Why it’s so good!

Elevate your dishes with my homemade sage butter sauce. It’s nutty, buttery, and simply put… all kinds of delicious! Maybe best of all, it comes together with just a handful of ingredients that you may already have at home.

  • A really cosy and comforting flavour.
  • Creamy and rich thanks to the salted butter, plus herby and earthy due to the sage.
  • So quick and easy.
  • Made with fresh ingredients.
  • Versatile: serve it over pasta, vegetables, meat, chicken, or fish.
  • It freezes beautifully so you always have some on hand.

If you love tasty recipes that come together quickly and easily, browned butter and sage sauce is one to add to your repertoire. And while it may sound and even taste quite fancy, it couldn’t be more simple. Flavourful herbs and aromatics paired with salted butter come together to create something pretty magical. Once you make this sage brown butter sauce, you’ll want to use it on everything!

Try this compound pesto butter too.

A glass with amber butter sauce inside.

What is brown butter?

Known in French as beurre noisette (beurre meaning butter and noisette meaning hazelnuts, referencing it’s colour), brown butter or browned butter is a classic French sauce with a wonderfully nutty aroma.

As it cooks, the milk solids separate from fat and turn into brown specks on the bottom of the pan. It’s important not to let those specks turn black or you’ll have burnt butter.

While browned butter can add a special something to baked goods, like these chocolate chip marshmallow cookies, this recipe for brown butter sage sauce is a specifically savoury version wonderful for drizzling over everything from steak to fish to vegetables and pasta.


Ingredients for sage butter sauce on a baking tray.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

  • Salted butter: I always use salted butter for my sage butter sauce — it adds more flavour and means I don’t need to incorporate any extra salt. This recipe is all about simplicity, and the fewer ingredients, the better. If you’re sensitive to salt, use unsalted butter and then season to taste.
  • Garlic: Be sure to use a fresh garlic clove, not garlic powder or even jarred options. Fresh is best here. Because there are so few ingredients, the quality of the ones you use is very important.
  • Fresh sage leaves: Same goes for the sage: do not use dried herbs or you won’t get the herby flavour you’re after. I find fresh sage to have a piney, grassy flavour with a hint of eucalyptus — it’s savoury, cosy and a bit earthy — and you just won’t get that depth with dried. Plus, those crispy fried sage leaves at a lovely texture to whatever you drizzle this sauce over.

How to make sage butter sauce

This browned butter and sage sauce recipe moves very quickly, so make sure to have everything ready before you start. If you bring the butter to room temperature it’ll melt easier but it’s not necessary. In just 10 minutes, you’ll have the perfect sage and butter sauce.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

1. Melt the butter

Place the salted butter in a medium-sized saucepan or skillet and melt over medium heat. Allow it to begin to bubble. Make sure the pan is light in colour so you can see the colour of the butter changing.

Showing the melted butter as it begins to bubble.

2. Add the garlic and sage

Incorporate the minced garlic and fresh sage leaves into the melted butter. Stir, and continue cooking until the butter starts to foam.

The butter with sage ang garlic added.

3. Stir

Continue to stir. At this point, your browned butter and sage sauce should be amber in colour with small brown flecks. Make sure they aren’t black — that means it’s burnt.

Remove the sauce from heat and use immediately, or place in a small glass bowl for later. It will continue to cook in the pan as it sits so transfer it straight away.

The butter browned and ready to use.

This sage butter sauce results in a nutty, buttery sauce plus super crispy sage leaves, all with a lovely kick of garlic and it’s truly magical stuff. It’s like garlic butter on a whole new level.

Tips and tricks

  • Use a light coloured pot or pan so you can see the colour of the butter as it changes. If you use a dark pan, it may burn before you notice.
  • Control the heat carefully. You must maintain a medium heat when melting the butter for any brown butter sauce. Avoid high heat, as it will cause the butter to burn, which will result in a quite bitter taste.
  • Keep a close eye on the colour of the butter as it melts and cooks with the garlic and sage. Remember that you’re aiming for an amber colour with brown flecks for your sauce — this means that it has developed a rich, nutty flavour and hasn’t burnt.
  • Stir and swirl the pan as you go to evenly distribute the heat and prevent any spots from burning. This also helps to infuse the garlic and sage flavours throughout the browned butter. This is not a set-it-and-forget-it recipe — stay in front of the stovetop the entire time so you can stop it just when it’s perfect.
A glass of sage butter sauce with some crispy sage on the side.

What to serve with sage and butter sauce

Sage and butter sauce is incredibly versatile and works well with a variety of dishes. Spoon it over potatoes, pasta, and meats like pork and chicken — or even some types of white fish. I also love it over roast vegetables like pumpkin or squash. I would serve it with:

To use this sage butter sauce for pasta — plain or filled varieties like ravioli and tortellini — or potato gnocchi, cook the pasta until al dente as usual, then toss it in the sage brown butter sauce. It’s lovely with pan fried or baked gnocchi in particular. A little lemon juice can add a little acidity and zing which is lovely with pasta.


What is sage butter made of?

Sage butter is made with just 3 ingredients: salted butter, minced garlic, and fresh sage leaves. It comes together very quickly as well — all you need to do is melt the butter, add the garlic and herbs, and cook for less than 10 minutes. It’s savoury, nutty, and comforting, and pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes.

Can I freeze sage butter?

Yes, you can freeze my sage butter sauce recipe. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Ice cube trays are great for this – you can make a big batch, freeze it in cubes and then just use what you need for a quick sauce. Store in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. It can be thawed in the microwave, overnight in the refrigerator or directly in a pan on the stovetop.

How long does sage and butter sauce last in the fridge?

Sage butter sauce will keep for about 1-2 weeks when stored properly in the fridge. Let it cool before transferring it to an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing any odors from other foods. It will solidify when cold. When you’re ready to use it, reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.

Pouring the sage butter sauce into a glass.

Did you try this sage and brown butter sauce? Show it some love in the comments below.

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Closeup of pouring the sauce into a glass.
5 from 2 ratings
This sage butter sauce takes just 10 minutes and 3 ingredients. This brown butter sauce adds a luxurious touch to anything from pasta to potatoes to pork.


  • 155 g salted butter (5½oz)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh sage leaves, packed

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided


  • Small saucepan


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it begin to bubble.
  • Add the garlic and sage leaves and continue cooking as the butter foams and eventually turns amber in colour. Keep swirling the pan so you can see the colour of the butter – you want to see an amber colour with brown flecks (not black).
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately or transfer to a bowl to stop it cooking further.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. Yield: Makes approximately ¾ cup
  2. What to use it for: Over cooked pasta or gnocchi, stir through rice, over white fish, over chicken or pork, over roast potatoes, pumpkins or other roasted vegetables.
  3. Storing in the fridge: This sauce will keep stored in your fridge for 1-2 weeks. It will solidify once cold.
  4. Freezing: You can freeze the butter for use later (in ice cube trays is really handy but transfer to a container or ziplock bag once frozen. Can be thawed in the microwave or directly in a pan on the stove top.
  5. Nutrition details are approximate only and based on the full batch – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Sage Butter Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1494 Calories from Fat 1512
% Daily Value*
Fat 168g258%
Saturated Fat 106g663%
Trans Fat 7g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 43g
Cholesterol 444mg148%
Sodium 1330mg58%
Potassium 84mg2%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 0.2g0%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 5165IU103%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 85mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.