Choose any of these 9 compound butter recipes for an easy dinner, whether it’s a busy weeknight or you’re throwing an upscale dinner party.
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There has never been a time when I don’t have some type of flavored butter in my refrigerator.
I make it to keep on hand for easy weeknight meals. I make it to serve to guests for a simple yet upscale dinner (especially with these tomahawk steaks). I make it to use up leftover herbs and spices. I even make sweet versions to use up the last of a jar of jam.
And I’ve likely made every possible flavor combination known to man.
It makes a great gift for a friend who needs an easy dinner night. Or for that one friend who you don’t know what to buy for (especially Truffle Butter)! I use a butter mold when making for gifts; the combination of a pretty jar with something homemade inside is something everyone loves.
Even better? Pick up a butter keeper and give it as a unique gift with homemade compound butter inside.
What is compound butter made of?
Anything you can think of, really! It’s typically butter mixed with herbs and/or spices, but the sky is the limit when it comes to flavor combinations. It can be sweet or savory, it’s all up to you.
What is it used for?
It’s most commonly used as a “finishing butter” for steak, chicken or fish. This means that after it’s cooked and plated, a round of flavored butter is placed on top and allowed to melt into the meat.
It’s an easy way to add a lot of flavor without much effort, and it adds elegance to almost any dish.
How to make it
It’s very easy to make compound butter at home. Here are the basics:
- Place the softened butter in a mixing bowl then add the other ingredients. Stir it really well to make sure the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface. Put the mixture into the center of the paper to as close to a log shape as you can. Fold up the sides of the paper and use your hands to press the butter into a log. Twist the ends of the paper.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then reform into a log (sometimes the bottom of the log will get a bit flat). Place in the freezer for one hour.
- Slice into 8 rounds and use to top your steak, chicken, fish or warm bread.
- The entire log or separate rounds can be refrigerated for up to one month and frozen for up to three months.
- You can also put it in a small dish and skip forming it into a log. In that case, it can go straight into the refrigerator after mixing. This is what I usually do unless I’m serving it for guests.
How long does compound butter last?
Depending on the ingredients, it will last at least a week in the refrigerator. Anything with fresh ingredients, such as herbs, should be used within a week. Other versions can last two weeks or longer.
Can you freeze compound butter?
Yes, it can be frozen for up to three months. It’s also fairly easy to slice from frozen, so if I haven’t used mine up within a week of making it, I’ll put it in the freezer until I’m ready.
Which flavor should I use for steak, chicken and/or fish?
Here’s a list of the compound butter recipes in this post as well as what each is best served with. All of them will work for just about anything, and these are just suggestions. Try adding any one of them to a slice of warm bread. The Chipotle Butter and Jalapeño Lime Butter are wonderful slathered on cornbread!
- Garlic Herb – best with steak, chicken or fish
- Chipotle – best with chicken or fish
- Orange Apricot – best with chicken
- Basil – best with chicken or fish
- Jalapeño Lime – best with steak, chicken or fish
- Sundried Tomato – best with steak, chicken or fish
- Tarragon – best with steak, chicken or fish
- Blue Cheese – best with steak
- Truffle – best with steak
What are some other ways I can use compound butter?
- Stirred into rice (use cauliflower rice for low-carb or keto)
- Toss with roasted broccoli or asparagus (or cooked carrots)
- Rub it under chicken skin before roasting
- Hot corn on the cob
- Skip the horseradish sauce and use it to top boneless prime rib
- Use it to make garlic bread with a twist
- Sweet versions can be used to top pancakes, waffles or muffins
- Over roasted potatoes or baked potatoes
- Slather it on a warm roll
Tips for making the perfect compound butter
- Make sure your butter is very soft before mixing. It’s nearly impossible to distribute the other ingredients evenly otherwise.
- Make sure your ingredients are finely chopped. You want all of the flavors to meld and it will also make your butter smoother and easier to roll.
- Use a high-quality butter (I’m a fan of Minerva Dairy) as well as fresh herbs and spices. There are so few ingredients that you want them all to be top-notch.