This viral Cowboy Butter can be served fresh out of the fridge in a slab that will sizzle over a hot steak, melted for a succulent shrimp dipping sauce, or slathered onto bread for the most savory and scrumptious garlic bread.
No matter how you use this versatile sauce, once you’ve made it, you’ll be putting this recipe on repeat.
TikTok Cowboy Butter
Cowboy Butter is a type of compound butter — it’s basically garlic butter taken up a few notches. In addition to garlicky goodness, it’s spicy and bright and incorporates a variety of different herbs, too.
This upgraded butter is the perfect accompaniment to something as simple as dinner rolls to a perfectly grilled ribeye steak or even sauteed veggies or in our red wine mushroom sauce. You’ll want to keep this roll of butter in your fridge so you can use it anytime you’re feeling like making your meal just a little more special.
What is Homemade Cowboy Butter Sauce?
Cowboy butter is a simple blend of standard butter with fresh herbs, spices, aromatics, and citrus. It’s absolutely amazing on steak, chicken, pork, seafood or veggies but you can add a pat (or more!) to nearly anything for an instant meal upgrade.
We love to put a generous helping of this butter on top of a just-off-the-grill steak or piece of chicken while it’s resting. But it’s also perfect tossed with pasta or melted over steamed vegetables.
Why You’ll Love This Cowboy Butter Recipe
If you like the idea of being able to easily add tons of flavor to your proteins and veggies on the fly, you’re going to love this beautiful butter.
- Easy: It takes just a couple of steps to whip up this butter that packs a punch of flavor no matter what you add it to.
- Customizable: Swap ingredients in or out to make this your own signature butter.
- Versatile: You can use this to elevate nearly any savory meal.
These simple ingredients, found at any grocery store, come together to make a butter that’s exploding with flavor.
- Unsalted butter: Allowing the butter to come to room temperature will help make it easier to mix with the other ingredients. You can use store-bought butter, or you can make your own homemade butter.
- Lemon zest: Using zest imparts more concentrated flavor than juice.
- Fresh garlic: You can press or grate the garlic cloves, but be sure that it is fine so it can be evenly dispersed when mixing. While fresh minced garlic is best, you can also use garlic powder in a pinch.
- Fresh parsley: Parsley adds vibrant flavor to the butter.
- Fresh chives: Chives impart a subtle onion-like flavor. You can also use a small shallot instead.
- Dijon mustard: Tangy and earthy, Dijon mustard adds complex flavor to the butter.
- Coarse kosher salt: Bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients, kosher salt also adds texture.
- Smoked paprika: This variety of paprika adds a smoky flavor.
- Crushed red pepper flakes: Red pepper imparts a deliciously spicy kick and a touch of texture.
- Cayenne pepper: Add a little bit more heat with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
What To Serve Cowboy Butter With
How to Make Cowboy Butter
You’re just two steps away from a butter that will elevate anything from beef and chicken to veggies and pasta.
- Mix. Add all of the ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and manually mix together the ingredients using a fork or spoon. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, a food processor, or an electric mixer.
- Chill. Transfer the butter mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate. Or, roll the mixture into a log and wrap with parchment paper or wax paper.
Variations on this Cowboy Butter Sauce Recipe
The fun part about this butter is how many different ways you can change it up to make it your own.
- Pickles: Mix in sweet pickle relish or pickle juice.
- Hot sauce: Add a few dashes of hot sauce for spicy butter. Adjust for your own personal preference on the level of spiciness.
- Mustard: Swap out some of all of the Dijon for a different type of mustard, like horseradish, creole, spicy brown, or yellow mustard.
- Citrus juice: Add a splash or two of fresh lemon juice or lime juice.
- Lime zest: Replace some or all of the lime zest with lemon zest.
- Pepper: Adding some fresh black pepper will add a gentle heat to the butter.
Keep this butter tucked away in the fridge or freezer for any time you want to upgrade your meal.
Make Ahead: Since it needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour, you can make this butter ahead of time and use it when you’re ready.
Refrigerator: Store leftover cowboy butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Freezer: Freeze the butter for up to 3 months in a resealable freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
Common Questions About Cowboy Butter
With a base of unsalted butter, this compound butter also has garlic, citrus, mustard, herbs, and spices.
The rumored origin of the savory sauce is Mr. Donahue’s, which was a diner in New York that served up southern-inspired meals.
Other Savory Sauces
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, room temperture
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest about 1 lemon
- 4-5 cloves garlic pressed or grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the butter, lemon, garlic, parsley, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. This works best to mash with a fork or the back of a spoon. You can also combine it using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer.
- Place the butter in an airtight container or roll into a log on parchment or wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.