Bright, rich, decadent, and silky smooth, Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce is the ultimate accent to everything from sautéed asparagus to baked salmon. This elegant French sauce will instantly elevate any meal while also being incredibly easy to prepare.
There’s something magic about having a beloved sauce recipe in your cooking arsenal that can instantly transform a meal. Whether it’s a Béchamel Sauce or this white butter sauce, something as simple as chicken and vegetables can be taken from ordinary to extraordinary with a drizzle.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple Process – Don’t be intimidated by the name. With a couple of easy tips, this velvety butter sauce comes together with minimal effort.
- Minimal Ingredients – Not including salt and pepper, this beurre blanc recipe comes together with just five ingredients, the predominant one being butter.
- Balance of Flavors – Rich, tangy, sweet, and bright, this sauce hits all of the happy flavor notes.
- Versatility – This sauce can be used on everything from vegetables like asparagus and potatoes, to delicate seafood like halibut and scallops, and even chicken. It’s a great way to dress up any meal.
Getting fancy has never been easier than with Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce. Combining basic cooking staples like butter, vinegar, and of course wine, this sauce requires ingredients you probably always have on hand making it easy any night of the week.
- Shallot – This adds natural sweetness that balances the tang of the white wine and vinegar. This is a classic component of beurre blanc.
- White Wine – Pick a dry white wine that isn’t oaky such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. Keep in mind that the flavor of the wine will concentrate as it reduces down.
- White Wine Vinegar – Adds brightness that cuts through the richness of the butter.
- Butter – This is the star of the show so make sure to pick a high quality butter. It emulsifies with the reduced wine and vinegar to create a silky, velvety butter sauce.
- Salt and Pepper – You don’t need a lot to enhance the natural flavors of these ingredients so salt and pepper is all that’s needed to season this luxurious sauce.
- Fresh Herbs – Completely optional but adds a burst of verdant freshness. Pick a soft herb such as tarragon, parsley, chives, or even dill.
How to Make Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce
This classic French sauce comes together with a few simple steps. Once you master this technique you can have fun tweaking it to your personal flavors, and also using it on different proteins and vegetables.
Time needed: 25 minutes
Rich yet bright, and decadent smooth, you will want to add this sauce to everything!
- Mise en Place
Dice your shallots. Don’t worry about precise cuts as they will eventually be removed from the sauce. Cube your butter and get it cold. Cold butter is what helps this sauce emulsify.
- Simmer and Reduce
Add the shallots, vinegar, and white wine to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and allow it to reduce until you have about two tablespoons of liquid left.
Strain out your shallots and add the liquid back to the pan.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the butter a couple cubes at a time while continuously whisking. Continue to add the butter while stirring. It will become glossy and thick and will hug the back of a spoon.
- Finishing Touch
Season your sauce with salt and pepper and stir in your fresh herbs if desired. Serve immediately!
This is a classic beurre blanc recipe. Once you master adding your cold butter to the reduced wine and vinegar mixture, you can play around with incorporating other flavors. All types of citrus zest are a welcome addition, from bitter and bright lime and lemon to sweet orange zest. Give your beurre blanc a kick of heat with a pinch of cayenne. Replace the vinegar with citrus juice. Steep saffron fronds in the simmering wine mixture to infuse flora flavor and gorgeous color.
- Saucepan – You don’t need a large saucepan for this French butter sauce. Just large enough to accommodate about half a cup of liquid and 1/2-1 cup of butter.
- Strainer – This sauce is all about the texture. Straining out the shallots once they’ve infused their flavor into the white wine and vinegar gives it a thick, smooth, and creamy mouthfeel.
- Whisk – Constantly whisking the butter as you add it helps the butter emulsify into the sauce. You can also use a spoon, but a whisk works well.
Top Tips for Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce
- Chill the butter. You want your butter extremely cold before adding it into the reduced wine mixture. You can even cube it and stick it into the freezer to chill before adding it. This allows the butter to mix into the wine instead of instantly melting, allowing it to emulsify.
- Pick a flavorful wine. As the wine reduces, the flavor will concentrate. Pick a wine that you enjoy the flavor of, but no need for anything expensive.
- Use a high-quality butter. The butter is the main component of this sauce. European style butters tend to be higher in butter fat which will give you a richer flavor.
- Serve immediately. This isn’t a sauce that can be stored and reused and the butter will cause it to break. Plan on serving this immediately.
- Remove from the heat. If your liquid mixture seems too hot as you’re adding the cold butter, remove the pan from the heat and continue whisking in a few cubes of butter at a time. As the butter is added and the liquid is cooled down you can place the pan back on low heat.
- My sauce broke, now what? If your sauce breaks, add an ice cube while whisking continuously.
Classic Beurre Blanc Sauce
- 1 saucepan
- 1 strainer
- 1 whisk
- 1 shallot, diced small
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1-2 sticks butter, cubed
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh herbs such as chives and tarragon
- Cube your butter and chill it.
- Add the shallots, vinegar, and wine to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and allow it to reduce until there is about 2 tbsp of liquid left.
- Strain the shallots out of the pan, leaving the reduced wine.
- Turn the heat to low.
- Add a cube or two of cold butter to the wine mixture, whisking continuously and allowing it to emulsify before adding the next.
- Continue to add a few cubes of butter at a time until it is smooth, silky, completely emulsified, and hugs the back of a spoon.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the herbs.
- Serve immediately.