Dress up your steaks, holiday turkey, savory baked goods and so much more with homemade Cajun butter! This delicious compound butter recipe is easy to make with just four ingredients and has so many uses!
Cajun Herb Butter Recipe
As someone who lived in Louisiana for 6 years, I absolutely adore it when I can bring those flavors to my table.
Whether it’s teaching my kids about the foods we eat or introducing new dishes to friends, it’s so important to me to tell the stories of our foods.
This year for Thanksgiving, I’m making a Cajun turkey, and I can’t wait.
We slather the flavorful butter under the skin, rubbing the bird head-to-toe with Cajun herb butter. It brings a LOT of flavor and a subtle kick of spice. As it roasts, the compound butter melts into the meat, making it so juicy and tender.
The last time I made this, I made a double batch, and boy, did it go far. We enjoyed this compound butter on our weekend ribeye steaks, on our morning biscuits and on garlic bread for spaghetti night.
Why I love this recipe:
Cajun Butter is so delicious, and I think you’re going to fall in love with it because…
- Compound butter is so stinkin’ easy to make.
- It’s so versatile and can be used to bring flavor to meats, veggies, bread recipes and more.
- You can make it ahead of time. It is still good even if you freeze it months before an event!
What is compound butter?
Compound butter is the name for butter that has been softened, mixed with herbs and spices, then packed back into a mold for later.
Seasoned butters are an excellent way to add flavor to meat dishes, vegetables, savory breads and more.
This Cajun compound butter is very similar to both of these recipes.
Let’s talk about what you’ll need to grab from the store and how to make it…
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- Food storage container or plastic wrap, to form into a log shape
- Ramekins, for serving tableside
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Butter–I prefer unsalted so I can season it to my liking. This is also important if your Cajun seasoning has added salt. Most do. Remember, the butter needs to be softened to room temperature so we can work with it!
- Cajun seasoning–my favorite is Slap Ya Mama seasoning blend, which you can find at most grocery stores or order online. Feel free to use your favorite though! Most Cajun seasonings contain salt. If yours is salt-free, you should add some salt to taste.
- Fresh parsley–fresh herbs give off tons of flavor and will work better than dried herbs in compound butter.
- Minced garlic–freshly minced, please and thank you. If the pre-minced stuff is part of your cooking journey, awesome. But I will say that fresh garlic that you mince yourself will have a stronger flavor.
Creole vs. Cajun Seasoning
Though Creole and Cajun food both come from Louisiana, they are NOT the same!
These are two cuisines and cultures that have very different histories dating back to different groups of people.
Broadly speaking, the Creole people are the descendants of those who inhabited colonial Louisiana during both the French and Spanish rules. Many spoke—and still speak—French and Spanish, as well as a language known as Louisiana Creole.
Cajuns are an ethnic group that lives in Southwest Louisiana. They are also known as Acadians and are known for their unique French dialect, music, culture and cuisine.
The Acadians were expelled from what are now the Canadian Maritime provinces during the 1700s during the Great Expulsion. They came to Louisiana and settled in the Acadiana region, which is west of the Mississippi River.
When it comes to cooking, Allrecipes offers a good rule of thumb: Cajun food is more rustic, while Creole food is more refined. That being said, Cajun food can be elevated and Creole food can be more rustic.
Cajun seasoning—which we will use to make this herb butter — includes heat from red pepper, plus salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
Creole seasoning usually includes spicy red pepper and herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, and bay leaf. Feel free to use Creole seasoning* (affiliate link), but make sure you call it Creole butter instead!
How to make Cajun Butter
Cajun butter is so easy to make! Let’s get into the steps involved.
First, soften your butter. I usually just put two sticks on the counter the night before, but if you forgot, here’s a tutorial for softening butter.
Then get out a large bowl and combine the two sticks of softened butter with the Cajun seasoning, parsley and minced garlic.
Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the butter with the ingredients until incorporated.
If you don’t have a mixer, you can use a biscuit cutter, whisk or wooden spoon. But whatever you do, don’t use your hands, as you will melt the butter.
You can use it right away or make this compound butter for turkey to use later.
How to store & freeze herb butter
If you’re planning to use it later, transfer the butter to an airtight, food-safe container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It can also be frozen for up to 4 months if frozen before the “use by” date on the package.
Just let the Cajun butter come to room temperature before serving or anything that involves spreading. If you are cooking and need it melted, you can use it cold.
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
- Make your compound butter in advance. You can freeze butter for up to 3 months! Just let it thaw before serving it or cooking with it.
- For big parties, serve your compound butter in ramekins and place them around the table so that people don’t have to constantly ask for one butter dish!
- Always set your Cajun Butter out before cooking or serving so that it is soft and spreadable.
- Have regular butter available for folks to use in case they are sensitive to spice. It’s always nice to be accommodating for others! A dairy-free or vegan option is great to have for guests as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cajun butter is a compound butter made from Cajun seasoning, fresh parsley, fresh garlic and unsalted butter that have been creamed together.
Prepared Cajun butter keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge or frozen for up to 4 months if frozen before the “use by” date on the package.
Cajun butter sauce uses melted butter, Cajun seasoning, parsley and garlic.
Melt the butter on the stove then incorporate the seasonings and saute for about a minute. (But not too long — this isn’t brown butter!)
Then pour the sauce on fish, veggies, potatoes or anything that sounds good!
Quick tips and tricks to making the best Cajun butter
- Don’t use your fingers! Keep the butter away from heat sources while you make it so that it doesn’t melt. A mixer or biscuit cutter is a much better choice.
- Use fresh garlic and parsley. Fresh ingredients always make a big difference!
- Use unsalted butter so you can control the saltiness. If your Cajun seasoning is salt-free, you will want to add some salt to taste. Use a fine salt like sea salt or kosher salt.
- If you are sensitive to spice, you can use a little less Cajun seasoning. Add a little bit of mild chili powder to bring some more flavor with less heat.
What to serve with Cajun butter:
Cajun butter is absolutely jam-packed with flavors. Keep in mind that it’s packed with spices, which might be too much for some.
Cajun butter would be amazing on homemade Cajun garlic bread or baked potatoes. Serve it with a Cajun pasta like Cajun Chicken Alfredo. You could also melt it and toss some pasta in it as a Cajun butter sauce.
Spread it on biscuits or other savory carbs. Our favorites are these butter biscuits.
Homemade Cajun Butter
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (2 sticks)
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Combine the two sticks of softened butter with the Cajun seasoning, parsley and minced garlic in a large bowl.
- Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the butter with the ingredients until incorporated.
- Transfer to a food storage container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Let come to room temperature before rubbing onto the turkey.