Learn how to make butter even better with the addition of herbs and spices to make a variety of flavored – or compound – butters.Pesto butter recipe, great on baked potatoes, baguette, and grilled chicken. Repin to save!

What Are Compound Butters?

Compound butters are essentially butters with flavors added (herbs, spices, sauces, etc.)

But don’t let their simplicity fool you.

What a compound butter can do to a dish is nothing short of amazing.

Using compound butter can totally change the flavor of a dish.

I like to make compound butters when I have guests over.  It’s an easy way to add impact and extra flair to a meal without spending a lot of money.

Most of the time, I have some fresh herb or spice on hand to flavor butter. What you choose to add to the butter doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Simply adding scallions and garlic or a bit of pesto can up the ante of any dish.

Herb butter recipe: Serve with baguette, on grilled chicken, grilled sweet corn. Click through for recipe.

How To Use Compound Butter

Using flavored butter on bread is the obvious, no-brainer choice. Here are some additional ideas for using compound butter:

  • Grilled chicken, meat, or seafood with chili-lime butter
  • Hamburgers with bacon-chive butter
  • Baked potatoes with parsley, garlic, and scallion butter
  • Cilantro-lime butter with Mexican dishes
  • Pasta and warm bread with pesto butter
  • Sweet corn with herb butter
  • Pancakes with maple butter
  • Cornbread with honey butter
  • Toast with cinnamon-sugar butter
  • Banana bread with honey butter

There are a million different ways to flavor butters, and you really can’t screw it up – so why not give it a try? I would love to hear your ideas below!

Sweet corn with herb butter, from Cheap Recipe Blog.

A Great Way To Preserve Fresh Herbs

In the summer, I buy a lot of fresh herbs at the farmer’s market. I hardly ever use the entire amount. But instead of tossing the extra herbs, I chop them up and add them to butter. Then, I freeze them in tablespoon amounts and use them throughout the year in all sorts of dishes, from sautéed vegetables to pan-seared steak or chicken. This works well for:

  • Dill
  • Chives
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro

My other method of preserving too much of a fresh herb is to dehydrate it. I package the herb in a small spice container – and I even sometimes package them up to give as a gift.

Curry honey butter is so delicious! Click through for recipe.

Curry honey butter

Herb butter: Adding fresh herbs to butter makes a delicious topping for bread, potatoes, and much more!

Compound Butter Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Start out neutral by using unsalted butter. You can always add salt later, but you can't take it away!


Start with

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus;

For pesto butter

For herb butter

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of garlic powder

For honey curry butter

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder


  1. To make compound butter, start with softened butter and add desired herbs, spices, flavorings, and add-ins. The butter can be shaped into a log and cut into individual-sized slabs, put into individual dishes, and even made into fun shapes using a pastry bag. Chill butter after preparing and before serving to harden.
  2. Butter can be stored in the fridge for a few days (if using fresh herbs), up to a week (if using dried spices), or frozen for up to three months.

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