Lemon butter sauce is an ideal addition to many foods, including chicken, fish, and shellfish. Famous chefs from Julia Child to Emeril Lagasse have their own variation of this simple sauce. While the name seems to explain the entire recipe, several additional ingredients make this sauce delicious and savory. Master the basics and soon you’ll be adding your own personal touches, just like the pros.

Things You'll Need

Heat a skillet or frying pan over high heat. Add the wine, lemons, garlic and shallots and cook for 3 minutes.

Break up and mash the softened lemons in the pan with a wooden spoon or a wire whisk.

Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire and hot sauce if using, and stir until the mixture is a little syrupy.

Stir in the cream and cook for 1 minute at high heat.

Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, while continuing to stir the mixture.

Remove the pan from the heat and turn off the range. Keep stirring the sauce to blend in the butter until it is completely melted.

Strain the sauce into a bowl; press down on the mixture to extract all the liquid.

Stir in the parsley, and serve the sauce warm.


  • Fresh-squeezed lemons are fragrant and flavorful and are recommended over bottled lemon juice. Peeling the lemons will reduce the bitterness of the sauce.

  • You can substitute other herbs, such as basil or oregano, for the parsley.