Recipes > Tarragon & Shallot Compound Butter

Tarragon & Shallot Compound Butter


Compound butter is a great way to add flavor to many dishes...from grilled meats to corn on the cob.
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Views: 67,050
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Mise en Place

Preparing the Mise en Place
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter (1 cup or 2 sticks)
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 1 to 2 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


To make compound butter, the butter shouldn’t be very soft; otherwise, it is too hard to shape. If it is really cold, cut the butter into small cubes and let it warm up a bit at room temperature. Place the butter into a small bowl and blend with a wooden spoon just until smooth. Set aside.

Finely mince the shallots, chives, and tarragon and place into the bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir gently to evenly combine.

Step 2: Rolling the Butter

Rolling the Butter


To roll the butter, lay a large piece of plastic wrap onto the counter top. Scoop the butter mixture out of the bowl and place onto the plastic wrap. Roughly shape into a log, about 1"- to 1 1/2" -inches round. Wrap the plastic carefully around the log and roll to seal. Twist the plastic on each end in opposite directions, so the butter becomes compressed. Tie each end of the plastic wrap into a knot and place into the refrigerator until completely chilled.

Once ready to use, remove the plastic wrap and cut the cold butter into thin pieces. Place over grilled steaks, meats, or cooked vegetables.

Chef's Notes

Any combination of herbs, spices, citrus zest, and seasonings can be added to compound butter. Compound butters are easy to make and will add extra flavor and a special touch to many dishes.


  • Elmira Z
    Elmira Z
    very tasty-by the way :)
  • Mansoor K
    Mansoor K
    I would like to make this compound butter but where I am, we don't have shallots, chives and terragon. please advice on the best alternative substitutes. we have only regular onions, spring onions, and for herbs sometimes parsely and cilantro
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    The ingredients and combinations used to make compound butters are endless. While shallots are very common, if you do not have them, you can try adding a little onion. Same goes for the tarragon or chives. Basically, if you do not have certain ingredients simply substitute them for another. You might also want to try making a different kind of compound butter (based on the ingredients you have). Also, here is a video on Making Compound Butter, that you may find helpful. Cheers!
  • Mark L
    Mark L
    With a little lemon or orange zest this is a great topping to a lobster tail! Absolutely delicious. I served it with some grilled corn and some grilled steak fries. You will be mopping up the last remnant of butter with the corn and potatoes.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Oh sure, those are excellent flavors to pair with seafood. You can make compounds butter reflect any flavor profile, so next time try butter with smoked chipotle chiles for Mexican style corn. Enjoy!
  • Heather H
    Heather H
    Ohh! love that idea! I'll have as many butters as I have salts! LOL
  • Nancy K
    Nancy K
    Can you put dry spices rather than fresh ones, and how long would the compound butter keep? Can you freeze them?
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Nancy - and thanks for your question. So you can use dried herbs for the compound butter if you wish but fresh herbs will provide more flavor and harmony in the final product. You can freeze the butter - I would suggest wrapping first in wax paper and then plastic wrap. I'd say the butter will be ok for around 6 months in the freezer and around a week in the fridge. I hope this helps - thanks for cooking with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Sunnie S
    Sunnie S
    Made this butter to use with the Butterflied Roast Chicken recipe (also used the Basic Brine recipe). The butter was easy to make and tasted fantastic! I'm not the biggest fan of tarragon, so I only used about 1 TSP (rather than 1-2 TBLS). Thanks Rouxbe!
  • Zoie H
    Zoie H
    Is a shallot a clove, or the head? If a recipe says 1 shallot, does that mean both pieces encompassed in the "wrapper?"
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Zoie, That is the age-old question! Especially since they can vary in size quite a bit. A shallot would be 1 piece, sometimes there are 2 attached to each other. Of course, some of this is by preference due to sizing so..., in most recipes, you know how much you like. I hope this helps and doesn't confuse further! Cheers, Sandy

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.