Garlic Butter Steak

This Garlic Butter Sirloin Steak recipe first appeared on Savory Experiments, where I am a contributor.

This Garlic Butter Steak is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Seared steak is brought to another level with homemade garlic herb butter. Whether you serve this quick steak recipe for an at-home date night or sear several for the family, it makes for a decadent meal for any occasion!

Close up of sliced garlic butter steak on a plate with peas and mashed potatoes

Is there anything better than a steak made at home that tastes like something you’d enjoy at a steakhouse?

To be honest with you, this Garlic Butter Steak recipe is that and more.

Why I love this recipe:

Not only is it wonderfully meaty and garlicky, but this Seared Steak with Garlic Butter Sauce feels special and fancy without requiring a ton of time, effort or skill.

Hello, at-home date night!

You can just make one for yourself or make several for a crowd to enjoy. (Just be sure that you’re following the instructions because an overcrowded pan yields a less-than-perfect steak.)

It also pairs with so many different side dishes, making it the perfect centerpiece for any special meal you want to make and share.

Also, the garlic butter is excellent on bread, too! Use the extra butter on a slice of toasted bread and serve it alongside your steak to sop up the juices.

Steakhouse-worthy sides to try alongside this steak: Spinach Madeline | Lemon Pepper Green Beans | Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic | Bacon Apple Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette | Honey Roasted Whole Carrots

Need dinnertime inspiration? Head on over to my Dinner Recipe Index for more ideas.

Two steaks on a white plate surrounded by herbs, garlic butter, salt and pepper

What you need to make this:

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Steak—I used top sirloin steak for this recipe because sirloin is excellent for both grilling and skillet cooking. However, you may use your favorite type of steak if you prefer a ribeye, tenderloin, etc.
  • Salt and pepper—you’ll need both of these to season your steak and some salt for the garlic butter, too. As a rule of thumb, I like to use about a teaspoon of medium-grain kosher salt for every pound of steak. Do the black pepper by eye.
  • Unsalted butter—this serves as the base for the compound butter. I like to use unsalted butter because then I can control the saltiness.
  • Garlic—freshly minced, please and thank you. While the pre-minced stuff is great, fresh garlic that you mince yourself will have stronger flavor, and we want that in this steak recipe. Garlic powder would also work in a pinch, though I prefer the fresh stuff.
  • Lemon—we’re using the zest of a single lemon, and it gives a little pop of citrus and acidity to the butter! SO good.
  • Fresh parsley—be sure to chop it up relatively finely for the butter and have extra for garnish. You can use flat leaf or curly parsley.
Close up of a scoop of garlic herb butter for steak on top of a steak

How to make Herb Butter for Steak

Before you get started…

This process is easier if your butter is at room temperature and softened. Remove it from the fridge 30-45 minutes before mixing.

Combine the butter with minced garlic, chopped parsley, lemon zest and kosher salt in a medium bowl.

Use a hand mixer or a rubber spatula to stir until combined. If your butter is soft enough, a rubber spatula should be fine.

Form the butter into a log (and place it on wax paper or plastic wrap for storage) or transfer it to a storage container and place in the refrigerator.

It can be refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.

You may leave at room temperature if you’re cooking the steak shortly after mixing.

Collage showing how to sear steak and season it with garlic butter sauce for steak

How to Cook Steak with Garlic Butter

Remove the steaks from the fridge 30-45 minutes before cooking. Let them warm up.

Why? Your steak will cook more evenly if it has a chance to come to temperature instead of cooking it cold.

Warm a cast iron skillet over medium high heat a few minutes before you’re ready to make the steak. It needs to be screaming hot to help get a good sear and caramelization on the outside of the steak, which provides both flavor and texture.

As the cast iron skillet warms, season the steak with salt and pepper. If the steak is thicker, remember to get the sides, as well as the top and bottom.

Place the seasoned steak in the middle of the skillet dry. Do not add the butter yet.

Pro tip!

Unless you have a huge cast iron skillet, cook one steak at a time to not overcrowd the pan. The steak will sear less efficiently and will take longer.

Sear the steak for 4 minutes. Flip with tongs and cook for another 2. This will get you close to rare or medium rare, depending on the thickness.

If the steak has a fat cap, sear this part for a few minutes, too, so it caramelizes.

Lower the heat and add 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter per steak. This makes it into a garlic butter sauce for steak. Baste for another 2-3 minutes, or until the steak is within 10 degrees of your ideal temperature.

Remove the steak from the pan, and let rest for 10-15 minutes under foil.

Serve with another tablespoon of the butter on top, and enjoy with your favorite sides!

Sliced steak on a wooden cutting board

Storage, make ahead and freezing options

Make the garlicky herb butter ahead of time! Not only will this make it easier to dollop it onto the steak, but you won’t be trying to make it while also cooking the steak.

If you have leftover steak, store it in an airtight storage container in the fridge for to 2-3 days. Try to leave it whole if you can!

To eat leftover Garlic Steak, remove it from the fridge 30-45 minutes beforehand. Let it come to room temperature and serve it like that instead of reheating it because the steak can overcook.

If you want to reheat the steak, add it to a hot skillet without any additional butter and warm through.

You can freeze the garlic herb butter if you wrap it well for up to 3 months.

A whole steak topped with a scoop of herb butter for steak on a plate with peas and mashed potatoes

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you put in butter when cooking steak?

While you can use plain butter (salted, please), adding a garlic butter to steak makes it shine and adds extra flavor in the form of garlic, parsley and lemon.

Is it good to cook steak in butter?

Yes… but you must do it the right way. We sear this steak without any butter. Once both sides have been seared, we add the butter and baste the steak for the perfect finish.

Do you put butter on steak before or after?

Steak goes onto butter near the end of the cooking process.

A QUICK GUIDE TO

Steak Temperature

When you’re cooking steaks, you need to know the end temperature you’re aiming for so you cook it correctly. (Personally, I like my steak medium rare, but you do you!)

Pro tip: Your steak will continue cooking after it has been removed from the heat. Remove it from the heat when it is within 5-10 degrees of your ideal temperature.

Here are the temperatures:

  • Rare (cool red center): 125°F
  • Medium rare (warm red center): 135°F
  • Medium (warm pink center): 145°F
  • Medium well (light pink center): 150°F
  • Well done (cooked entirely through): 160°F

Also, use an instant read meat thermometer* (affiliate link) to confirm the temperature.

Sliced steak on a white plate with peas and mashed potatoes

Tips and tricks for cooking steak and making garlic herb butter

  • Use cast iron. It’s heavier and conducts heat well.
  • An instant-read meat thermometer* (affiliate link) comes in clutch! If you don’t have one of these, please seek one out and use it whenever you cook meat at home.
  • Cook to temperature… The steak will continue cooking when removed from the pan. When it’s 5-10 degrees of your desired temperature, place the steak on a plate to rest.
  • Don’t be shy about the garlic butter. It bastes the steak and adds a burst of garlicky goodness with each bite.
  • Use the right cut of meat. Top sirloin steak is what I used, but you could also use another cut of steak, like ribeye or New York strip. 

Other steak recipes you might enjoy:

Close up of sliced garlic butter steak on a plate with peas and mashed potatoes
Yield: 2 steaks

Garlic Butter Steak

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

This Garlic Butter Steak is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Seared steak is brought to another level with homemade garlic herb butter. Whether you serve this quick steak recipe for an at-home date night or sear several for the family, it makes for a decadent meal for any occasion!

Ingredients

Garlic Butter

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Garlic Butter Sirloin Steaks

  • 2 sirloin steaks (about 2 lbs., about 1.5” thick)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Garlic Butter, softened

Instructions

Make the Garlic Butter

  1. Combine the softened butter with the minced garlic, chopped parsley, lemon zest and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Use a hand mixer or a rubber spatula to stir to combine.
  3. Roll into a log or transfer to a storage container to keep the butter in the refrigerator. This can be kept for 2-3 week in the fridge. You may also leave at room temperature if you’re cooking the steak shortly after mixing it.

Cook the Sirloin Steaks

  1. About 30-45 minutes before cooking, remove the steaks from the fridge and let them come to temperature.
  2. Warm a cast iron skillet over high heat. (You want it screaming hot because this will get a good sear and caramelization on the outside of the steak, which provides both flavor and texture.)
  3. As the cast iron skillet heats, season the steak with salt and pepper on all sides.
  4. Place the steak in the middle of the skillet dry. Do not add the butter yet, and do not overcrowd the pan.
  5. Sear the steak for 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2. This will get you close to rare or medium rare, depending on the thickness of your steak. If the steak has a fat cap, be sure to sear this part, too, for a few minutes so it caramelizes.
  6. Lower the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter per steak. Baste for another 2-3 minutes, using a spoon to drizzle the butter back on the steak as it cooks, until the steak reaches your ideal temperature.
  7. Remove the steak from the pan, and let rest for 10-15 minutes under foil.
  8. Serve with another tablespoon of the garlic butter, and enjoy with your favorite sides!

Notes

The cook times will vary based on the thickness of the steak, as well the temperature you like to eat your steak.

Steak temperatures:

•Rare (cool red center): 125°F
•Medium rare (warm red center): 135°F
•Medium (warm pink center): 145°F
•Medium well (light pink center): 150°F
•Well done (cooked entirely through): 160°F

Please note that the steak will continue cooking after it is removed from the skillet, so remove it when the temperature is within 5-10 degrees of your ideal temperature.

How to store: Store leftover steak in an airtight food storage container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

How to enjoy leftover steak: Remove it from the fridge 30-45 minutes before eating, and let it come to room temperature. Serve it like this instead of reheating it because the steak can overcook. However, if you want to reheat the steak, add it to a hot skillet without any additional butter and cook until warmed through. Do not microwave,

How to take a steak’s temperature? Use a digital meat thermometer. Simply poke the thermometer’s tip into the center of the steak. Do not to push it all the way through the other side. Let the thermometer tell you what the temperature is. Transfer the steak to a plate and cover if it’s within 5-10 degrees of your ideal temperature or cook for more time if you want it more cooked through.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 912Total Fat: 90gSaturated Fat: 54gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 285mgSodium: 2695mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 24g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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