Chestnut Herbal School

Herbal Compound Butters for Festive Feasting

Recipes and Photography by Sarah Snyder
Other text by Juliet Blankespoor & Meghan Gemma

Herbal compound butters slathered on homemade bread.

Flavored culinary butters add thrill to any cuisine.

Rich and sultry, compound butters generously lend a delectable flavor and silky texture to almost any dish. They can be slathered onto baked roots, fresh bread, and crackers or used to roast veggies or meat. Fruity, sour, and sweet butters are delicious with pancakes, muffins, or waffles. When you set the table with buttery herbal spreads, every occasion instantly feels special—from Sunday brunch to your best friend’s birthday dinner.

Despite compound butter’s stodgy-sounding name (borrowed from the French, beurre composé), flavored butters reliably add thrill to any cuisine. You may be familiar with compound butters if you’ve ordered steak at a swanky restaurant. After grilling meat or fish, the chef melts a melon ball-sized pat of compound butter on top, the flavor percolating in a pool of lavishness.

Compound butters can be frozen, giving you an elegant method of preserving fresh culinary herbs, especially those that don’t dry well like chives, cilantro, or parsley. Use the butter immediately or roll into logs, wrap in wax paper, and freeze for later use. Simply slice off a round when you’re ready to use the butter, or thaw out smaller portions to have on hand in the refrigerator.

If you avoid dairy, try one of the many non-dairy “butters” or, for a sweet butter, try coconut manna. These plant alternatives will have a different consistency than butter—you might not be able to roll them into a log, and instead, can serve them in a small bowl.

A bowl of Herbes de Provence herbal compound butter.

A bowl of Herbes de Provence herbal compound butter.

Herbes de Provence Herbal Butter

This savory butter is exquisite served simply with warm bread. It’s a lavish accompaniment to roasted meats and root vegetables, baked winter squash, and primavera pasta dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Yield 1 cup


  • Mixing bowl
  • Sturdy spoon


  • 1 cup salted butter (1 cup = 2 sticks butter)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  • Bring the butter to room temperature.
  • Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix with a sturdy spoon until combined.
  • Store in the refrigerator or freeze for later.
Keyword Butter
Tried this recipe or have questions?Leave a comment!
A bowl of pomegranate molasses compound butter.

A bowl of pomegranate molasses compound butter.

Pomegranate Molasses Butter

Elevate your breakfast toast and tapas trays with this smooth and fruity spread. Add it to baked goods for an unexpected kiss of flavor. Melt it on top of muffins still warm from the oven. Pair it with your favorite fresh bread.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Condiment
Yield 1 cup


  • Mixing bowl
  • Sturdy spoon
  • Strainer


  • 1 cup salted butter (1 cup = 2 sticks butter)
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon molasses


  • Bring the butter to room temperature.
  • Peel the pomegranate and separate the seeds.
  • Leave half of the pomegranate seeds whole.
  • Chop the remaining half of the pomegranate seeds and drain the excess juice using a strainer.
  • Add all the ingredients, including whole and chopped pomegranate seeds, to a bowl and mix with a sturdy spoon until combined.
  • Store in the refrigerator or freeze for later.
Keyword Butter
Tried this recipe or have questions?Leave a comment!

Learn more about the ingredients

For information on the medicinal benefits of herbs featured in these compound butter recipes, visit our articles on:


Basil (Ocimum basilicum, Lamiaceae).

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is best known for its culinary uses, but it is also a versatile medicinal. Learn more about basil.


Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) supports healthy digestion and soothes the nervous system.  Learn more about lavender.


Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis).

Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis) & White Sage (Salvia apiana) are versatile medicinal & antimicrobial herbs. Learn more about sage.

Looking for more feast-worthy recipes?

Try making our Hibiscus Chutney—it’s the ultimate herbal twist on cranberry sauce—and these show-stopping Herbal Finishing Salts (see pic below).

A close up of herbal finishing salt made from fresh sage, rosemary, orange zest, and juniper berries.

Meet Our Contributors:

Sarah Nicole Snyder is holding a woven basket full of freshly picked strawberries.

SARAH SNYDER grew up in a small wooded town outside of Charlotte, NC. She studied music in college before moving to Asheville, NC to study pastry arts. Here she developed a love for plants, gardening, medicine-making, and homesteading. She has worked as a photographer, pastry chef, journalist, and social media manager.

Most days you can find her reading with her dog and a mug of tea, getting the perfect shot of her garden, trying out yet another craft, or wrangling chickens back into the yard.

Juliet Blankespoor

JULIET BLANKESPOOR is the founder, primary instructor, and Creative Director of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, an online school serving thousands of students from around the globe. She's a professional plant-human matchmaker and bonafide plant geek, with a degree in botany and over 30 years of experience teaching and writing about herbalism, medicine making, and organic herb cultivation. Juliet’s lifelong captivation with medicinal weeds and herb gardening has birthed many botanical enterprises over the decades, including an herbal nursery and a farm-to-apothecary herbal products business. 

These days, she channels her botanical obsession through her writing and photography in her online programs, on her personal blog Castanea, and in her new book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating and Handcrafting Herbal Remedies. Juliet and her family reside in a home overrun with houseplants and books in Asheville, North Carolina.

Meghan Gemma of Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.

MEGHAN GEMMA is one of  Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine's primary instructors through her written lessons, sharing herbal and wild foods wisdom from the flowery heart of the school to an ever-wider field of herbalists, gardeners, healers, and plant lovers.

She began her journey with the Chestnut School in 2010—as an intern and manager at the Chestnut Herb Nursery and then as a plant-smitten student “back in the day” when the school’s programs were taught in the field, and later she became part of the school’s writing team. Meghan lives in the Ivy Creek watershed, just north of Asheville, North Carolina.

Interested in becoming a contributor?


© Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and, 2011-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Want to take a deeper dive into medicinal herbs and their uses?

Our 1,000-hour Herbal Immersion Program is the most comprehensive handcrafted online herbal course available, covering botany, foraging, herb cultivation, medicine making, and therapeutics.

The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine online Herbal Immersion Program.

3 thoughts on “Herbal Compound Butters for Festive Feasting

  1. Karen Newbury says:

    5 stars
    Juliet, I bought The Healing Garden shortly after it was available to purchase online. It is absolutely beautiful. I have pinned these 2 recipes to print and add to the ones in your book. I have made compounded butters, but I first make the butter in my Kilner hand crank churn. Blessing to you and your staff this festive season, from Ontario Canada.

    • Christine Borosh says:

      We’re so glad you’re enjoying Juliet’s book and we hope you love these compound butter recipes! How special to hand crank your own butter first too. Wishing you a beautiful and cozy holiday season 🙂

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