Compound Butter for Turkey



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An easy compound butter recipe with rosemary, thyme and garlic. This is the best compound butter for turkey!

Compound butter made with herbs and garlic is quite possibly the best hack for making the best turkey for Thanksgiving. It’s also delicious with so many other foods including steak, chicken, and corn.

What is compound butter?

Compound butter is a mixture of softened butter along with any combination of herbs, spices, garlic, citrus zest and other seasonings. Varieties include herb butter, garlic butter, spiced butter, and so much more. It can be savory or sweet.

compound butter for turkey

How to make compound butter for turkey

Compound butter is one of the keys to giving your turkey the “wow” factor. When making compound butter for turkey, you will use a combination of fresh rosemary, thyme, and garlic.

  1. Soften the butter – allow butter to come to room temperature. Use a good quality butter if you can. It will take about 30-60 minutes for a stick of butter to soften.
  2. Finely chop herbs – finely chop the rosemary and thyme
  3. Mince garlic – finely mince garlic
  4. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper if you wish.
  5. Mix – Place the butter, herbs and garlic in a bowl and use a spatula to combine the ingredients together.
  6. Lay out a piece of parchment – scoop butter onto a piece of parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap.
  7. Roll into a log shape – twist the ends of the parchment paper to seal it up, then refrigerate until firm.
the best compound butter for turkey

To use for turkey

Here’s a brief overview of how I use compound butter for Thanksgiving turkey.

  • Before roasting the turkey, slice the compound butter. Lift up the skin on the breast of the turkey and slide the slices of butter under the skin.
  • Spread additional butter over the exterior of the turkey – it helps the skin crisp up and provides that beautiful golden brown color.

The combination of herbs – rosemary, thyme along with garlic and butter provides such a complex, delicious flavor. Buttery, moist, yum! This is truly the best compound butter for turkey!

herb compound butter

Other uses:

Of course, turkey isn’t the only way I use this compound butter. I’ve also used it for steak, corn on the cob, chicken, and I’ve also slathered it on bread before toasting it in the oven. The result is always the same… amazing! My compound butter is made with garlic, rosemary and thyme, but feel free to use any herbs that you’d like. And remember, start with butter that’s at room temperature! It’ll take you about 10 minutes to make this recipe, and trust me when I say it is well worth your time!

Try this recipe for Air Fryer Steak Bites but use this compound butter recipe in place of the garlic butter — delicious!

or try our recipe for Compound butter for Steak!

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment or tag me on social media. I love hearing from all of you!

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5 from 1 vote

Compound Butter {for Steak, Turkey & More}

An easy compound butter recipe with garlic and herbs that is perfect for steak, corn, chicken, turkey, or bread! This is my secret to making the most delicious recipes that everyone raves about!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic finely minced


  • In a large bowl, combine butter, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Use a spatula to combine all of the ingredients well.
  • Scoop the mixture onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Roll into a log and twist the ends shut.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until the butter is firm. 
  • To use for turkey or chicken: carefully lift up the skin on the breast of the turkey and place slices of compound butter between the meat and the skin.
  • To use for steak: place the desired amount atop steaks right after they come off of the grill. Allow the butter to melt before serving.
  • You can also use this on corn, other vegetables, and bread.
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Compound butter

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Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!