This dairy free garlic cream sauce is so versatile and adds a boost of flavor to any dish. A sauce guaranteed to get everyone at the table to eat their veggies!
This garlic cream sauce is creamy, delicious and dairy free. And it doesn't even taste like coconut!
Over the years, I've discovered that the rule of thumb with coconut is that if you use something that has a stronger flavor than the coconut, you don't taste the coconut. There's not a lot of ingredients out there that can accomplish that feat, but garlic is definitely one of them.
I use garlic all the time. I put it in almost everything. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. Because I use it so often, and I'm usually short on time, I use the minced garlic that comes in a jar.
You can buy it typically in the produce section (which has always puzzled me, but whatev), and keep it in the fridge for easy use.
Sometimes, though, you need true, fresh, garlic. Jarred garlic is great when garlic isn't the star of the show, but for this garlic cream sauce, it is definitely the star. So, no jarred garlic here. Only fresh, whole cloves, all pungent and up in your face. Yes, please.
Now, let me just tell you how easy this garlic cream sauce is to make. Seriously. It's stupid-easy. And stupid-good. You gotta be a garlic lover though. For all my garlic lovers, read on!
How to make garlic cream sauce
You can make it while dinner is cooking, or while you're prepping something else, and it's almost completely hands-off, which makes it worth its weight in gold.
(Clearly I place a lot of value in things that I don't have to babysit in the kitchen, eh?)
All you're going to do is melt the grass-fed butter or ghee, drop in your chunks of shallots and garlic cloves, and let them simmer on a low heat until they get soft. You don't need to watch it - go work on whatever else needs your attention in the kitchen, and come check on them in about 10 minutes.
Once they're all tender and buttery, you're just going to add the coconut cream from the can to the pot and allow it to heat up and melt.
(If you're not sure how to get this, it's just the "cream on top" when a can of coconut milk has separated in the fridge. You can also use a small can of coconut cream if you have that instead!)
To get the coconut milk to separate, just stick the can in the fridge for at least an hour (I just store one in there to always have it) and then when you open it, the cream and water will have separated.
Reserve the coconut water for a smoothie or other use, and put the coconut cream in the pot.
What tools do I need?
Once it heats up and gets smooth, remove the pot from the heat. Use your immersion blender (most essential kitchen tool ever, second only to the food processor) to blend everything up until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.
How to store the sauce
This garlic cream sauce can be stored in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Oh, and did I mention it can go on pretty much anything?
So far I've used it on a sausage, pepper and onion mixture, on potatoes, on fish…literally anything that benefits from garlic or from sauce is game. So, yeah, basically everything.
Looking for other sauces? Check out my recipes for ranch dressing, teriyaki sauce, and green goddess copycat - 3 reader favorites!
Garlic Cream Sauce
This garlic cream sauce is so versatile and adds a boost of flavor to any dish! Ready in just 20 minutes, its the perfect addition to a weeknight meal.
- 2 Tablespoons grassfed butter or ghee
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 6-8 cloves garlic
- 1 can coconut milk, cream only
- pinch salt
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter or ghee.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the shallots and garlic.
- Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
- With the separated can of coconut milk, use only the cream. Reserve the water for another use. Add the cream and the pinch of salt to the pot.
- Stir until melted and smooth, then remove from heat.
- Use an immersion blender to blend everything together until a smooth consistency is achieved and no chunks of shallot or garlic remain.
- Store in a sealed jar or container in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- The amount of garlic used in this recipe will greatly affect the intensity of the garlic flavor! If you are a big fan of garlic, then you may want to add more cloves to make it stronger. If you like a milder garlic flavor, you may want to add less.
- If sauce is too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon of the reserved coconut water to thin it out if needed.
- For the dairy free version, use ghee.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 10 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Saturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
How is this dairy free when it has butter ?
Hi Vikki - the recipe calls for ghee, which is dairy free. It provides the option to use butter if you are not dairy free.
If it’s got butter, it’s not really dairy free. Just FYI.
Hi Erica, thanks so much for your comment! Ghee is butter that the milkfat has been removed from, and is considered dairy free. For those that need the dairy free version, this is the recommended ingredient.
Hi Erica - ghee is dairy free. The butter is an option if you are not dairy free, but the ghee will keep it compliant if you are!
It has milk removed but for dairy allergy it still is unlikely safe
Hi Theresa, if someone has a dairy allergy, they will know what their body will react to. The ghee is just a cooking oil option, and can easily be replaced with olive oil, avocado oil, palm shortening or similar if someone has an allergy.
Made this to do some shrimp and zoodles pasta. Turned out great! Would definitely use this sauce for lots of things in the future.
Question: does it freeze and rethaw well? Or do things separate too much? Cause if it freezes well I’d make a big batch at once and freeze 8oz portions.
Glad you liked it! I've never tried freezing it. You can freeze ghee, so I imagine it would do fine. If you try it out, let me know how it goes!
Do you reheat the sauce, if so how? Or do you just use it cold
Hi Barbara - you can definitely reheat this sauce. I would recommend reheating it in a small saucepan over low heat until it thins out and warms through.
What if it comes out too runny, liquidy? Is that what the consistency should be?
It will be thicker than coconut milk - coconut cream does thin out a bit when heated, because it's melting. If you refrigerate it should solidify again. As it warms up it will thin out again. If you want it thicker, you could always experiment with adding a small amount of coconut flour or cassava flour and see what happens! I haven't tried that yet so I don't know, but I imagine it would just thicken it up a bit.
I just made this sauce tonight to put on top of chicken thighs and all 5 kids devoured it. That is saying a lot because there is almost at least one kid who doesn't like what is being served. I will be experimenting a lot with this to see what other dishes this goes well with. Thank you.
Yay! My little one always demands a "dunk" of some kind. I love being able to provide healthier options for the kids!
A dunk?! Lol mine call it "dip dip" . Im making garlic butter chicken with roasted carrots with this.
This sauce is amazing! The whole family loved it especially the fussy hubby. We used it for sauce over roasted broccoli, cauliflower, carrot & squash. Thanks for sharing
Hi Shannon, thanks so much! I'm so glad you loved it. 🙂
Hey, Looks good and making it now! Wondering if coconut oil could be substituted for the ghee? I currently have no ghee at my house and all we have is store brand butter - not organic (my husband purchased :/)
Hi Grace, I'm sorry I didn't see this comment before you made it - how did it turn out with the coconut oil? My guess is that it would be a little less creamy and might give it more of a coconut flavor. You could definitely increase the amount of garlic to take over that, but I imagine the end result would still be yummy. Let me know!
Erin M Mulvany
This was delightful!! I am so happy I found this! I have been looking for a cream sauce to go on my miracle noodles and this will be my go to! Thank you for sharing!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I love how easy it is to make, and how flavorful it comes out. 🙂
This turned out great to use as an alternative to cream soup in a casserole recipe. Plenty left over for another meal as well.
What a great idea, Sarah! I might have to put that to use in a future recipe 🙂
This sauce is AMAZING! Finally, a creamy paleo sauce without overwhelming coconut flavor. Personally, I used this sauce to sautéed scallops and asparagus and it was MORE than enough for 2 servings. I find myself thinking up different dishes just so I can make this sauce again and again. Thanks, Jess for this gem!
This literally made less than a serving of sauce. My husband and I shared this on our zucchini noodles, but there wasn't really enough for both of us - we had to make an additional batch to get enough flavor.
Side note - this sauce actually tastes pretty bad, so I added about 1 tbsp of pesto, and it was delicious!
Thanks so much for your comment! I'm sorry you experienced issues with the recipe. When made with a 14-oz can of coconut milk, the recipe fills a small 8 ounce mason jar, which was more than enough for my husband and me. If you really love sauce, then doubling it is certainly a great idea! The amount of garlic you put in will also greatly affect the flavor - I've gone ahead and added a note to the recipe for people to add more or less garlic to taste based on their personal preferences. Thanks so much for pointing that out!
In regards to the sauce tasting bad, I'm sorry you felt that way. Coconut milk is definitely an acquired taste for some who haven't used it regularly before, especially if you're expecting it to be similar to the flavor of dairy. I use it as a healthy alternative, and since everyone's taste buds are different, I'm aware not all the flavors I make will please everyone.
Thanks again for your thoughtful feedback, and for trying the recipe!