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How to Make Herb Butter (from any fresh herbs)

Fancy schmancy restaurant-style compound butter in minutes? Yes please! This simple homemade herb butter levels up anything it touches – from corn to steak to warm bread. Flavor it your way with any fresh herbs you have to hand, then slather it, dollop it or swirl away to your heart’s content.

Homemade herb butter in a white bowl.

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Why you’ll love homemade herb infused butter

Fresh herb butter (AKA compound butter) is perfect for adding rich, aromatic flavors to your favorite dishes.

All it takes is fresh garden herbs, creamy butter, and imagination to flavor it up however you fancy – garlic parsley for Critics’ Choice, lemony dill for a Scandi vibe…you’re the boss!

Compound butter is not only easy to make but also easy to store. You can refrigerate it for around 3 weeks or freeze it for up to six months, meaning you always have a quick flavor booster on hand for your recipes.

Scroll down for the printable instructions for how to make herb infused butter, or read on for all the details.

What do you need?

Fresh herbs and butter.

Butter

When it comes to choosing butter, it’s essential to select a high-quality butter for the best results.

The recipe below uses unsalted butter, and salt is added and adjusted to taste, but you can also use salted butter if you don’t want to add salt separately.

Ensure the butter is softened before mixing it with herbs, as this will make the process much easier.

Fresh herbs

To make herb butter, you can use a variety of fresh herbs. Just be sure to use tender fresh herbs, since they will blend more smoothly with the butter and impart the most vibrant flavors. Some popular choices are:

Here are some popular combinations to inspire your own creations:

  1. Parsley butter: A classic choice, this butter combines chopped parsley with unsalted butter, salt, and sometimes garlic.
  2. Chive butter: This delicate and savory combination uses finely chopped chives for a mild onion-like flavor, ideal for topping potatoes or baked goods.
  3. Dill butter: Fresh dill adds a subtle, tangy flavor to this butter. Try it with fish, especially salmon, or incorporate it into your potato dishes.
  4. Rosemary butter: This robust herb butter, flavored with finely chopped rosemary, works well with grilled meats and roasted vegetables.
  5. Cilantro-Lime butter: For a zesty twist, mix fresh cilantro and lime zest into your butter, perfect for grilled chicken or corn on the cob.

Additional Flavors

Although herb butter can be delicious with just herbs and butter, you might want to enhance its flavors with additional seasoning. Some options to consider are:

  • Garlic: To add a punch of flavor, mince one or two cloves and mix with the herbs.
  • Lemon zest: Provides a zesty note that pairs well with the herbs.
  • Cracked black pepper: Adds a mild spiciness to your herb butter.
  • Red pepper flakes: For a touch of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes into the mix.

Salt

You will need around 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of unsalted butter. Remember to adjust the amount if you substitute salted butter.

How to make homemade compound butter

The process for making compound butter with fresh herbs is very simple: prepare the herbs, blend with the butter, and set the butter.

1. Prepare the herbs

  1. Choose your herbs: Pick any combination of fresh herbs that you enjoy, such as parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, or sage. You may also opt to use dried herbs, but the flavor may be slightly less vibrant.
  2. Wash and dry the herbs: Rinse the fresh herbs thoroughly under cold water, then pat them dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. It’s essential to remove any dirt or residue.
  3. Finely chop: Using a sharp knife, carefully mince your chosen herbs. The finer you chop them, the better they will blend with the butter.
Chopping fresh herbs.

2. Blend herbs with butter

  1. Soften the butter: Allow the butter to soften at room temperature for several hours. Alternatively, using a microwave, you can soften it on 10% power or with a designated softening function.
  2. Combine: Add the softened butter, the chopped herbs, and half the salt to a bowl.
  3. Blend: Using a fork or a food processor, thoroughly blend the herb and butter mixture. Ensure the herbs are well-distributed throughout the butter.
  4. Taste and adjust. Once the ingredients are well combined, taste the butter and add more salt if required. Mix thoroughly and repeat until the
Mixing butter and herbs in a bowl.

3. Setting the Butter

  1. Refrigerate: Once your herb butter is well-blended, transfer it to a small bowl or airtight container and refrigerate it for at least a couple of hours. This will allow the butter to set and the flavors to infuse into the butter.
  2. Shaping: For a more attractive presentation, you can shape the butter into a log by placing it onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, rolling it up, and twisting the ends closed. Refrigerate until firm.

Serving ideas

Here are some delicious ways to serve your homemade herb flavored butter:

  • Spread over steaks, chicken breasts, or fish fillets as they finish cooking for an instant boost of flavor.
  • Melt over hot cooked vegetables like green beans, asparagus or broccoli just before serving.
  • Whip into mashed potatoes or cauliflower instead of regular butter for herby richness.
  • Top baked potatoes, with a dollop of herb butter so it slowly melts into all the nooks and crannies.
  • Swirl into hot pasta with Parmesan for easy, elegant weeknight dinners.
  • Use as a spread on sandwiches and burgers in place of regular butter.
  • Spread on crusty bread or crackers.
Herb butter melting on a grilled steak.

How to store herb butter

Herb butter can last about 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. Place it in an airtight container or wrap it well to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

For longer storage, herb butter can be frozen for up to six months. To use, simply take it out and let it thaw before adding it to your dishes.

Herb combinations for compound butter

Here are some tasty herb combinations to try:

  • Parsley and dill – great for serving with fish.
  • Rosemary, thyme, parsley and garlic – melt over cooked steak, chicken or vegetables. Makes the perfect compound butter for turkey.
  • Parsley and garlic – for classic garlic butter. Perfect for steaks, seafood, or garlic bread.
  • Basil & sun-dried tomato – this combination works well on pasta, fish, or roasted vegetables.
  • Tarragon butter – great for serving with chicken, or use during cooking chicken dishes.
  • Lemon dill butter – the perfect accompaniment to baked salmon or white fish.
Yield: 16 servings

Basic Herb Butter Recipe

Homemade herb butter in a white bowl.

This simple homemade herb butter levels up anything it touches - from corn to steak to warm bread. Flavor it your way with any fresh herbs you have to hand, then slather it, dollop it or swirl away to your heart’s content.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 stick/ ½ cup / 125g unsalted butter (room temperature) [Note 1]
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Wash and finely chop the herbs, then pat dry.
  2. Cut the stick of butter into 4 or 5 pieces, and place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Use a fork to mash the butter until it is softened.
  4. Slowly add the chopped herbs and salt. Continue to mash the butter with each addition until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  5. Place in the refrigerator until the butter is firm.

Notes

  1. You can use salted butter, but do not add any extra salt to the recipe.
  2. Compound butter should be stored in the refrigerator and should last up to a month. For longer storage, you can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use an air-tight freezer-safe container.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 213mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
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