Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes




Copycat Papa John’s Garlic Sauce Recipe

Copycat Papa John’s Garlic Sauce Recipe

One of the most popular items on the menu at Papa John's is the garlic dipping sauce. In fact, their dipping sauce might be our favorite thing about ordering Papa John's pizza. Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough of it, but if you learn to make your own copycat Papa John's garlic sauce, you will never run out again. This copycat sauce does not just taste great on pizza and breadsticks; it also tastes great on hamburgers and garlic bread. You can even make Shrimp Scampi with it.

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Once you perfect this copycat recipe, you will want to use this sauce on more than just pizza or breadsticks.

©Anna Puzatykh/Shutterstock.com

What is Papa John's Garlic Dipping Sauce Made Of?

Papa John's iconic dipping sauce contains salt, spices, garlic, wheat starch, dried onion, soybean oil, and paprika extract. Surprisingly, Papa John's garlic sauce does not contain actual butter. While some copycat recipes use butter, for a more authentic copycat sauce, it should be made with margarine. The Papa John's website also clarifies that the garlic in the ingredients list is dehydrated, so this famous dipping sauce is made of garlic powder and margarine.

taking margarine from the jar with the knife
While you can use butter, Papa John's makes their famous garlic sauce with margarine.


In the late 1980s, Papa John's introduced their signature garlic sauce, which has since become one of the brand's most popular accompaniments to their pizzas and other menu items. Even those who are not big fans of Papa John's pizzas admit their garlic dipping sauce tastes amazing.

Recognizing people's love for their dipping sauce, in 2019, Papa John's turned the garlic flavor into a crust option by baking its Garlic Sauce and Parmesan cheese into the crust. This new specialty pizza also became very popular. Unlike its competitors, Papa John's had not previously offered any flavored crusts.

In 2017, the company played a prank on garlic sauce enthusiasts by announcing on Twitter that it would sell gallon jugs of the sauce for 10 dollars. This idea was met with such enthusiasm that Papa John's actually started offering gallon jugs the following year, although they raised the price to 20 dollars. One TikToker celebrated by making a garlic sauce dipping fountain. However, you do not have to spend that much money. Our copycat recipe rivals the original at a fraction of the cost.

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Customers love Papa John's garlic sauce so much that the pizza chain now offers it in a gallon-sized container. They also have a specialty pizza with a garlic sauce-infused crust.

©Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.com

What are the Ingredients in Papa John's Garlic Sauce?

This iconic dipping sauce is made with simple ingredients.

  • Margarine — As mentioned earlier, Papa John's garlic sauce is actually made with margarine, not butter. However, do not panic. You can use butter if you prefer. If you do use butter, use unsalted butter because it will melt wonderfully and add more flavor to the sauce.
  • Garlic Powder — If you use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, use it sparingly because it is strong stuff. You can also use roasted garlic, which has a slightly less intense flavor and makes a creamier sauce.
  • Salt — Sea salt is a good option for this recipe.
  • Spices — Oregano and basil appear in this recipe. For more authenticity, you can also add paprika.

You may also customize this recipe by adding chili flakes for a bit of spiciness or any other spice you enjoy.

Bowl of homemade sauce and garlic isolated on white, top view
Our copycat Papa John's garlic dipping sauce is made with simple ingredients found in most pantries.

©New Africa/Shutterstock.com

How Do I Store the Leftovers?

To store your leftover Copycat Papa John's Garlic Sauce, follow these steps.

  • Allow the garlic sauce to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or jar.
  • This copycat sauce will last in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Additionally, this sauce will last in the freezer for up to three months.
  • Before serving, stir the sauce thoroughly because the ingredients may have settled.

Pro-tip: If you make a big batch and decide to freeze the extra sauce, you can pour the garlic sauce into ice trays to freeze, which will give you the perfect portions for thawing.

Ice cube tray with herbs frozen in oil and fresh rosemary on grey table, flat lay. Space for text
Ice trays are a great tool for freezing small portions of sauces, making them easier to thaw when needed.

©New Africa/Shutterstock.com

In Summary

Our copycat recipe for Papa John's delicious garlic dipping sauce is much cheaper and takes approximately five minutes to prepare. Once you make this copycat sauce, you will want to use it on everything from garlic bread to shrimp to hamburgers. More importantly, you no longer have to worry about sharing or running out of this iconic pizza dipping sauce. You can make enough for everyone.

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Garlic sauce, ingredients and snack on wooden background

Copycat Papa John's Garlic Sauce Recipe

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  • Author: Bobbie Morris
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This simple recipe produces a delicious homemade version of Papa John's famous garlic dipping sauce, which is far more affordable than purchasing it directly from the pizza chain.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. In a small saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over low heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  3. Stir in the garlic powder, salt, dried basil, and dried oregano. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  5. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before serving.
  6. Serve the garlic dipping sauce alongside your favorite pizza, breadsticks, or other snacks.


Carefully taste and adjust this recipe to your personal preferences. Some may prefer more garlic or salt in their copycat sauce. However, if you add too much of either, add extra margarine to balance out the sauce.

  • Cook Time: 5
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