Sole Meunière

One of the biggest criticisms I hear about French food is that it’s complicated. While there are certainly dishes in the French repertoire that take a lot of work, Sole Meunière is not one of them. Taking a whole fifteen minutes from start to finish, it makes for a perfect weeknight meal.

Another common observation is that French food is heavy. I won’t lie to you, with three tablespoons of butter in it, Meunière is not a light sauce, however the bright flavors of the lemon let the browned butter work its wonders without feeling like you just ate two and half cubic inches of butter.

Crispy around the edges, while moist and tender towards the center, the sauce balances the rich nutty flavors of the browned butter with the tart, sunny flavor of lemon. Shallots and white wine aren’t a traditional addition to Meunière, but I love the depth they add, which is why they go into my version of the sauce.

While purists will argue that using Dover Sole is essential, I’m more of the school that freshness counts over species. Flounder Meunière may not have the same ring as Sole Meunière, but if it’s fresh, any flatfish will do.

I love pairing this with some creamy mashed Yukon gold potatoes with gruyer cheese, but it’s also wonderful with a crusty baguette to sop up the browned butter. If you’re serving this for brunch, try turning it into a sandiwich with some sliced avocados and mâche.

Equipment you'll need:

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    Sole Meunière
  • Butter fried sole with a browned butter and lemon Meunière Sauce. A simple flavorful take on the French classic.
ServingsPrep TimeCook Time
2 5 minutes 10 minutes


  • 310 grams Sole fillet flounder or sand dabs also work well
  • flour for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 small shallot minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine such as sauvignon blanc
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • parsley for garnish


  1. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the fillet and then lightly dust all surfaces of the fish with flour.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a frying pan and heat over medium heat until the pan is hot and the butter has melted. Add the sole and fry on one side until cooked about half way through (the cooked part will appear opaque if you look at the side of the fillet). Carefully flip using 2 spatulas and fry until cooked through.
  3. To make the Meunière sauce, transfer the fish to a plate, then add the shallots to the butter. Fry until the shallots are tender and starting to brown.
  4. Add the white wine and boil until most of the liquid is gone. Finish the sauce by whisking in the lemon juice and zest along with the last tablespoon of butter. Pour the Meunière sauce over the fish. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
  • leaf (the indolent cook)

    Hurrah for a quick and easy French meal! The sauce looks absolutely delectable on the fish. 

  • Nisrine

    This is my favorite way to eat fish. It’s hard too find sole in FL sometimes so I end up using flounder, which works beautifully too.

  • cbbunten

    OMG, so good and easy!! I felt like a chef serving this to my friends.

  • Creamcheesewonton

    Can’t wait to try this tomorrow!

  • DenaTBray

    Love how you made it so simple. Looks delicious! And I love the brunch sandwich idea! A crusty baguette, greens and a glass of wine. Ooh la la.

  • Rowaidafl

    I love Sole fish, this is an amazing recipe. On the menu for this week.
    Thank you Marc

  • Eva Chan

    Whenever I see the name of this dish, I can’t help but to think of that scene from “Tampopo”.  I love that movie and the food theme. :D

    • Julia Carino

      My thoughts exactly! Tampopo! Love that movie! And the scene :D :D :D 

  • amy @ WANF

    funny you mention how you hear complaints about French food being complicated… that’s how I feel about Asian food! I guess it’s what makes one overwhelmed. For me it’s sometimes ingredients, over technique, that scares me more.  this looks amazing and if Sole wasn’t $18 a pound at my local fish monger, I’d eat it alot more often.  

  • astrodreamer

    Lovely. But it is also the ritualistic de-boning at table which separates this dish from fried fish. You need to have it properly executed at least once, by a true fishserver, to create that palate-transforming moment.

  • Natalie

    I made this with sand dab filets from the farmers’ market today. Simply delicious. I added capers at the end.

  • Natalie

    I made this with sand dab filets from the farmers’ market today. Simply delicious. I added capers at the end.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!