Sauce

how to make a thick butter sauce | Family Cuisine

A thick butter sauce is a classic, decadent accompaniment to many different dishes. It can be made with milk or cream and it's usually both thicker and richer than the thinner sauces that are typically served with seafood.

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How to make a thick butter sauce

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.

side angle image of a metal plate filled with ice, shrimp, and a butter sauce in a white bowl

This sauce is:

  • Creamy
  • Fatty
  • Zesty
  • Fresh
  • Versatile

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.

Reading: how to make a thick butter sauce

The acidic lemon zest and juice cut through the rich butter while fresh chives add both something fresh and savory.

Overhead image of a metal plate filled with ice, shrimp, and a butter sauce in a white bowl

This lemon garlic butter sauce is great for:

Read more: how to make a garlic sauce for pizza | Family Cuisine

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.

  • Pasta
  • Fish – pan seared salmon, cod, halibut, salmon cakes
  • Chicken
  • 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.

Side angle image of a white glass bowl filled with a melted butter sauce

How to make lemon garlic butter sauce

  1. Add BIG flavor to the broth, wine and milk and reduce them down
  2. Make a roux with butter and flour
  3. Slowly whisk reduced liquid into roux
  4. “Mount” butter into sauce—aka incrementally whisk butter into sauce until a thick, emulsified sauce is created.
grid of step shot images showing the process of making lemon butter sauce
grid of step shot images showing the process of making lemon butter sauce

Ingredient substitutions:

Read more: Copycat Recipe: Zax Sauce (Dipping Sauce for Chicken & Fries)

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
Overhead image of a metal plate filled with ice, shrimp, and a butter sauce in a white bowl

You may also like…

  • Roasted Green Beans with Garlic & Lemon
  • Browned Butter Garlic Noodles
  • Lentil Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Easy Salmon Cakes
  • Roast Halibut
  • Side angle image of a white glass bowl filled with a melted butter sauce
  • Overhead image of a metal plate filled with ice, shrimp, and a butter sauce in a white bowl

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or tag #zestfulkitchen on social media if you make a recipe!

If you make this butter sauce, leave a comment and rating below! To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the bar below the recipe. Happy cooking!

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