Herb Butter, or compound butter, is so EASY to make and is a great way to add fresh flavor to so many recipes! Plus, I’ll show you how to use this herb butter recipe in so many fun ways! It’s going to become a standard staple in your fridge!
This recipe was originally published in 2014. The post was updated to include extra information and new images. The recipe stayed the same.
What is herb butter? It’s simply butter mixed with fresh herbs. Shaped into a log, butter mold, or just put it in a dish.
This is a really EASY way to make any meal seem fancy and add loads of flavor, without much effort. My kids call this “steak butter“! If you haven’t had a steak with this butter melted all over the top of it, you are missing out!
Oh, and you’ll never want to buy one of those containers of garlic butter after you’ve tried this! This from-scratch garlic butter is the BEST for making homemade garlic bread!
Herb Butter Ingredients:
I’m sharing my Garlic Herb Butter recipe with you today. And it’s a basic herb butter recipe that goes well with about anything. Scroll down to see other varieties with different herbs.
- BUTTER – Unsalted lets you control the amount of salt in your recipe. I’m a salt lover so I always buy salted butter. Either will work, it’s a personal preference.
- HERBS – Fresh parsley and basil. I use dried herbs all the time in my cooking because I live so far from the grocery store and running in to grab fresh herbs isn’t always an option. But, for this recipe, you’re really going to want to use fresh herbs if at all possible. They add the best fresh flavor. If you’re really in a pinch, reduce the amount listed for fresh herbs by half and use dried herbs instead. (Other herbs can be used. See suggestions below.)
- GARLIC – Fresh garlic clove. I also really like Gourmet Garden garlic paste. It will also work in this recipe. For a milder and more mellow flavor use roasted garlic.
- SALT – Kosher salt packs a punch and is my favorite. You could also use table salt, but you need to reduce the amount called for by half.
- LEMON – Fresh lemon juice and zest if you want.
How to Make Herb Butter:
Make sure all fresh herbs are washed and completely dried before cutting them and adding them to the recipe.
Little Dairy on the Prairie Pro Tip: Room temperature butter is soft enough that when you press it with your finger it will make a small intention. To softened butter set it at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cut butter in smaller cubes to speed the process. Or microwave butter at 10% power for 10 seconds. Continue until it’s room temperature. Watch it closely so it doesn’t get too soft!
STEP 1: Mince garlic, chop (finely dice), or chiffonade (roll up basil leaves and slice) herbs. My husband uses sharp kitchen scissors when he cuts herbs, I like to use a knife.
STEP 2: Add herbs, garlic, lemon juice (and zest if desired), and salt to room temperature butter.
STEP 3: Stir. Herbs should be mixed through.
STEP 4: Shape the butter into a log, mold, or add to a dish.
To make a butter log:
Add a long strip of butter to a piece of wax paper. I like to make mine about the diameter of a quarter. Roll up and twist the ends. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.
I love slicing butter pats off of a log and making individual butter servings for steaks, or serve them on the table in a cute dish.
To make molded butter:
Add butter to molds. Be sure to press it down releasing all the air bubbles. Freeze for about 30 minutes until it’s firm. Turn molds upside down and release butter.
Store butter in a container:
Or, you can take the easy route and store butter in an airtight container, or a cute dish covered with plastic wrap in the fridge!
Little Dairy on the Prairie Pro Tip: Cold refrigerated herb butter is perfect for slicing and serving on steaks, potatoes, etc. For spreadable herb butter remove butter from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so. It’s completely safe to leave it out for up to 2 hours.
FAQs about Herb Butter:
Up to 2 months in the fridge if it’s in an airtight container. You’ll need to remove it from the wax paper so the paper doesn’t get soggy.
Yes! Herb butter will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. To thaw herb butter remove it from the freezer and keep in the fridge for overnight.
How to Use Herb Butter:
There are really a million ways to use herbed butter! Here are a few suggestions for using it.
- MEAT – Herbed butter for Steaks is amazing (Filet Mignon Steaks are the best), rub a turkey with herb butter, baste grilled chicken, serve with salmon, herb butter rubbed prime rib, or toss shrimp in it
- PASTA – Add seasoned butter to any cooked noodles and toss. It’s an easy side dish or add grilled chicken to make it a main dish.
- POTATOES – Serve with baked potatoes, add to mashed potatoes, cook hashbrowns in this butter, or use on sweet potatoes or yams.
- RICE – Toss with cooked brown rice, white rice, or any rice to add flavor.
- GARLIC BREAD – This garlic herb butter is perfect for using to make garlic bread! Spread over bread and add parmesan cheese to make it extra special!
- SANDWICHES – Use this butter on French Dip Sandwich buns, hamburger buns, or any other sandwich buns then toast.
- GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES – Spread compound butter on the bread before grilling sandwiches.
- SLIDERS – Brush over party sandwiches before baking them. It’s awesome on my Pizza Sliders.
- POPCORN – Drizzle melted butter over popped popcorn! Yum!
- VEGETABLES – Herb butter vegetables are so flavorful! Try cooked broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green peas, spinach, green beans, Brussel sprouts, and more! It’s a game-changer with corn on the cob!
- SAUTEE – Sautee onions or mushrooms in this butter to infuse them with flavor.
- CASSEROLES – Substitute herb butter for regular butter in recipes like my corn casserole, funeral potatoes, etc.
Varieties of Herb Butter:
The sky is the limit here! Feel free to experiment with any fresh herbs. To make herb butter without garlic just leave out the garlic.
For a reduced salt herb butter cut the amount of salt in half. Or to make it completely salt-free leave the salt out altogether. It’s a great way to enhance food flavor without adding sodium.
For these options you’ll use 1 cup of butter and 2 total Tablespoons of herbs. Use 1/2 Tablespoon of lemon or lime juice if desired.
- Cilantro + Garlic + lime juice (Serve with corn on the cob, cooked carrots, grilled chicken, etc.)
- Chive + Parsley (Fantastic on baked potatoes with sour cream!)
- Rosemary + Garlic (Great on steak or seasoned potatoes)
- Sage + Thyme (Rub turkey, with any poultry, or sautee veggies)
Garlic Herb Butter
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil minced
- 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice fresh squeezed
How to make Garlic Herb Butter:
- Mince garlic, parsley, and basil.
- Mix all ingredients together until combined. Use a spoon or an electric mixer.
To make Compound Butter Roll:
- Add a long strip of butter to a piece of wax paper. I like to make mine about the diameter of a quarter. Roll up and twist the ends.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.
To make Butter in a Mold:
- Add mixed butter to molds. Be sure to press it down releasing all the air bubbles.
- Freeze for about 30 minutes until it’s firm. Turn molds upside down and release butter.