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Once you know how to make lemon butter sauce for fish, you’re going to want to put it on everything! There’s your warning. 😉 It’s hard to believe that three simple ingredients can elevate seafood in such an elegant, flavorful way, but this lemon garlic butter sauce recipe lives up to the challenge and can be used in so many ways.
One of the reasons I think this is the best lemon butter sauce for fish is because it’s so versatile! Whether you’re serving it with seafood like lobster tails or pan fried halibut (which is how I originally made it!), this sauce is also great on veggies like zucchini noodles or sauteed broccoli.
What Is Lemon Butter Sauce?
This lemon butter sauce recipe is light and rich at the same time. It’s essentially a lemon and garlic flavored, emulsified butter, and it’s incredible on seafood in particular.
Lemon And Butter Sauce Ingredients
This easy lemon garlic butter sauce for fish is made of only 3 ingredients that you probably already have at home:
How To Make Lemon Butter Sauce
- Melt butter. It will bubble a bit.
TIP: Use an enameled saucepan like this, so that you can see color changes.
- Add lemon and garlic. Stir in lemon juice and garlic powder, and continue to heat until the sauce turns darker yellow. Remove from heat right away.
TIP: Watch carefully – it will burn easily if heated too long! The time can vary if you use a different type of pan than I did.
Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce FAQs
Is lemon butter sauce healthy?
I’ll leave the answer up to you, depending on how you feel about buter, which is the primary ingredient. Butter doesn’t have the negative connotation that it used to, and I like to get grass-fed butter for extra benefits.
Can I use garlic cloves instead of garlic powder?
Yes, you can use minced or crushed garlic, but may want to add it toward the very end. I used garlic powder, because it has less risk of burning and it’s faster.
Why did my sauce separate?
This can happen if your heat is too high, or if you use bottled lemon juice, which often has water added. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Why is my sauce thin?
It’s supposed to be thin! But if you do want to it thicker, you can add some cornstarch (not low carb) or xanthan gum to thicken it.
Why did my lemon butter sauce turn brown?
You may have overcooked the sauce a bit and now it’s a brown butter lemon sauce! It’s still fine to eat and will have a nice, nutty flavor.
Alternatively, you can strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any brown bits. It will still be a more golden color and have some browned butter flavor.
Lemon Butter Sauce Recipe Storage Instructions
Can you make it ahead?
Yes, this sauce keeps very well, so you can make it a few days in advance.
How to store lemon butter sauce:
Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to a week. It will solidify in the fridge, just as butter would.
Can you freeze lemon butter sauce?
Yes, you can freeze this lemon butter sauce recipe. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
How to reheat butter sauce for fish:
Gently reheat the sauce in a sauce pan until melted and hot.
How To Use Lemon Butter Sauce
This sauce is delicious on pan-fried or baked fish and seafood, as well as veggies. Here are a few ideas on how to use this light lemon butter sauce:
- Broiled Lobster Tail – Serve this lemon garlic butter sauce on the side of lobster for dipping.
- Baked Chilean Sea Bass – Top bass with lemon butter sauce instead of beurre blanc sauce in the recipe.
- Baked Cod – This simple fish dinner also uses a lemon garlic butter sauce.
- Halibut Recipe – Swap out the butter sauce in this recipe with this one for a savory twist.
- Crab Legs Recipe – Nothing like dipping juicy crab meat in butter!
- Sauteed Shrimp – Cook shrimp, drizzle with lemon garlic butter sauce and serve over zucchini noodles.
Tools To Make Easy Lemon Butter Sauce
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Enameled Saucepan – This is the best pan for lemon garlic butter sauce, because it heats evenly and the light finish lets you see the color of your sauce, to avoid burning.
Lemon Butter Sauce For Fish
This is the BEST lemon butter sauce for fish - with just 3 ingredients! This simple and delicious lemon garlic butter sauce recipe is ready in 10 minutes.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter.
Add the lemon juice and garlic powder. Heat, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes, until lemon butter has turned a darker yellow color but not browned. (Time will vary depending on the size and shape of your pan. Be careful not to burn it.)
Remove from heat immediately. If your sauce cooked too long and has browned bits, strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
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Serving size: 1 tbsp
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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