How to Make Ghee


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Ghee (also known as clarified butter) is delicious with a nutty aroma. It’s easy to make at home, perfect for those who are dairy-sensitive and cheaper than what you can buy in the store. Watch the tutorial video below!

Ghee in a glass jar on a window sill.

I learned how to make ghee several years ago for my brother and a few friends who are dairy-sensitive. Up until then, I’d always bought it in the store. But it’s incredibly easy to make and great for those following a specific dairy-free diet like paleo or Whole30.

Why do I love ghee? It’s shelf stable and has a high smoke point. That means it’s a great cooking fat and you can fry with it. It also has a distinctly sweet and nutty flavor that’s just delicious in so many different recipes.

A jar of ghee is like liquid gold and even if you don’t have any dietary sensitivity to dairy, I think you’ll simply love cooking with it.

What is Ghee?

Ghee is similar to clarified butter, where all the milk solids are removed, but it’s cooked just a tad bit longer. Those extra couple of minutes allow the milk solids on the bottom of the pan to begin to brown, which gives ghee a slightly different, more nutty flavor profile to clarified butter.

Ghee is a traditional Indian food and has been enjoyed in the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years. It’s also frequently used in Ayurveda and other healing medicines.

Watch the Video to Learn How to Make Ghee

Once you make ghee at home, it’ll be hard to go back to store-bought. Because it’s just so darn easy. Watch how I make it in the video below! 

Is Ghee Dairy-Free?

Sort of. I know that’s not a definitive response, but it depends on your level of sensitivity. And honestly, how well it’s been cooked. Yes, the milk solids are removed, but unless it’s been tested to be 100% casein free, I’d be remiss to claim it as dairy-free. Invariably some microscopic milk proteins may remain.

Now, in saying that, most folks who are dairy sensitive (to lactose and casein) find they don’t have any problems with ghee. But it’s something you’ll have to try for yourself. If you do have dairy sensitivities, I’d recommend straining the ghee through a coffee filter (or two) which has a tighter weave, rather than use a nut milk bag or cheesecloth.

Slicing butter and cooking on the stove to make ghee.

The Benefits of Ghee

If you’ve ever burned butter on the stove before, you know that smoky frustration. And what you’ve actually done is burned the milk solids in butter. Ghee doesn’t have those, it’s just pure butterfat. This means it has a high smoke point (making it perfect for sautéing and frying) and its a stabilized cooking fat, similar to rendered bacon fat.

Ghee is also nutrient-dense and contains vitamins A, K2 and gut-healing butyric acid. The great thing about homemade ghee is that because you’re starting with high-quality ingredients, you get a high-quality end product.

Pouring ghee through a cheesecloth into a glass jar.

What Happens if you Cook Ghee Too Long?

Well, you’ll end up with brown butter. That just means those milk solids on the bottom became really caramelized and the butter starts to smell like toffee or butterscotch. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just different.

The first time I made ghee I cooked it too long and thought I ruined it, but realized, “hmmm, this smells an awful lot like toffee.” Thankfully I didn’t toss it (I couldn’t bear to waste all that organic butter), so used it on veggies and cauliflower rice. Oh wow, it was delicious.

Two jars of ghee stacked on each other.

How to Make Ghee (3 Easy Steps)

Remember to start with the best ingredients possible by using unsalted, organic, grass-fed butter.

  1. Add about a pound to a small pot and cook on low heat. Once the butter is melted and it starts to simmer, you’ll notice the ghee separates into three layers.
  2. Foam forms on the top and it’ll sputter a bit, which is the water evaporating. Skim that off with a spoon (you’ll have to do this several times). As the ghee continues to cook, that foam turns into clear bubbles and the middle layer becomes translucent. You should also start to see the milk solid sludge sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. After 25-30 minutes, your ghee should be done. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a couple minutes, then strain it into a glass storage container. The ghee will become opaque and light yellow as it cools.

Watch my tutorial video above to see exactly how I make ghee. You can store the ghee at room temperature in a cupboard (away from direct light) for a few months. If you plan to keep it longer, it’s best to store in the refrigerator where it will last about a year.

More Easy Kitchen Staple Recipes

(dairy-free) Homemade ghee is easy to make and cheaper than what you can buy in the store. Watch the tutorial video to see how to make ghee.

How to Make Ghee

4.99 from 53 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 32 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Ghee is delicious and nutty with an aromatic smell. It’s perfect for those who are dairy-sensitive and easy to make at home. Just watch the tutorial video above! 



  • 1 pound unsalted butter


  • Slice it up. Slice the butter into cubes and place in a small pot on low heat. 
  • Melt and skim. Melt the butter and bring to a simmer. After several minutes, foam will form on top and it may sputter a bit. Use a spoon to skim off the top foam. You'll need to repeat this a few times. 
  • Cook. Continue cooking the ghee on low for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the middle layer is translucent and the smell is fragrant. You should also start to see some milk solids at the bottom of the pan. 
  • Strain and store. When the ghee is done, turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then strain the ghee through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or coffee filter into a glass storage container. 

Lisa’s Tips

  • The recipe makes approximately 2 cups of ghee.


Calories: 124kcal | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Ghee, Ghee Butter, Ghee Recipe, Homemade Ghee, How to Make Ghee, What is Ghee
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Originally published February 2017, but updated to include new information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’ve been away from home for six months and will be returning next week. I’m taking two days for the drive, and I have four pounds of grass fed butter… I’ve never made ghee before, but it occurred to me that it would probably travel better than butter would in the car, so I’m planning on converting it all to ghee! My question is, can I do it more than a pound at a time? Or is it better to stick with a pound and do it in four batches? Thanks! Love the video and the directions, they’re so clear and look to be easy to follow – I’ll know better, of course, when I actually attempt it! Fingers crossed! 🤞 😆5 stars

    1. Hi Janelle – that’s a great question. I’ve actually never made more than a pound at a time, so unfortunately don’t have a good answer for you. But if you have a large pot, I’d think you could at least do two pounds at a time. Hope a larger batch works out for you!

  2. Thanks for the simple and informative way to make ghee. I’ve looked everywhere in my local shopping sphere for it. Nada. Your video saved me a 3 hr trip to nearest biggest city to find it!5 stars

    1. Hi Caroline – I’m glad you found this recipe helpful. It really is easy to make at home. Hope you enjoy your batch of ghee!

  3. What if I don’t gave access to organic made butter, just regular unsalted butter?
    Thanks Adriana

  4. Hi..I’m at this moment 8:40 mst making my 1st pot of ghee, I live at 7200 ft above sea level. seems to be taking forever to turn to a darker color, it is now 40 minutes into the making,
    I’m still skimming and can’t yet see a darker color…and for some reason I can’t access your video..please help..D.Perry

  5. Great Video! Thanks so much. Question for you though, where did you get those adorable containers that you store your ghee in? Thanks!5 stars

  6. Hi I haven’t tried this you but I will. My question I suffer from chronic gastritis I have to stay away from fat…would this still be considered fatty and can you use it in baking recipes? Thank you.

    1. Hi Shirley – yes, this does still contain fat, but the milk solids are removed. It’s great for baking as well!

  7. I made it yesterday to be used with an Instant Pot Kale recipe. As it was melting and simmering I prepared ingredients for the Kale. I encountered one problem. Lisa lists several options for filtering the butter. I chose the coffee filter and used #4 cone filters. It required 7 filters as their pores quickly clog. Next time I will use cheese cloth.5 stars

  8. I absolutely love clarified or ghee it’s so much better than butter alone, it’s really great on popcorn, as it doesn’t make it soggy. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  9. I made this and it turned out excellent. I have one question what do you do with the white stuff that settles at the bottom of the pot? Thank you much easier to make yourself than buy it in the store.5 stars

  10. I’ve made ghee just like this, but I must confess that i eat those milk solids that I skim off the top. They’re a delectable treat! I’m going to use it to make kaju katli for Christmas.5 stars

  11. I’m excited to try this! Two questions: (1) After bringing the butter to a simmer, do you leave it at a simmer for the entire cooking time, or reduce the heat some? (2) When you are pouring the ghee through the filter, do you just pour the milk solids right in with it and let the filter keep them out, or do you try to only pour out the ghee and keep the milk solids in the pan?

    1. Hi Kelly – I usually have it on a low simmer. And you can pour everything from the pan through the filter, but you’ll see that many of the milk solids stay in the pan, so I just leave those there. Hope you love this recipe!

  12. Very well done presentation. This becomes much less expensive than buying gee and is soooo easy. I also like to leave it cook for a bit and slighly brown the milk solids. The browned bits add a layer of flavor to the Gee making it even better. 5 stars

  13. Thank you – the step-by-step video was helpful  👌🏻 And the coffee filter suggestion worked a treat.5 stars

  14. Great recipe, but please label it correctly. Ghee isn’t American cuisine. It’s Indian/South Asian cuisine. The word
    ‘ghee’ literally comes from Sanskrit.

  15. I’m very excited to learn on how to make this Ghee and cook with it. Can you share some of your foods you have cooked with Ghee. Thank you Jodie McFarland

    1. Hi Jodie- for many recipes that call for butter, you can replace it with ghee! Such as my sauteed cabbage.

  16. I love the containers you are using in the video for the ghee. Is it possible to post who makes them and where to buy?

  17. What happens if you use salted butter versus unsalted? Also, do you do anything with the milk fats that I presume are filtered out?

    1. Hi Tom – I personally toss those milk fats. And you could use salted butter, I just like to control the salt in my recipes and not have it in the butter/ghee I use.

  18. Thank you for this easy presentation. I would comment that the coffee filters I tried did not filter well. I would emphasize instead using the nut bag or cheesecloth. As I write this, the ghee has not filtered through the coffee filters I am using. It’s a drip-drip, very slow filter. Otherwise, the video was excellent!

  19. Absolutely never use a coffee filter. That will not work at all. Butterfat melted WILL NOT pass through a coffee filter. 

  20. Thanks for the recipe, much appreciated.

    Just a heads up, burning fats til they smoke or start changing color is no good for your health. This is when you begin introducing trans fats into the butter; any oil for that matter.5 stars

  21. thanks Lisa Wow Such a good site, one question please, did you tried to combine Cashew with Oats one Recipe on you tube claims its the best of both worlds, but the problem i have with all non dairy milk is the color of the finished coffee since non of thees milks are really White it doesn’t give the color of the coffee the same way, i was thinking about adding coconut flakes what do you Think?
    Thanks Again

    1. Hi Nuke – I haven’t tried that combination yet, but definitely sounds like something I would like to experiment sometime in the future! As for the coloring of non dairy milks, coconut flakes might make a slight difference. But test it out and let me know how it turns out!

      1. Will be making this today as will be needing for an Indian dish I’m making tomorrow.  The video is very helpful.  If you don’t mind, what brand of butter did you use?  Thanks!  

  22. I am making Madeleine which calls for Brown Butter. Decided to use this super easy recipe. I made extra for my husband to make popcorn. He used regular butter which of course burned like charcoal. Adding just a few teaspoons to the steamed jasmine rice. The texture is soft and chewy. When done, the whole house permeates this wonderful smell of new crop rice and toasted butter. 5 stars

    1. Hi Gigi – Ghee is such a great option for butter, and I love how you used this recipe for so many dishes! I’m happy both you and your husband loved this :)

  23. After only finding 15-20 minute recipes I stumbled across yours Lisa. To the point, easy to follow and incredibly concise directions. Thank you :) Turned out great.5 stars

    1. Great recipe! One comment, salted butter is fine to use. The salt stays with the milk solids so the final product won’t be salty or only slightly 😊

  24. Hi. Nicely explained. Eating ghee is part of our tradition. While preparing ghee I add tiny amount of turmeric and sea salt too. Next time pls try. 
    Jyothi from India

    1. Hi Jyothi – Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely try next time I make it. Thanks again for following :)

  25. As someone who grew up with ghee and watched it from milking, churning cream to the making of ghee, its so nice to be able to simply make it out of a stick of butter.5 stars

    1. Wow, that’s awesome that you’ve witnessed the whole process! But, yes, utilizing a stick of butter at the store is much easier. :)

  26. I had no idea this was so easy but I’m totally hooked now! Thanks for explaining exactly what to look for.5 stars

  27. Fantastic tips! I’m a huge advocate of ghee and we use it regularly in our meals at home. Love your detailed recipe.5 stars

    1. That’s awesome that you’re already a huge fan! Thanks for the kind comments, Shinta! :)

  28. Hi Lisa, I discovered your youtube channel only a week or 2 ago and I am already a huuuge fan!
    Meanwhile I’ve already watched all your videos, haha!

    Ghee is pretty expensive for a small container, here in Belgium. I had no idea I could make it so easily at home so i’m defenitely trying this!
    Just to know, you don’t stirr the butter while simmering? Just let it be and afterwords strain? (I saw the comment on your video that you shouldn’t skim off the foam? Have you tried it?).5 stars

    1. Thank so much Livana! And yes, don’t stir while it’s bubbling. Some people skim and some don’t. I think that part is personal preference and you can try both ways. Hope you enjoy your homemade ghee! :) x

  29. Hi there, I know this is a relatively old post but I’m just curious as to why one needs to use unsalted butter? Would it work fine with salted butter or does the salt interfere with the process?

    Ps. I’m a new subscriber to your YouTube channel and am absolutely loving the content you’re putting out. Keep it up :)

    1. Hi Nadja – so happy to hear you love my YouTube channel! I use unsalted butter as I like to control the amount of salt for each particular recipe. But if you’d like a saltier ghee, you could absolutely use salted butter. :)

  30. Yay, congratulations on Video #1 in your new home! Gorgeous kitchen space. I love ghee; and while I’m happy it’s more widely available in stores now, I DEFINITELY love this homemade version/recipe. Thank you for sharing another helpful tutorial!5 stars

    1. Thanks Liz! I love the space as well, but looking forward to when I’m 100% settled for sure. ;) As for the ghee, while homemade is best, it’s always good to have options!

  31. Great job on the video! I love ghee because of its high smoke point. I also love that you suggest ways to use the messed up result if you cook the ghee too long!

    1. Thanks Michelle! Yeah, sometimes mistakes aren’t so bad after all….especially when they taste like toffee. ;) x

  32. Oh wow I have never thought about making Ghee at home even though I love it very much. Thanks for the method, I am surely trying this one!

    1. I think it’s one of those things we just gravitate to buying at the store. But once you make it at home, I guarantee you’ll never buy it again. :)

  33. Amazing photos! I love all of your commentary. It was incredibly helpful and I learned a bunch. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Brandi! So happy to hear you loved the post and learned a bunch. Mission accomplished! ;) x