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4 Compound Butter Recipes for your BBQ Party

Today, I am excited to share with you a simple yet incredibly flavorful recipe for homemade compound butter. It's a magical combination of butter and various herbs, spices, or other ingredients that adds a burst of flavor to any dish. Here are 4 - and a bonus - different compound butter recipes and how I love to eat them.


Four logs of compound butters on a white plate.


Whether you're spreading it on bread, melting it over grilled steak, or tossing it with hot pasta, compound butter is a game-changer that takes your culinary creations to a whole new level.


But before we dive into the recipe, make sure to check out some of my other BBQ recipes like my Mushroom Black Bean Burger and Grilled Peach and Bacon Salad.


Why you'll love this recipe


One of the reasons I adore compound butter is its versatility. You can create an array of flavors to suit your taste preferences or match specific dishes. From aromatic herb-infused butter to zesty citrus or savory garlic blends, the possibilities are endless.


Imagine spreading a dollop of savory roasted garlic compound butter on warm bread or melting a knob of tangy lemon herb compound butter over grilled fish. These flavor-packed butters elevate simple meals into extraordinary dining experiences.


A rectangular plate with four logs of different compound butters.


Plus, making your own compound butter allows you to control the quality of ingredients and customize flavors to suit your palate.




The ingredients are of course different for the different compound butters, but they all include


  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Flavorings


For the lemon herb compound butter you'll need butter, salt, lemon zest, a little squeeze of lemon juice and tons of fresh herbs. I really love to use tarragon, parsley and rosemary, but you can also use basil or cilantro. 


And for the chili and garlic compound butter you'll need butter, BBQ seasoning (grillkrydder as we say in Norwegian), paprika powder, and fresh garlic and chili. 


Ingredients to make the four different compound butters.


To make the chipotle paprika compound butter you'll need butter, chipotle chili powder, paprika powder, chipotle Tabasco, and lime zest for a fresh zing. 


Finally, for the roasted garlic compound butter, all you need is loads of fresh garlic (I use 2 heads!), butter, and salt. 


Step-by-step instructions


Start with softened butter, it can be really soft so that it's easier to mix with the other ingredients. Add spices, lemon or lime zest, flavorings as in the ingredients list. For the chili and garlic compound butter, I press both the garlic and the fresh chili through a grater.


Steps to make the different compound butter recipes.


For the roasted garlic compound butter, you will obviously need to roast the garlic. But it's super easy, I promise. Preheat the oven to 400℉ (200℃). Cut the top of two heads of garlic off, so that all the cloves are visible but still tucked together. 


Place them in small heat-safe containers and drizzle olive oil on top. Loosely cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven until the cloves are dark and soft - about 45-60 minutes. If it hasn't happened yet in 45 minutes, take the foil off. 


Steps to make roasted garlic compound butter.


Let cool a little before squeezing all the garlic cloves out - then mix with butter and salt. 


For all the compound butter recipes, place the mixtures on a plastic wrap and carefully shape them into a log (or whatever shape you want). Then place it in the freezer until firm.



To keep your compound butter fresh and flavorful, it's important to store it properly. Here are some storage tips:


  • Wrap the compound butter log tightly in plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent air exposure and freezer burn.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To use, simply slice off a medallion-sized portion as needed and return the rest to the refrigerator or freezer.


Recipe FAQs


Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?

It's best to use unsalted butter, as it allows you to control the saltiness of the final product. If you only have salted butter, reduce or omit any additional salt in the recipe. However, I would taste as I go, and salt thereafter. 


Can I substitute dried herbs for fresh herbs?

While fresh herbs provide the best flavor, you can use dried herbs as a substitute. Keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent, so use about half the amount specified for fresh herbs.


But if you can, I think an extra trip to the store or farmer's market is SO worth it to get fresh herbs. 


Compound butters surrounded by BBQ dishes.


Can I make compound butter with vegan butter alternatives?

Absolutely! Vegan butter alternatives work well for making compound butter. Follow the same steps and adjust the flavors to your liking.


What to serve with

1. Lemon Herb Compound Butter


Diptych of grilled corn and grilled steak.


2. Chili garlic compound butter

  • Baked potatoes
  • Grilled steak (as above)
  • Bread and potatoes in general
  • Roasted vegetables and meats 


3. Chipotle paprika compound butter


Diptych of roasted asparagus and baked potatoes.


4. Roasted garlic compound butter


You can of course serve them in any way you like, but I serve these butters with the first under each heading! 


Expert tips

Not-so-secret tips to make compound butter delicious and fancy

  1. Experiment with different flavor combinations like sun-dried tomato and basil, honey and lavender, or chipotle and lime - I mean, the possibilities are literally endless!
  2. For an elegant touch, shape the compound butter into decorative molds or use a piping bag to create beautiful shapes.
  3. Don't limit yourself to savory flavors. Try adding sweetness with honey, maple syrup, or vanilla for a delightful twist on breakfast or dessert dishes. See below for my favorite sweet orange honey butter with fresh flowers!


Ingredients to make the flower honey compound butter.


Bonus: Sweet flower honey butter

The sweet flower honey butter is the perfect compliment to pancakes, cornbread, or just spread on Greek bread like in the pictures, topped with slices of orange, a drizzle of honey, fresh flowers, and a little bit of fresh mint. The perfect brunch toast, don't you think? This is the new avocado toast, for sure. 


To make the sweet compound butter, it's essentially the same as with the others. Mix a stick of softened butter with 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh flowers, 1 teaspoon orange zest, and 1 tablespoon honey, and wrap it into a log to freeze!


Diptych of a toast with flower honey butter and orange slices.


For complete recipes, scroll down to the recipe card. Enjoy!


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📖 Recipe

Four logs of compound butters on a white plate.

4 Compound Butter Recipes for your BBQ Party

Yield: 4 logs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

4 magical combinations of compound butter recipes with various herbs, spices, and other ingredients that adds a burst of flavor to any dish!


Lemon Herb Compound Butter

  • 1 stick softened butter (113 grams)
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (my favorites are tarragon, parsley and rosemary together)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper (or regular freshly cracked pepper)
  • ½ teaspoon salt - omit if using salted butter and lemon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)

Paprika Chipotle Compound Butter

  • 1 stick softened butter (113 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt - omit if using salted butter
  • ½ teaspoon tajin seasoning (if desired)
  • A couple of drops of Tabasco chipotle

Chili Garlic Compound Butter

  • 1 stick softened butter (113 grams)
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated)
  • ½ red chili (grated) - cayenne for spicy, serrano or jalapeño for milder
  • ½ teaspoon salt - omit if using salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon BBQ seasoning (grillkrydder, if desired)

Roasted Garlic Compound Butter

  • 1 stick softened butter (113 grams)
  • 2 garlic heads
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or mushroom salt, see notes)

BONUS Flower Honey Compound Butter

  • 1 stick softened butter (113 grams)
  • 1-2 tablespoon(s) chopped, fresh flowers (my favorite is lilacs or violets, but also elderflower, rose, chamomile can work)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt - omit if using salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)


  1. For all butters: Start with softened butter and mix in the spices, juices, grated chili and garlic, and chopped herbs or flowers.
  2. For the roasted garlic compound butter: Preheat oven to 400 ℉ (200℃) and chop the top off the garlic heads so that all the cloves are visible. Add to a small ramekin or other heat-proof bowl and drizzle olive oil on top. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the cloves are a dark, golden color. If they are not dark by 45 minutes, remove the foil and keep a closer eye on it. Let cool 5-10 minutes before squeezing out the cloves of garlic. Let cool before mixing with the softened butter.
  3. Place the compound butters on a plastic foil and roll into a log or your favorite shape. Pack it tightly to avoid freezer burn. Place in the freezer for about an hour to firm up. Can also be stored in the freezer.
  4. Let soften a little before serving, enjoy with all your favorite BBQ dishes. See the blog post for my specific favorites.


Mushroom salt adds even more umami to this dish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 ½ tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150Total Fat: 15.3gSaturated Fat: 9.7gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 3.3gFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 0.8g

Based on roasted garlic compound butter. Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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