Orange Butter Sauce (Beurre Blanc) for Seafood

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

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 1 cup


  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) 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.

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

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

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.

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  • sharon

    It was slightly bitter when finished, and I was very careful to keep any white flesh out of the juice or zest, so I added a bit of cardamom and apx 1/2 tsp of vanilla and it was perfect.


  • Andrew Sterner

    Can you double the recipe?

  • Jeanie nelson

    It’s good. Was easier than I expected. I’ll definitely make it again.


  • Ralph Craig

    This works best if the butter is cold.

  • Lauren T

    I made this sauce for the first time for a Valentine’s dinner. I followed the directions exactly serving it over pan-fried tilapia. It was excellent! The consistency, the taste..mmmm it was something you would eat at an upscale restaurant. I will definitely make it again for a classy occasion.


  • xta

    I’ve made this a few times to put over baked fish, usually cod. It is so delicious and takes only a few minutes to make.

  • Sarah

    This is now my family’s favorite way to eat white fish! I served the sauce over tilapia fillets and it turned out great. Experimented a little using less butter and scallions instead of shallots, since I didn’t have shallots at the time. I like the extra color the green onions provide.