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. Drew Clausing

    5 stars
    I don’t understand why it will only last 4 days in the fridge. Doesn’t margarine basically last for months and months in the fridge and the garlic should last too, right? Seems like it should last at least several weeks.

    • Stephanie Manley

      So there is a small risk of botulism when it sits in oil. I don’t want to risk anyone getting sick, so I put a shelf-life on it. The University of Michigan has put some documentation on garlic safety here.

  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.

    • Floyde Dehanne

      4 stars
      Ditch the extra salt at thr end the parmesan chew itself provides it and white pepper harmonizes better. 🙂

  3. MWHstd

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

4.99 from 53 votes (46 ratings without comment)

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