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Easy Sage butter sauce 

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Sage butter sauce is a simple sauce that turns any meal into a nutty sensation. With few ingredients and a simple process, you can have a delicious sage brown butter sauce ready in less than five minutes.

Shaved with parmesan, serve this easy sauce with your favorite pasta – ravioli, gnocchi, or tagliatelle. 

brown butter sauce

Best butter sage sauce

As much as I enjoy eating pasta with my family, I usually struggle to perfect the sauce. I like to make sauces using seasonal ingredients, and currently, I have an abundance of fresh sage. Thus considering adding it to my pasta dish. If you’re eager to try something new, join me in making homemade sage butter sauce from scratch!

sage sauce recipe

What is sage brown butter sauce?

Fresh and aromatic sage oil makes a great addition to your kitchen cabinet. Every time I feel down and make sage tea that elevates my mood and even memory. But what does sage butter sauce stand for? 

Sage brown butter sauce is cooked with fresh sage leaves until the butter turns golden brown. The browning process enhances the flavor of the butter and creates a nutty, rich taste. The sage provides an earthy, savory flavor, while the brown butter adds depth and richness to the sauce. The result is a delicious, simple sauce that can elevate any meal. Use the sauce as a topping or side dish for pasta, meat, poultry, or fish.

sage butter sauce
sage butter sauce

Gather the ingredients to prepare butter and sage sauce.

ingredients to make sage butter sauce
ingredients to make sage butter sauce
  • Fresh sagesage is a popular herb with a slightly bitter, earthy taste and a strong, fragrant aroma. Sage adds an herbal note to the nutty brown butter. Sage pairs well with other flavors, such as butter, cheese, garlic, lemon, and nutmeg, making it a versatile herb to use in cooking. In addition, sage is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and has antimicrobial properties, making it a healthy addition to dishes. 
  • Unsalted butterusing unsalted butter allows for better control over the salt content and a more delicate flavor that won’t overpower the sage.
  • Salt – any salt is fine, I like to use this Rosemary salt.
  • Pepper
  • Garlic (optional)

How to Make Sage Butter Sauce recipe

cutting sage with the mandoline
cutting sage with the mandoline

First step – Clean and chop the sage leaves

Rinse the sage leaves under cold water. Remove the leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Chop sage leaves into fine pieces using a sharp knife. 

melting butter to make butter sage sauce
melting butter to make butter sage sauce

Second step – Melt the butter in a pan

Cut the butter into slices rather than melting the whole stick of butter, as it would not cook evenly. Add the butter to a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat and melt it. Cook until the butter becomes light brown, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the butter, which can go from brown to burn quickly. As soon as the butter smells caramelized with a nutty aroma, take the pan from the heat. That way, you will ensure the nutty butter doesn’t burn due to residual heat.

adding sage to the brown butter
adding sage to the brown butter

Third step – Add the sage to the pan.

Add the chopped sage leaves to the pan and continue stirring and cooking the mixture for 2 to 4 additional minutes. Make sure to stir the butter constantly, and do not step away from the pan.

Remove the saucepan from heat and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. If you like, you can also add minced garlic for extra flavor.

pasta with sage butter sauce
pasta with sage butter sauce

Fourth step – Serve it immediately

Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Serve the sauce immediately over pasta, meat, grilled chicken, or fish.

Can I use dried sage leaves?

You can use dried sage leaves in this brown butter and sage sauce recipe, but the flavor will differ from fresh sage. Dried sage has a more intense, concentrated flavor and a slightly bitter taste. To use dried herbs in this sauce, substitute one teaspoon of dried sage for every tablespoon of fresh sage. Then, add the dried sage when you add the salt and pepper in the recipe. 

adding salt to the butter sage sauce
adding salt to the butter sage sauce

Sage Butter Recipe Tips

  1. For best results, use high-quality unsalted butter, as this will allow you to control the salt content of the sauce.
  2. The key is to cook the butter until it’s light golden brown but not too dark. Remove from the heat as soon as it starts to turn brown. Overcooking the butter can result in a burnt or bitter flavor.
  3. Add the sage leaves to the butter after it has melted and just before it turns brown. This will allow the sage to release its fragrance and flavor into the sauce.
  4. Fresh sage has a brighter and more fragrant flavor than dried sage, and it will add a fresh, herby taste to the sauce.
  5. Always season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, taking into account the saltiness of the pasta or dish you will be serving it with.
  6. Sage butter sauce is best served immediately after it’s made. The sauce will become thick and oily if it’s left to cool. If you need to keep the sauce warm, transfer it to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

Variations

  1. Lemon: Add the juice of half a lemon to the easy brown butter sage sauce at the end of cooking to add a tangy, citrus flavor.
  2. Garlic: Add a few minced garlic cloves to the butter sauce recipe and the sage to add a savory, garlicky flavor.
  3. Parmesan: Stir in a few tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese to the pasta sauce at the end of cooking for a rich, creamy flavor.
  4. Red Pepper Flake: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the simple brown butter sauce for a spicy kick.
  5. Thyme Sage Butter Sauce: Add a few thyme sprigs to the sauce and the sage for a more complex, herbaceous flavor.
  6. Hazelnut: Stir in a few chopped, toasted hazelnuts to the sauce at the end of cooking for a nutty, crunchy texture.

FAQ

Can I make the sauce ahead of time?

No, it’s best to make the sauce before serving, as it will become thick and oily if left to cool. If you need to keep the sauce warm, transfer it to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

Can I use salted butter in the recipe?

Yes, you can use salted butter in the recipe, but keep in mind that it may alter the salt content of the sauce. Therefore, if you use salted butter, reduce the salt you add to the sauce.

Can I add other herbs to the sauce?

You can add other herbs to the sauce to create a different flavor profile. Some herbs that pair well with sage include thyme, rosemary, and basil.

Can I use this sauce for other dishes besides pasta?

Yes, this sauce can add flavor to various dishes, including beef, grilled chicken, fish, vegetables, and more.

Can I freeze the sauce?

The sauce can be kept chilled in the refrigerator for several days, put into ice cube trays, and frozen for up to 2 months. Let frozen cubes sit out until room temperature before using.

sage brown butter sauce
Yield: 4

Easy Sage butter sauce

sage butter sauce recipe

Sage butter sauce is a simple sauce that turns any meal into a nutty sensation. With few ingredients and a simple process, you can have a delicious sage brown butter sauce ready in less than five minutes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

    1. Rinse the sage leaves under cold water. Remove the leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Chop sage leaves into fine pieces using a sharp knife.
    2. Cut the butter into slices rather than melting the whole stick of butter, as it would not cook evenly. Add the butter to a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat and melt it. Cook until the butter becomes light brown, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the butter, which can go from brown to burn quickly. As soon as the butter smells caramelized with a nutty aroma, take the pan from the heat. That way, you will ensure the nutty butter doesn't burn due to residual heat.
    3. Add the chopped sage leaves to the pan and continue stirring and cooking the mixture for 2 to 4 additional minutes. Make sure to stir the butter constantly, and do not step away from the pan. Remove the saucepan from heat and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. If you like, you can also add minced garlic for extra flavor.
    4. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Serve the sauce immediately over pasta, meat, grilled chicken, or fish.

    Notes

    To use dried herbs in this sauce, substitute one teaspoon of dried sage for every tablespoon of fresh sage. Then, add the dried sage when you add the salt and pepper in the recipe. 

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    4

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 148mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Vladka Merva on February 12th, 2023

    5 Comments on “Easy Sage butter sauce ”

    1. This was so perfect over a simple halibut I made and I will be using it again for sure. I can think of so many ways to use this in simple weeknight dishes.

      Reply
    2. I love the taste of sage and have used it before but never made a sauce with it. I just served this over fried chicken and I am forever hooked on the flavor. I may never make chicken gravy again.

      Reply
    3. Perfect, simple, and exactly what I was looking for! I absolutely love sage and this was such an easy preparation. Thanks for the recipe!

      Reply
    4. This sauce is my new favorite to add on everything! Tried it on pasta with chicken and it was unbelievable. Also was great over fish and sautéed veggies! Thank you!

      Reply

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