Parmesan-Basil Butter Recipe

Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Combining herbs and aromatics with butter creates the world's simplest sauce for grilled seafood, meat, and vegetables.

A compound butter flavored with Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, and lemon. Use it on grilled meat, vegetables, or seafood.

Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serves: 10 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces; 115g), softened

  • 1/4 cup (about 10g) packed fresh basil leaves

  • 3/4 ounce (20g) finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice plus 2 teaspoons (10ml) zest from 1 lemon

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine butter, basil, Parmesan, lemon juice and zest, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor (see note) and pulse until garlic and herbs are chopped and lemon juice is incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Wrap butter tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for several months.

Special Equipment

Food processor (see note)


Instead of using a food processor, you can mince the basil and garlic by hand and incorporate all of the ingredients using a fork in a bowl.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
92 Calories
10g Fat
1g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 92
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 13mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)