Snails with Herb Butter

5 from 1 vote
This is a perfect dish for entertaining because it can be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated, then finished in a hot oven in less than ten minutes. The Pernod is an important flavoring and helps to keep the butter from separating as it cooks. If you don't care for its anise flavor, use white wine instead.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories482 kcal
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time2 hours


For the herb butter

  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup finely minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • Pinch of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod

For the snails

  • 24 top-quality canned snails, drained
  • 1 sheet homemade or store-bought puff pastry, optional


Make the herb butter

  • Mince the garlic and salt together and crush with the blade of a knife to make a paste. Put the butter in a large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), add the garlic paste, and cream together.
  • Add the parsley, chives, shallots, pepper, lemon juice, and Pernod and mix well. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to make certain the ingredients are distributed throughout the butter.
  • The butter can be piped or spooned over the snails — if desired, transfer it to a pastry bag without a tip or with a large plain tip. If using snail dishes instead of snail shells, place a snail in each indentation and pipe or spoon about 2 teaspoons of butter over each. If using snail shells, place a snail in each shell and pipe in about 2 teaspoons of butter.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 12 hours. (Any extra herb butter is wonderful melted over meats or fish.)

Finish using snail dishes

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). With a round cutter that is about 1/4 inch larger in diameter than the indentations in the snail dishes, cut 24 rounds from the puff pastry.
  • Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or sheet of parchment paper. Arrange the puff pastry rounds on the baking sheet and top with a second Silpat or cover with another sheet of parchment paper and then a second baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Bake the snails in their dishes for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the butter is bubbling. Top each snail with a round of puff pastry. and heat for about 30 seconds.

Finish using snail shells

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Arrange the shells in snail dishes or other ovenproof serving dishes. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the butter is bubbly.
Bouchon by Thomas Keller

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 482 kcalCarbohydrates: 4 gProtein: 11 gFat: 47 gSaturated Fat: 29 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gTrans Fat: 2 gCholesterol: 151 mgSodium: 1217 mgPotassium: 332 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 gVitamin A: 2379 IUVitamin C: 15 mgCalcium: 42 mgIron: 3 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2004 Thomas Keller. Photo © 2004 David Leite. All rights reserved.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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