Beurre Blanc Sauce

Let’s start by saying I am not a classically trained French cook by any means. I’m just a lady in a kitchen and cooking makes me happy. Do you know what else makes me happy? White butter, also known as beurre blanc.

jar of beurre blanc sauce with a spoon resting on the side


What is Beurre Blanc Sauce?

Other than a fancy word that instantly makes any dish sound like the most elegant thing ever served, it is also one of the French “mother sauces”. It is the base for many other sauces and customizations.

It is a hot butter sauce mixture made of white wine, vinegar or lemon juice, shallots, and butter that is slowly melted, allowing the flavors to marry.

wooden spoon with lemon beurre blanc in the well

What Do You Use Beurre Blanc On?

Of the French classic sauces, beurre blanc is by far my favorite. Versatile and perfect for chicken, seafood (especially white fish), beef, pasta, and vegetables, there really isn’t anything this butter sauce doesn’t taste good on with its delicate profile.

I mean, if something could use a butter sauce, chances are this will work.

One of my favorite recipes to serve beurre blanc on is Crab Imperial Filet Mignon and Baked Cod, but drizzle it on anything for a delicious and decadent meal! Steak Frites with beurre blanc is also a favorite!

spoon dripping white butter sauce over cod


  • Dry White Wine– I like a pino grigio or sauvignon blanc, chardonnay seems to be woody too often.
  • Lemon Juice- Fresh is always best. Citrus juices start to lose flavor the moment they are juiced, so a fresh juice packs the most punch. Some recipes use white wine vinegar as the acid, but l like the tanginess of lemon juice.
  • Shallot- Shallots are on the milder end of the onion family. Sweet onion can give the same effect. We are really just looking for a slight onion flavor to leach into the sauce and then the larger pieces get filtered out.
  • Sea salt– Sea salt offers the cleanest flavor without a metallic aftertaste. If using coarse salt, double the amount and if you use salted butter, omit it all together.
  • Ground White Pepper– White pepper is milder than black pepper and blends into the sauce.
  • Heavy cream– Helps to pull it all together, thicken and give it the signature texture.
  • Unsalted butter- Cold and cubed is best. Cold ensures it won’t impact the temperature of the sauce too much. As you will learn below, the trick to a silky sauce is all about managing the temperature. Aim for the best butter you can get too- since it is the largest ingredient, the quality makes a difference.
angle view of jar of white butter sauce

How to Make Beurre Blanc Sauce

The trick to making a good beurre blanc is low to medium heat and continuously stirring to prevent the sauce from separating, making for a perfect emulsion.

Shallots and seasoning add flavor and are filtered out for a silky smooth sauce. Some people prefer to use an immersion blender to smooth it out, but I can still detect a mealier texture, so I prefer to strain.

  1. In a small saucepan, bring white wine, lemon juice and shallot to a low simmer, just barely bubbling. The goal is to combine the two liquids while letting the shallot flavors infuse them. Too high of a temperature will separate the liquids.
  2. Whisk in the fine sea salt, white pepper and cream, keeping at a super low temperature.
  3. Now, we create an emulsification, which in layman’s terms is breaking down the moluccas to be smaller and blend together. This requires agitation and slowly combining the two. Slowly whisk in a few butter cubes at a time until fully melted. The sauce will start to thicken and as soon as it does, remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the sauce through a fine sieve to remove large pieces of seasoning or shallot. Serve immediately.

If the sauce does seperate (broken sauce), whisk well to recombine. This is normal and it will taste the same.

Minced fresh herbs or bay leaf can also be used to infuse the sauce with flavor. Or swap out red wine vinegar for lemon juice and make a beurre rouge, red butter sauce, another classic sauce.

spoon dipping into french butter sauce

My sauce seems too thin, what can I do? If you want a really thick creamy sauce, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot to a small amount of the sauce and then whisk. Add this to the rest of the sauce and whisk again. Beurre blanc isn’t meant to be a super thick sauce.

My sauce is too thick, how do I think it? Add a small amount of additional cream.

Storage & Freezing

Can I make beurre blanc ahead of time? Yes! Make it up to a day ahead of time and reheat when ready to use.

Can I freeze beurre blanc sauce? You sure can! Freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. I also like freezing it in an ice cube tray and then popping them out into plastic bag so easy thawing.

beurre blanc recipe for pinterest

More easy sauce recipes:

Sauce are a fantastic way to elevate any meal. A simple drizzle, dipping cup or try serving your sauce on the bottom, like a pool, makes for a more sophisticated plate.

spoon dripping beurre blanc sauce
jar of beurre blanc sauce with a spoon

Beurre Blanc Sauce

4.24 from 91 votes
Beurre Blanc is a classic French sauce translated as "white butter"- which is an emulsified lemon butter sauce.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1.5 cups



  • In a medium saucepan, bring the white wine, lemon juice and shallot to a low simmer.
  • Whisk in the fine sea salt, white pepper and cream.
  • When barely bubbling, slowly whisk in a few butter cubes at a time until all are added and fully melted. The sauce will thicken. If you don't keep the temperature low and whisk continuously, the sauce will separate.
  • Pour the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove large pieces of seasoning or shallot. Serve immediately.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


This sauce is an emulsification, it can potentially separate. Whisk well or shake to recombine. 


Calories: 365 kcal, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fat: 39 g, Saturated Fat: 25 g, Cholesterol: 108 mg, Sodium: 67 mg, Potassium: 33 mg, Vitamin A: 1250 IU, Vitamin C: 1.3 mg, Calcium: 17 mg, Iron: 0.1 mg
Author: Chef Jessica Anne
Calories: 365
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: beurre blanc sauce
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
homemade beurre blanc sauce recipe
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.24 from 91 votes (83 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this a number of times and enjoyed it each time. Thank you for sharing.
    It is easy and delicious.

  2. 5 stars
    I hosted a dinner party and served homemade lobster ravioli with your barre blanc sauce, and it was a major success. My guests still rave about it. Thank you so much for this beautiful simple sauce recipe. I will make it again and again. It pairs well with many dishes, fish, seafood, vegetables, chicken… Bellissimo!

  3. 5 stars
    Delish!!! Easy to make and froze beautifully! First time ever making the sauce and I was nervous so thank you so much for giving us such a great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    This was absolutely fabulous! A perfect addition to our pan~seared sea bass. Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfect! I was at a restaurant and there was beurre blanc on my crepe lunch, and I loved it so much I wanted to make it at home. This recipe worked perfectly.

  6. 5 stars
    E la prima volta che lo fatta ed il risultato e molto soddisfacente (translation:
    And the first time it’s done and the result is very satisfying).