How to Make Brown Butter

Take your recipes up a notch with the nutty aroma of browned butter. It's easy!

A small glass jar of brown butter sauce.
Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

Have you ever browned butter?

It's an easy way to take a recipe that relies on butter up a notch in flavor. Just by cooking the butter a little past the melting point results in the milk solids in the butter browning, and creating a wonderfully nutty aroma.

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Watch This Homemade Brown Butter Recipe

It's fun to do with butter-based sauces (check out these scallops in a brown butter caper sauce), baked goods that call for melted butter (like these brown butter chocolate chunk cookies), or with vegetables such as winter squash that you sauté in butter.

Just be sure to keep your eye on it while cooking; it's pretty easy to go from browned to burnt!

A spoon lifting up brown butter.
Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

What is Brown Butter?

Brown butter is regular butter that has been "browned." What you are doing is cooking the butter slightly past its melting point, just long enough to toast the milk solids in the butter. By doing this, you're creating butter magic! It releases a nutty flavor in the butter that adds an extra layer when you replace it for regular butter in recipes.

How to Make Brown Butter

It's super easy to make brown butter! All you need is a pan, some butter and a tool for stirring the butter as you brown it. We recommend using a silicone whisk for the best results, but a wooden or regular spoon will work just as well. You just need to be able to stir the milk solids while the butter is cooking, so that they brown evenly and not turn black and burnt.

The cooking time will depend on how much butter you're using, the amount of heat (we recommend melting over medium heat), and the surface area of your pot or pan. Using a sturdy, thick pan ensures even heating for the best results. If you want your butter to melt faster, cut it first before adding it to your pan.

Bake Better With Brown Butter

Anytime a recipe calls for melted butter, you can brown the butter to add that extra layer of nutty richness. Try it in these recipes that call for regular melted butter.

Which Butter is Best?

Since the butter is the star here, start with a high quality butter. You can use either salted or unsalted. We like using unsalted butter, especially for baking, because you can control the quantity of salt in your dish.

Recipes with Brown Butter You’ll Love

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

How to Make Brown Butter

Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 8 servings

This method calls for browning one stick (113g) of butter. Less butter will brown more quickly; more butter will take longer.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons, 113g) unsalted butter

Method

  1. Melt the butter:

    Heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the butter (if you slice it, it will melt more evenly) whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter.

    Melting butter in a pot to show how to brown butter.
    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes
    Whisking butter in a pot to show how to make browned butter.
    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes
  2. Watch for brown specs and nutty aroma:

    Once melted the butter will foam up a bit, then subside. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma.

    Melted butter foaming in a pot to make brown butter.
    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes
    A pot of melted butter that is starting to brown.
    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes
    how do you make browned butter in a pot with a spoon.
    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes
  3. Remove from heat:

    Pour into a bowl to stop the butter from cooking further and perhaps burning.

    It's pretty easy to overcook browned butter and go from brown to burnt. If the butter starts to blacken, I suggest dumping it and starting over (something I've had to do on occasion), unless you want beurre noir which has a different taste than nutty brown butter.

    If you want to make sage brown butter sauce, add some fresh sage leaves to the butter once it has melted. Allow the butter to brown and remove from the heat.

    Use browned butter immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for future use.

    Showing how to brown butter in a pot.
    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
101 Calories
11g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 101
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.