copycat recipe. 

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

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What makes Papa Johns Creamy Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce So good? 

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

When you make it from scratch, you can use it for many more things. You can spread it on bread for simple garlic bread or even spread some on a steak just before serving. No matter how you use this, your taste buds will be delighted.

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 so margarine is the suitable ingredient to use.
  • Simple recipe ​- you can make this creamy sauce in no time. 
  • 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 two simple ingredients are all you need to create a yummy garlic sauce with classic Papa John’s flavor.

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 to any recipe you will try. Many recipes use garlic powder, but it 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. Top it with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 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.

To Freeze: Place it in a freezer-safe container. Or in ice cube trays until frozen, then transfer the cubes to a plastic freezer bag. It will last frozen for up to 4 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.

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

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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.
4.99 from 53 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
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. tommytoe

    Hi good afternoon just read your recipe about PAPA John’s Garlic sauce (good stuff BTW).  How can I get more body to your recipe?  I thought about infusing EVOO or the other vegan spread you mentioned.  Open to suggestions.  I want to use it on grilled cauliflower steaks.

  2. vizardknight

    I just made this and ate it with Domino’s pizza…I’m soon confused but my taste buds are celebrating christmas in Sept.

  3. Karen Stevenson

    Oh my goodness does it really taste like papa johns garlic dipping sauce.becasue the first time I tried it I was hooked on it and I can’t seem to find it anywhere near me either cause I don’t live in a major city

  4. Cassandra

    Ok, here it goes. I’m gonna try this and spread it on artisan bread to side with lasagna. I have margarine, minced garlic and I’m going to add a little minced, roasted jalapeno. I like spicy, but just a bit. Hoping it turns out as good as some I have read about.

  5. Scott

    Is the picture showing what the recipe actually produces? I’m not understanding how this could come out yellow or how the garlic powder could actually mix with the butter oil. I’ve tried to mix it for 5 minutes and it still doesn’t mix the least bit.

  6. Deb Morgan

    Butter had froth on top but nothing on bottom. (Just two layers.) Also, garlic powder did not mix in very well. What went wrong?

  7. A natural born American

    Sometimes, when I make toast, I spread Papa John’s garlic sauce on it in place of everything else. Then I eat it with a glass of my favorite wine cooler. Nice treat.

  8. YellowYam

    You can re-create Papa Johns sauce without the trans fat by mixing light olive oil, garlic powder, and a little water. It tastes identical and is better for you.

    • Kris

      So you’re saying your garlic butter tastes too much like… butter? Hmmm I wonder what you think butter is supposed to taste like then?

  9. kevin1

    When using salted butter you can omit the salt in this recipe. Also, the sauce will taste better if you infuse the butter with crushed garlic rather than powdered, and it won’t be gritty.

  10. Betty

    Don’t throw away the milk solids! Take a warm pizza crust or bread roll and dip it in it and you won’t be sorry. Plus, all the milk solids is casein, which is a great protein source.

    • Budgie

      Yes. It’s way easier with margarine. Just take 2 tablespoons of margarine, nuke in microwave for a few seconds, then add 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and mix. Doesn’t get much easier than that!

      • Spock loves Pizza

        Thankyou for this!!!! I always tried making my own by just mixing melted butter and garlic powder but now I can actually make the real thing. Thanx Stephanie!

4.99 from 53 votes (46 ratings without comment)

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