Orange Butter Sauce (Beurre Blanc) for Seafood

Traditional French Beurre Blanc sauce, with the zest of oranges! Great sauce for seafood dishes.

Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce
Elise Bauer

This Orange Butter Sauce is a French "Beurre Blanc" ("white butter") sauce based on a reduction of shallots and an acid such as vinegar, citrus juice, or wine, mixed in with cold butter.

Its creamy tanginess works well with mild fish such as trout, shad, or haddock.

It may also be served with any shellfish including lobster, crab, and scallops.

Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce
Elise Bauer

This recipe comes from a cooking class I took at Scott's Seafood in Folsom, California, presented by Chef David Lamonica.

Orange Butter Sauce (Beurre Blanc) for Seafood

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Yield 1 cup

You'll need one large orange or two smallish oranges to have enough juice for this recipe.


  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks, 225 g) cold, unsalted butter
  • Salt and white pepper


  1. Make a syrup with orange zest, orange juice, wine, and shallots:

    Zest half of one orange (about 2 teaspoons) and juice the two oranges (about 3/4 cup).

    Put the juice, zest, wine and shallots in a sauce pan on medium high heat.

    Elise Bauer
    reduce liquid until it is almost gone and what you have is a syrup, this is your base for the orange beurre blanc sauce for seafood
    Elise Bauer

    Cook until it is syrupy and almost gone.

  2. Slowly whisk in butter:

    On low heat, whisk in the butter continuously and vigorously, 1 tablespoon at a time.

    add cold butter a tablespoon at a time for orange beurre blanc sauce
    Elise Bauer

    Butter is the only emulsifier for this sauce, and if you slowly add it, continuously stirring, the sauce will achieve a silky smooth texture. Do not let the sauce boil!

  3. Add salt and pepper to taste
Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce
Elise Bauer