Brown butter is one of those amazing things that happens to an ingredient with a little care. It’s easy to make but is super timely, so don’t walk away from the stove or it may burn. Here is how I make my usual brown butter, though we’ll be doing more with this recipe. Like adding in herbs, lemon juice, and even a bit of flour to thicken it up. Unconventional, I know! But if you’d prefer to omit it, no problem.
Brown butter herb sauce is a versatile sauce recipe to have on hand whenever you want to make something a little different for your scallops, other seafood, and pasta, of course.
how to make brown butter
Get yourself a light-colored pan (this one is amazing). This is super important since you want to see the color of the butter as it browns. Butter burns easily, so you want to keep a close eye on it.
Cut the butter into evenly sized pieces so that they melt evenly. You don’t want some of it to start heating up before other pieces.
On medium heat, melt the butter (and add in the garlic), whisking/stirring constantly. Like, all the time. This allows the butter to heat up as evenly as possible. Otherwise you may end up burning parts of it.
The butter will start to bubble and foam — this is fine. Just keep stirring, just keep stirring.
Before it starts to get to the color you want, stir in the flour, then whip it from the pan into a cool bowl so it doesn’t continue to heat any further. It can range from tan to a darker brown. If there’s any black sediment (burned solids), you can scoop/strain them out.
Use it right away or keep it refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Pro tip: have your entree (pasta, scallops, whatever you’re making) at the ready so that the sauce can be poured and served right away.
You can also add any herbs you like, dried or fresh! Sage is particularly traditional, but I used a lot of freshly chopped basil on top as well. You can even sneak in some dired red pepper for a little extra kick.
I’m just realizing how many recipes I’ve made using brown butter. It’s a fair few! Here are some of my faves:
- Three-cheese brown butter truffle mac and cheese
- Caprese stuffed portobellos with brown butter
- Brown butter salted caramel bars
- Rosemary parmesan popcorn with brown butter
- Harry potter-inspired butterbeer cake with brown butter frosting
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- 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4-6 sprigs herbs (such as sage, Italian flat-leaf parsley, basil, or thyme)
- 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- Cut butter into consistent, 1 Tbsp-size pieces and layer on the bottom of a light-colored saucepan, heated to medium. Add garlic.
- Whisk butter constantly. It will start to bubble and foam. This is okay! Continue whisking butter as it turns from tan into light brown. You'll notice a delicious, nutty smell after about 5-8 minutes.
- Before the butter gets as dark as you want it, add in the flour and stir well. Once it's browned to your liking, quickly transfer it to a cool bowl.
- Stir in herbs, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Pour over your chosen dish (pasta, seafood, etc.) immediately and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, share a photo and tag it @BIJOUXANDBITS. I’d love to see what you’re cooking!
I don’t recommend this added ingredient…
Megan Finley Horowitz says
This is my favorite thing on squash ravioli!
Mm, so in the mood for that. This was mushroom ravioli and it just didn’t taste fall enough. 😉
I have that pot! It’s an excellent little pot BUT…
For making sauces, a saucier like this one is the mother fucking bomb.
You can’t see it in the picture but the bottom rounded and that makes allll the difference.
(All-Clad sells different versions of this with lids and copper cores — I just pictured the first one that came up in the search.)
Oooooh, I want that one! Amazing. Thanks!!
That last ingredient always seems to end u in my cooking, despite how clean I keep our kitchen and all of my attempts to keep a very nosy cat away from dinner.
It’s a tough one to avoid for sure. but worth it 😉