Simple Lemon Caper Sauce

Lemon caper sauce

The Spruce


Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
155 Calories
12g Fat
12g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 155
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 42mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 2g
Calcium 69mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lemons and capers go together really well. And butter makes everything better, usually. Bringing the three ingredients into this easy sauce offers a delicious finishing touch for simple preparations such as baked, grilled, or broiled fish, shrimp, or chicken. This is a quick weeknight sauce that isn't fancy but somehow makes even the most basic turkey or veal cutlets, or baked chicken or tuna feel a little bit more special after being gussied up by this lemon caper sauce.

If you've never had capers, they are the unopened flower buds of the caper bush, and they bring a tangy, floral, and almost briny or salty taste to whatever they're paired with. They're sold in jars and can usually be found in the grocery store near other condiments or sometimes with specialty Italian ingredients, depending on the store. Capers can be rinsed (or not) before using, depending on the recipe specifications, pair especially well with chicken (think chicken piccata), and can completely transform the most basic of salmon dishes. Some people say they taste a little like green olives; if you're in a pinch, you can substitute one for the other.

The recipe makes enough sauce for about four generous servings, and it can be scaled up easily for more.


Click Play to See This Simple Lemon Caper Sauce Recipe Come Together



  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons parsley (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Lemon caper sauce ingredients

    The Spruce

  2. Drain and rinse the capers. If they are large, chop them coarsely.

  3. Melt the butter in a small skillet or sauté pan over low heat. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and capers. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking over low heat for about 30 seconds.

    Butter, lemon juice, garlic, capers, and parsley in a cast-iron pan

    The Spruce

  4. Add the chopped fresh parsley; stir and remove from the heat. 

  5. Drizzle the warm sauce over cooked fish, chicken, or turkey cutlets, and serve immediately. Enjoy.

    Lemon caper sauce in a jar

    The Spruce

How to Store Lemon Caper Sauce

This sauce can be made up to three days ahead of time if you cover and keep it in the refrigerator. You can also store any leftovers in a similar fashion.