Lemon Butter Sauce

This rich, flavorful lemon butter sauce is delicious on pasta, roasted veggies, and more. Made with 5 ingredients, it comes together in minutes.

Lemon butter sauce

Earlier this spring, I started making this lemon butter sauce to serve with steamed artichokes. Since then, I’ve started serving it with so much more – pasta, roasted veggies, couscous. It’s deliciously buttery and rich, with a bright, savory flavor from lemon juice and garlic. You only need 5 ingredients to make it, and it comes together in less than 5 minutes. I mean, why not drizzle it over everything?

Lemon butter sauce recipe ingredients

Lemon Butter Sauce Recipe Ingredients

You only need 5 ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Butter, of course! I recommend using unsalted butter here. That way, you have complete control over the seasoning. If you use salted butter, or if you make this recipe with vegan butter, omit the salt and season to taste.
  • Fresh lemon juice – Its bright flavor cuts the butter’s richness.
  • Garlic – For savory depth of flavor.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Bowl of artichoke pasta

How to Use Lemon Butter Sauce

Once you have this lemon butter sauce recipe in your back pocket, have fun experimenting with different ways to use it. It’s amazingly versatile, and I think you’ll find that it tastes great on all sorts of dishes. Here are a few serving suggestions to get you started:

How do you like to serve this lemon sauce? Let me know in the comments!

Lemon butter sauce recipe

More Favorite Sauce Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these easy sauces next:

Lemon Butter Sauce

rate this recipe:
5 from 34 votes
Cook Time: 5 mins
Serves 4
This lemon garlic butter sauce is rich, flavorful, and SO easy to make! Serve it on pasta, couscous, roasted veggies, and more.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and salt and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Season with freshly ground pepper and sprinkle with parsley and red pepper flakes, if using.
  • Serve with steamed artichokes for dipping or toss with pasta. See the blog post above for additional serving suggestions.

Notes

Make this recipe vegan by using vegan butter. Because vegan butter is already salted, omit the salt, and season to taste. 

22 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Jessica Russell
    06.13.2022

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh!!! I combined your recipe for a lemon vinaigrette with this one. AMAZING. 1:1 lemon juice to oil. Half butter, half evoo. Add lemon zest, 2 cloves garlic, thyme parsley pepper, tiny hint of honey. Tossed with gf pasta and halved grape tomatoes. It tastes like something I would find in Tuscany! I’ve been down with covid for weeks and this was by far the best thing I can remember eating all month. It’s so fresh!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2022

      Oh yum, that sounds so delicious! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much!

  2. margaret simmons
    05.31.2022

    How much sauce sauce does this make??? How much pasta would be appropriate for this amount of pasta??

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.03.2022

      Hi Margaret, about 8 ounces of pasta if you’re adding other veggies or proteins to your pasta (see this recipe for artichoke pasta): https://www.loveandlemons.com/artichoke-pasta-recipe/)

      If you’re not adding anything to the pasta, you could do closer to 12 ounces of pasta.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Cheryl
    04.28.2022

    5 stars
    I want to use it as my lemon sauce for Chinese fried lemon chicken , hopefully it will be a success

  4. Tapiorius
    04.05.2022

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I did a small twist. I used lemon zest and “extracted” oils to butter. I let it cool down. Once more to the stove and took the zest away and added the rest of the ingredients, including one spoon of fresh lemon juice. It was so delicious with spaghetti.

    • Jessica Russell
      06.13.2022

      5 stars
      Yes!!!! I did something similar and it was phenomenal! Thanks for the idea.

  5. Jay Silver
    03.30.2022

    How much pasta can you toss with the recipe to have enough sauce so the taste is there.

  6. Sarai
    03.24.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious and simple great on pasta with scallops

  7. Mike Kirkpatrick
    03.22.2022

    Served with parmesan crusted chicken breast it is fabulous..

  8. Jeanette Giampietro
    03.12.2022

    5 stars
    Loved it!!!!! Put it over shell pasta. doubled the butter and added 3 more garlic cloves.. added shrimp… It was a winner…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.13.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Anna
    01.05.2022

    I bought lobster ravioli at Costco and forgot to get jar sauce. This was perfect, I already had all the ingredients, so no last minute run to the store and it was delicious. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.05.2022

      I’m so glad you loved the sauce!

  10. P. F.
    11.25.2021

    I found 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to be way to much. I had to add another stick of butter and it is still strong.

  11. Emma
    11.18.2021

    Yum! Made this sauce and served it with a chicken mignon, steamed cabbage and sweet potato mash. Delish!

  12. Rod
    09.27.2021

    5 stars
    Great simple delicious recipe!

    Maybe add the note that the garlic might turn blue because of the acidity from the lemon. Just looked that up cause all my garlic had a blue hue!

  13. Janette Kondra
    08.04.2021

    5 stars
    Delicious- I poached cod in the sauce and I was perfect.

  14. Carmine Bucci
    06.12.2021

    5 stars
    Simple but a winner to prepare and taste

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.13.2021

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. Janie Stech
    05.14.2021

    5 stars
    I’m thinking over baked fish

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.