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This easy lemon butter sauce is made with just a handful of ingredients and it’s the best sauce for freshly cooked pasta noodles.

Spaghetti  with lemon butter sauce om a bowl.

I serve this sauce over pasta for a quick and yummy meal. Sometimes I add vegetables like blanched peas or steamed asparagus for extra flavor and texture. I’ll also mix it up by adding a variety of fresh chopped herbs. The recipe calls for parsley, but you can add whatever herbs you have around the house.

If you have a cooked rotisserie chicken in your fridge, toss some of that in with asparagus for a quick dinner of pasta with chicken, asparagus and lemon sauce. Blanched peas and sauteed shrimp also take about 4 minutes longer to cook than the sauce and will make a delicious meal.

Or you can use left over salmon, or serve the pasta with freshly grilled salmon. Though I admit, if I were doing that, I might add a dash of cream to the sauce and use dill as the herb of choice.

There are so many variations you can make with this delicious sauce. You can turn it into cowboy butter, Amogio sauce or even sage butter sauce. I hope you enjoy it.


Ingredients

This bright lemon butter sauce recipe is made with fresh and simple ingredients. Always use unsalted butter, it’s better to season with salt and pepper so you can control the amount of salt yourself.

  • Butter – Unsalted sweet cream butter.
  • Garlic – Fresh minced garlic, not from a jar.
  • Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice, squeezed from a real lemon, not a plastic one.
  • Parsley – For garnish, color and a smidge of flavor.
  • Salt and pepper – For seasoning.

How to Make Lemon Butter Sauce

This flavorful sauce comes together quickly and easily.

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and salt and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Season with freshly ground pepper and sprinkle with parsley.
  3. Toss with a portion of freshly cooked pasta or serve with steamed artichokes.

Substitutions

You can use other leafy green herbs in place of the parsley, such as basil, cilantro, or tarragon.


Variations

  • Make this vegan: Use vegan butter or olive oil and omit the salt.
  • With a kick: Add a splash of white wine when you melt the butter.
  • Creamy lemon butter sauce: After you have made the sauce, add a splash of heavy cream off the heat and swirl it around carefully, making sure it blends nicely with the sauce. Don’t cook it over the heat or the lemon juice may make it curdle.
Spaghetti with lemon butter sauce swirled on a fork.

Storage

This lemon garlic butter sauce is best served immediately, but you can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat gently.


Tips

Always use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. For an extra burst of lemon flavor, you can use a bit of freshly grated lemon zest.

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Printable Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Lemon Butter Sauce

Spaghetti with lemon butter sauce om a bowl.

This easy lemon butter sauce is made with just a handful of ingredients and it’s the best sauce for freshly cooked pasta noodles.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the garlic and salt and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.
  4. Season with freshly ground pepper and sprinkle with parsley.
  5. Toss with 300g of freshly cooked pasta or serve with steamed artichokes.

Notes

Make this vegan: Use vegan butter and omit the salt.

Substitutions: You can use other leafy green herbs in place of the parsley, such as basil, cilantro, or tarragon.

Storage: Lemon butter sauce is best served immediately, but you can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat gently.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 321mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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