Herbed Compound Butters – Cilantro Lime Compound Butter

Appetizers and Snacks, Grilled Meats, Grilled Vegetables, Kitchen Tips & Tricks, Sauces | 27 comments

Madeline has a thing for corn. Lately every time we go to the grocery store she is asking for corn on the cob. And I don’t blame her. It’s summer and corn is so good right now! Some weeks it seems like they’re practically giving it away at the grocery store.

how to make compound butter recipe

She’s not picky about how she eats her corn on the cob. She’s happy to just have it steamed or boiled and brushed with butter, but I love grilled corn on the cob. Of course I like it brushed with butter like Madeline, but why not take it corn on the cob to the next level with this Cilantro Lime Butter!

What is Compound Butter?

It is a combination of butter and supplementary ingredients, such as herbs and garlic, and is used to enhance the flavor of dishes.

After mixing softened butter with the additional flavors, herbs, and and aromatics, the butter is then reformed and chilled until firm. Once firm, the mixture can be sliced and added to a variety of foods.

What to Use Compound Butter For

Compound butter is one of the easiest ways to dress up simple recipes. The list could go on and on, but here are some of my favorite uses. Basically, it is a very good thing to know how to make. For extra flavor, add compound butter to:

What are your favorite uses?

cilantro lime compound butter recipe

Compound Butter Flavors

Just use your imagination! You can create so many different flavor combinations, but here are a few of my favorites to get your imagination flowing. There really isn’t  any right or wrong way to make this.

  • Cilantro Lime
  • Blue Cheese Rosemary
  • Garlic Herb
  • Lemon with Chives, Oregano, or Rosemary
  • Parmesan Herb
  • Roasted Garlic

Have you ever made compound butter? What is your favorite flavor?

Cilantro Lime Compound Butter

Print Save Recipe


Basic Herb Compound Butter

1 stick of butter, softened to room temperature but not melted
1-2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste (if desired)
1-3 tablespoons minced herbs

Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter

1 stick of butter, softened to room temperature but not melted
1 clove minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste (if desired)
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
zest of 1 small lime


For the Basic Recipe:
Soften butter to room temperature. Combine garlic, salt and pepper (if desired), and your choice of herbs. Mix well. Roll up in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill until firm. When firm, serve sliced with your choice of food.

For the Cilantro-Lime Recipe:
Soften butter to room temperature. Combine garlic, salt and pepper (if desired), cilantro, lime juice and zest. Mix well. Roll up in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill until firm. When firm, serve sliced with your choice of food.

Compound butter will last in the refrigerator for about 5 days, in the freezer for a month. Frozen butters should sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - July 21, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    Loving the sound of this!


  • 2
    Flavia - July 21, 2011 @ 6:48 am

    Great post, Katie! Compound butter is one of my favorite things to use in my cooking, but I don’t make it nearly often enough as I should. Yoou helped remind me to always have some on hand–thanks!


  • 3
    Pili - July 21, 2011 @ 6:50 am

    Sounds very yummy, I so must make the cilantro & lime one!


  • 4
    Bev Weidner - July 21, 2011 @ 8:20 am


    I just did a post as well about compound butters! You know how when they ask, “wanna lick the spoon?” that goes for butter too, right?



  • 5
    Karly - July 21, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    Cilantro and lime is delish on just about everything, but adding butter to the mix just makes it even more amazing! Now I’m craving cilantro-lime corn!


  • 6
    cat - July 21, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    too funny – i just sat down with a cup of coffee to relax for a minute and read a few blogs on my feed reader and saw this post on compound butters . . . i had just finished making a batch of lime-thyme butter to go with corn for dinner tonight! must be the season. :) love your ideas for different combinations — will have to try the blue cheese-rosemary – that sounds delicious!


  • 7
    Tara @The Butter Dish - July 21, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    Butter runs through my veins I have no doubt and I love making seasoned butters. This sounds particularly taste bud tantalizing. Love the idea!


  • 8
    apaler1 - July 21, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    Yum! Blue Cheese Rosemary also sounds delicious!


  • 9
    Tracy - July 21, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    What a great way to add flavor to a dish! Our CSA owner made chive butter this past week and it was amazing. Yours looks wonderful too!!


  • 10
    Mrs. Jen B - July 21, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    I love using compound butter! My favorite use is on homemade bread – I feel like regular butter or (gasp!) margarine just aren’t good enough for it. Otherwise I use it on fish or beef. Delicious!


  • 11
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - July 21, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

    What a nice addition to corn, I like that blue cheese and rosemary one too!


  • 12
    Allison - July 21, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    I have been making butters like this – in fact I made a cilantro lime butter just the other day for grilled corn on the cob. HOWEVER, mine doesn’t look this pretty at all! I love the parchment paper idea – definitely trying that. You are so good at making food look pretty.


  • 13
    TheGourmetCoffeeGuy - July 21, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    Cilantro and lime, two favorites in our home. Compound butter is a great idea that makes such a nice impression on a dinner table. Besides the conversation starter, the butter tastes great and it is something guests remember for a long time. Like your post very much, thank you for sharing.


  • 14
    m -a - July 22, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    Something we often forgot, it is the flowers of the basil. Yes, you can eat it. For me, it is the best part of the basil. It is more subtil and it is so fresh. “Try it, you’ll like it”


  • 15
    Deb - July 22, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    Try “browned butter” for your next corn-on-the-cob fest! Just take a stick and “brown” it in your favorite cast iron skillet. Melt it and keep an eye on it. When it starts getting “browned” remove from heat. TO DIE FOR DELICIOUSNESS!!!

    I’m going to make your recipe using some HimalaSalt pink salt that I just got from Sustainable Sourcing. Thanks for posting!


  • 16
    Katrina (gluten free gidget) - July 23, 2011 @ 6:21 am

    I love making Cinnamon Compound Butter (non-dairy for me!) for my hubby! He loves it!


  • 17
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - July 24, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

    Ooh… I love compound butters. Never thought to do cilantro and lime, but it sounds just perfect. Two of my favorite flavors!


  • 18
    Kristen - July 24, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

    This is one gorgeous looking butter! I can only imagine how delicious it tastes.


  • 19
    Kankana - July 25, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    This is gorgeous .. i have been wanting to do that for a long time now. By the way .. you wrote refrigerator twice .. you been freezer i guess!


  • 20
    baobabs - July 25, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

    Yum!! herbs and butter! looks amazing and super delish!!


  • 21
    purabi naha - July 26, 2011 @ 2:14 am

    That’s a great post! I am amazed by this simple yet classy way of changing the usual butter!


  • 22
    Ben - July 26, 2011 @ 6:40 am

    Beautiful, easy to make and delicious. I could used this butter for so many things!


  • 23
    Pam - July 26, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

    Wow. I had never heard of compound butter. This looks quite scrumptious and something I would want to put on a lot of different foods. Thanks.


  • 24
    Linda - July 26, 2012 @ 4:07 am

    In the past I have done a little garlic powder and a little parmesan. It’s really good with Texas toast with a pasta dish. mmmm


  • 25
    Tamber Bliss - March 14, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    I really enjoy fresh garlic and Parmesan , never thought to make it ahead of time though. I do grow my own herbs and again never thought to make compound butters at all.. Though most of the time i use Country Crock because there is no trans fat or hydrogenated oil.. Is that a good thing, i don’t know but i know it taste better than butter to me because to me butter taste greasy not to leave out that it is easily burned unlike Country Crock.. so i think just making a spread ahead and freezing it is as good as butter if not better..


  • 26
    Kelly - January 18, 2014 @ 10:08 am

    I love compound butter and try to always have a few flavors on hand. The picture is lovely also.


  • 27
    Laurie - August 15, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

    Great post! Just noticed a typo in the description. I am going to make this over the weekend. Thanks again for the idea.


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