Chef John's Beurre Blanc


Although beurre blanc purists would object to the bit of cream in this classic sauce, it does help create a more stable base, enhances the flavor, and makes an even more beautiful color than when made without. Have all the ingredients measured and handy before starting, as this sauce comes together rather quickly.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • ½ cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons very finely minced shallots

  • 4 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • salt to taste


  1. Place wine, lemon juice, cream, and shallots in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer until liquid is reduced by about 75%, 4 to 5 minutes.

  2. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and whisk in 2 cubes butter. Keep butter moving until it completely melts. Add a few more cubes, whisking continuously so butter emulsifies into wine-lemon juice mixture. Continue to add remaining butter, a few cubes at a time, until sauce has a thick, luxurious texture, 4 to 6 minutes.

  3. Remove the saucepan from heat. Season with cayenne pepper and salt.

    close up on a bowl of beurre blanc with a spoonful dripping down into the bowl
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Chef's Notes:

If you're making the sauce ahead of time, it must be kept warm. If it cools and you try to reheat it, the emulsification of the sauce will break.

Depending on your preferences, you can substitute white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, herb-infused white vinegar, etc., for lemon juice.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

255 Calories
26g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 255
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 47mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 50mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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