Sherry Cream Sauce

Sherry Cream Sauce

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 18 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 cup

This is an excellent cream sauce to use with shrimp, scallops, lobster, or fish. The sauce is made with a touch of sherry—just enough to brighten the flavor of the fish or shellfish. Quick to make, this sherry cream sauce will be a popular addition to your repertoire. Spoon some sauce over baked halibut, haddock, snapper, or any other mild white fish or seafood.

A dash of Creole seasoning or freshly grated nutmeg is optional and can add extra flavor and color to the sauce. 


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small clove garlic

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot, or onion

  • 1 teaspoon clam base, or shrimp or lobster base

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tablespoons sherry, or dry white wine

  • 1 dash kosher salt

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 dash paprika, optional

  • 1 dash Creole or Cajun seasoning, optional

  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sherry cream sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

    Melt butter in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Press the garlic or smash it with the side of a knife and then mince it very finely.

    Mince garlic on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add minced garlic to butter. Add onion and clam base. Sauté for about 1 minute.

    Garlic and butter cooking in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add 1 heavy whipping cream and sherry; bring to a simmer.

    Add cream and sherry to the garlic and butter mixture in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes to reduce the sauce by about 1/4 to 1/3.

    Cook the sherry sauce in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Taste and add salt and pepper, along with other seasonings you might like.

    Salt and pepper added to the sherry sauce in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. For extra color and flavor, add a dash of paprika, Cajun seasoning, or nutmeg to the sauce.

    Sherry cream sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • The seafood base adds flavor, but you may omit it or use a seafood bouillon or chicken base if necessary. 
  • Serve baked or grilled seafood or fish fillets with rice or pasta and drizzle with a few tablespoons of sauce.
  • Enjoy it with pasta dishes, such as ravioli, lasagna, or penne.