This universal Lemon Sauce is a mainstay at our house! The light tangy flavor pairs well with pasta, fish, chicken, veal and steamed vegetables. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight Chicken Piccata, too!
There are so many variations of lemon butter sauce–some contain eggs while others are based on a roux. This recipe uses simple ingredients:
- lemon juice
- pinch of salt
The flavor is more on the tangy side than sweet, and the consistency is light, but not necessarily thick or creamy. If you prefer a thicker sauce, just add more cornstarch. This quick and easy sauce takes no time to make-about 10 minutes, but the results are delicious and if you have any sauce leftover, you can easily reheat it!
How to Make Lemon Sauce
If the thought of making a sauce makes you sweat, have no fear! This recipe goes lickity-split fast!
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter
- Whisk in the cornstarch
- Add lemon juice; whisk until smooth
- Add salt if desired
Whisk in cornstarch
Add fresh lemon; whisk until smooth
The recipe calls for 1/4 – 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice. Start with 1/4 cup and taste it to see if it’s “lemony” enough for you. If not, add a little more fresh lemon. If you accidentally add too much lemon, you can correct the tartness and acidity by adding a little sugar, salt or baking soda.
When adding an acid (lemon, vinegar, wine) to dairy or fat (butter), add the acid last. If you add the acid first, you run the risk of your lemon butter sauce curdling, or clumping. In this case, the lemon juice goes in last and then whisk until smooth.
Use this sauce for just about any pasta or protein- roasted or baked chicken, poached fish, grilled salmon or even on breaded proteins like Chicken Piccata and Veal Scallopini! Lemon butter is also a great sauce for vegetables like broccoli, asparagus and spinach.
Can I Reheat Lemon Sauce?
If you have leftover sauce, simply store it in a jar and refrigerate up to 5 days. To re-heat the sauce, pour it into a saucepan on medium heat and whisk until lemon sauce has a smooth consistency. If the re-heated lemon sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of water and whisk.
One of the best ways to dress up this universal lemon butter sauce is to add fresh or dried herbs. Pair the herb of your choice with whatever you’re cooking! For example:
Lemon-Dill Sauce: perfect for fish and poultry
Lemon-Rosemary: think roasted chicken or pork
Lemon-Sage: turkey, pork, beef
Universal Lemon Sauce
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ¼-½ cup fresh lemon juice about 2 large lemons or 4-6 small lemons
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- salt to taste
- Melt butter in medium saucepan
- Whisk in cornstarch
- Add lemon juice and whisk until sauce is smooth; taste for salt