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Creamy Lemon-Herb Pan Sauce

  • 10 ingredients or less
  • Grace Parisi
  • Sauce / Condiment
  • French
  • Active Time:10 min
  • Total Time:10 min
  • Servings:¾ cups
Photo by Julia Gartland

A delicious pan sauce, such as this one made with cream, lemon, and herbs, can elevate a simple sautéd fillet in just a few minutes. After the fish is cooked, transfer it to a plate and use the same skillet to make the pan sauce. Dust the pieces of fish with a tiny bit of flour before sautéing to create a light crust. Try this with halibut, rockfish, lingcod, or Pacific cod.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

  • ¾ cup heavy cream

  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or dill

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Make the Sauce

In a medium skillet used to pan-sear fish, melt the butter over medium heat then add the shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened and just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and lemon zest and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, then stir in the lemon juice and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve right away.