5 Easy Homemade Herb Butter Recipes

Published on May 22, 2023

By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

If you’re a fan of butter (and who isn’t, really?) and love herbs' flavor and functionality, then you’ll love adding herb butters to your culinary repertoire.

Making herb butter is easy, delicious, and a clever and practical way to preserve fresh herbs for up to a year in the freezer.

Plus, there are endless combinations to complement any butter-loving dish and satisfy any sweet, savory, salty, spicy, sour, or combo-craving.

In this article, we’ll share five super simple herb butter recipes you make in minutes and enjoy for months to come (if they last that long).

What Exactly Is Herb Butter?

Herb butters, also known as compound butters, combine butter, herbs, spices, and other ingredients.

Although herb butters may sound sophisticated and gourmet, they are incredibly easy to make at home.

Even a simple honey butter that you’d drizzle on cornbread or garlic butter used for garlic bread are types of compound butter. 

Just add cilantro to honey butter or parsley to garlic butter, and you’ve got “herb butter.”

There are many benefits to making herb butters at home, including:

  • Convenience: Once herb butter is made, it can flavor and enhance endless dishes.
    • Practicality and reduction of food waste: Leftover herbs from the grocery store or surplus homegrown herbs can be quickly added to butter, frozen, and stored for up to a year in the freezer.
    • Pleasure: Making herb butters is simple, satisfying, and a great way to introduce children to cooking. Plus, they are incredibly wonderful to eat and cook with.

    In summary, butter+ herbs = delicious herb butters.

    Helpful Prep Tips For Making Homemade Herb Butter

    As previously mentioned, herb butters are nearly fool-proof to make. However, a little preparation can make your experience even easier.

    The most important thing when making homemade herb butter is that the butter is at room temperature.

    Softened (not melted) butter ensures the ingredients mix in smoothly and evenly.

    This typically means leaving a stick of butter on the counter for at least an hour before you begin the recipe.

    If you forgot this step, we’ll have some tips on how to turbo-soften butter at the end of the article.

    Traditional Butter Vs. Plant Butter For Herb Butters

    Although traditional herb and compound butters call for dairy-based butters, any of these recipes will work with a plant-butter-base. Ghee is also another option that is “clarified butter” so it is an option for paleo diets as well.

    The only differences between dairy and plant butter may be in the flavor (so pick a high-quality plant butter you enjoy) and how they freeze and store. 

    Since each type of plant butter is different, check with the food producer about proper storage in the fridge or freezer.

    A favorite plant butter for flavor and clean ingredients among chefs, foodies, and health foodies is Miyokos cultured European-style butter. 

    This brand of plant butter is white, so if you desire a golden color, add a tiny pinch of turmeric.

    You’ll also want to think about how you’ll store the herb butter.

    Herb or compound butters are traditionally laid out on plastic wrap or wax paper when soft, formed into a log, and refrigerated or frozen.

    The benefit of this method is the butter is easy to slice off into individual portions.

    However, you can also use a storage container.

    Herb butters can be stored in the fridge for at least five days and in the freezer for up to 6 months for the best flavor.

    Note: Although unflavored butter can be stored in the fridge for much longer than five days, adding herbs to butter introduces moisture which can result in spoiling. 

    Mixing options and considerations

    Herb butters can be mixed up using a fork and bowl, a food processor, a hand mixer, or standing mixer.

    Any of these methods work well. 

    The only advantage to using a hand or standing mixer would be to achieve a more whipped butter consistency. 

    Traditional compound butters are not generally whipped. However, if served shortly after whipping, a whipped version would be lovely for presentation and spreadability.

    Regardless of the method you’re using, it is recommended you pre-chop your herbs. 

    This will avoid the unpleasantness of biting into a big piece of garlic the food processor missed and creates the most visually appealing end result.

    In recipes calling for fresh fruit, it is not necessary to pre-chop the fruit if you’re using a food processor.

    Here are the tools you’ll need to make herb butters at home:

      • Softened butter: Salted butter is recommended because it has more flavor. However, unsalted butter can also be used. Whatever you choose, choose the best-quality butter possible.
      • A medium bowl and a fork or a food processor: This is for mixing up the ingredients.
      • A sharp knife: For cutting up herbs and other ingredients.
      • A zester or grater: This comes in handy for citrus and garlic.
      • Optional: Plastic wrap, wax paper, or reusable wrap: For shaping and storing the butter. You can also store your herb butter in a mason jar or other storage container.

      As you can see, this is going to be a cinch! So, let’s get into the recipes.

      1. Smokey Honey Cilantro Herb Butter

      This sweet, savory, and smokey herb butter pairs well with cornbread or corn muffins, quesadillas, fresh or grilled corn on the cob, and nearly any type of grilled vegetable, meat, fish, or seafood. 


      • 1 stick of softened butter
      • 1-3 tablespoons finely minced Chipotle Pepper in adobo sauce, OR 1 teaspoon dried Chipotle pepper, OR 1-3 teaspoons of your favorite smokey Chili powder
      • 1-3 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped Cilantro OR 1-3 teaspoons dried Cilantro
      • 1-2 cloves fresh Garlic, finely minced or grated
      • 2-3 tablespoons raw honey
      • The zest of 1 lime
      • The juice of 1 lime
      • Additional salt to taste

      Instructions (these will be the same for all recipes):

      1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or food processor and mix until just combined.
      2. Store in a storage container in the fridge or freezer.
      3. Alternatively, place the herb butter heap onto a piece of plastic wrap, wax paper, or reusable storage wrap. 
      4. Gently form into a log shape about the size of the original stick of butter.
      5. Refrigerate or freeze as-is or chill until the butter is firm, then pre-cut the log into individual portions (about 1 tablespoon each).

        2. Super Savory Allium Butter

        Alliums are a certain plant genus that includes pungent onion-like vegetables such as onions, Chives, Garlic, and shallots.

        Alliums are indispensable in the kitchen and are also well-known in herbalism for their immune- and respiratory-supportive properties.

        This butter goes with anything and everything savory. It makes a fantastic butter for garlic bread, for sauteing dark leafy greens, or as a final enrichment to classic French Onion Soup.


        • 1 stick of softened butter
        • 1-2 shallots, minced
        • 2-3 cloves of Garlic (or more if you love garlic), minced
        • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Chives or Scallions or 1 tablespoon dried chives
        • 1-3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Parsley or Thyme (optional, this imparts a nice counter-flavor of lemon and fresh greens)
        • Additional salt to taste

        Then follow the instructions above.

        3. Sweet & Velvety Lavender, Blueberry, Elderberry Butter

        Herb butters can be just as delicious sweet as they are savory.

        This fruity and floral combination of Lavender, blueberry, and elderberry is heavenly on top of pancakes, homemade scones, waffles, muffins, and biscuits or spread on a rice cake or piece of toast.

        Plus, it’s an excellent use for extra Elderberry Syrup during the warm months.

        Don’t have fresh blueberries on hand? No problem. You can substitute any fresh, frozen, or dried berry and still produce delicious results.

        You can make this as sweet as you want by adding more or less honey or jam.


        • 1 stick of softened butter (salted or unsalted butter works here as salt brings out sweet flavors)
        • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (wild or cultivated is fine), OR 1/4 cup dried blueberries
          • If mixing by hand, you can either pre-chop or mash the berries into the butter
        • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Lavender or 1 teaspoon dried Lavender
        • 1 tablespoon Elderberry Syrup, like Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup
        • 1-3 tablespoons raw honey OR 1-3 Tablespoons of your favorite all-fruit jam—blueberry, raspberry, fig, apricot, mixed berry, or cherry are all delicious
        • Optional: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or the caviar of 1 vanilla bean
        • Optional: The zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange for a citrus flavor

        Follow the instructions in the first recipe to enjoy this butter!

          4. Indian-Inspired Flavor Bomb Butter

          If you like Indian food, you’ll love this spicy butter on naan, rice, curries, or melted on top of your favorite steak, chicken, or fish with a dollop of chutney.

          For the sake of simplicity, premade curry powder is recommended. However, you’re welcome to use your own blend of spices to create a truly unique compound butter.


          • 1 stick of softened butter OR 8 tablespoons of Ghee
          • 1 teaspoon of your favorite Curry powder
          • 1-2 cloves freshly minced or grated Garlic
          • 3 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped Chives or Scallions
          • 1-3 tablespoons fresh Cilantro or Parsley
          • Freshly ground Black Pepper and additional salt to taste
          • Mix up the ingredients and serve as mentioned in the first recipe.

            5. Romantic Rose, Raspberry, & Cardamom Vanilla Butter

            This beautiful butter will put anyone in the mood for romance.

            The combination of floral, dried rose petals, and tart raspberries is rounded out by the exotic flavor of Cardamom and a hint of vanilla.

            Not a fan of raspberries? Try substituting fresh strawberries, dried cherries, or dried cranberries.

            This creamy, ruby red butter is beautiful served with baked goods and breakfast goodies. It also makes a unique base for basic vanilla buttercream icing.


            • 1 stick of softened butter (salted or unsalted butter works here as salt brings out sweet flavors)
            • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (wild or cultivated is fine), OR 1/4 cup dried raspberries, cranberries, or cherries (any red fruit will do)
              • When mixing, raspberries will easily mash into the butter, so there is no need to pre-chop or mash. If hand-mixing, pre-chopping dried cherries or cranberries is optional.
            • 2 tablespoons crumbled dried rose petals
            • 1-3 Tablespoons raw honey OR 1-3 Tablespoons of your favorite all-fruit red jam—raspberry, strawberry, red current, or cherry are all delicious. You could also sub lemon curd.
            • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cardamom (a little goes a long way)
            • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or the caviar of 1 vanilla bean

            Follow the steps as mentioned in the first recipe to create this lovely herb butter.

            How To Soften Hard Butter Fast

            Imagine you’re all geared up and excited to make your very own herb butters.

            You’ve carefully chosen your recipe, procured the ingredients, and carved out some “me time” to cook.

            That’s when you realize you forgot to leave the butter out to soften!

            No worries, it happens, and here’s a great quick-soften trick.

            Instead of trying to microwave your high-quality butter, leave it in the sun or vigorously massage it, try this.

            Grab a box grater and grate up all the butter you need.

            That’s it!

            From there, you can use a food processor immediately to make your herb butter or let it sit for 5-10 minutes to fully soften as you prep the other ingredients.

            This trick also works great for baking cookies, making icings, and nearly any culinary task that requires softened butter.

            Inspired To Try More Herb-Based Recipes?

            As you can see, the sky's the limit on the flavor combinations you can use in homemade herb butters. 

            So don’t be afraid to try something new and bold!