How to Make Garlic Compound Butter – in 3 steps

Garlic Compound Butter is a great way to enhance the taste and richness of dishes, adding depth and complexity to any dish.

Slices of garlic compound butter on a small white platter. There is sliced baguettes and a butter knife in the background.

Roasted Garlic Compound butter can be used in various ways in cooking. It is often added to enhance the flavors of grilled or roasted meats, such as steaks, chicken, or fish. It can also be used to top cooked vegetables, melt over hot pasta or rice, or spread onto bread or rolls. The possibilities are virtually endless, and the choice of ingredients for garlic compound butter can be tailored to complement specific dishes or personal preferences.

The beauty of compound butter lies in its ability to provide a burst of flavor in a convenient and versatile form. It can elevate the simplest of dishes, adding a gourmet touch and transforming them into something extraordinary.

Ingredients for Garlic Compound butter

When all these ingredients are combined, they create a harmonious blend of flavors, ranging from creamy and savory to herbal and slightly tangy. The roasted garlic compound butter becomes a versatile and flavorful condiment that can be used to enhance the taste of various dishes, such as steaks, roasted vegetables, grilled corn, or simply spread on warm bread.

  1. Unsalted Butter: The base of this compound butter recipe is unsalted butter. It provides a creamy and smooth texture to the butter, while also serving as a carrier for the other flavors. Using unsalted butter allows you to control the overall saltiness of the final product.
  2. Salt: Salt is an essential seasoning ingredient that enhances the overall taste of the butter. It helps to balance the flavors and bring out the natural richness of the other ingredients. If you’re using salted butter, you can reduce the amount of added salt to maintain the desired level of saltiness.
  3. Ground Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a subtle hint of spiciness and warmth to the garlic compound butter. It complements the other flavors and adds depth to the overall taste.
  4. Roasted Garlic: Roasted garlic brings a sweet and nutty flavor to the compound butter. It has a milder and less pungent taste compared to raw garlic. Roasting garlic helps to mellow its flavor and makes it more aromatic. The cloves of roasted garlic provide a rich and savory element to the butter.
  5. Parsley: Freshly chopped parsley contributes a fresh and herbaceous taste to the compound butter. It adds a vibrant green color and a mild grassy note. Parsley also acts as a refreshing contrast to the other flavors.
  6. Chives: Chives have a delicate onion-like flavor with a mild pungency. Adding freshly chopped chives to the garlic compound butter provides a subtle oniony taste and a touch of brightness. It complements the other herbs and adds an additional layer of complexity.
The ingredients for roasted garlic compound butter on a blue tray.

How to Make

Once the compound butter is prepared, it can be shaped into a log using plastic wrap or parchment paper [paid link]. The log can then be chilled in the refrigerator until firm, allowing it to be sliced into rounds or used as a spreadable butter.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and salt, and add in the herbs, and garlic.
  2. Once combined, wrap the butter mixture in a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper [paid link]. Roll the butter into a log, twist the ends, and put it in the refrigerator.
  3. Once the garlic compound butter has firmed up, slice it for use in recipes, like garlic bread, or in a batch of steamed rice or buttered noodles.
The ingredients for garlic compound butter in a bowl ready to be mixed together.

Why this Recipe Works

  1. The softened butter ensures easy mixing and blending of flavors.
  2. Room-temperature butter ensures a smooth and creamy consistency.
  3. Customizable ingredients allow for endless flavor combinations.
  4. Chilling the butter helps it solidify and retain its shape.
  5. Compound butter adds richness and complexity to dishes.
  6. It’s a versatile ingredient suitable for various recipes.
  7. The homemade version is far superior to store-bought options.

Recipe Tips and Kitchen Tricks:

  1. Use fresh and aromatic herbs for optimal flavor.
  2. Experiment with different combinations of spices and ingredients.
  3. Wrap the compound butter log tightly to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Slice and freeze individual portions for convenient use.
  5. Label and date your compound butter for easy identification.
  6. Add compound butter to hot dishes for maximum flavor dispersion.
  7. Customize the amount of salt in the butter to suit your taste.
A bowl of compound butter after all the ingredients have been combined together.

Recipe Variations:

  • Citrus-infused compound butter with lemon or orange zest.
  • Spicy compound butter with chili flakes or cayenne pepper.
  • Sweet compound butter with honey or maple syrup.
  • Herb-infused compound butter with rosemary or thyme.
  • Garlic and Parmesan compound butter for a savory kick.
  • Smoky compound butter with smoked garlic, smoked paprika, or chipotle.
  • Fruity compound butter with dried cranberries or apricots.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Top a grilled steak with a slice of herb compound butter.
  2. Melt garlic compound butter over roasted vegetables.
  3. Spread garlic compound butter on warm bread or rolls.
  4. Toss pasta with a knob of spicy compound butter for added heat.
  5. Enhance seafood dishes by melting herb-infused compound butter over them.
The compound butter after it has been transferred to plastic wrap and twisted into a log. It is now ready to chill so it can be cut into slices.

Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions

Store compound butter in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, melt a pat of butter in a pan or microwave until softened.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted? Yes, but adjust the salt in the recipe accordingly.
  2. How long does it take for compound butter to soften at room temperature? Approximately 30 minutes.
  3. Can I substitute fresh herbs with dried ones? Yes, but reduce the amount by half.

Wine & Cocktail Pairings

Wine Pairings:

  1. Chardonnay complements the richness of compound butter on seafood or poultry.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with compound butter on red meat.
  3. Sauvignon Blanc offers a refreshing contrast to herb-infused compound butter on vegetables.

Cocktail Pairings:

  1. Classic Martini with herb compound butter-stuffed olives.
  2. Whiskey Sour with a hint of citrus compound butter.
  3. Bloody Mary with a spicy compound butter garnish.
An overhead shot of the butter dish of sliced garlic compound butter.
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Compound Butter KD 6

Garlic Compound Butter

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Compound butter is a versatile culinary ingredient consisting of butter that has been mixed or "compounded" with various flavorings, herbs, spices, or other ingredients.
Prep Time 15 minutes
chilling time 1 hour
Servings 8 tablespoons


  • 1 stick Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp Salt ,less if using salted butter (1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves Roasted garlic
  • 2 tbsp Parsley , freshly chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives , freshly chopped


  • In a small bowl, mix together the butter and salt, and add in the herbs, and garlic.
  • Once combined, wrap the butter mixture in a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper [paid link]. Roll the butter into a log, twist the ends, and put it in the refrigerator
  • Once the compound butter has firmed up, slice it for use in recipes, like garlic bread, or in a batch of steamed rice or buttered noodles.
  • Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge or freezer for up to three months.
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