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Lemon Herb Butter, abundant with chopped fresh herbs and lemon zest, is the flavor foundation for so many wonderful dishes. Use it once and you’ll immediately realize that this compound butter powerhouse should be a staple in your kitchen year-round. And, it couldn’t be easier to assemble! Read on for more.
This Lemon Herb Butter is part of a special category of ingredients called “compound butters”. A compound butter is a simple combination of butter, usually of the unsalted variety, and any number of flavorings, such as herbs, spices, citrus, aromatics and more. It is one of the most versatile items to keep on hand in your kitchen and has the bonus of a long shelf life. The high fat content of the butter base keeps the item fresh in either the refrigerator or freezer for several weeks.
My Favorite Way to Use Lemon Herb Butter
Compound butters have lots of different uses and can be used both in the recipe cooking and finishing processes. For example, my favorite way to use this Lemon Herb Butter is slathered generously all over the outside and under the breast skin of a whole raw chicken or turkey about to be roasted, as well as dolloped over the surrounding vegetables, and allowing its flavors to infuse slowly while cooking. But, it can just as easily be used to top off a piping-hot, just-grilled steak or salmon filet, (as well as a baked potato!) adding a strong, citrus herb kick to the final product. The possibilities are numerous!
I used a very fragrant and warm combination of herbs in this particular recipe, including sage, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and flat-leaf parsley, which pair perfectly with the lemon zest. It is the perfect savory blend for your holiday cooking, and I will definitely be using it on my Thanksgiving turkey this year. I also use this Lemon Herb Butter regularly when making roast chicken throughout the year–it adds such a special richness to a cooking staple.
Other Flavor Options . . .
If you prefer a different set of herbs, or even just one herb, go for it! This recipe is so simple that it can be considered a framework for almost any flavor profile that you desire. Some of my other favorite combinations are Lemon Dill Butter, Garlic Rosemary Butter, Orange Ginger Butter, and Calabrian Chili Butter. It’s difficult to mess up a compound butter recipe, so if you have an idea, just give it a try!
The ingredients to make this Lemon Herb Butter recipe are very few and simple, but significant:
- Butter: The foundation of the recipe, encasing all of the herbs and citrus flavors.
- Herbs: I used five different fragrant herbs in this dish, that were chosen specifically to pair well with roasted turkey and chicken–sage, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and flat-leaf parsley. Use any combination of these, as desired. Just be sure to leave out any tough stems!
- Lemon Zest: Lemon zest is a powerful flavor builder, adding just the right component of citrus to complement the herbs. When zesting the lemon, just be sure to avoid any bitter white pith and use the very outside yellow layer only.
- Salt and Black Pepper: Always to your taste. Freshly ground black pepper should definitely be used here, if possible.
Step-By-Step, Pro-Tips included!
Making Lemon Herb Butter couldn’t be easier! All you need to do is:
- Gather all ingredients and place them in a bowl.
- Using a fork, mix until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Then, place the finished butter on a piece of parchment paper and form the mixture into a log, twisting the ends to seal. Alternatively, place the butter in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Slice or scoop as needed. That’s it!
How to Use Lemon Herb Butter
Use this Lemon Herb Butter in both the recipe cooking and finishing processes.
I love slathering it generously all over the outside and under the breast skin of a chicken or turkey prior to roasting. It’s also great dolloped lightly over the vegetables around the chicken or turkey in the roasting pan. Used this way, you allow the herby, citrus flavors to slowly infuse into the rest of the dish during cooking.
Or, use it to top off a piping-hot, just-grilled steak or salmon filet, as well as a baked potato! In this manner, it adds a strong, citrus herb kick to the final product.
There are so many possible uses for Lemon Herb Butter! Here are a few specific recipes it complements well:
- Whole Thanksgiving Turkey
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Lemon-Herb Roast Chicken
Kitchen Tools & Cookware for Lemon Herb Butter
To make this Lemon Herb Butter recipe, you will need the following:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Multiple bowls to hold prep
- Cutting board with non-slip mat underneath (I use shelf liner)
- Sharp chef’s knife
- Microplane zester
- Pepper mill
- Wooden or Silicon Spoon
- Parchment paper
Other Great Recipes To Try
If you’ve tried this recipe or any other recipe on the blog, please let me know how it went in the comments below — I love hearing from you!
Lemon Herb Butter
- 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp each chopped fresh sage, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and flat-leaf parsley, stemmed
- Zest from 2 lemons
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- Gather all ingredients and place them in a bowl. Using a fork, mix until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Place on a piece of parchment paper and form into a log, twisting the ends to seal. Alternatively, place in an airtight container.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Slice or scoop as needed. Buon Appetito!