Herb Compound Butter

These herb compound butter recipes will add bold flavor to the simplest dishes. They're delicious on corn on the cob, toast, potatoes, and more!

Herb compound butter recipes

I have a new favorite cooking project: making compound butter! In the summer, I’m always hunting for different ways to use the herbs we grow on our back deck. When I’ve blended up a million batches of pesto and tossed together fifteen pasta salads, I start to wonder, “What next?”

I thought to make these compound butter recipes when I was dreaming up ways to serve corn on the cob. I imagined slathering it with butter and sprinkling it with herbs, but then I thought, “Why not put the herbs in the butter?” First, I experimented with chives and dill. The resulting herb butter was so rich and flavorful that I wanted to make compound butter with every herb I could. Basil? Sage? Thyme? Yes, and!

Fresh herbs, lemons, and garlic on marble background

It all sounds fancy, I know, but in reality, compound butter is easy to make. It’s just butter mixed with herbs and seasonings, after all!

If you have an abundance of summer herbs to use up, or if you’re looking for an easy way to add bold flavor to your cooking, I highly encourage you to try it. You can use any number of herbs (find my favorite combinations below!) and use the butter in all sorts of ways. Dot it onto sweet corn, top it onto a baked potato, stir it into polenta… You really can’t go wrong.

Garlic, herbs, lemon, honey, and sun-dried tomatoes in rows on marble background

My Favorite Herb Compound Butter Recipes

I’ve experimented with 4 different compound butter recipes this summer, and I’m completely obsessed with each of them. It’s really fun to make all four at once and taste them side-by-side (you can store the extras in the freezer!), but if you start with one and try the others later on, that’s great too.

  1. Garlic, Chive & Dill – This versatile compound butter is deeply savory, with a nice kick from the garlic and chives.
  2. Lemon Thyme – My favorite! The lemon zest makes this herb butter nice and bright.
  3. Honey Rosemary Sage – This cozy compound butter would be perfect for fall. I can’t wait to eat it on a baked sweet potato on a crisp night.
  4. And Sun-Dried Tomato Basil – If you make just one of these compound butter recipes now, it should be this one. Its tomato-basil flavor is so fresh and summery!

3 sticks of butter, lemon, garlic, and herbs on marble background

How to Make Compound Butter

Ready to try these herb compound butter recipes? Here’s what you need to do:

First, let the butter soften to room temperature. If you’re anything like me, it’ll be so tempting to try to use butter that’s cold from the fridge or to speed up the warming process in the microwave. Don’t do it! If you microwave the butter, it will likely start to melt, and if your butter is cold, you won’t be able to stir in the herbs.

Instead, put a stick of butter on the counter, walk away, and let it soften for an hour or so. Before long, it’ll be smooth and spreadable – exactly how it should be when you’re making compound butter.

Folding garlic, chives, and dill into softened butter

Next, fold in the herbs. When the butter is soft, place it in a small bowl with your desired mix-ins. The ingredients to my garlic, chive, and dill herb butter are pictured here.

Stirring garlic chive herb butter

Fold until the softened butter and herbs are throughly combined.

Stirring small bowl of herb butter

The butter should be evenly flecked with the herbs and other seasonings.

Log of compound butter in plastic wrap

Then, form the butter into a log. Dollop the herb butter onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. You want it to be in one line, about 4 inches long and 1 inch across. Wrap and roll the parchment or plastic wrap around the butter, forming it into a log.

Chill overnight, or until the butter is firm and sliceable. That’s it!

Compound butter recipes on cutting board

How to Use Herb Butter

Honestly, these herb butter recipes are so flavorful that you could serve them as an appetizer. Set out the butter with good baguette or crostini, and your guests won’t be able to get enough of it.

But there are a host of other ways to use compound butter, too! Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Rub it onto corn on the cob. Grilled or boiled sweet corn is fantastic with any of these compound butter recipes.
  • Slather it on cornbread, dinner rolls, or homemade focacciaYou’ll keep coming back for more.
  • Stir it into polentaMy recipe calls for olive oil – use the compound butter instead! 
  • Dot it onto a baked potato or sweet potato. I’d pick the chive and garlic herb butter for a regular potato and the rosemary and sage butter for a sweet potato.
  • Or let it melt into mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes. It’d be excellent on this Garlic Mashed Cauliflower, too.
  • Make the best-ever butter noodles. Toss your favorite pasta with the butter and Parmesan cheese.
  • Spread it on a bagel or plain old toast. Jack’s new favorite breakfast. 🙂

How do you like to use herb compound butter? Let me know in the comments!

Herb compound butter recipe

More Favorite Herb Recipes

Love cooking with fresh herbs? Try using them in one of these dressings or sauces next:

Herb Compound Butter

rate this recipe:
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Serves 8
Herb compound butter is an easy way to add bold flavor to a simple meal. Spread it onto bread, slather it onto corn on the cob, or top it onto a baked potato! Find more serving suggestions in the post above.

Ingredients

Garlic Chive Dill

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • ½ clove garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Lemon Thyme

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Honey Rosemary Sage

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Sun Dried Tomato Basil

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • ½ garlic clove, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter and the ingredients from one of the herb combinations above.
  • Scoop the herb butter onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll into a log and twist the ends to close. Chill overnight, or until firm.

Notes

If subbing vegan butter, omit the salt in each recipe.

9 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Emily Feronti
    08.14.2021

    I freeze dollops of the butter and herbs in ice cube trays. I pack in freezer bags with content and dat labels. Ready to drop into stir-fried vegetables , pasta primavera, steamed vegetables, or any other inspiration. A great way to flavor dishes in the cold winter months. A hint of summer harvest.

  2. Angela
    08.13.2021

    How long does it keep in the fridge? Any less stable than plain butter?

  3. T Wrigley
    08.12.2021

    I add Parmesan & chopped basil to butter for a pesto type butter.

    Also chopped parsley & chives butter for a baked potato topper.

    Last one, I use grated lemon rind, dill and finely chopped parsley butter to top my cooked salmon with.

  4. Jenni
    08.12.2021

    Did you experiment with any non dairy spreads?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.13.2021

      Hi Jenni, you can use vegan butter (I like the taste of Earth Balance best)… just don’t the salt that’s listed in the recipe since vegan butter doesn’t typically come unsalted.

  5. Rhon
    08.12.2021

    I would love to see your herb container garden.

  6. Tim
    08.12.2021

    How long will it last in the refrigerator?

  7. Carol
    08.12.2021

    Can the compounded butter be portioned and frozen?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.12.2021

      Hi Carol, yes, slice it like I have in the photo, place it on a parchment lined plate or small baking sheet and freeze it. Once frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag or container. I hope you enjoy!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.