Well-Stocked: Compound Butter

Welcome to Well-Stocked, a regular series on items that everyone should be keeping in the pantry and why they’re so multitalented. I’m starting out with compound butter, a freezer staple that takes a minimal amount of work to make but will pay off handsomely for months to come (sometimes years if you look at what’s in my own freezer!).

Compound butter is one of my go-to solutions for nights when we’re low on groceries and I’m trying to stretch things out with a basic grain or wondering how to cook a piece of fish for myself. It’s got all your great seasonings and fats rolled into one, so you don’t have to spend the time chopping and building a sauce on a weeknight.

ingredients for a garlic, shallot, sage, and tarragon compound butter

ingredients for a garlic, shallot, and herb compound butter

You don’t really need a specific recipe for compound butter—it’s really just a stick of room-temperature butter mashed together with whatever herbs or flavors you happen to have around, then rolled into a log and frozen. But here are a few of my favorites:

bagna cauda butter

bagna cauda butter

I could keep going—it would be so easy to do an Indian-spiced butter if you’re a curry fanatic, or even an Old Bay butter to keep in your beach house all summer for shrimp, crabs and clams. Leave your ideas in the comments, and we’ll add to the compound butter library.

FTC Disclosure: Good. Food. Stories. is an Amazon.com affiliate and receives a minuscule commission on all purchases made through Amazon links in our posts. If you'd like to support the site further, please use this link or click the Amazon links in the sidebar to make your purchases.

Get it While it’s Hot!

Sign up to receive the latest Good. Food. Stories. while they are still piping hot, directly to your inbox.


  1. says

    Co-editor Danielle would like to endorse the unbelievable goodness of the bagna cauda butter. It’s also perfect just slathered on some bread as an easy side to fish or a piece of meat.

  2. moom says

    One of the more useful posts! Recommended to many friends so thanks for the SEARCH BAR which takes your directly to extraordinary ideas for compound butter!