Sole Meuniere

Sole Meuniere is a classic French fish recipe prepared with fresh Dover sole that has been lightly dusted in flour, pan seared in clarified butter and then topped with a simple sauce of fresh butter, capers, a squeeze of lemon and Italian parsley.  Simply divine! 

Although I’ve prepared this lovely dish of sole at least fifty times or more, I hadn’t thought of preparing it lately.  Most likely due to preparing it one too many times in the past and hearing the Bennett crew comment about Sole Meuniere always being on the weekly menu. 

However, on Mother’s Day this past May, my little gal gave me a set of Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home DVD’s.  How wonderful it is to watch Julia and Jacques preparing my very favorite classic French dishes!  Of course, one of the fish recipes highlighted in this series is the classic Sole Meuniere.  A light bulb went on in my head and I realized I hadn’t prepared this dish in quite some time and it must make its way into my weekly menu once again.

Well, I have to tell you it was hit and I’ve prepared it twice since Mother’s Day!  Sole Meuniere can be prepared as simply or as complex as you wish.  In my 1964 copy of The Escoffier Cook Book ,there are seven different preparations of Sole Meuniere.  The most common being Fish a la Meuniere.  The other six versions consist of varied ingredients  such as the Sole Meuniere with Cucumbers, called Doria.  The cucumbers have been cut into pieces and pan seared in butter and used as a garnish for the delicious sole.  This particular garnish of cucumbers is absolutely delicious.  I know it might sound odd, however, cucumbers are a lovely compliment in flavor to most fish. 

Dover Sole is definitely my favorite type of sole for this recipe, however, feel free to substitute with a Petrale Sole or Flounder, which is also a flatfish with a mild and delicate flavor.   As well, if you don’t care for capers, feel free to substitute with a few pan seared sliced mushrooms. 

Enjoy a little taste of France with a dinner of Sole Meuniere.  As Julia and Jacques would say…  Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!

Serves 4


3/4 – 1 lb fresh Dover Sole (about 8-10 fillets)

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

6 tablespoons clarified butter (or ghee, found in most natural markets)

1 cup all-purpose flour (omit for gluten-free recipe)

4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 lemon

2 tablespoons capers, drained

4 tablespoons fresh butter (for the finished sauce)


Season fillets with salt and pepper.

Heat 4-6 tablespoons clarified butter in a large sauté pan or large heavy bottom skillet.

Dredge fillets in flour, shaking off any excess flour. Place fillets in sauté pan and cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Remove fillets from pan and transfer on to a platter, sprinkle with parsley and keep warm while sauteing the remaining fish, adding additional butter as needed.

Remove remaining butter from the skillet and add the fresh butter. Heat until the butter begins to brown. Remove from heat and stir in capers. Squeeze a little fresh lemon over the fillets and then pour the sauce over the fish and serve. Garnish with lemon slices.

Tip:  To prepare clarified butter at home:  Using two sticks of unsalted butter, melt the butter slowly in a small pan over low heat until the butter fat is at the bottom and the clarified butter is floating on top.  Skim off the clarified butter to use for the fish.  Discard the remaining milk fat from the bottom of the pan. 

Serve Sole Meuniere with fresh wilted spinach or roasted asparagus spears.  A fresh salad of spring greens tossed with a basic red or white wine vinaigrette is also delicious.



  1. Definitely if you are grilling the fish you could use regular unsalted butter. Clarified butter doesn’t burn and creates a nice finished pan sauce. To clarify butter just melt a stick of butter slowly over medium heat. Take it off the heat and let the solids drop to the bottom and the skim the clarified butter off the top. Or, you can purchase clarified butter or ghee at your local market. Have fun! Your Mother’s Day celebrations sounds divine!

  2. This is exactly the sauce I want to use over grilled steelhead for my Mother’s Day dinner party. Thanks for the suggestion! I wonder how important is it to use the clairified butter? I will do the recipe exactly as you have writen (exception: grilling the fish unless the weather is uncooperative) and will let you know how it turns out. Happy Cookin!

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