Our homemade Citrus Beurre Blanc is a great way to add a touch of brightness and acidity to your favorite dishes. The citrus juices balance out the richness of the butter, and the shallot adds a subtle sweetness. This sauce is perfect for fish, chicken, or vegetables. It’s also a great way to dress up a simple piece of grilled or roasted meat.
The key to making a successful beurre blanc at home is to use high-quality ingredients. The butter should be cold and unsalted, and the citrus juices should be fresh. You can also add other herbs and spices to the sauce to give it your own unique flavor profile (see below for suggestions!)
Be sure to try our classic Lemon Beurre Blanc next. Both sauces are fabulous over delicate seafood dishes, such as Chilean Sea Bass, our Sheet Pan Salmon, or this Slow Baked Salmon, a family favorite. Check out all of our easy seafood recipes for more dinner inspiration!
Ingredients For Beurre Blanc
A classic beurre blanc recipe is made with butter, shallots, white wine, white wine vinegar, and heavy cream. The latter works as a stabilizer to prevent the sauce from separating.
To make a citrus beurre blanc, add fresh citrus juice! In our lemon beurre blanc recipe we simply add fresh lemon juice, but for this version we’re using a mix of lemon juice and fresh orange juice. The sauce has a bright citrusy taste that makes it perfect for seafood and vegetables like.
We don’t add black pepper to the sauce, but certainly you can season whatever dish you’re serving this alongside with pepper.
The sauce is made on a stovetop in a medium saucepan, so grab one of those.
How To Make Citrus Beurre Blanc
Making citrus beurre blanc takes about 10 minutes total. Begin by sweating shallots in a tablespoon of unsalted butter until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. They key here is to make sure that the saucepan is no higher than medium heat.
Pour in a bit of dry white wine, white wine vinegar, and a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Raise the temperature just slightly so that the sauce simmers, then reduce it back down to medium and allow it to thicken. This takes about 4 minutes.
Pour in a little heavy cream, swirl the pan (or stir), then place over low heat. To finish, you’ll add cold unsalted butter that’s been cut into cubes. Add 2-3 tablespoons at a time, then swirl the pan until the butter has emulsified into the sauce. Repeat with remaining butter. Stir in fresh orange zest (you can also add fresh lemon zest!). The result is a rich, creamy, and smooth citrus beurre blanc. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, then serve immediately.
Expert Tips So Your Sauce Doesn’t Break!
If you’re going to make a beurre blanc from scratch, you definitely don’t want the sauce to break. Here’s how to ensure a smooth, rich sauce:
- Don’t add the butter too quickly! Allow each cube of butter to melt into the sauce before adding more. We recommend adding 2-3 pieces of butter at a time, but the butter must be cold!
- Keep the sauce at the proper temperature and be patient. When you add the butter, keep the temperature at low heat, no higher. You can’t rush the process or you’ll have a broken sauce.
- Do not let the mixture come to a boil after adding the butter! This will cause the sauce to separate.
For a smoother sauce, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer after adding the butter. We love the texture that shallots add, but you can strain it if you prefer.
How To Serve
Beurre blanc was made for seafood! Try it spooned over roasted salmon, pan seared scallops, Chilean sea bass, shrimp, steamed or grilled lobster! It’s honestly delicious with any fish or shellfish. Chicken, roasted vegetables, and potatoes are also fantastic with a drizzle of citrus beurre blanc.
When stabilized with heavy cream, beurre blanc will last for up to 3 days in a fridge, or up to 1 month in a freezer. Reheat it gently over low heat before serving.
We strongly recommend using fresh squeezed juice for the best taste.
Variations To Try
A classic beurre blanc is easily adaptable to a variety of flavors! Once you master the method, you can begin to change some of the ingredients. Try adding 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, such as dill or chives, both of which pair well with seafood.
You can also add other citrus juices to the sauce, such as lime juice or grapefruit juice.
If you don’t have white wine vinegar, you can substitute with other light vinegars: red wine vinegar, tarragon vinegar, anything that is light in color (not balsamic vinegar). You can also make a beurre rouge by using red wine in place of white wine!
This French butter sauce is quick and easy to make, and it’s sure to impress your guests. So next time you’re looking for a delicious and versatile sauce to add to your meal, give citrus beurre blanc a try.
If you try this Citrus Beurre Blanc recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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How To Make Citrus Beurre Blanc
- 9 Tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice about ½ large lemon
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 small orange or similar citrus
- Sweat the shallot. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Add minced shallot and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add liquid. Pour in ½ cup white wine, 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar, and 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat till the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce temperature to medium, then let the sauce thicken and reduce, about 4 minutes. Add the heavy cream, stir, then turn the heat down to low.
- Emulsify with butter. Add 2-3 Tbsp of cold, cubed butter. Swirl the pan (or whisk) until the butter has emulsified into the sauce. Repeat with remaining butter. Add 1 tsp grated orange zest, then stir, taste, and season with a pinch or two of Kosher salt, as needed. Serve immediately!
- Make ahead and leftovers: When stabilized with heavy cream, beurre blanc will last for up to 3 days in a fridge. Reheat it gently over low heat before serving.
- To freeze: Allow the sauce to cool completely to room temperature then freeze for up to 1 month.
Photography by Alana of Your Home Made Healthy.