Easy Flavored Butter Recipes You Can Make in Minutes

Drizzle flavored butter over roast veggies, slather it on warm rolls or melt it on top of a steak. Any way you slice it, that extra boost of flavor makes delicious food taste even better.

cheesePhoto: Taste of Home

One of my favorite summer activities is popping out the back door to my herb garden, snipping a few stems and making flavored butter (also known as compound butter). The good news is fresh herbs are available year round in nearly every grocery store today, so I can make flavored butter even when the snow’s flying. Even better, flavored butters can be frozen up to six months, so I can enjoy them anytime.

This is what my counter looks like when I’m in flavored butter-making mode. I know, it looks messy, but you need only a few ingredients and you can make several different flavors in a matter of minutes. I’m partial to herbal butters—parsley-chive, rosemary-lemon, sage-thyme—but honey, spices, citrus and cheese also lend great flavor.

Making flavored butterPhoto: Taste of Home

The most time-consuming task is chopping and prepping—and waiting for the butter to soften if you forgot to take it out of the fridge. (Here are a few ways for how to soften butter quickly.) I have used pre-whipped butter to make flavored butter when I’m pressed for time, but I don’t feel it has quite the same flavor or texture as butter by the stick.

Pro tip:  I use unsalted butter when making flavored butters so I can control the amount of salt. Although the recipes below don’t call for salt, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) can be added to boost the flavor if desired. When making herbal butters, you can also add a small squirt of fresh lemon juice to perk things up a bit if the recipe doesn’t call for it. The fun is in experimenting.

Flavored Butter Basic Technique

1. With the butter at room temperature, whip it with an electric mixer or with a spoon or spatula until it is smooth and soft.

2. Gently stir in your chopped herbs (wash and dry them thoroughly first), zest or other fresh ingredients. If you’re using dry spices, mix them together first so they incorporate evenly throughout the butter.

3. Scoop the flavored butter onto parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it into a log shape. Twist the ends closed, wrap it in foil and place it in the refrigerator or freezer to chill and harden. Frozen butter can easily be sliced with a sharp knife that’s been run under hot water.

Make It Pretty

Pro Tip: Hosting a fancy dinner party soon? Mix up your favorite flavored butter and spread it into decorative candy molds to chill and harden in the freezer. Pop it out of the molds, place it on a pretty plate, and serve the flavored butter with your favorite quick breads or over roasted vegetables for an elegant touch.

Decorative Flavored Butter on a platePhoto: Taste of Home

Flavored Butter Recipes

Here are five flavored butters inspired by regions of the U.S. (shown at the top of this post) along with a few more favorites. Try them all and see which flavors you like best—or mix and match to create your own.

Southwest Butter

1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel

1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

1/2 cup butter, softened

Stir 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel, 1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper into 1 stick softened butter. Yield: 8 servings

Dollop a slice of this butter on Southwest Grilled Chicken Breasts.

Heartland Butter

2 tablespoons crumbled Maytag blue cheese

1/2 cup butter, softened

Stir 2 tablespoons crumbled Maytag blue cheese into 1 stick softened butter. Yield: 8 servings

Melt a slice of Heartland Butter on Grilled Tender Flank Steak fresh off the grill.

Dairy State Butter

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons finely grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup butter, softened

Stir 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons finely grated cheddar cheese into 1 stick softened butter. Yield: 8 servings

Just imagine what Dairy State Butter would taste like mixed into Deluxe Mashed Potatoes.

California-Style Butter

1 tablespoon minced ripe olives

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

1/2 cup butter, softened

Stir ripe olives and rosemary into softened butter. Yield: 8 servings.

Spread a pat of California-Style Butter on Oatmeal Dinner Rolls for extra flavor.

East Coast Butter

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1/2 cup butter, softened

Stir 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning and 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel into 1 stick softened butter. Yield: 8 servings

Drizzle some melted East Coast Butter over these Special Seafood Kabobs.

And a Few Extras…

Garlic-Basil Butter on BreadTaste of Home

Garlic Basil Butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 teaspoons minced fresh basil

1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Fresh sage and thyme

In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter, basil, parsley and garlic powder. Beat on medium-low speed until mixture is combined. Garnish with sage and thyme. Yield: 1/2 cup.

Spread Garlic Basil Butter over the bread slices instead of olive oil and garlic powder in these Cruisin’ Crostini.

Cilantro-Lime Butter on CornPhoto: Taste of Home

Cilantro-Lime Butter

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon lime juice

1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel

In a small bowl, mix butter, cilantro, lime juice and lime peel. Shape into a log; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.

Use Cilantro-Lime Butter to boost the flavor of your sweet corn. (Here are 22 more ways to make sweet corn.)

Honey Almond Butter

1 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

In a small mixing bowl, beat the butter, honey, brown sugar and extract until light and fluffy. Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap; roll into a log. Refrigerate until chilled. Unwrap and slice or place on a butter dish. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

Honey Almond Butter tastes divine on Family-Favorite Oatmeal Waffles.

Have a vegan friend or family member? Try this creamy, dairy-free cashew butter recipe!

Don’t Forget to Share!

Homemade flavored butters make a lovely and personal hostess gift or fun present for neighbors and friends. Check out these holiday butter recipes and share some butter love. Simply stack slices of flavored butter between waxed paper in a decorative box or jar and keep in the freezer for an impromptu gift. Also check out how to make your own butter with just two ingredients!

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Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."