easy herb butter and other flavored compound butter recipes, sweet and savory
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Garlic butter and herb butter are but two sublime examples of the beauty of compound butters. Incredibly easy to make, flavored butter adds a huge boost of deliciousness to simple grilled or roasted meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, and bread. And sweet compound butter works similar wonders on toast, pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast treats.

Related Reading: The Very Best Butter Substitutes for Cooking and Baking

You can mix pretty much anything you like into your flavored butter: fresh herbs, ground spices (or spice blends), citrus zest and other aromatics (ginger, lemongrass, lavender)…we have several ideas below, but half the fun is coming up with your own inventions. You can even blend a bit of pepperoni into butter for a meaty, spicy bite. Or mash in soft, sweet caramelized onions. Don’t forget cheese.

How to Make Compound Butter

  • Start with unsalted butter so you can control the amount of sodium in your finished compound butter.
  • Let it soften at room temperature so it’s easier to work with.

Once softened, there are a few different ways to make compound butter:

  • Use a mini food processor first to chop the herbs, then process with the butter. (And to get every last bit of goodness, Caroline1 likes to wipe out the bowl with a piece of bread, a cook’s treat.)
  • Use a rubber spatula to mix herbs or other flavorings into softened butter in a small bowl.
  • Drop softened butter and aromatics into a zip-top bag, seal, and knead with your hands until combined, then scrape out the flavored butter and discard the bag.

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How to Store Compound Butter

Once your ingredients are thoroughly mixed into your butter, roll it into logs and wrap in plastic film or waxed paper, then store for a week or so in the fridge, or freeze (this makes it easier to slice, similar to cookie dough logs).

Savory Compound Butter Recipes

Classic garlic butter is only the beginning.

Orange-Parsley Butter

orange parsley butter recipe


Fresh orange zest and parsley get a little bite from cracked black pepper and butter binds them all together. Try our Orange-Parsley Butter recipe on halibut, shrimp, or corn.

Blue Cheese and Chive Compound Butter

blue cheese chive butter recipe


You might expect chives in a compound butter, but blue cheese blends seamlessly into the mix too. This is particularly great on steak, and/or baked potatoes. Get our Blue Cheese and Chive Compound Butter recipe.

Creole Mustard Butter

Grilled Blackened Catfish with Creole Mustard Butter recipe


A simple blend of butter and mustard makes a marvelous topper for blackened seafood or roasted veggies; but try other types of mustard to change up the flavor. Get our Creole Mustard Butter recipe.

Garlic Butter

garlic bread recipe


We couldn’t neglect the classic—adding parmesan and fresh parsley along with the minced garlic boosts the butter into heavenly territory, on bread or otherwise. Get our Garlic Butter recipe.

Chile-Lime-Tequila Compound Butter

grilled rib eye steak with chile lime tequila butter


You can even work a bit of booze into your compound butter; here, a couple teaspoons of tequila join minced jalapeño and fresh lime juice for a zesty Mexican flair. Try it on salmon as well as steak. Get our Chile-Lime-Tequila Compound Butter recipe.

Chianti Butter

steak with chianti butter


More of a wine aficionado? Use the same amount of a nice Chianti in butter for bathing a juicy steak or simple roasted chicken—or use it to roast meaty mushrooms until golden-brown. Get our Chianti Butter recipe.

Basil Butter

basil butter corn


Perhaps the easiest of all herb butters, this one simply mixes a fine chiffonade of basil into the softened dairy, plus a sprinkle of sea salt. Corn has never been better, but this is also great on fish and meat. Get our Basil Butter recipe.

Lemon-Pepper Compound Butter

lemon pepper butter


A simple spritz of citrus and a twist or two of pepper are never a bad idea—though with compound butter, citrus zest is best since juice can make things too loose and liquidy. Get our Lemon-Pepper Compound Butter recipe.

Molasses Clove Compound Butter

Baked Sweet Potato with Molasses-Clove Butter recipe


This one could honestly skew sweet or savory with its blend of warm spices and sweet-but-smoky molasses. Try it on pork, baked sweet potatoes, or a stack of pancakes. Get our Molasses Clove Compound Butter recipe.

Sweet Compound Butter Recipes

Perfect for your morning toast or afternoon tea piece of pound cake; great on pancakes and waffles too!

Honey Butter

honey butter recipe


A pinch of salt is a perfect counterpoint to the sweet honey in this butter. Lighter honey will give a milder flavor, but play around with different types for new tastes. Get our Honey Butter recipe.

Vanilla Bean Orange Butter

orange vanilla bean butter recipe


Fragrant vanilla bean seeds and sprightly orange zest combine in a swoon-worthy sweet compound butter that almost obviates the need for maple syrup on your waffles. Pro tip: Try it on sourdough waffles for an ever better flavor contrast. Get our Vanilla Bean Orange Butter recipe.

Related Video: Two More Compound Butter Ideas, One Sweet & One Savory

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Jen is an editor at Chowhound. Raised on scrapple and blue crabs, she hails from Baltimore, Maryland, but has lived in Portland (Oregon) for so long it feels like home. She enjoys the rain, reads, writes, eats, and cooks voraciously, and stops to pet every stray cat she sees. Continually working on building her Gourmet magazine collection, she will never get over its cancellation. Read more of her work.
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