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If you are serving rolls with dinner, compound butter with dried herbs is the perfect way to kick it up a notch! If you thought you needed fresh herbs for it, you will be happy to know that dried herbs work great too. Not only is homemade herb butter a great way to add extra flavor to dishes, but it’s also incredibly versatile and easy to make.
In this blog post, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about how to make herb butter with dried herbs. Whether you want fresh thyme and rosemary or basil and oregano, homemade butter with herbs is easy to make and delicious!
Fresh Herbs vs. Dried Herbs in Butter
When making herb butter, you can use either fresh or dried herbs. If you have fresh herbs on hand, they are fine to use. However, fresh herbs don’t stay good very long and they are not available all year long. If you always want to have fresh herbs on hand, read my herb gardening tips for beginners. Then dry them in a small food dehydrator for use all year long.
I like to use dried herbs in my compound butter because they are handy and relatively inexpensive. You cannot substitute fresh herbs for dried ones in equal measure. Keep in mind that if the recipe calls for fresh herbs, you’ll need to substitute dried at a 1:3 ratio.
This means for 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs you’ll only need 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. They’re more concentrated so use them sparingly when making compound butter. You can always add more but you can’t take out after it’s already been mixed.
Tips for Making Homemade Herb Butter
Making your own herb butter is incredibly easy. All you need is room-temperature butter, dried herbs, and salt. It is a great addition to rolls at dinner or simply as a spread on bagels or toast.
The herbs you choose for your compound butter are up to you. Vary them according to your mood and your menu. You will need to follow this general ratio when it comes to amounts:
– ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened. Use regular butter. Not any of the fancy new blends you see at the grocery store.
– 1 teaspoon of dried herbs of your choice; basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary work well
– Sea salt to taste (or use salted butter, however, I like to control the amount of salt)
Which Dried Herbs Are the Best for Compound Butter?
Some of my favorite herb butter recipes include these herbs and seasonings:
- Basil: Great for adding to garlic bread for an Italian-themed dinner.
- Garlic powder: Easier than fresh garlic since you can always have it on hand.
- Oregano: Wonderful added to your basil butter for a more well-rounded flavor. Spread it on French bread to make homemade garlic bread.
- Parsley: Has a fresh flavor, mild and mellow. Delicious on baked potatoes.
- Chives: The combination of chives and parsley in compound butter is delicious.
- Thyme: I love the flavor of fresh thyme with seafood or on top of veggies like green beans or corn on the cob.
- Black pepper: An accompaniment to other dried herbs. Use salt and pepper in just about every flavored butter you make.
- Rosemary: Fresh rosemary leaves are tiny little needles that don’t crush all that well. For a finer texture, put them through a mortar and pestle or use an electric herb grinder.
- Sage: Sage butter is fabulous on steak. It also gives a unique flavor to scrambled eggs.
- Lemon Zest: Lemon zest and lemon juice along with butter are perfect for seafood. Fresh lobster or a nice grilled trout topped with infused butter is simply heavenly.
- Tarragon: Tarragon butter is another great addition to seafood. I grow tarragon in my garden and dehydrate it so there is always plenty on hand.
Directions for Making Homemade Butter with Dried Herbs
Step 1: Choose Your Herbs
The first step to making herb butter is to choose the herbs you want to use. Dried herbs work best for this recipe because they are easier to always have on hand, but if you have fresh herbs, you can use those too.
Some of the most popular herbs for making herb butter include parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, and oregano. I like to add salt along with the herbs, however, this is optional. If your diet should not include added salt for health reasons, you can leave it out.
Step 2: Softened Butter
In order to make herb butter, you will need to start with softened butter. If you forget to take the butter out of the fridge ahead of time, you can always soften it in the microwave. Just be sure to keep an eye on it or you will end up with melted butter very quickly.
Salted vs Unsalted Butter: This is up to you, however, I personally think salted butter is TOO salty. I like to control the amount of salt I add to my herbed butter so I use unsalted.
Step 3: Combine the Herbs and Butter
Once you’ve chosen your herbs and softened your butter, it’s time to combine them. Measure out your dried herbs and mix them into the softened butter until fully combined. Add salt and pepper to your butter and mix. Be sure to taste along the way, so you can adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Step 4: Shape the Herb Butter
After your herb butter is fully mixed, it’s time to shape it. You can do this in a couple of different ways. One option is to transfer the butter mixture onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it into a log. Alternatively, you can scoop the mixture into a small dish or ramekin, and then smooth it out using a spatula.
TIP for rolling herb butter in a log: Start by cutting off a sheet of saran wrap or wax paper, then add the compound butter to one end. Use your spatula to shape it lightly and firmly roll it into an evenly shaped cylinder.
Once done, twist the edges for extra security and store them in the fridge for a few hours to firm up. When you are ready to use it, unwrap the wax paper or plastic wrap and slice the log shape into serving-sized slices. Arrange the cut slices on a pretty plate and let people serve themselves.
They also make some fancy silicone butter molds that work perfectly for homemade herbed butter. You can pop them out of the molds and store them in a freezer bag for long-term storage.
Step 5: Chill and Store the Herb Butter
The final step is to chill your herb butter in the fridge until it has fully solidified. Once it is solid, you can store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How Long Does Herb Butter Last in the Refrigerator?
Herb butter will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator if stored properly. To ensure your herb butter lasts as long as possible, be sure to store it in an airtight container. Additionally, when serving the herbed butter, use a clean spoon or knife and avoid double-dipping.
To store it longer than that, wrap it tightly in parchment paper or a sealed container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How is Herb Butter Used?
Herb butter is a delicious and versatile ingredient. You can use it to top steaks, bake fish or chicken with it, spread it on toast or bagels, or toss it into pasta dishes for extra flavor.
You can leave a small ramekin of room-temperature compound butter on the table for people to serve themselves from. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and flavors to find your favorite.
Making herb butter with dried herbs is a great way to add extra flavor to your dishes and prevent waste by using up your leftover herbs.
With just a few simple steps, you can create a delicious and versatile butter that can be used in a variety of recipes.
More Herb Recipes and Ideas
Looking for more ways to incorporate herbs into your diet? Check out my post about how to make rosemary salt or you can read my article on how to make lavender sugar. Both of them are great ways to add more flavor to your menu plan.
Easy Herb Butter Recipe
While there are many delicious recipes online for all sorts of homemade herb butters, I will include my favorite recipe for garlic herb butter here. Make sure you use high-quality butter. Don’t worry about such silly things as saturated fat or calories. Use only real butter, sea salt or kosher salt, and dried herbs.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (you can use dried minced garlic if you prefer)
- Kosher salt to taste
- In a small bowl, mix together the dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, use a fork to cream the softened butter until it is smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add the herb and spice mixture to the butter, stirring constantly until everything is well combined.
- Once the herbs and spices are fully incorporated into the butter, transfer the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- Use the wrap or paper to tightly roll the butter into a log shape.
- Chill the herb butter in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow it to firm up and for the flavors to meld together.
- Once the butter has chilled and firmed up, remove it from the refrigerator and slice it into rounds as desired.
- Serve the herb butter with bread, vegetables, pasta, corn on the cob, or use it to finish a cooked steak before serving.