Homemade Herb Butter (aka. Compound Butter)


This homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it's a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long! #herbbutter #compoundbutterThis homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long!

* * *

I don’t know about you, but where we live, summer ended pretty abruptly this year. One minute the sun was still shining, and BAM, rainstorms and thunder showers moved in and summer officially came to a very sudden, very sad end; The kind when you’re just not quite ready to say goodbye to a season yet because you don’t feel like you really got to enjoy it in all its glory.

That’s the thing about this homesteading life: summers seem to just fly by because we’re so busy gardening and harvesting that it’s hard to justify taking a moment to just sit back and enjoy it all.

Luckily we did squeeze in some camping this year and a few solid days at the beach and waterpark, but we really did spend most of the summer working. Between all of that gardening and preserving, launching a brand new website and a brand new magazine too, I feel like I spent most of the summer either in front of a computer, in the kitchen or with my nose just inches away from the dirt! And hey, it’s not such a bad way to spend a summer, but still, I’m not quite ready to say goodbye just yet!

Even so, the reality is that the rains came early this year, and now we’re scrambling to get the rest of our summer crops harvested and put up before they rot out there:(

But as much as the tomatoes and peppers really need my attention right now, I wanted to make sure to get a bunch of my herbs preserved before it gets too cold. I’ve already dried a bunch and made some infusions, but I really wanted to preserve the taste and freshness of my summer herbs just as they are right now but to enjoy all winter long.

 

Related: The Easy Way to Grow, Harvest & Preserve Basil

 

My favourite way to do this is by making herb butter, otherwise known as “compound butter,” which essentially just means butter mixed with other ingredients (in this case, herbs:)

This homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it's a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long! #herbbutter #compoundbutter

The great thing about making compound butter with herbs from your garden is that you can use fresh herbs and preserve them at their peak, so that when it comes time to enjoy them, it’s almost as if you just cut them fresh from your garden! 

You can enjoy the finished herb butter on everything from bread and biscuits to meat (think steak, roast, roasted chicken, turkey, etc.), to vegetables (carrots, potatoes or even mushrooms fried in herb butter… YUM!) We even like to roll our corn in herb butter when it’s fresh and soft in the summer time!

This homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it's a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long! #herbbutter #compoundbutter

How delicious does this herby butter look? (Pay no attention to the girl who’s hands clearly need a fresh manicure!)

You can use pretty much any herbs you like to make herb butter at home, and I’ll give you a few suggestions below, as well as full recipes for my favourite blends. But just know that you’re free to get creative with your ingredients and with the amounts of herbs/ingredients that you use in your blends. There really aren’t any hard and fast rules about ratios or ingredients when it comes to making compound butter. Do it according to your tastes and how much of each ingredients you have on hand:)

That being said, there are definitely certain flavour profiles that go together better than others, so if you’re not quite sure where to start, here are the recipes I make regularly and that our family loves…

 

How to make herb butter at home (3 ways)

There are many different herbs and ingredients you can combine to make herb butters (aka. compound butters) at home. But before I share our family’s favourite recipes with you, first I’ll share the directions, since the directions are the same no matter what herbs you use…

 

Related: 13 Culinary & Medicinal Herbs for your Summer Herb Garden

 

Directions:

  1. Combine butter and herbs together in a mixing bowl. If you have a hand mixer, you can use that to wipe all ingredients together. Otherwise just use a mixing spoon. Mix well to combine all ingredients together.
  2. Transfer herb butter into a container (if storing in the fridge) or scoop herb butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll in plastic to freeze.

If you’ve got lots of herbs you want to preserve, you can mix them up in a batch of compound butter and freeze them. The easiest way I’ve found is to roll the herb butter into a log in some plastic wrap, label it and store it in the freezer. 

Here’s what that looks like:

This homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it's a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long! #herbbutter #compoundbutter

This homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it's a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long! #herbbutter #compoundbutter

This homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it's a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long! #herbbutter #compoundbutter

This homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it's a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long! #herbbutter #compoundbutterThen when ready to use, just slice off however much you need to use and allow it to come to room temperature.

Alright, now that you know how to make herb butter, here are my family’s three favourite recipes, along with some other suggested flour combinations.

 

Garlic & Chive Butter 

A Classic! Use this garlic and chive butter on toasted garlic bread, whipped into mashed potatoes or on top of baked potatoes.

  • 1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped chives

 

Garlic, Rosemary & Thyme Butter

This garlic, rosemary and thyme butter is perfect rubbed all over a roast. Whether roast beef, roast chicken or roast turkey, you can’t go wrong basting with this compound herb butter.

  • 1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped rosemary
  • ¼ cup finely chopped thyme

 

Mint, Parsley & Chive Butter

The combination of mint, parsley and chives in this compound butter will take you back to summer no matter what time of year you enjoy it. Add it to scrabbled eggs for, smear it on biscuits or roll your corn on the cob in it.

  • 1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives

 

Other herb butter flavour combinations

Here are some other flavour combinations to try out when making your compound butter…

  • Basil & lemon zest
  • Lavender & honey
  • Rosemary & orange zest
  • Sage, rosemary & garlic
  • Parsley, chives & dill
  • Basil, oregano, rosemary & thyme

You can also make single-herb compound butters. Try tarragon butter on chicken, sage butter on roast turkey, lemon balm butter on seafood or pasta, mint butter on roast lamb or rosemary butter on roast beef.

Whatever flavour combinations you choose, be sure to add compound butter to your list of preserves this summer (before the summer’s gone for good!)

Of course, be sure to dry some too to add to sauces, soups and stews throughout the winter months, or to infuse or enjoy as tea. 

What about you? Have you made compound butter before? What’s your favourite combo? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Homemade Herb Butter (aka. Compound Butter)
This homemade herb butter is versatile and easy to make. Plus, it's a fantastic way to preserve your fresh summer herbs to enjoy all year long!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
  2. ¾ cup fresh herbs (see recipe suggestions above)
Instructions
  1. Combine butter and herbs together in a mixing bowl. If you have a hand mixer, you can use that to wipe all ingredients together. Otherwise just use a mixing spoon. Mix well to combine all ingredients together.
  2. Transfer herb butter into a container (if storing in the fridge) or scoop herb butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll in plastic to freeze.
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6 Comments

  1. SUZANNE

    Hi Anna, again, this question has nothing to do with compound butter. However, I need an answer about baking. Are you a baker of breads and/or a maker of yogurt?

    I am using stevia as a sweetener in liquid refreshments. My question is this; can you use the bulk sweetener in making yogurt and baking breads. Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I am a baker/maker of both:) As for using Stevia, you should be able to use it in place of sugar in both bread and yogurt. For homemade yogurt, I don’t use any sugar/sweetener unless I’m looking to sweeten it afterward. In this case, you could of course use Stevie to sweeten to your liking. Here’s my recipe for homemade yogurt.

      With bread, it depends on the bread, but most breads only call for a small amount of added sugar, or even none at all. I’m sure you could substitute sugar for Stevia or omit it altogether in most recipes and you would probably be fine. The only time I know you really should use real sugar is when making a ferment like kombucha. Even for sourdough starter, all you need is flour and water.

      Reply
  2. SUZANNE

    Hi Anna, Hope that you are well. Thanks for all of your wonderful posts. I usually make ‘Tarragon” butter. I absolutely LOVE Tarragon.

    On a different subject, I was unable to download the latest magazine. Have never had that problem before. Is there a way that I can still get it?
    Again, thaks

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Suzanne,
      I love tarragon too, and I happen to have some fresh right now. I hadn’t actually thought of making tarragon butter with it but I think I’ll have to try it:) As for the magazine, I double checked and you’re definitely subscribed. Was it the April issue you were after?

      Reply
  3. Christine Ward

    If I had to sub a dried herb in place of one of the fresh herbs, how much would I use in place of 1/4c?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Christine,

      If using dried herbs, I would probably do about one tablespoon for every 1/4 cup of fresh herbs. If possible, using fresh herbs is preferable with this recipe as it preserves the flavour and texture of fresh herbs really nicely:) However dried herbs will still add flavour and will work in a pinch.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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