This Cowboy Butter Sauce Recipe is like a zesty garlic herb butter, but even better! It's loaded up with fresh herbs, spices, shallots, lemon juice, and zest, and it goes perfectly on nearly any protein you can think of, like a juicy ribeye or shrimp!
Want to jazz up some steaks or chicken? This cowboy butter recipe is truly irresistible, and it's made with super simple ingredients. It's really easy to put together and is one of our favorite ways to enhance meals.
❤️Why you'll love this
- Simple ingredients. Just pull out a few spices from the cabinet, and grab a few other kitchen staples from the fridge or your local grocery store. This recipe is super simple.
- Quick & easy. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make, and it's a very impactful buttery dipping sauce!
- No special equipment is needed. All you need is a small bowl, a sharp knife, and a whisk. Nothing special needed to
- Packed with flavor. Tangy, zingy, herbaceous, lemony, with a kick of heat, and lots of buttery goodness. What could go wrong?!
- Suitable for multiple diet types. This recipe is naturally gluten-free, and low in carbs. You can also make it vegan with a few simple swaps.
Here are the ingredients we used for this recipe. You can find more information for substitutions below.
- Salted butter - Adds the best flavor to this recipe. You can use room temperature or softened butter, or you can melt it for a smoother consistency in the sauce.
- Lemon juice and lemon zest
- Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes & smoked paprika - For a little bit of heat and smokiness.
- Worcestershire sauce - Optional but highly recommended for depth of flavor.
- Fresh shallots & garlic
- Fresh herbs - We chose fresh parsley, cilantro, green onions & thyme. You can use some dried ingredients instead, and feel free to swap in your favorite herbs in place of the ones we used.
Visit the recipe card for the full quantities and nutritional information.
✨Substitutions & variations
Here are a few suggestions on additional flavors to try, or simple variations to this recipe.
- Chives. Use chives in place of green onions if you like.
- Dried seasonings. Although we love using fresh herbs. Feel free to use dried if you prefer.
- Add more seasonings. You can add a dash of your favorite hot sauce, or swap in your favorite spices like chili powder or chipotle.
- Add different herbs. Feel free to add in herbs like dill, basil, rosemary, and more.
- Dairy free. You can use dairy free butter in place of regular butter for a dairy free option.
- Vegan. Use dairy-free butter, and use a vegan Worcestershire sauce.
- Thicker sauce. Don't melt the butter, but instead, let it soften at room temperature for about an hour so that it becomes pliable. Add the ingredients and mix together with a spoon or rubber spatula.
- Compound butter. Follow all of the steps to make a thicker sauce above, then, roll the mixture in plastic wrap to create a tube-like shape, and refrigerate for a few hours until hardened. Add slices on top of proteins when serving.
- Mince garlic, and shallots.
- Clean herbs, and mince those as well.
- Measure out all remaining ingredients.
Melt butter and add to a mixing bowl. (Image 1)
Add the chopped parsley, thyme, green onions, and cilantro. (Image 2)
Add in the lemon zest, juice, and Worcestershire sauce (Image 3) followed by the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne, dijon, garlic, and shallots. (Image 4)
Whisk together, adjust seasonings, and enjoy! This sauce gets better over time, as the flavors meld together.
Place butter on top of meat, like the perfect steak. You can also serve with these air fryer fingerling potatoes or any vegetables.
✨Tips & tricks
- Use salted butter. This is one of the times that we advocate for using salted butter in a recipe. It will help every bite be a little seasoned without having to add much more.
- Season to taste. Taste the butter as you go, and add more seasonings according to your preferences.
- Finely mince the garlic, shallots, and herbs. This will ensure there's a little bit of everything in each bite.
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💭Frequently asked questions
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. This butter can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
More recipes to try
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- 8 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1 whole lemon, juice and zest
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
- 1 tablespoon green onions, minced
- 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper (or to taste)
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk. Adjust seasonings to taste. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until time to use. The flavors will develop over time.
- Serve with steak, chicken, shrimp, pork, or fish. Enjoy!
- This recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
- Add seasonings, and herbs to taste. Anything is interchangeable in this sauce.
- Feel free to use softened butter instead of melted butter for a thicker butter sauce.
This recipe has been adapted from EatWell 101.