How to Make Beurre Manié

This classic French technique is the No. 1 trick to thickening a sauce or soup.

By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on June 7, 2024

Beurre manié is one of the best ways to thicken a sauce or a soup, period. This fancy-sounding mixture—it means kneaded butter in French—is incredibly simple to make and equally easy to use. Just rub enough flour into softened butter to make a thick paste; then whisk in little bits of the paste to finish a pan sauce for, say, shrimp scampi or a roast turkey, or to enrich a seafood chowder or oxtail stew. As the butter melts, it separates and evenly disperses the flour particles, which swell and thicken the liquid. The result: a lustrous, velvety texture with nary a clump. Once a technique that was employed by professional and home cooks, unfortunately, this smart kitchen trick is rarely seen anymore. We think it's time to revive it. Here’s how to make and use beurre manié.

What you need:


  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • All-purpose flour
Matt Taylor-Gross

STEP 1: Combine the butter and flour.

In a medium bowl, mix together equal parts butter and flour.

Matt Taylor-Gross

STEP 2: Make a paste.

Using your fingers or a fork, knead or mash the mixture until the flour is well incorporated and a smooth paste forms.

Matt Taylor-Gross

STEP 3: Whisk the beurre manié into a sauce or soup.

When simmering a sauce or soup, whisk in one piece of beurre manié at a time as needed.

Matt Taylor-Gross

STEP 4: Cook to thicken.

Allow the mixture to return to a boil, and cook for at least 1 minute to thicken. If your sauce is not as thick as you'd like, add a bit more beurre manié. The butter-coated flour particles will melt and quickly thicken the sauce as it simmers, and the additional butter will add a sleek luster, similar to the effect of mounting a sauce with cold butter.

How to store leftover beurre manié:

If you don’t use the full batch of beurre manié (most recipes only call for a tablespoon or two at a time), it’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Some cooks like to roll teaspoon- or tablespoon-size amounts of the paste into balls before storing for convenience. Make sure to bring the beurre manié to room temperature before using. 

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