An easy and flavorful lemon caper sauce with butter or olive oil that makes a terrific sauce drizzled over white fish, shrimp, salmon, vegetables, chicken, and pasta! Make the homemade lemon sauce with capers recipe with either melted butter or olive oil depending on your use for the sauce. It’s a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Lemon Caper Sauce
Lemon sauce with capers is ideal served over seafood like cod or just about any fish recipe, on chicken breast, pork chops, or it’s also delicious as a potato salad dressing. The sauce will remind you of chicken piccata when served with chicken, the difference is chicken piccata sauce often has cream and chicken stock mixed in, along with a flour mixture. This is not a traditional piccata sauce recipe but is more a lemon caper butter sauce to use with a variety of simple ingredients to make a healthy meal.
Serve the lemon sauce with capers with pasta, serve over the top of chicken breast or blackened cod, and don’t forget the air fryer broccolini on the side.
Why You’ll Love This!
- Lemon sauce with capers takes less than 10 minutes to make from start to finish, yet you’ll feel like you are being served dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant.
- It’s the perfect sauce for a variety of mild-flavored proteins like chicken and white fish or salmon.
- The delicious lemon caper sauce is easy to adapt if you have any dietary considerations, plus as written it’s low carb, gluten-free, and keto-friendly!
With just a handful of ingredients, you’ll make any dish instantly get a wow factor!
fresh lemon juice – the recipe uses about 1 whole lemon. Do not use lemon concentrate.
lemon zest – wash and dry the lemon first before testing it, be sure to zest before you squeeze the lemons.
tablespoons capers– they come in a jar with liquid like a brine from the grocery store, while kalamata olives are often considered the best caper substitute, it would be difficult to make a swap for capers in a sauce with such a prominent capers flavor. Green olives can be used as a caper substitute in a pinch but it will totally change the flavor of the dish.
garlic cloves, minced – we love to use Trader Joe’s frozen garlic cubes, fresh garlic or minced garlic in a jar will also work
salt and ground black pepper
fresh flat leaf parsley– cilantro also works really well as would standard parsley
tablespoon butter, salted– if you use unsalted butter you might need to increase the salt a tiny bit
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
Make a creamy lemon butter caper sauce by reducing the tablespoons of butter by half and stirring in a little heavy whipping cream.
For serving the lemon sauce with capers over pasta we usually swap the butter for olive oil.
Add white wine to an elegant touch, just a basic bottle works well, there’s no need to use expensive wine.
- Vegan– swap the butter for olive oil
- Whole30/Paleo– swap the butter for olive oil
Step by Step Instructions
Making the lemon sauce with capers and garlic is super simple, you just melt the butter in the pan and the remaining ingredients. Finish the sauce by stirring in the fresh parsley (or cilantro) before serving it warm over a variety of dishes.
Make the Sauce
Open the jar of capers and rinse them in cold water to remove the salt. In a small skillet on medium-low to medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
Cook for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
Stir in the chopped fresh parsley and take it off of the heat.
Pour sauce and serve immediately with seafood, chicken, pasta, or vegetables before the butter hardens. Enjoy!
- To serve lemon caper sauce with pasta, swap the butter for olive oil so that the fats keep their liquid consistency.
- Cilantro makes a great variation to flat-leaf parsley.
- The sauce can be made dairy-free by using olive oil instead of butter, or you can use a vegan margarine spread.
- It’s essential to use fresh lemon juice and not concentrate. The sauce will have the best possible taste using fresh citrus.
- You can also cook a protein like chicken breast over medium-high heat in a large skillet, scrape up the browned bits, and add the sauce ingredients to the hot pan for a quick dinner idea or even for a dinner party.
Can you eat capers straight from the jar?
Yes, you can technically eat capers straight from the jar, but most people find they taste the best rinsing off the salty brine before using them in a recipe.
What are capers?
Capers are the flower bud of a bush native to the Mediterranean. These little flowers look like tiny pine cones and taste very tangy, salty, and acidic. They make a great sauce or can be used in many dishes from pasta to salads.
What do capers taste like?
Capers have a tangy, slightly salty, acidic taste. They are especially appetizing when paired with fish, lemon juice, or herbs.
We hope you LOVE this lemon caper sauce recipe!
More Sauce Recipes
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp capers
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parlsey, chopped
- 4 Tbsp butter, salted
- Rinse the capers in cold water.
- In a small skillet on medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in the chopped fresh parsley and take it off of the heat.
- Serve immediately with seafood, chicken, pasta, or vegetables before the butter hardens. Enjoy!
If the lemon caper sauce is a tiny too lemony for your liking, feel free to add a touch more butter or olive oil, adjust the salt and pepper as needed. However, a tiny bit of sauce goes a long way!
To serve lemon caper sauce with pasta, swap the butter for olive oil since butter hardens as it cools whereas olive oil does not.
Cilantro makes a great variation to flat-leaf parsley.
The sauce can be made dairy-free by using olive oil instead of butter, or you can use a vegan margarine spread.
It's essential to use fresh lemon juice and not concentrate. The sauce will have the best possible taste with using fresh citrus.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 105Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 31mgSodium 382mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g