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No-Fail Lemon Pepper Sauce Recipe: Homemade Is Better!

This lemon pepper sauce recipe is actually quite simple to make, and goes great with a lot of proteins, homemade lemon pepper wings, and pasta.

For years, I believed that it would just be too much effort to make homemade lemon pepper sauce.

Perhaps in truth, the real worry is that I would just mess it all up.

Now that I have finally made it myself at home, I feel silly.

Not only is this lemon pepper sauce recipe easy to make but it is delicious. 

You can serve this lemon pepper sauce on top of fish or chicken. 

If you are feeling creative you could even toss it with grilled chicken to make saucy lemon pepper chicken wings. 

Yeah, baby. Get those crispy wings going, and toss in a steel prep, large bowl like this one (a la Wing Stop) and you’ve got a game day snack like no other.

Table Of Contents

What is lemon pepper sauce?

Lemon pepper sauce is a richly flavored sauce made out of butter, minced garlic, lemon, and seasoning. 

We add a touch of thyme and lots of lemon zest to our sauce. 

It will only take you about five minutes from start to finish to create this sauce. 

It is best served right away, so consider timing your meal so that the sauce is the last thing that you cook.

Also, I don’t recommend storing this sauce for future use, so only make as much as you need for the current meal. 

It’s okay to substitute half the butter for olive oil, but I wouldn’t leave it out completely. 

That rich buttery flavor just enhances the lemon like crazy.

Ways to use homemade lemon pepper sauce

Whether a dipping sauce, a simmer sauce, a coating, or drizzled on, this easy peasy lemon pepper butter sauce is going into your meal rotation!

  • We love to use our lemon pepper sauce on top of fish or chicken right before plating it.
  • A dipping sauce for dry chicken wings or baked chicken wings. 
  • With the intense flavor of fresh lemon zest and garlic mixed with fresh pepper, this sauce is perfection drizzled hot on top of sheet pan vegetables.
  • We layered it on top of sablefish, but it would also make an amazing lemon pepper salmon too.
  • Like I mentioned above, it would master a lemon pepper wings recipe LIKE A BOSS.
  • Double the recipe and use it as a simmering sauce for skillet chicken.
  • To balance the bright acid and rich butter, add a teaspoon of maple syrup or even some hot honey, especially if you are making air fryer lemon pepper wings with this sauce.

Tips for making homemade lemon pepper sauce

There are a couple of tricks that can help make this sauce in a speedy manner, but every speedy tip in the kitchen generally has a potential downside.

About the garlic

Use minced garlic from a jar for this recipe. 

We keep a jar of minced garlic in our fridge because mincing garlic is time-consuming and tedious.

The downside to this is that fresh garlic is much more flavorful. 

So you will want to decide if the savings in time and hassle is worth the slight loss of flavor or not.

I made this decision purely based on how I am feeling that day. 

If it is a special meal, I tend to take the time to mince fresh garlic. 

And garlic powder is always just fine. Use what you have on hand.

About the lemon

Use lemon juice from a bottle.

This recipe calls for lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. 

When I was making the recipe, it was a Tuesday, and I was trying to be speedy by not having as much clean-up after I was done cooking.

This is why I zested the lemon and then set it aside.

Fresh lemon is bright and tastes much better, but since there isn’t enough juice in one lemon for this recipe, I decided to use the bottle of lemon juice that we keep in the fridge for our Soda Stream water

Use a dash of homemade lemon pepper seasoning or the store-bought kind, if you love your sauces super lemony.

Steps to make this Lemon Pepper Sauce Recipe

Start by zesting your fresh lemons and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small skillet.

Add the garlic. Note that we used minced garlic from a jar here.

Mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice. We used store-bought lemon juice.

Add the dried thyme, salt and black pepper.

Simmer for two minutes on low, stirring occasionally.

Add your flavorful buttery and robust lemon sauce to your food right away, while it’s nice and hot.

Supplies to gather

Tools:

  • Lemon zester
  • Juicer
  • Paring knife
  • Cutting board
  • Garlic press
  • Small skillet 
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients:

  • Lemons
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Pepper
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt

The bottom line


You can make homemade lemon pepper sauce in less than 10 minutes of cooking time with just a few simple ingredients.

I promise you this is gonna be better than anything out of a jar from the grocery store.

Make a spice blend of your own and keep it handy so you can wave your kitchen wand and pull together this sauce in no time.

The best part of this lemon-pepper sauce is the bright lemon flavors and how fast it comes together. 

You don’t have to worry about cream curdling the sauce because this one goes without it. 

If you are really cutting down on dairy, you can substitute with half olive oil, but I wouldn’t do 100% substitution.

Here’s another sauce we love that has cream and garlic.

Lemon Pepper Sauce Recipe

Lemon Pepper Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

An easy recipe for a lemon pepper sauce with sautéed garlic, thyme, and, of course, fresh cracked pepper.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/2 T fresh cracked pepper
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ½ t dried thyme
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Zest the lemon and set the lemon zest aside.
  2. Mince the garlic. (We used minced garlic from a jar.)
  3. Juice the lemons. (We used lemon juice from a bottle.)
  4. Heat a small skillet over low heat.
  5. Add the butter to the warm skillet and slowly melt the butter. This should take about one minute. 
  6. Add the garlic to the melted butter and saute for one minute. 
  7. Add lemon juice, pepper, thyme, and lemon zest to the pan.
  8. Reduce the temp to medium-low and simmer for three minutes.
  9. Serve immediately.

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