Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter

Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter adds flavor and depth to whatever poultry you’re baking this year! Calling for fresh herbs, garlic and butter, this compound butter is easy to make at home. This seasoned butter for turkey or chicken is perfect for any gathering this holiday season.

Blended herb butter in a glass bowl on a blue striped towel surrounded by fresh sage and rosemary

I am so excited about this Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter recipe.

Why? You can use it for so many things, and it’s perfect for a holiday turkey, whether you’re roasting one for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday gathering.

It includes some of my favorite herbs, too, and just infuses so much flavor into whatever you use it on.

Why I love this recipe

Whether you’re roasting a whole turkey this holiday season, making a turkey breast for the first time or simply roasting a whole chicken (or chicken breasts or thighs!), this Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter is flavoring perfection!

The garlic adds such a potent punch and plays well with both the fresh rosemary and sage.

The combination of ingredients is perfect for poultry. After all, sage is a perennial favorite when it comes to roasting whole birds. (Hello, Browned Butter Sage Turkey.)

Quite honestly, this recipe is a standout, no matter what you’re using it for.

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    Butter, herbs, salt and pepper and garlic in separate bowls on a blue striped towel

    What you need to make herb butter

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    You’re also going to need some ingredients:

    • Unsalted butter—since we’re adding salt to this homemade compound butter, we don’t want the butter to already be salted
    • Garlic
    • Kosher salt and black pepper
    • Fresh rosemary
    • Fresh sage

    You can find fresh herbs in most grocery stores in the refrigerated vegetable section, oftentimes near the fresh greens, like spinach and romaine. You can also occasionally find bunches of them, too, if you need a lot!

    How do you make herb butter from scratch?

    Measure the room temperature unsalted butter into a bowl with the chopped garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and sage.

    Use a rubber spatula or a hand mixer to blend the ingredients together until combined. (Alternately, you could throw the ingredients into the base of your food processor and blend them together that way, too, if you would prefer smaller chunks of everything in your butter.)

    When mixed, spread immediately on the exterior of poultry, like turkey or chicken, as well as beneath the skin, and bake.

    You can also store this in a food storage container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks before using.

    How to use this Herb Butter for Turkey or Chicken

    We’ve used this Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter as a rub for chicken and turkey breast in previous weeks, and it infuses amazing flavor into the bird, like this Herb Butter Turkey Breast!

    The key is getting the butter beneath the skin of the poultry, as well as all over the skin, so that the flavors really soak into the meat and crisp up the skin.

    To get the butter beneath the skin, you can use a butter knife or even your fingers.

    Start at the top of the turkey breast (or the bottom of the breast—wherever the skin is loosest and where you can get this process started.)

    When you have an opening, slide your knife/fingers between the skin and the meat. Do this part gently, as you want to loosen the skin but not make it to where it comes all the way off.

    As the skin releases from the meat, slide the knife or your fingers farther in, creating a pocket above the breast. Essentially, we want to create a pocket above each turkey breast that you can easily smear this herb butter rub into.

    When you’ve created these pockets, smear the herb butter beneath the turkey/chicken skin, as well as on top of the skin and inside the cavities of the bird. You can season with additional black pepper, though I don’t think it’s necessary since the herb butter has so much flavor in it.

    Bake the bird accordingly, and enjoy a juicy, delicious feast when it’s cooked through!

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    If you’re roasting a whole chicken or a turkey (or even a turkey breast) to impress guests, infuse extra flavor in it with this Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter!

    The herb butter for turkey is incredibly simple to put together, and it adds amazing flavors to the bird.

    Here are a few things you can do to make your entertaining even easier:

    • Purchase your ingredients in advance. Make note of how big your chicken or turkey is. This is going to determine how much herb butter you’ll need. (As a rule, we use a tablespoon of herb butter per pound of meat.)
    • Make the herb butter in advance, too.
    • Let the Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter come to room temperature before roasting your poultry. Why? It’s easier to spread if it’s at room temperature, and it will spread more evenly, too.
    • Use a meat thermometer! (*affiliate link) This will ensure your turkey or chicken is cooked perfectly!
    Roasted Herb Butter Turkey Breast surrounded by holiday side dishes on a marble table

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much herb butter do I use on my chicken or turkey?

    As a rule, we use a tablespoon of herb butter per pound.

    How long can you keep herb butter?

    This herb butter lasts in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks easily.

    How do you use compound butter?

    We use this compound butter as a flavoring agent for poultry!

    You could also use this herb butter to spread on fresh bread. If using this for bread, though, I would leave out the fresh sage, as that’s not an herb I recommend using if it’s going to be uncooked.

    Can you buy garlic herb butter?

    I’m sure there are places where you can purchase pre-made garlic herb butter, hopefully this recipe will prove to you that it can easily be made at home and customized to your tastebuds!

    What herb goes best with garlic?

    Lots of herbs go wonderfully with garlic! This herb butter calls for fresh sage and fresh rosemary, and it sings with fall flavors!

    Close up of roasted turkey breast with herb butter on a silver platter

    Quick tips and tricks for the best Herb Butter for Turkey

    • Make it ahead of time. Since butter stores easily in the fridge, you can mix up this compound butter days in advance.
    • Let it come to room temperature before you use it! About 1-2 hours before you’re rubbing this herb butter on your turkey or chicken, remove it from the fridge, and let it warm up. It’ll spread a lot easier that way!
    • Give your bird time to roast. I’m an impatient baker when it comes to poultry, but it needs time. So start your poultry with more than enough time to roast, and be sure to let it rest before slicing so that the juices don’t run out of it! Follow my recipe for Herb Butter Turkey Breast here.
    Blended herb butter in a glass bowl on a blue striped towel surrounded by fresh sage and rosemary
    Yield: 10 tablespoons compound butter

    Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 10 minutes

    Rosemary Garlic Herb Butter adds flavor and depth to whatever poultry you’re baking this year! Calling for fresh herbs, garlic and butter, this compound butter is easy to make at home. This seasoned butter for turkey or chicken is perfect for any gathering this holiday season.


    • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 6 cloves garlic, chopped (1 tablespoon when chopped)
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage


    1. Measure all ingredients into a large bowl.
    2. Stir together with a rubber spatula or use a hand mixer to blend until combined.
    3. Smear on poultry before baking (make sure to get under the skin!), and enjoy!


    We use about 1 tablespoon of this herb butter per pound of poultry. So if you’re roasting a 16 lb. turkey, you will want to double this recipe to have enough!

    This recipe is great for turkey or chicken.

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    Nutrition Information:


    10 tablespoons

    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 425mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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