Sole Meunière Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Updated Oct. 16, 2023

Sole Meunière Recipe (1)

Total Time
20 minutes
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The dish that made Julia Child fall in love with French cuisine, sole meunière highlights the simple flavors of fresh fish, butter, lemon and parsley. Fish is the center of the dish, so using a quality fillet is important: A true English Dover sole is preferred. Clarified butter, which takes a few extra minutes to prepare, can take on heat without browning, making it ideal for pan-frying fish. A classic sole meunière is made with a bone-in fillet, but boneless sole is faster and easier. You'll find a recipe for clarified butter here. This recipe is part of The New Essentials of French Cooking, a guide to definitive dishes every modern cook should master.

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Yield:6 servings

  • ½cup all-purpose flour
  • 64-ounce skinless, boneless sole or other thin fish fillets, patted dry
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste
  • 4tablespoons clarified butter
  • 4tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
  • 3tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

295 calories; 18 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 0 grams sugars; 24 grams protein; 368 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Sole Meunière Recipe (2)


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  1. Step


    Heat oven to 200 degrees and place a large oven-safe plate or baking sheet inside.

  2. Place flour on a large, shallow plate. Season both sides of fish fillets with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge fish in flour, shaking off excess.

  3. Step


    In a 12-inch nonstick or enamel-lined skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons clarified butter until bubbling. Place half of the fish fillets in the pan and cook until just done, 2 to 3 minutes per side, then transfer to the plate or baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Add 2 more tablespoons clarified butter to skillet and heat until bubbling, then cook remaining fillets. Wipe out the skillet.

  4. Step


    Arrange the fish on a warm serving platter. Top with parsley. In reserved skillet, heat remaining 4 tablespoons unsalted butter until bubbling and golden, 1 to 2 minutes, then pour evenly over fillets. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges on the side.



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Cooking Notes


If you're worried about "fishy" flavor, soak the fillets in milk for a half hour before dredging with flour. I've been doing flounder or sole meuniere this way for years--it's fool proof unless you get fish that had preservatives added to it. If the fish is semi-translucent when you see it in the store, it may be preservative-laced. It won't crisp up, and the texture after cooking is like that of bread dough. Look for fillets that are a nice opaque white.


I am incredibly fussy about fish so if there is anything "fishy" about the smell or taste I turn up my nose. This recipe turned out so fresh and delicious I actually had seconds! I used frozen dover sole fillets from Trader Joes that were not too pricey. To prevent the fillets from curling, I scored the fillets before frying. Also, I used a copper saucepan with aluminum coating to make the brown butter so I could observe the change in color. What a wonderful dish!

Joe A.

A deglaze of the pan after removing fish, and before adding butter, using a good splash of dry white wine is de rigueur.


I cooked this using almond meal since I don't eat gluten and it was delicious. I clarified the butter and used a non-stick ceramic skillet. No problem here.


I fail to see why clarified butter is required; regular butter works perfectly. Simple and delicious.

Bill Hettig

Is ghee interchangeable with clarified butter?

Jake Sterling

Good Dover sole is hard to find. Ocean Perch, on the other hand is almost always at the market, is usually much fresher and responds beautifully to this recipe. Don't make the mistake of using flounder! It looks like sole but tastes like mud.

Lindsay Law

the fun of this site is Melissa's cooking videos! Since this entire ESSENTIALS OF FRENCH COOKING is hers, why isn't she in the videos!!!!!


I made this last night for dinner, and it was delicate and delicious! Curious as to whether or not it mattered, I made half with outrageously pricey fish-market sole, the other half with affordable fresh sole from a local grocery chain fish counter. The texture and taste of the fish-market sole was clearly superior, however until I win the lotto, I will be making it with the more affordable fillets in the future!


As wonderful and easy as this is, I slightly prefer Ina Garten's version, which incorporates lemon a bit more. You can find her recipe online ( or in her "Back to Basics" cookbook. On the other hand, the NYT recipe uses clarified butter, which I think is the better way. Of course, you don't have to be a cook on Melissa Clark's or Ina Garten's level to combine the best of both approaches.


Wow. I feel a little guilty eating something so extravagant on Good Friday. I used cod (it's what I had) and served with roasted asparagus - delish! I do wish I had patted the fish dry before dredging in flour.


I used just over 1/2 lb. of sole for me alone. After fish was nicely browned, I removed and put about a half cup of white wine in hot skillet to deglaze, along with lemon juice and zest. Reduced a bit, then served over the sole.


JD: Clarifying butter does NOT remove the fat solids from butter! It removes the water and milk from butter.


odd, yesterday when I viewed this recipe there was a "Mastering The Classics" article attached (now gone). It explained clarified butter stands up to higher heat without burning, and if you were using regular butter you should fortify it with olive oil which allows the butter to reach higher temps w/o burning. I have to believe that clarified butter has the added benefit of being less fat/cholesterol and calories, having the fat solids removed.


I cooked this as directed in clarified butter in a cast iron pan. The fish was a sea bass filet that my neighbor had caught last week. I used white pepper along with kosher salt. About three minutes a side and it was perfect. The parsley came from my herb garden. Second best part was mopping up lemony butter with French bread. Thanks for the video instruction.


You can easily make this gluten free using almond flour instead of all purpose flour.

Steven Resch

Sole Meunière is a delicious meal and worthy of it's related notoriety to Julia Child, but this recipe is omitting a crucial step. After the fillets are done, DO NOT wipe out the pan, you are destroying the delicious "fond" that remain in the pan and form the foundation for the butter sauce. Add REGULAR butter (not clarified) and heat until it just begins turning brown. Remove heat. Add about a 1/2 shot glass of lemon juice to deglaze the pan. Continue cooking until it settles - pour over fillet


Made this with thick halibut fillets from Sitka Salmon, since all I had. Used ghee for all steps. Added salted capers and extra ghee at end bc filets were so thick. Excellent and fast!! Will make again.


A family favorite. So quick and delicious. I deglaze the pan with a bit of white wine for extra oomph. I usually use Petrale or Dover sole.


Does clarified butter bubble?? I use ghee and it's never bubbles at any temperature.


IMade this tonight using thawed tilapia. Squeezed lemon on when I plated it. So delicious. Served with coleslaw sweetened with dried cranberries.


Very simple to prepare, but don't rush.


Very simple to prepare

Adam O.

I made this with salmon because it looked awesome in Zelda, and you know what? It was awesome.

Tonja E.

Ok, wow. This was absolutely amazing! Comes together in no time and is simply delicious. Light and beautiful. We made exactly as stated with sole from the local farmer's market. This can be made with any thin filet of fish, for sure. I also agree with another commenter that this is a fish dish for people who don't like fish! It's just so mild, and not at all "fishy". You just can't improve on perfection.

200 degrees

I presume this is c


Will Ghee work?


Yes, ghee will work for the clarified butter. For the butter sauce, those brown bits you get from regular butter are delicious.


easy peasey and very good, even without the bath of butter he pours on when plated.I added some lemon zest and tiny dibble of lemon juice. Tasty!


Delicious! Also tried this with cheaper tilapia, and it was still really good!


I add a little Parisian Shallot herb seasoning instead of salt. I love fish this way. Especially on a weeknight, it feels like you went out to dinner.

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Sole Meunière Recipe (2024)


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