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Creamy Tarragon Sauce

Our Creamy Tarragon Sauce is velvety smooth and aromatic. It’s the perfect accompaniment for any chicken, fish, rice, or veggie-based dishes. It’s particularly delicious with our Chicken Cordon Bleu with Asparagus. This sauce is easy to make, incredibly delicious, and will take your meals to the next level.

A dish of creamy tarragon sauce.

Why you’ll love Creamy Tarragon Sauce

We love recipes that are easy to make and come together quickly. Here’s why you’ll love this sauce:

  • It’s a flavor-packed sauce to enhance your meals
  • It takes less than 20 minutes to make
  • The steps are simple and foolproof
  • The ingredients are budget-friendly
A saucepan with creamy tarragon sauce and a spoon.

Ingredients needed for Creamy Tarragon Sauce

Here’s a quick shopping list of all the ingredients you need to make this dish:

  • Butter: Makes a velvety texture
  • Garlic: For some kick
  • White wine: Big flavor enhancer
  • Chicken broth: For some depth
  • Heavy cream: For richness
  • Honey: Lends a touch of sweetness
  • Lemon: A little bit of tang
  • Fine salt: For seasoning
  • White pepper: For seasoning that blends in with the sauce
  • Tarragon: An aromatic, anise-like flavor
Ingredients used for making creamy tarragon sauce.

How to make Creamy Tarragon Sauce

Here are the basic steps to prepare this recipe. Check out the full recipe card at the bottom of the page for all the details in the printable recipe.

  1. Melt butter: Over medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan.
  2. Prepare sauce: Immediately add the garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds; then add the wine. Cook the wine for 30 more seconds to let the alcohol burn off; then pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Adjust the heat to medium and stir in cream, honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Simmer: Simmer for 5-8 minutes until thickened slightly.
  4. Serve: Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining butter and chopped tarragon. Transfer to a spouted pouring pitcher or a serving dish. Enjoy alongside poultry, fish, rice, and/or veggies!
process steps showing how to make creamy tarragon sauce.

Tips for recipe success

To ensure your sauce comes together smoothly, here are some tips:

  • Have all your ingredients ready to go when you turn on the saucepan. As you may have noticed in the recipe, the ingredients get added fairly quickly. To avoid burning, have all your ingredients pre-measured and ready to go.
  • If you’re concerned about the thickness of your sauce at the end, please note that it will thicken a little more as it cools.
  • To keep the sauce warm as you prepare the rest of your dinner, fill a large dish with hot tap water. Place your serving dish with your sauce in the hot water to keep it warm ensuring water does not leak into your sauce.

For the ingredients:

  • Cook with a good dry white wine that you would drink. The wine will impart its flavors on the sauce, so you want to make sure they’re flavors you enjoy.
  • Use fresh tarragon. Dried tarragon will be too mild and contribute a grainy texture to the sauce.
Creamy tarragon sauce in a dish with a spout.

Frequently asked questions 

Can I substitute the white wine?

Yes! If you do not have any dry white wine available or you prefer not to cook with wine, you can substitute with an equal amount of chicken broth.

Can I substitute the chicken broth?

Yes. You can use veggie broth. We would not substitute for water as you will lose a lot of flavor and the texture will be off. We also do not recommend using beef, veal, or pork broths as they would be too rich for the sauce.

Can I substitute the white pepper?

Yes. You can use freshly ground black pepper instead of white pepper if you wish. You’ll have black specks in the finished sauce, but it will still taste delicious.

What goes well with Creamy Tarragon Sauce?

Our Creamy Tarragon Sauce pairs beautifully with any poultry, fish, rice, or veggie dishes. We highly recommend you give it a try with our Chicken Cordon Bleu with Asparagus recipe, a healthy take on the Swiss classic. We roll our chicken breast cutlet with ham, cheese, and asparagus then bake in the oven, coated in panko breadcrumbs. It’s crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. Our Creamy Tarragon Sauce is the perfect pairing as it adds a little extra creaminess and tang to the dish.

How long does Creamy Tarragon Sauce keep?

Our Creamy Tarragon Sauce keeps in the fridge in an airtight container for approximately 3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave at 10-second power bursts for 1-2 minutes or on the stovetop over low heat. My personal favorite way to reheat is to transfer the sauce to a small Mason jar and the jar in a pan of warm water on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until warm.

You can store any leftover sauce in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 6 months. It is safe to reheat your sauce once, but do not return any additional leftovers to the freezer after you’ve reheated.

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

  • Garlic Butter Sauce: This Garlic Butter Sauce uses real butter, fresh garlic, and garlic powder for an intense garlic flavor. It is one of those handy sauces that will turn a boring dish into something special. 
  • Roasted Asparagus with Curry Sauce: Roasted asparagus is a quick 5-minute roast in a hot oven. The creamy make-ahead creamy curry sauce contains low-fat mayo and no-fat Greek Yogurt. Curry-dusted cashews garnish this easy, delightful side dish.
  • Spicy Peanut Sauce: This spicy peanut sauce is quick and easy to make and it is far better than store-bought brands. Use it on all your Asian dishes. It is a terrific dipping sauce for pork or chicken satay or you can toss it with noodles for an amazing lunch.

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A dish of creamy tarragon sauce.

Creamy Tarragon Sauce

Yield: 2 Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A French inspired Creamy Tarragon Sauce that has the subtle flavor of anise.  This rich creamy sauce pairs well with poultry, fish or vegetables for a deliciously aromatic dish.


  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon


  1. In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add the garlic.  Cook for 30 seconds, do not brown.  Add the wine and cook for 30 seconds to burn off the alcohol; then add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and reduce by half. 
  2. Adjust the heat to medium and stir in the cream, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 5-8 minutes or until thickened slightly.  
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and the chopped tarragon.  Transfer the sauce to a pitcher or small dish. 


  • The sauce will thicken a little more as it cools.
  • To hold the sauce, set the pitcher/dish into a dish of hot tap water.
  • The white wine can be subbed with an equal amount of chicken broth.  
  • Freshly ground black pepper can be subbed for the white pepper if you don’t mind the black specks in the finished sauce.
  • Pairs well with poultry, fish, rice, and veggies.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 176Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 162mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Irene Gray

Monday 30th of January 2023

When it states heavy cream does this mean double cream? The recipe uses one and a half cups of this to give a yield of one and a half cups?

Dahn Boquist

Monday 30th of January 2023

Heavy cream is 36% to 40% fat. You can use a lower-fat cream than that, but you don't need to use double cream. I think that would make it a bit too rich.


Tuesday 27th of September 2022

What do you mean reduce by half? Are you referring to the temperature for the thickness of the sauce?

Pat Nyswonger

Tuesday 27th of September 2022

Hello, Charlotte, thank you for you question. To reduce by half means to cook until the volume of the sauce has been reduced by half the amount. This will slightly thicken the sauce.


Friday 3rd of December 2021

Hello I have a question can I replace the chicken broth with seafood broth if im pairring it with octopus?

Dahn Boquist

Friday 3rd of December 2021

Yes, that would work just fine, thank you for the question.


Thursday 19th of August 2021

Can this be frozen?

Dahn Boquist

Friday 20th of August 2021

Yes, you can freeze it. Keep it in an airtight container and let it thaw slowly in the fridge. Occasionally the sauce will break when you freeze and thaw it out. If that happens warm it up slowly and whisk it vigorously. You can also try a slurry of 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons water to the sauce while you heat it will bring it together if it breaks.

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