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Compound Butter | The Recipe Critic

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Compound butter is how you can take your appetizers and snacks to the next level! It’s basically just butter mixed with other ingredients (that can be sweet or savory) but you will be amazed at how much flavor it will add to your dishes. So set your butter out now to get softening and let’s make some fun and unique butter!

Ok, can you tell I’m a little too excited about butter? I recently shared a post about making your own homemade butter, and I just think this compound butter takes it to a whole other level. It’s perfect smeared on top of your Ribeye Steak or a simple piece of sourdough bread. There are so many uses for this recipe, you are going to love having this one stored in your cookbook!

Compound butter on a cutting board with parchment paper, fresh herbs, and a butter knife with butter on it.

What is Compound Butter?

We’ve kind of touched on what compound butter is already, but I want to do a deep dive. First of all, if you’ve ever tried flavored butter, you’ve had compound butter. It just means that flavors are being compounded, or added, on top of the regular thing. In this recipe I am showing you how to make a savory, herby compound butter that would be perfect on top of some smoked turkey or even over an air fryer steak! You could also do a sweet version, and I share more about how to do that below in my tip box.

There are a lot of reasons to make compound butter at home! First of all, it makes you look super fancy when you serve it to friends. And they won’t know your secret that it’s super easy to do at home! Remember when butter boards were a trend? This butter would be perfect smeared all over a board! If you aren’t into those, there are lots of fun and unique ways to enjoy this fun treat at home.


Fresh herbs and a little lemon zest are all you need to liven up this compound butter! It’s so simple, and of course there are many other ways you could flavor your butter. I talk more about other ingredient options down below in the tip box. You can find measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Butter: You will want to use unsalted butter, and make sure to set it out at room temperature for a few hours so it’s nice and soft.
  • Rosemary: Fresh rosemary is really flavorful and smells amazing, and adds so much flavor to the butter!
  • Parsley: It’s slightly peppery and earthy and really brings flavor to this butter.
  • Lemon Zest: Citrus zest is a great way to liven up the butter! You could use lime instead, or go with a little lemon juice.
  • Garlic: Garlic in your butter is a no-brainer, it’s so good.
  • Salt and Pepper: To enhance flavor.

Compound Butter Recipe

Compound butter is as easy as three steps! Just mix your soft butter in a bowl with your ingredients, then place it on plastic wrap or parchment paper to store. The last step is the one you’ve been waiting for- now eat it! This butter is amazing smothered on corn on the cob, or inside of your baked potatoes. I love herbed butter on my chicken, and this combination of flavors is perfect for any chicken recipe you have! You can also use it in sauces and dips that call for butter to kick up the flavor a notch.

  1. Combine Ingredients: Combine the softened butter with all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Shape In Parchment: Spoon the butter onto a piece of parchment paper. Wrap the parchment around the butter and twist the ends to create a log of butter. Place in the refrigerator until chilled.
  3. Enjoy: Remove when needed and slice off as much as desired.

Variations and Substitutions

There are a lot of different ways to flavor and make compound butter. Here are a few ideas of ways that you could make this recipe new and different!

  • Make It Sweet: The first way to make this recipe different is to go with sweet additions instead of savory. Things like honey and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg make the perfect butter for your fluffy pancakes or belgian waffles. It’s also incredible on top of warm rolls or fresh scones!
  • Other Savory Ideas: There are literally endless combinations of savory butter! You could try basil, cilantro, thyme, chives, or even lavender. You won’t believe how good caramelized onions taste when you use compound butter in the pan! Think of your favorite flavors on things like seafood and salmon, that may help you get more great flavor combination ideas. I can tell you, there is no reason not to experiment to your heart’s content!

A close up of compound butter on the cutting board.

Storing Compound Butter

Compound butter is really easy to store. It is a great thing to have on hand in your pantry to be able to pull out no matter what the recipe!

  • In the Refrigerator: Your butter will last for about a month in the refrigerator. You can pull it out to let it soften when you need to use it, it’s just best to keep it in the refrigerator because of the fresh herbs.
  • In the Freezer: Store butter in the freezer for up to 3 months.

An overhead view of compound butter with someone spreading some on a piece of bread.

  • Combine the softened butter with all the ingredients until smooth.

  • Spoon the butter onto a piece of parchment paper. Wrap the parchment around the butter and twist the ends to create a log of butter. Place in the refrigerator until chilled.

  • Remove when needed and slice off as much as desired.

Serves: 1

Calories1638kcal (82%)Carbohydrates2g (1%)Protein2g (4%)Fat184g (283%)Saturated Fat117g (585%)Polyunsaturated Fat7gMonounsaturated Fat48gTrans Fat7gCholesterol488mg (163%)Sodium608mg (25%)Potassium82mg (2%)Fiber0.3g (1%)Sugar0.3gVitamin A5680IU (114%)Vitamin C5mg (6%)Calcium69mg (7%)Iron0.2mg (1%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Butter

Cuisine American

Keyword compound butter, garlic herb butter, savory butter

This story originally appeared on TheRecipeCritic

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