How to Make Brown Butter

How ToButter

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

It’s fun to do with butter-based sauces (check out these scallops in a browned 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!

What do you like to make with browned butter? Let us know in the comments.

How to brown butter

How to Make Brown Butter

  • Cook time: 5 minutes


  • Unsalted butter


1 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.

2 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.

3 Remove from heat and 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 heat.

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

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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60 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. John

    I put this on baked haddock (cod or any mild, white fish). Makes a world of difference and adds a ton of flavor to a fairly bland baked fish. Highly recommend it.


  2. Mary

    This recipe worked wonderfully!


  3. [email protected]

    I did it! It was so easy and delicious. Thank you for the tips. Used it to top some organic butternut squash with mushroom and toasted pistachios. Yum. My house smells divine too.


  4. Deena Spradlin

    Love your recipe! I add a little brown sugar, toasted pecans, nutmeg, and cinnamon and pour it over butternut squash


  5. Jennifer

    I used this twice, the first time was great!!! My kids loved it! Even my picky eater! But the second time it was just bland. I used the same butter but I used more, about 2 1/2 sticks. I was making a big pot. I followed the recipe. It was the same color, no black pieces. Anyone know what I did wrong this time? Too much at one time maybe??

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How to Make Brown Butter