Parsley Butter

Parsley butter is perhaps the simplest way ever to gussy up a piece of plain fish, a bland chicken breast, even out-of-season veggies.

a roll of butter flecked with minced parsley

This parsley butter is a simple yet stunning example of something known as compound butter, which is essentially just butter into which you stir or mash in something flavorful that you happen to have on hand, such as garlic or herbs. It’s a handy little thing to keep on hand for embellishing all sorts of things, whether you’re facing a mad rush to put a weeknight winner of a dinner on the table or expecting your husband’s best friend and his third wife for Sunday supper.–Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Use Compound Butter

This may just be the simplest compound butter we ever did see. But don’t let that mislead you. It may also be the loveliest compound butter we ever did try. And boy, did we ever try it, on all manner of things, including…

Tucked beneath the skin of roast chicken
Dabbed on boiled new potatoes
Dolloped atop seared or grilled steak
Slathered over corn on the cob
Tossed with roasted asparagus
Slid into the pan as we cooked an omelette
Spooned onto warm green beans
Stirred into warm rice
Plopped on broiled fish fillets of all sorts
Lavished on a hunk of warm bread
Shall we go on?

Parsley Butter

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes 8 tablespoons
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Whip or beat the butter with parsley together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a large piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll it into a log, and seal the ends. Alternatively, you can simply smoosh the butter into a ramekin or other small dish, leveling the surface with a knife.

Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Keep your stash of parsley butter in the fridge for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months. To prevent icky aromas from infiltrating your butter, wrap the parchment paper (or ramekin) tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Slice or set out on your dinner table while the butter is still cold.

Print RecipeBuy the Grow Harvest Cook cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This parsley butter was fabulous! Parsley. Butter. What's not to like? And it was a nice, easy recipe to make during a busy week. The parsley added a wonderful savory note, with a hint of green freshness, to the butter. I haven’t had a chance to do more than spread the butter on warm bread, but it elevated the bread to something sublime. I can’t wait to try this on fish. My teenaged son suggested we do parsley and basil in the next one. I see some killer garlic bread in our future this summer.

To shape the butter, I placed it in a line down the center of the parchment. I folded the paper over the butter and then used the side of a ruler to press the parchment against the butter. Then I pulled the paper toward me, compressing the butter and tightening the parchment against itself and the ruler. It worked beautifully to make a smooth, even log. This isn’t my idea, but one I saw on King Arthur Flour’s website. Just scroll down to “slice and bake.”

Well, this recipe isn't rocket science, but it's still a change from everyday butter, plus it looks pretty—and pretty is good! The first time I used this, I added it a pan along with some olive oil to brown some chicken. I didn't think it would make that big of a difference, but boy was I surprised when I turned the chicken over and there were all these flecks of green parsley on the nicely browned chicken skin! I also used it to flavor some brown rice, adding about a tablespoon butter to the brown rice which lent it instant flavor and color. It would be good on a nice steak—just plop a pat of the parsley butter on top as the meat is resting...yum! I really love the idea of compound butters as the possibilities are kind of endless. This version with parsley, salt, and pepper is definitely is a good one to keep on hand!

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