This luxurious lemon garlic butter sauce is the perfect accompaniment to fish, seafood, chicken and pasta. It’s simple, yet decadent—a little bit of this sauce goes a long way.
Table of contents
This sauce is:
Based off of the classic French beurre blanc sauce, this lemony version is ideal for fish and seafood. With a few more ingredients than a beurre blanc, my lemon garlic butter sauce still has the dreamy qualities of a beurre blanc; silky, decadent, rich.
The acidic lemon zest and juice cut through the rich butter while fresh chives add both something fresh and savory.
This lemon garlic butter sauce is great for:
Get creative with how you serve this sauce! Though simple, it is decadent and flavorful. Toss it with some angel hair pasta, spoon it over roasted cod, or serve it as a dipping sauce with shrimp and crab. The options really are endless, but this sauce does pair incredibly well with seafood.
If you’re going for a buttery seafood pasta, try swapping out the broth in favor of clam juice. If you haven’t cooked with clam juice before, don’t knock it ‘till you try it. It adds A TON of flavor to sauces and can be found in small glass bottles next to the canned tuna and salmon.
- Fish – pan seared salmon, cod, halibut, salmon cakes
- Seafood – crab, scallops, shrimp
- Vegetables – broccoli, green beans
- Eggs Benedict
Be sure to serve this sauce warm. As it cools it will begin to set up. You can reheat the sauce in a saucepan over low. Whisk until smooth; adding additional warm milk as needed.
How to make lemon garlic butter sauce
- Add BIG flavor to the broth, wine and milk and reduce them down
- Make a roux with butter and flour
- Slowly whisk reduced liquid into roux
- “Mount” butter into sauce—aka incrementally whisk butter into sauce until a thick, emulsified sauce is created.
If you can, use what the recipe calls for—at least the first time you make it. The ingredient modifications below are intended to show the versatility of ingredients AND help you think creatively about this recipe!
- low-sodium chicken broth or clam juice
- dry white wine or broth or clam juice
- Whole milk or cream thinned with some water
- Dried bay leaf or sprig of rosemary or thyme
- Chives or fresh dill or tarragon
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- Roasted Green Beans with Garlic & Lemon
- Browned Butter Garlic Noodles
- Lentil Stuffed Mushrooms
- Easy Salmon Cakes
- Roast Halibut
Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 sticks unsalted butter cut into tablespoons and chilled
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or more lemon juice
- Chives chopped
- Combine broth, wine, whole milk, garlic, shallot, and bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about half, 10–12 minutes.
- Heat one tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Sprinkle flour over butter and whisk to combine.
- Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is tan, but not brown, 2–4 minutes.
- Slowly and gradually whisk reduced liquid into roux, whisking vigorously to incorporate.
- Decrease heat to low and remove bay leaf. Gradually whisk butter into sauce 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each piece to melt before adding another (this is called mounting the sauce).
- Whisk in 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and vinegar; season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir in chives and serve.
- Optional: thin sauce to desired consistency with warm broth as needed.
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