Compound Butter Recipes

Compound butter is the easiest condiment around

Making a great sauce can be a very involved affair, with careful tending to the stove and slow building of flavors. But sometimes you want to take the easy route, and for those occasions we turn to compound butter. This delicious condiment couldn't be simpler—mixing flavorful ingredients like coffee, truffles, or bonito into butter gives you an easy way to add a burst of flavor to everything from grilled meats and vegetables to slices of bread.

Garlic is one of the most classic compound butter flavorings. Our garlic butter recipe from Alice Waters' iconic Chez Panisse combines butter and boiled garlic cloves with a dash of white wine vinegar and cayenne. It's absolutely luxurious slathered onto a hot steak.

Bright, fresh herbs are a natural pairing with rich butter. Try making compound butters with parsley and garlic or cilantro and chiles. Either is perfect for grilled lobster—spread them on and let them melt down into the meat, poaching the lobster in its shell.

We love less conventional butters, too. For a jolt of caffeine, make coffee butter by steeping coffee in cream and blending it with butter and a pinch of salt. It's equally good for spreading on toast or basting grilled meats. Bonito flakes combine with white wine in our bonito butter, which adds a huge umami kick to poached vegetables.

For the easiest, most delicious condiments around, check out our collection of compound butter recipes and watch our compound butter video.

Seaweed Butter

We developed this compound butter to accompany a gleaming Grilled Seafood Tower, but it works as well simply tossed with boiled noodles as a simple weeknight pasta dinner. Get the recipe for Seaweed Butter

Seafood Coffee Butter
Coffee Butter

Add an extra jolt to your morning toast with this caffeinated spread. Get the recipe for Coffee Butter »

Grilled Lobster with Cilantro-Chile Butter

Grilled lobster is a popular dish in Boston, where shellfish from the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction is plentiful.

Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter
Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter

Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter

Bonito Butter, DIY Pantry
Bonito Butter

Austin, Texas, chef Andrew Wiseheart of Gardner uses this butter for poaching vegetables, but it would also be divine on grilled steak.

Chez Panisse Garlic Butter

Set atop a sizzling steak, this restaurant classic melts luxuriously onto the meat. The recipe is adapted from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Cooking (Random House, 1988). Get the recipe for Chez Panisse Garlic Butter »

Chablis truffle butter
Truffle Butter

Truffle butter is an easy, elegant spread to pair with good bread.

Grilled Corn with Herbed Goat Cheese Butter
Grilled Corn with Herbed Goat Cheese Butter

Sweet corn grilled in its husk is enhanced by an herbal goat cheese compound butter. Get the recipe for Grilled Corn with Herbed Goat Cheese Butter »

Seared Scallops with Wasabi-Ginger Butter
Seared Scallops with Wasabi-Ginger Butter

After discovering that fresh whole wasabi plants were available in the United States, Adrian J.S. Hale found all kinds of innovative uses for them, such as this butter-rich sauce in which the pungent heat of the wasabi root, or rhizome, is balanced by the delicate earthiness of the leaves for a mild heat and slight bitterness that accentuate the sweet flavor of plump pan-seared scallops. Get the recipe for Seared Scallops with Wasabi-Ginger Butter »

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.