compound butter cheeseburger

Compound Butter Cheeseburger

It was National Cheeseburger Day a few weeks ago.  Somehow, I managed to miss it, but celebrating with a compound butter cheeseburger is something you can do any day.  Who needs a holiday?

Compound butter is just a fancy way of saying that you take butter, soften it a bit, and then add other ingredients. Mix them all together and you have compound butter. Once you’ve got that, you add it to your ground beef, form your burger, and start cooking.

There are two good reasons to use compound butters.  The first reason is that it adds extra flavor. And, you can change the flavors by adding different ingredients to the butter (lemon, parsley and garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, a dash of cayenne, hot sauce, whatever you like).

The second reason is that it keeps your burger moist and delicious.  It won’t dry out as much if you overcook it a bit.

It’s pretty easy to do and fun to play with.

I served it on a fresh potato roll, but you can use a standard burger bun or a kaiser roll,  or even an English muffin if you prefer.

Cheeseburger with Compound Butter

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 13 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: American

one serving

compound butter cheeseburger

Cheeseburger with compound butter.


  • 1T butter, softened
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • pinch dried basil
  • pinch tarragon
  • 4 oz. chopped beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one slice provolone cheese (or other good melting cheese)
  • potato roll (or whatever roll you prefer)


  1. Remove the butter from the fridge and let it sit for half an hour or so to soften (or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds).
  2. Take a slice of provolone cheese, and let it sit on the counter to get to room temperature.
  3. Once the butter is soft, mix in the garlic, basil and tarragon.
  4. Add the butter mixture to the ground beef, season with salt and pepper and form into a patty.
  5. Heat the pan on high heat. Cook on one side for three minutes, then turn over and cook for another three minutes (medium-rare). Add the cheddar cheese and cook another minute or two until it melts.
  6. Remove the burger from the pan and let it rest for a minute.
  7. Place burger on roll and enjoy!


If you're using grass-fed beef, the instructions are a bit different. In that case, add about a teaspoon or two of olive oil to the pan.

Sear the burger on one side, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for three minutes. Turn the burger over, and cook another three minutes. Then add the cheese and cook for a minute. Let the burger rest for two-three minutes before you eat it.

Grass-fed beef has to be cooked slower and on a lower flame than standard beef. It's lower in fat, so you need to add some oil.

Substitutions and Variations

  • I’ve used garlic, basil, and tarragon in my compound butter, but you can use any herbs you like.
  • Or, you can kick it up a notch with some cayenne or sriracha.
  • Replace the garlic with a few sun dried tomatoes.
  • Make a quick aioli (mayonnaise, garlic, salt, pepper, a splash of olive oil, and a bit of lemon juice), or add crisp bacon.

Tools and Ingredients for this Recipe

Norpro Porcelain 3-Ounce Ramekins, Set of 6

These are extremely handy. I use them to soften the butter (without having an entire extra pan to clean).  They are also great for serving condiments or sauces on the side.  I even have a larger one that I use as a mini sugar bowl. They’re safe to use in the oven and the microwave.

More Recipes with Ground Beef

Sloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

Easy Italian Meatball Recipe for One

Small Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

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