Brown Butter Sage Pasta Recipe


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This brown butter sage pasta sauce is quick, creamy, savory, and delicious. Make it even better with the addition of crispy bacon served over perfectly al dente pasta.

This post is sponsored by Klarbrunn.

Best Brown Butter Sage Sauce For Pasta

This Brown Butter Sage Pasta is simply amazing. If you’ve never had fried sage before you’ve got to try it – you’re in for a real treat.

The pasta is perfectly creamy thanks to the magic of pasta water. It’s balanced out with crispy crumbled bacon that takes this dish to the next level.

My favorite time of the year to make this is during the Christmas holiday season. It reminds me of being at home cozied up to a fire surrounded by loved ones. Even though it’s super simple and easy to make, it feels special.

A skillet of brown butter sage pasta next to two plates of it.

I’ve partnered up with Klarbrunn to bring you this really easy, but really special pasta recipe. It’s absolutely fabulous, and somehow it’s even better when you pair it with a can of their Black Cherry sparkling water (one of my all-time favorite flavors). You can find out where to buy Klarbrunn here.

Brown butter sage pasta next to a can of sparkling water.


For this recipe you’ll need thick cut bacon, short pasta (I used casarecce), unsalted butter, garlic, fresh sage leaves, kosher salt, freshly grated parmesan, and coarse ground black pepper.

The labeled ingredients for brown butter sage pasta.

How To Make Brown Butter Sage Pasta

Start by cutting the bacon into 1/4” thick strips. Saute them in a stainless steel skillet until they’re crispy. Once they’re finished cooking, transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard the grease in the pan, but be sure to leave all the brown flavorful bits behind. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Showing before and after cooking small bacon pieces.

Add the butter to the skillet and cook it until it has browned. It will foam on top once it’s getting close, so once you see that, keep a close eye on it and definitely don’t walk away from the stove.

Before and after browning butter.

Saute the garlic and sage until the garlic is aromatic and the sage is crispy. Add in the salt, and stir.

Before and after pan frying fresh sage.

Mix in the al dente pasta and 1/2 cup of reserved starchy cooking liquid. Stir in the cooked bacon. Taste, and adjust the salt to your preference.

Mixing in cooked pasta and bacon pieces.

Plate with freshly grated parmesan and coarse black pepper. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

A skillet full of brown butter sage pasta with crispy bacon.

Optional Adaptations

I used casarecce pasta, but you could easily swap that with tortellini, gnocchi, penne, bowtie, or ravioli. If you’re craving gnocchi, be sure to check out our Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce (the homemade gnocchi is pretty magical and easy because it doesn’t use potatoes).

A serving of brown butter sage pasta in a dark blue bowl.

You could also try swapping the bacon for sausage, chicken, or shrimp. If you want a vegetarian version, try using sliced mushrooms instead.

A plate of brown butter sage pasta next to a silver skillet full of it.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

Click here to pin this recipe for later!

A Pinterest pin image of brown butter sage pasta with title text at the top.

Quick Pasta Recipes

Be sure to check out our entire section of easy pasta recipes! We have tons to choose from, but some reader favorites are:

Yield: 4 servings

BEST Brown Butter Sage Pasta Recipe

The best brown butter sage pasta recipe.

This brown butter sage pasta sauce is quick, creamy, savory, and delicious. Make it even better with the addition of crispy bacon served over perfectly al dente pasta.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 4 slices thick cut bacon (cut into 1/4” thick slices)
  • 1 pound short pasta
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cut into several pieces so that it melts faster, 1 stick)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic (minced)*
  • 25 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste and more to salt the pasta water)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan (for topping)
  • Coarse ground black pepper (for topping)


  1. Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Once hot, cook the bacon until it is crispy, then remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, and wipe out the remaining bacon grease, but don’t wash the pan.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook to just slightly less than al dente, according to the package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
  3. In the same skillet that you cooked the bacon, melt the butter over medium heat. While the butter is melting, gently scrape up the flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan. After the butter has melted, continue to cook the butter, stirring constantly, until the butter has browned. The top will foam, and you will see golden brown specks on the bottom when it’s ready (about 4 - 5 minutes).
  4. As soon as you see the golden brown specks, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic and sage. Saute until the garlic is aromatic and the sage is crispy and has darkened (about 1 minute).
  5. Add the kosher salt, and stir.
  6. Mix in the cooked pasta, and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Stir to combine, and then allow the pasta to cook for another 30 seconds so that the water can absorb and combine with the sauce.
  7. Stir in the bacon pieces, then taste and adjust the salt at this point. If you think the sauce is too thick, add a little more pasta water to thin it out.
  8. Top with the finely grated parmesan, and serve.


*Mince the garlic by hand instead of using a garlic press. If you use a garlic press, the garlic will cook faster than the sage.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 687Total Fat: 28.5gCarbohydrates: 86.9gFiber: 3.9gSugar: 3.1gProtein: 20.1g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Don’t let the simple ingredient list fool you, this brown butter sage pasta might easily be the best pasta of your life.

The best brown butter sage pasta recipe.

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