Round scoops of compound butters lined up on parchment paper.

3 Tasty Compound Butter Recipes (and How to Freeze)

Using compound butter in a dish can really take it up a notch or two when it comes to flavor! And, who doesn’t love a flavorful meal? In this post, I’ll share 3 of my favorite compound butter combinations- one sweet, one savory, and one spicy.

Each combo starts with the same amount of unsalted butter. You’ll also find helpful tips for portioning and freezing these recipes.

Jump to Recipe

What is compound butter?

Compound butter is softened butter that has been seasoned with aromatics such as herbs or spices. It can also be flavored with vegetables such as shallots or garlic. Some variations around the world include ingredients such as anchovies, caviar or nuts.

Compound butter can also be called ‘herb butter‘ or in French, ‘beurre compose‘.

It is a great butter to keep in the fridge or freezer. Anytime you want to quickly enrich a dish, compound butter is an easy ingredient to add in while cooking. It can also be served along side a meal for you and your guest to use as a condiment.

Ways to use compound butter

There are countless combinations of ingredients you can use to flavor a compound butter. No matter what you choose, it is simple to make. Here are a few ways to use and/or serve compound butter:

  • Serve table-side for topping bread, rolls or biscuits
  • Spread on waffles or pancakes
  • Top on steaks
  • Flavor fish or lobster tails
  • Melt over hot pasta
  • Add to a baked potato or baked sweet potato
  • Melt into freshly steamed vegetables like asparagus
  • Melt over popcorn
  • Spread on flatbread
  • Spread on toast
  • Melt in pan before cooking eggs
  • Spread on a bagel
  • Stir into oatmeal or grits
  • Stuff under the skin of chicken or other poultry before roasting

Lately, I’ve used my compound butter to easily season my salmon filets. I simply take a frozen pat(s) of butter from the freezer and place it on my filet. Then I place the fish in the oven to bake. About half way through cooking, I like to ensure the ingredients in the compound butter is spreading evenly over the salmon. If it isn’t, I just take a butter knife or spatula and spread it out a bit.

Filet of raw salmon that is topped with a scoop of harissa spiced compound butter.
Pat of harissa spiced compound butter on raw salmon before it hits the oven.
Plate of cooked salmon with roasted asparagus spears and two wedges of lime. Fork is flaking cooked salmon.
Here’s my finished salmon filet after baking it with a pat of harissa spiced compound butter. You can see some of the shallots from the butter mixture that softened nicely as it baked.

Which flavor combos to consider

Harissa, Shallot & Lime

This flavor combo in one of my favorites! It’s spicy thanks to the harissa seasoning, yet the lime adds a little acidity that pairs well with the richness of the butter. You may enjoy this compound butter on fish such as salmon, steak or even melt a little in a pan as you make eggs for breakfast- either way this combo adds a satisfying punch of flavor if you like heat.

Mise En Place:

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter – At Room Temperature
  • Harissa seasoning blend
  • Small shallot – minced
  • Zest of one small lime
  • Salt to taste
Four small scoops of harissa spiced compound butter. Scoops are surrounded by a cut lime, stick of butter, gray bowl of salt and white bowl of sea salt.

Orange, Honey and Sea Salt

I highly suggest trying this compound butter on warm biscuits. It’s slightly sweet and salty. The orange zest gives it a brightness that would impress guests at brunch. You could even use it to flavor your oatmeal.

Mise En Place

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter – At Room Temperature
  • Orange Zest
  • Honey
  • Fine Sea Salt

Parsley, Shallot and Truffle Oil

You can’t go wrong with using this combo on bread or a perfectly pan seared steak. It’s savory and the addition of truffle oil adds a richness and umami taste that I personally love.

Mise En Place

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter – At Room Temperature
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Small shallot – minced
  • White Truffle Oil
  • Salt and/or pepper to taste

How to portion and freeze compound butter

While some cooks prefer rolling their butter into a log, I personally prefer to portion out my butter using a cookie dough scoop. Using the scoop is easy to do and guarantees equal portions. This also means less hands on the butter- and less melting along the way.


1. Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. After combining your butter with preferred ingredients, place butter back in the refrigerator for 2-3 minutes. This is enough time to slightly firm it for easy scooping, but not solidify it.

3. Using your cookie scooper, scoop out mounds of butter onto the parchment paper. Be sure each mound is NOT touching.

4. When you are finished portioning the butter, place the baking sheet in the freezer. Next, allow the butter to freeze for at least 4 hours.

5. Once butter is frozen solid, remove from the cookie and quickly place in freezer bags or a freezer safe container. Lastly, return the butter to the freezer until you are ready to use for cooking.

My top 5 tips for making any compound butter

  • Finely chop herbs or vegetables before combining with butter.
  • Use butter that is room temperature for easy mixing.
  • If adding liquids such as wine or lemon juice, add very small quantities at a time.
  • Use unsalted butter to have the best control over saltiness.
  • Create your own variations! Experiment by mixing your favorite ingredients to create a flavorful combo. Adjust amounts to meet your preferences.

All in All

Keeping compound butter on hand is helpful. You can easily grab a few pats of butter from the fridge to enhance almost any dish you are cooking or about to serve. I also love that the flavor combinations are endless! Creating different combos is fun and simple to do.

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Here’s the Recipe Card with notes…

Compound Butter (3 variations)

5 from 4 votes


Harissa Spiced Compound Butter

  • 2 sticks Unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 tsp harissa seasoning blend
  • 1 small shallot about 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or to taste

Parsley, Shallot & Truffle Oil Compound Butter

  • 2 sticks Unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white truffle oil
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper or to taste

Orange & Honey Compound Butter

  • 2 sticks Unsalted butter room temperature
  • zest of one small orange
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt or to taste


  • In a large bowl, stir together softened butter and ingredients until combined.
  • Serve or chill until needed.


  • Store in an air tight container for up to one week in refrigerator. 
  • If freezing, compound butter will keep for 5-6 months. 
Keyword butter, spread


  • Sara

    5 stars
    Thank you for such a helpful and informative article! I learned so much, and I can’t wait to try all of these compound butters out!

  • Jan

    I love the three options given. I will be making all three over the weekend. It’s always hand to have this in the freezer ready to go.

  • Jere Cassidy

    5 stars
    All of these kinds of butter sounds great but the orange honey and sea salt just sounded delicious and I had to try it. I do love that these freeze easily so they are ready to use anytime.

  • Karen

    5 stars
    So glad I found this post. I have always loved unique compound butter and wasn’t sure the proper freezing technique. I can’t wait to try the orange and honey version later this week.