Garlic rosemary butter is one of our favorite compound butters to make. It adds an incredible flavor to any type of bread and melts beautifully into steak, chicken and even grilled salmon. This simple garlic rosemary butter recipe is straightforward and can be easily customized to whatever you have on hand!
Garlic rosemary butter can be made with four simple ingredients: unsalted butter, fresh rosemary, garlic and kosher salt!
- Unsalted butter: I recommend starting with unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt. We often use whatever butter we have in our fridge. But when making an extra special meal, I like to use a high quality European-style butter like Kerrygold.
- Fresh rosemary: Fresh rosemary works best for this recipe. Strip the rosemary leaves from the stem and finely chop.
- Garlic: Three cloves of fresh garlic is the perfect amount for me, but feel free to add an extra clove as desired. Want extra flavor? Try roasting your garlic first!
- Kosher salt: Kosher salt is our preferred salt for compound butter as it’s easiest to distribute evenly. If using table salt, start with half the amount and add more to taste.
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Start by using a fork to mash the room temperature butter until smooth.
Step 2: Add the chopped rosemary, minced garlic and kosher salt. Mix until evenly distributed. I generally just use a fork to mix up garlic rosemary butter, but a handheld mixer or food processor would also work well here.
Step 3: Place the butter on a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use the paper or plastic wrap to roll the butter into a log. Twist the ends to seal.
Recipe note: I find that forming the butter into a log makes it easier to portion and I can slice off as much as I need quickly. But if you don’t want to form a log, you can also just store the butter in an airtight container.
Step 4: Transfer the butter to the fridge until firm, about one hour. Slice and serve!
Storage and freezing
Garlic rosemary butter can be kept wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. The butter can also be frozen for up to three months.
While you can freeze the whole log of compound butter, I like to freeze individual slices for easy portioning.
To freeze individual butter slices, place the butter in the refrigerator until firm. Then slice and transfer the slices to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer until frozen solid (about 1-2 hours) and then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag.
We love trying out different flavor combinations when making compound butter. While garlic rosemary butter may be our favorite for its versatility, here are some other combinations we’ve made in the past:
- Horseradish dill butter: Use 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill and 1-2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (or one of our favorite horseradish substitutes). This is our favorite compound butter for salmon!
- Blue cheese and chive butter: I love to use crumbled gorgonzola and a spoonful of chopped fresh chives to make the ultimate compound butter for grilled steak.
- Roasted garlic butter: Simply drizzle a head of unpeeled garlic with olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes at 400°F (200°C), allow to cool and then pop the garlic out of its skin. Mash with butter and salt to taste.
- Lemon thyme butter: Add a bit of lemon zest, a spoonful of lemon juice and fresh thyme leaves to the butter. This one is lovely with roasted chicken and vegetables!
- Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Room temperature butter will make it easier to evenly distribute the garlic, rosemary and salt.
Pro tip: To soften butter quickly, microwave it at 50% power in 15 second increments.
- Adjust to taste. The amount of garlic, rosemary and salt can and should be adjusted to taste.
- Use high quality butter. While any unsalted butter will do, consider using a European-style butter, such as Kerrygold, for an extra flavor boost. European-style butter has a higher butterfat content and creamier texture.
- Prepare the butter in advance. For best results, let the flavors of the garlic rosemary butter meld in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Compound butter sounds fancy, but it’s simply butter that’s been mixed together with other ingredients. Common mix-ins include garlic, herbs, citrus and spices.
Nope! Rolling the butter into a log makes it convenient for portioning and serving, but it’s not necessary. You can simply store your butter in an airtight container if you don’t want to form it into a log.
Because compound butter is made with so few components, I really recommend using high quality ingredients. This means sticking to fresh herbs if at all possible for this garlic rosemary butter.
Yes! Compound butter freezes beautifully for up to three months. You can freeze the butter in log form or already portioned slices.
What to serve with compound butter
Here are some of our favorite ways to use this garlic rosemary butter recipe:
- Place a pat of butter on top of a hot steak (we love it with Reverse Sear Filet Mignon and Reverse Sear T-Bone Steak).
- Spread it on any type of bread, like these easy Cheddar Chive Drop Biscuits or our favorite garlic roll recipe: Pampushki!
- Use it to add a finishing touch to your favorite grilling recipes. The compound butter adds a fresh flavor boost to everything from Grilled Radishes to Grilled Salmon!
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