Skip to Content

9 Compound Butter Recipes for Steak, Chicken or Fish

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.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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. 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 [amazon link=”B07ZGH2VHF” title=”butter mold” /] when making for gifts, to make sure they’re perfect.

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.

Sliced grilled steak Ribeye with herb compound butter on cutting board on wooden background

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.
Sliced grilled steak Ribeye with herb butter on cutting board on wooden background

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
Sliced grilled steak Ribeye with herb butter on cutting board on wooden background

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.
Sliced grilled steak Ribeye with herb butter on cutting board on wooden background

9 Compound Butter Recipes for Steak, Chicken or Fish

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Compound butter is most commonly used to top steak, chicken, or fish. It's delightful and so easy to make! Keep some on hand for an easy weeknight meal that will make you glad it's not the weekend.

Ingredients

Garlic Herb

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Chipotle

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

Orange Apricot

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur
  • zest from one whole orange
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

Basil

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Jalapeño Lime

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, minced
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

Sundried Tomato

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Tarragon

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tbsp finely minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Blue Cheese

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese or gorgonzola (add more or less to suit your tastes)
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Truffle

  • 1/2 cup high-quality unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp grated truffles (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Place the softened butter in a mixing bowl then add the other ingredients. Stir well to make sure the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  2. Place a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on a flat surface. Dollop the butter 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Slice into 8 rounds and use to top your steak, chicken, fish or warm bread.
  5. The entire log or separate rounds can be refrigerated for up to one month and frozen for up to three months.
  6. You can also put the butter 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.

Notes

The nutritional information was calculated using only 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 tsp coarse salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Any additional ingredients should be calculated separately.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 148mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)
instant pot jambalaya on a silver plate
Instant Pot Jambalaya with Chicken & Sausage
← Read Last Post
a platter of hot ham and cheese party sandwiches
Hot Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches
Read Next Post →
Skip to Recipe