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Herbed Compound Butter

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Herbed compound butter is the perfect way to jazz up just about any meal! This fail-proof recipe can be adapted with your favorite herbs, spices, and mix-ins.

Two pieces of toasted bread on plate topped with melted compound butter.

Whether you use it for cooking chicken, spreading onto a warm dinner roll, or slathering all over corn-on-the-cob, compound butter is one of those magical ingredients that gives everything an instant upgrade. Butter is good, but butter with the bright, fresh flavors of herbs? Even better!

With the holidays coming up, I definitely recommend making a batch of compound butter to pass around at the dinner table. Everyone will be impressed by your culinary prowess, but what they don’t have to know is that this recipe is ridiculously easy to make.

All you need is room temperature butter—salted or unsalted—and your favorite fresh herbs. Combine them all, form the butter into a log, then refrigerate until the butter is set. If you’re making this for a party and you’d like to fancy things up, you can chill the butter in a large silicone mold or small molds for individual portions.

Closeup of small bowl filled with compound butter with sprigs of herbs in background

What You’ll Need

Compound butter is a great way to use leftover herbs that are sitting in your fridge. (How many times do you ever use the whole package of rosemary or thyme for a recipe?!) Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter – If you use salted butter, you won’t need to add salt to taste.
  • Fresh herbs – I use a tablespoon each of rosemary, thyme, and sage.

More Compound Butter Add-Ins

Here are some more ideas for customizing your compound butter. If you’re using spices, I recommend starting with a small amount, tasting, then adding more if needed.

  • Fresh tarragon, chives, basil, parsley, or other herbs that you have on hand
  • Spices like chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sweeteners like honey or maple syrup
  • Lemon or lime zest
  • Roasted garlic or minced fresh garlic
Two pieces of toast topped with melted compound butter on a plate

How to Make Herbed Compound Butter

While making compound butter is quick and easy, you do need to allow enough time for the butter to firm up in the fridge.

Stick of softened butter topped with coarsely chopped herbs in glass bowl

Mix the ingredients. Combine the butter and herbs in a small bowl, then season to taste with salt.

Refrigerate. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter, then spoon the butter into the center. Wrap up the plastic and form the butter into a log. Twist the ends to seal and refrigerate until firm.

Closeup shot of softened compound butter in a small bowl

How Do You Use Compound Butter?

There are so many ways to use compound butter! The best way, in my opinion, is to use it as the fat to cook protein. I like it with chicken, shrimp, and beef—I use it in this garlic herb butter chicken skillet, for example.

You can also spread it on toast, dinner rolls, or my pumpkin cornbread muffins, or you can add it as a finisher at the end of cooking a dish and use it to make a sauce with the pan juices.

How to Store

You can store compound butter wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week. Because of the addition of fresh herbs, it doesn’t have the same shelf life as regular butter!

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, compound butter freezes well, so you can double or triple the recipe and make some to keep on hand. Wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer bag. Use the butter within 3 months.

Overhead view of two pieces of toast on plate, each topped with herbed compound butter

Recipes that use compound butter

Herbed Compound Butter

A delicious way to amp up regular butter! You can use this to make sauces or elevate a dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 tablespoons
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon each of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage, finely chopped
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  • In a small bowl, mix together butter and herbs. Season with salt, to taste.
  • Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter then put butter on top. Fold the plastic wrap around it and shape it into a log. Twist ends to seal then pop in the refrigerator to firm up. Cut and use how you wish.

Recipe Notes

If using salted butter, you shouldn’t need salt as you will likely add more salt to whatever you’re cooking with the herbed compound butter.
You can use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Ideally, they should be fresh herbs not dried.



Serving: 1 tablespoon | Calories: 100 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 1 g | Fat: 11 g | Saturated Fat: 7 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 30 mg | Sodium: 2 mg | Potassium: 3 mg | Sugar: 1 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: finishing butter, flavored butter, herbed butter
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