This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

Whip up a batch of aromatic garlic herb butter, the best kitchen hack! Fresh herbs and fragrant garlic marry with the luxurious spread, creating a flavor bomb that elevates everything from grilled bread to roasted vegetables. 

Garlic Herb Butter

Want a simple trick to step up all your recipes? Try garlic herb butter: not just a condiment but a magic wand! It creates a symphony of flavor in every bite, with herby notes of thyme, oregano and chives and a pungent essence of garlic with the rich creamy butter. Spread it on warm bread, let it melt over roasted vegetables, or use it to baste a juicy steak – the possibilities are endless! In this post, we’ll unlock the secrets of making garlic herb butter, the best herbs to use, and endless ways to use it in your cooking!

How to make garlic herb butter

Garlic herb butter is essentially a compound butter, a softened butter mixed with garlic, herbs and salt. This type of butter is traditionally used in French cooking, especially to make sauces. The flavored butter can be used in so many ways, like with roasted or sauteed vegetables, steak, chicken or fish, or simply on crusty artisan bread. It takes no time at all to whip up and is a major flavor adder. Here are a few tips on how to make garlic butter:

  • Soften the butter. Cut the butter in half lengthwise, then into about 12 pieces total. Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes until softened. (If desired, you can also microwave the butter for a few seconds: just make sure you don’t melt it!)
  • Mix with seasonings. Place the butter in a bowl. Grate 1 medium or 2 small garlic cloves into the bowl, then add 2 tablespoons chopped herbs and ½ teaspoon salt. Smash and stir into the butter until it’s fully combined.
Garlic Herb Butter in pot

Best herbs for garlic butter

What are the best herbs for garlic butter? There are a few we like to use that bring the best flavor. Of course, you can use your favorite herbs: just keep in mind, some are stronger than others! The best fresh herbs for garlic butter are:

  • Thyme: Infuses a fresh, earthy herby flavor
  • Oregano: Another favorite with a pungent flavor
  • Parsley: Adds a peppery flavor and stays bright green
  • Chives: Infuses an oniony flavor and stays bright green
  • Tarragon: Brings an earthy, herby essence

Some other herbs to consider in combination with the herbs above are:

  • Fresh basil: Has great flavor, but tends to become darker in color when refrigerated
  • Fresh sage or rosemary: Have earthy flavor but are very strong: use them in combination with the herbs above or use half the quantity in the recipe below

How to reform garlic herb butter into a log

This garlic herb butter can be used immediately, spooned out of a shallow dish. Or you can refrigerate it for later, storing it rolled into a log shape. The log shape lets you cut off pieces to use in recipes.

  • Place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use the wrap to roll it into a log shape.
  • Twist the ends closed and refrigerate the garlic butter until it’s solid enough to cut (or until serving).
  • To speed up the cooling process, you can pop it in the freezer for a minutes until solid.
Garlic Herb Butter

A note on the salt content

This garlic herb butter recipe uses unsalted butter and added salt. With unsalted butter, the ideal salt content for us was somewhere between ¼ and ½ teaspoon, so we’ve indicated to use scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt here. It really makes the flavor pop! Feel free to taste and adjust as necessary.

You can also use salted butter in this recipe! Salted butter typically has ¼ teaspoon per ½ cup stick (versus no salt in unsalted butter), but it varies based on brand. So for salted butter, add about ⅛ teaspoon salt to this recipe and adjust to taste.

Can you make it with vegan butter?

Actually, yes! Most vegan butter brands are a pretty decent substitute for the real thing. Substitute vegan butter for a tasty dairy-free variation.

Ways to use garlic herb butter

Garlic herb butter is perfect with a simple crusty artisan loaf, or with any number of recipes to add a big punch of flavor. Here are a few ideas:

Let us know how you plan to use this condiment in the comments below! Happy cooking.

Garlic butter noodles

More butter recipes

Here are a few more butter-based recipes to try:

This garlic herb butter recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Garlic Herb Butter

Garlic Herb Butter


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: ½ cup butter 1x

Description

Whip up a batch of aromatic garlic herb butter, the best kitchen hack! Fresh herbs and fragrant garlic marry with the luxurious spread, creating a flavor bomb that elevates everything from grilled bread to roasted vegetables.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (or vegan butter)*
  • 1 medium or 2 small garlic cloves (½ teaspoon grated)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, chives, or parsley
  • Scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Soften the butter: Cut the butter in half lengthwise, then into about 12 pieces total. Let the butter sit at room temperature about 15 minutes until softened.
  2. Place the butter in a bowl. Grate the garlic into the bowl, then add the fresh herbs and kosher salt. Smash and stir into the butter until it’s fully combined.
  3. Use immediately, or if desired, place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use the wrap to roll it into a log. Twist the ends closed and refrigerate until it’s solid enough to cut (or until serving; you can freeze it for a few minutes to speed up the process). The flavor is great right away, and gets even better after refrigeration. Use for spreading on bread, making garlic bread, pasta, steak, potatoes, and more.

Notes

*You can also use salted butter in this recipe. Salted butter typically has ¼ teaspoon per ½ cup stick (versus no salt in unsalted butter), but it varies based on brand. So for salted butter, add about ⅛ teaspoon salt to this recipe and adjust to taste.

  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Butter
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Garlic herb butter

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment