Categories Herb

Homemade Herbal Butters: A simple way to add flavor and zest to your meals

Butter flavored with herbs is a pleasure any time of year, but particularly in the winter months when fresh herbs are less abundant. Easy to make, herbal butters can turn a warm dinner roll into a real treat and add extra flavor to any meal paired with the right butter combination. Also known as compound butters, herbal butters are simply butter mixed with various herbs (or spices or other seasonings) to enhance the flavor. There are very few rules in making herbal butters; all you need are butter and fresh herbs.

Compound butters can be either sweet or savory, and several herbs that make particularly versatile compliments to butter include chives, basil, dill and parsley. These herbs add a fresh vibrant flavor to the butter that can be used alone or included in recipes that call for butter as an ingredient. Other flavorings such as garlic, lemon, and hot peppers also compliment the taste of the butter and the freshness of the herbs. Once prepared, herbal butter should chill for at least a couple of hours to develop the flavors.

Herbed butter should be refrigerated or frozen in a suitable covered container until ready to use. If it’s a fancier presentation you seek, you can mold your butter creations prior to chilling or use a melon-baller to scoop out individual servings. Whatever you decide, making herbal butter is a great way to preserve summer’s herbal gifts for use later in the year.

Herbal Butter Recipes

Here are a few easy and tasty recipes for herbed butter. In all cases, blending the ingredients with a fork is adequate, although you can use a food processor if you wish (just don’t over mix the ingredients).

Chive Butter


  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh finely chopped chives
  • Salt, to taste

Blend butter, chives and salt together in a bowl until evenly combined. Good on just about everything, chive butter is particularly tasty on corn-on-the-cob and with plain white rice.

Lemon Dill Butter


  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced dill fronds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

Blend butter, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice together in a bowl. Excellent with grilled fish or chicken, lemon dill butter is also good on fresh green vegetables.

Cilantro Jalapeno Butter


  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature, divided
  • 1 large jalapeno minced, flesh only (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro
  • Salt, to taste

In a small pan, cook the minced jalapeno in about 1 tablespoon of butter on medium-low heat until the pepper is soft, about 5-7 minutes. Do not brown the butter. Set aside to cool completely. Blend butter, cooled minced jalapeno/butter mixture, cilantro and salt together in a bowl. Cilantro jalapeno butter is a tasty compliment to steak and is delicious on corn bread.