Lemon Horseradish Butter

Lemon horseradish butter can be slathered all over anything that needs a savory pickup. Easily made and stored, it’s a lush upgrade to have on hand. And to lick off your fingers.

A log of lemon horseradish butter with three slices cut from in on a piece of wax paper with a knife beside it.

Every cook who looks for ways to perk up weeknight meals or make spur-of-the-moment entertaining easier ought to have a roll of flavored butter in his or her freezer. Just think: Grill a steak or a piece of fish and finish it with a slice of this horseradish butter. Roast some fingerling potatoes and dab them with the butter. Put the butter on a humble baked potato to dress it up. Soften the butter, spread it on crostini, and top it with smoked salmon for an instant appetizer. Having this kind of homemade food on hand takes cooking from good to great.–Diane Morgan

What is compound butter?

Yup. What she said. We slather, schmear, and otherwise anoint all manner of things with all sorts of flavored buttahs, er, that is, compound butters. A whole roast chicken before sliding it in the oven. Chicken parts after searing. Some virtuous (but not for long) minestrone. Matzoh—whether store-bought or homemade. And while a melange of herbs or a cacophony of chiles smashed into a lump of butter works swell, why think just in savory terms? Mash some preserves into butter as a stunning pink topper for toast, pancakes, waffles, and the like—perfect for little princesses. Ditto honey and a touch of cinnamon or teensily chopped candied ginger. Shall we go on?

Lemon Horseradish Butter

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 24 tablespoons | 1 1/2 cups
5/5 - 1 reviews
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In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the horseradish until finely grated. Scatter the lemon zest and salt over the top and pulse once or twice until evenly distributed. Add the butter and process until smooth, creamy, and well combined, about 6 pulses. Add the parsley and pulse just until evenly distributed.

Place a 2-foot-long sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap on a work surface. Using a rubber spatula, spread the butter into a rough log about 8 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the parchment or plastic wrap snugly around the log and, using your palms, roll the log back and forth to shape it into a smooth, uniform cylinder. Twist both ends like a candy wrapper to seal. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Originally published March 18, 2013.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Loved, loved, loved it! Simple, delicious, and very different. I served it with simple baked salmon fillets and everyone loved it. We eat a lot of fish, and this’ll be my go-to to serve with fish. I’m sure it’d also be delicious on beef.

Delicious and so simple to make, this compound butter is versatile enough to perk up anything from a slice of crusty bread to a grilled steak. I admit my favorite application is just slathered on some good bread. Use fresh horseradish if you can—the flavor is subtle and earthy and you’ll end up with a butter that won’t overwhelm more delicate foods.


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  1. I was SO excited to try this on some grilled pork chops, but there wasn’t the least bit of horseradish flavor at all. NADA. I used fresh horseradish from my garden. Where did I go wrong?

    1. TK, it doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong. This is quite surprising as fresh-picked horseradish is generally very pungent. Had it been sitting in your fridge for a while before you used it? Otherwise, I’d suggest using more to amp up the flavor.

  2. Utter deliciousness. I softened the butter on the counter and grated the lemon with a standard microplane and the horseradish on a ribbon grater. I mixed it by hand and added a little ground red Hawaiian salt since the butter was unsalted. It’s great on any meat that likes horseradish, and, of course, on lox. Yum, yum! The ribbon grater is the way to go for a perfect texture on the horseradish.

    1. Lovely, Allison. Thank you for taking the time to let us know. And yes, love that ribbon grater! Take care and look forward to hearing which recipe on our site you try next…

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