Herb Butter (Turkey Butter)

5 from 6 votes

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Herb butter is a delicious topping to use on poultry, beef, vegetables, and bread. Use this recipe to make a Thanksgiving turkey butter!

cylindrical roll of herb butter (compound butter)

There is nothing better then a nice herbal butter rubbed under the skin of a roasted turkey. This isn’t the only use for it, though!

Melt a slice on top of a perfectly grilled ribeye, or add it to a bowl of steamed rice or vegetables. Although you could also make it for any other dish where you would need a nice dab of hot melted butter, like muffins, breads, etc.

How to make herb butter

For this recipe, we will add fresh herbs to soft butter, creating a delicious topping for chicken, turkey, fish, vegetables, or even potato rolls.


  • Soft butter – A little bit cold or even room temperature is fine; just don’t allow it to start melting.
  • Fresh or dried herbs – For the best flavor, use fresh herbs. I use parsley, chives, and thyme, plus a couple of minced garlic cloves. Using fresh rosemary or thyme makes a fantastic turkey butter.
ingredients on wood cutting board to make a turkey butter with fresh herbs

Video and Step by Step Instructions

To see exactly how to make herb butter for your turkey or anything else, watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom this post!

  1. Add room temperature butter and fresh herbs or flavorings of your choice to a mixing bowl. Use a silicone mixing spatula or wooden spoon to combine everything together.
  2. Form the butter mixture into a small tube shape on a piece of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or waxed paper.
  3. Wrap it up, being careful not to squeeze it too tightly. TIP: Use a cardboard tube from a roll of bath tissue to assist in creating the shape.
  4. Slide one end of the wrapped butter into the tube, positioning it neatly inside. Then, pat the edges to help form a perfect cylinder.
  5. Refrigerate until it is firm enough to cut into slices.
step by step photos show how to make turkey butter
slices of herbal butter for turkey

Other uses for herb butter

There are many different compound butter recipes, but they all serve a common purpose; to add flavor! Using fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary makes it fantastic to use as a turkey butter. You can also place a slice onto a piece of broiled salmon or a baked potato.

Adding cheese to a compound butter recipe, like Gorgonzola steak butter, creates flavor as well as a bit of texture. Cheese butter is fantastic on any type of beef ,and it’s also a great way to make cheesy garlic bread.

closeup: uncooked whole turkey


Can you freeze herb butter?

Yes, you can freeze turkey butter! Just be sure to wrap it well to prevent freezer burn. It will keep well in the freezer for about 6 months.

Does butter need to be refrigerated?

As a general rule, it’s okay to keep butter at room temperature for a couple of days, but it’s best if the temperature in the room is below 70 F. Otherwise, the butter may start to melt. If the butter won’t be used up in 2-3 days, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

What is compound butter?

Compound butter is a mixture of herbs, spices, cheese or aromatic liquids that are combined with soft butter.
The flavored butter is then rolled into a log shape, wrapped in wax paper, plastic wrap or parchment paper, then chilled until it is firm enough to be cut into slices.

close up of herb butter on rib eye steak

This recipe, first published on Kevin Is Cooking July 27, 2013, was last updated with new content on Sept. 28, 2021.

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cylindrical roll of herb butter (compound butter)

Herb Butter (Turkey Butter) + Video

5 from 6 votes
Herb butter is a delicious topping to use on poultry, beef, vegetables, and bread. Use this recipe to make a Thanksgiving turkey butter!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Refrigerate: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • Let butter come to room temperature and place in a bowl
  • Using the side of a knife, smash the cloves of garlic to remove the skins and chop fine.
  • Chop the fresh herbs and mix in with butter, garlic and salt.
  • With a spatula incorporate all the ingredients and fold onto a sheet of wax paper.
  • Roll the butter mixture into a cylindrical shape working with the wax paper. (See Note 1) Twist the edges and refrigerate until firm.
  • Remove from refrigerator, unroll and slice into pieces to top each steak.
  • Roll up and refrigerate the remaining compound butter.



1. Form the butter herb mixture into a small tube shape on a piece of plastic, wrap it up and use a bath tissue cardboard tube to assist in keeping it’s shape. Slide one end of the plastic wrapped butter through and position it neatly inside and pat the edges to help form a perfect cylinder.
*** Recipe video shows the inclusion of blue cheese (optional).


Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Melting Pot
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image: turkey butter


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    What a great way to season your Thanksgiving turkey! Definitely going to be trying this out this year; looks delicious!