How to Make Brown Butter

How ToButterBrown Butter

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 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!

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 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.

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.

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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69 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Brent

    I’m trying to perfect/develop a chicken pot pie recipe that is a step or two above the norm. The next time in making the sauce I was thinking about browning the butter before adding the onions, etc. I was also intrigued by maybe adding the thyme to the butter. Just wanted to get some thoughts.

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  2. Heather

    Works great. I suggest putting it over noddles and adding some saffron. Deliciousness!!

  3. Joe more

    I accidentally made brown butter this morning while making syrup for french toast. Rather than throwing it out, I added it to the french toast batter.



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  4. Dennis

    made it by mistake, also and used it to saute shrimp with, maybe redundant but turned out great.


  5. Lorelei

    I made brown butter by accident while making rice krispie treats one time because i wasn’t paying attention to the butter. I thought i ruined the butter but was too lazy to start over and just used it brown and it was the best “mistake” I ever made! Everybody raves about my rice krispie treats because they have this depth of flavor and they honestly do taste better than most. I totally concur with the magic of browning butter!

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How to Make Brown Butter