This Italian compound butter is packed with garlic, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes for an easy, flavor-filled spin on garlic butter.
Bread and butter will forever be one of my favorite appetizer/pre-dinner eats. I can do serious damage to a bread basket at a restaurant! And while I'll never say no to plain butter, flavored or compound butter takes the whole deal to the next level.
Garlic butter is a classic on the savory side, while honey butter cleans up on the sweet side. I like to add cinnamon to my honey butter, which you can see in action in these cinnamon raisin biscuits.
But this post is all about savory. Garlic butter gets an upgrade with even more Italian-inspired flavors, including fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes. Lots of flavor here!
This Italian butter uses VERY simple ingredients with some wiggle room built in. I tend to have more unsalted butter sticks on hand than salted, so that's what I use to make this butter. You can definitely use salted butter if you prefer. Just omit the additional salt added to the recipe.
My pick for the sun-dried tomatoes is the kind that comes packed in oil as they are perfectly moist and bring a ton of flavor right out of the jar. Just be sure to blot them well before dicing them and mixing them into this recipe.
Next comes fresh basil, also diced finely. Is there any better flavor? The butter mixture helps the basil retain its green coloring for days, so this recipe can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
What's left to add is four pressed cloves of garlic, a little ground black pepper, and salt, if not using salted butter. This compound butter is definitely on the bold side as far as flavor goes, so feel free to take it easy on any of the ingredients if you're not a super big fan of garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.
Easy recipe steps
Start by taking your butter out of the refrigerator to soften completely to room temperature. This makes it the easiest for mixing the other ingredients into it.
Once that's done, blot and dice the sun-dried tomatoes, press the garlic, dice the basil, and measure out the pepper and salt, if using. Then combine everything by stirring very well or using an electric hand/stand mixer until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
At this point you can transfer the Italian butter to a container and refrigerate, or you can form it into rolls for slicing later on. It just depends on your preference! I've included photos in this post of both ways.
Shaping the butter
To form a compound butter log, transfer it to a sheet of parchment paper and wrap the parchment paper around the butter to form it into a cylinder. Continue to wrap the butter log with the parchment, and then snugly wrap everything with plastic wrap. You can store the butter this way in the refrigerator OR in the freezer.
Sun-dried tomatoes shine in this artichoke and sun-dried tomato pesto recipe! While traditional basil will always be my #1 favorite, it's always nice to switch things up occasionally, you know?
Speaking of, this creamy pesto gnocchi combines so many delicious flavors all in a sub-30 minute dinner recipe. Perfect for weeknights! Cannellini beans and Italian sausage help give this one extra heft.
- If not serving this Italian compound butter to a crowd, I like portion it out into three smaller logs and freeze them. That way I can pull out a little at a time.
- Salted butter can be used, just omit the additional salt from the recipe.
Italian Compound Butter
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature [or salted, see note]
- 2 tablespoon finely-diced sun-dried tomatoes, drained and blotted dry
- 2 tablespoon finely-diced fresh basil
- 4 cloves pressed or finely-minced garlic about 2 teaspoons
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper or to taste
- Mix all ingredients together with a stand or hand mixer. Refrigerate in a covered container or shape into logs.
To shape into logs:
- Add combined butter to a sheet of parchment paper, then use the parchment to roll the butter into a cylinder shape. Wrap the log in the parchment paper, then wrap everything snugly with parchment paper. Refrigerate or freeze.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
For a milder garlic taste, you could probably use roasted garlic. It is soo good!
Great idea, Hanne. I'm glad you like it!
How long will this butter last in a jar in the refrigerator?
Hi Diana, it should last for up to a week, but if you know you're not going to be able to use it all by then, rolling it into small logs, wrapping them in parchment paper and then plastic wrap, and freezing them will preserve them longer. Then just transfer to the fridge to thaw when ready to use.
Can this be made with vegan butter?
Hi Tracy, I haven't tried this with vegan butter before but I think it would work! Taste-wise it should be just fine, and as long as it can soften out at room temperature and then harden up again in the fridge it should be all good.
Do you find that the basil browns after being put in the fridge? I'm trying to decide if I should make it the day of or can make it the day before Thanksgiving?
Hi Julia, the day before should be just fine! I haven't noticed it brown that quickly.