Sage Brown Butter

Sage brown butter with a crispy sage leaf in a small glass.

This butter is great added to mashed potatoes or stirred through crushed new potatoes with crème fraîche.–Maria Elia

LC Brown Butter, How Do We Love Thee? Note

Brown butter, how do we love thee?
With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
let us count the ways.
We love thee to the depth and breadth and height
your nutty aroma can reach, when feeling out of weeknight
luck you meld odds and ends in the fridge with grace.
We love thee to the level of everyday’s
pasta’s most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
We love thee freely, over potatoes as is our right;
we love thee purely, as with a little lemon we praise.
We love thee with a passion put to use
in quick weeknight ways with fish, chicken, and pork, owing to home cooks’ faith.
We love thee with a love reserved for bacon and Nutella that we hope not to lose
and even with veggies that incur balsamic breath,
all the best dog-eared recipes of our life!—and, if God choose
we shall but love thee better with dessert, er, death.

Sage Brown Butter

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Serves 4


Email Grocery List

Ingredients sent!

Send Grocery List

Email the grocery list for this recipe to:

Is required
Sign me up for your or newsletter, too!
Is required


Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to foam and turn golden brown. Turn off the heat and carefully add the sage leaves (they will sputter a little). Add the lemon juice, tilt the pan to swirl the lemon juice and butter together, and set aside to cool slightly or until needed. (Yup. You’re done. It’s that simple.)

Print RecipeBuy the The Modern Vegetarian cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This browned butter is a classic base to so many great dishes. The addition of sage and lemon is especially nice for fall dishes. As the recipe says, adding the aromatics after the butter has browned and been removed from the heat ensures the perfect flavor balance (i.e., you don’t want to burn the sage or cook away the fresh lemon flavor). I mixed my brown butter into mashed sweet potatoes—I just baked the sweet potatoes whole in a 400°F oven for 45 minutes, removed the skins, and mashed them along with the browned butter. It was divine. I think pretty much anything would taste divine with this butter though!

As soon as I read this recipe, I was smiling thinking of my grandmother and how she would use the not-so-nice-looking herb leaves to make scented butter. And this recipe is very similar to how she used to make hers. Indeed, this is a beauty drizzled over mashed potatoes but is ever better on a nice, juicy, grilled steak. You can use sage or you can use just about any other herb. The nice thing is that you can also freeze it in small quantities, which of course will remove some of its beautiful aromas but is nevertheless very practical for last-minute butter emergencies.

Although perfect with the Chestnut Pasta Rags with Wild Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts, this versatile butter would enhance almost anything it touched! It went great with some roasted guinea hens, but you needn't stop there. It’d go great with a pan sauce, too. If vegetables could, they’d sing your praises were they to be caressed by this easy-to-prepare finisher.

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Back to Sage Brown Butter on Leite's Culinaria