Garlic Scape Butter (Garlic Scape Compound Butter Recipe)

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This garlic scape butter recipe is an excellent way to add delicious garlic scape flavor to steaks, bread, eggs, warm pasta, and more!

For those few weeks in late spring, local gardeners and farmer’s market visitors will get the chance to eat fresh garlic scapes!

These delicious treats don’t last a long time, and this is one of the best ways to preserve their flavor for future use!

homemade garlic scape butter on a wooden cutting board.

What are garlic scapes?

The first thing people usually ask me about garlic scapes is, “what are those things?!”

These curly green stalks come from hardneck garlic plants. These garlic plants want to flower and go to seed in early summer. So, they send up these long skinny flower stalks to form a flower bud.

However, if the garlic scapes are allowed to flower, the plant will direct all its energy to the flower. Since we want the bulb of the garlic plant, we need to remove the scapes to make the plant focus on just growing the bulb.

The farmer will snap the curly scapes off the plant to use in recipes. Fortunately, this bonus harvest is absolutely delicious and an easy way to make use of the whole plant!

You’ll likely find some at your local farmers market, but it’s a short-season item, so don’t expect to see it for more than a couple of weeks.

Once you have garlic scapes, you can use them in so many different ways! I’m especially partial to garlic scape pesto and this garlic scape compound butter, but you can also pickle them or even dehydrate them for later!

Love garlic? Don’t miss this spicy garlic sauerkraut that adds a dose of garlicky goodness to every bite! This chive blossom butter is another great way to infuse butter with fresh herbs and lots of flavor! 


  • Delicious garlic flavor: Garlic scapes have a mild garlic flavor and are much less pungent than garlic cloves. I often compare them to garlicky green beans or garlicky asparagus. In this recipe, they give the butter an herby, garlicky flavor that tastes so good. You’ll end up going back for more and more!
  • Quick & easy: This is one of those simple recipes that taste way better than they should! It has just a handful of ingredients but is loaded with flavor.
  • Versatile: This delicious butter can be used in place of garlic butter, so think toast, garlic bread, scrambled eggs, melting over steak and more. So good!

Equipment

To make this homemade butter, you will need:

  • Food processor
  • Knife
  • Skillet
  • Stand or hand mixer (or a bowl)
  • Parchment or wax paper
fresh garlic scapes, lemon, and butter for garlic scape butter.

Ingredients

  • Butter: You’ll need 1 pound of softened butter. Azure Standard grass-fed butter is my absolute favorite, and it has the butteriest butter flavor I have ever had!
  • Raw garlic scapes: For this scape butter, you’ll need about 3-4 garlic scapes. This is about half of a bunch from the farmers market.
  • Sea salt: Add sea salt or kosher salt to taste. In this simple recipe, a high-quality salt can really shine through.
  • Lemon zest: Optional. Lemon zest brings forward so many flavors. In this garlic scape butter, a little zest really brightens it up!
trimming garlic scapes to make herb butter.

How to Trim Garlic Scapes

If your scapes are fresh from the garden, chances are that they’re tender in both the stem and the flower bulb. In this situation, you can eat the entire scape – no trimming necessary.

These scapes were about a week old by the time I got to them, and I noticed that the stalks were becoming really firm and the flowers were drying out.

Neither of those would be pleasant to eat in the butter, so I trimmed them off.

You can see that I trimmed the flowers just under the bulb, and I removed several inches of the stem until I reached a tender, juicy section.

fresh garlic scapes close up.
Trim off any dry or hard sections of your scapes; you only want to use tender pieces in this compound butter.

How to Make Garlic Scape Butter

  1. Set out your butter at room temperature until completely soft.
  2. Rinse and dry your whole garlic scapes. Then, rough chop them into 2-3 inch pieces directly into the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Pulse the scapes until they are small pieces. It may take a moment; keep going.
  4. Add the garlic scapes to the bowl of your stand mixer or bowl.
  5. Using a paddle attachment, run the mixer on low to fully integrate the scapes and herbs.
  6. If you’re using unsalted butter, add a sprinkle of salt while the butter is mixing. If you’re using salted butter, skip this step.
  7. Once the butter is fully mixed, place it on a wax paper or parchment. Carefully tuck the edge closest to you over the log. Roll the log of butter up until you’ve used the whole sheet of parchment paper. Twist the ends of the roll of butter like candy. Follow this step again with the remaining butter.
  8. Allow to cool in the fridge. Eat fresh within a week or store in the freezer in an airtight container like a freezer bag for 6 months or longer.
how to make garlic scape compound butter step by step.
garlic scape compound butter being rolled into a log.

Storing

Fridge: To preserve this garlic scape compound butter recipe for later, be sure to store it in the fridge in an airtight container, like a small jar. It will last for 1-2 weeks. 

Freezer: For longer term storage, store it in the freezer for 2-3 months or longer. 

How to Use Garlic Scape Compound Butter

Think of this as garlic herb butter. Where would you like a kick of garlicky herby deliciousness?

  • Serve over a perfectly grilled steak
  • Melt on top of a delicious baked potato
  • Spread on fresh bread, top with parmesan cheese, and bake for the best garlic bread
  • Melt in your skillet before making scrambled eggs
  • Rub on the outside of your grilled cheese sandwich before griddling
  • Serve over your next fresh pasta dish with wilted greens
  • Place under the skin of your next roast chicken

My favorite way to use this is to spread it on the sides of a slice of honey wheat sourdough and toast it up until brown! Top with an over-easy egg and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Absolutely delicious!

Tips & Variations

  • Want more? Double the recipe and freeze the extra for later!
  • You can make this recipe in a bowl or a mixer. If you use a mixer, you’ll have a smoother, fluffier butter.
  • This recipe would be wonderful with fresh herbs, like fresh basil or parsley! Feel free to add some chopped green onion if you have some around. 
  • Think of this butter as a treat or a luxury item. It’s a very simple recipe, so you want each component to be the best it can be. Those delicious garlic scapes deserve the best butter you can find.
  • You could use a piece of plastic wrap to roll the garlic scape butter. However, we do not own or use plastic wrap due to its environmental issues. Parchment or wax paper is a better alternative. If you’re looking for a totally zero-waste solution, you can scoop the butter onto your silicone baking sheet or in a mini-muffin pan and place it in the fridge or freezer to cool in little half mounds. Once firm, remove to your silicone bag to store in the freezer or store in a glass storage container in the fridge.

Compound butters are easier to spread and tastier at room temperature, so let your butter come to room temperature before serving!

closeup shot of garlic scape butter on a slice of baguette.

FAQs

What does a garlic scape look like?

Garlic scapes look like long, curly green beans that suddenly bulb out and then come to a pointy tip on one end. They are hard to find at a grocery store, so look for their vibrant green color at local farmer’s markets!

What do garlic scapes taste like?

Garlic scapes come from growing hard-neck varieties of garlic, so the flavor is distinctly garlicky. However, they are much more mild, delicate, and fresh tasting than the pungent bulbs. They are an excellent addition or substitution to dishes where you want to use garlic, green onions, scallions, and other herbs. Savory and fresh!

What flavors go well with garlic scapes?

Garlic is such a useful and versatile flavor, and garlic scapes are no different. Garlic scapes go really well in dishes containing meat, vegetables, fish, and other herbs for a mild garlic flavor.

What’s the best type of butter for compound butter?

My favorite butter is this one from Azure Standard. It is the butteriest butter I have ever had! Some other good alternatives would be locally sourced pastured butter or unsalted Kerrygold grass-fed butter from Costco.

Do you need to cook scapes for scape butter?

You certainly can, but you don’t need to! Raw scapes will have a stronger flavor so if you prefer a mild garlic flavor, you can sautee the scapes for a few minutes to soften them up. Be sure to let them cool to room temperature before mixing them with your butter.

Related Recipes

If you love making your own herb butter and cooking from scratch, don’t miss these recipes!

garlic scape compound butter
overhead shot of garlic scape butter on a wooden cutting board.

Garlic Scape Compound Butter

Preserve the delicious flavor of garlic scapes for later by making this easy garlic scape compound butter! Perfect over steaks, pasta, baked potatoes, and plenty more.
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Food preservation
Cuisine American, French
Servings 16 servings
Calories 106 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces of high-quality room temperature butter
  • 3-4 garlic scapes
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested

Instructions
 

  • Set out your butter at room temperature until completely soft.
  • Rinse and dry your garlic scapes. Then, cut them into 2-3 inch pieces directly into the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse the scapes until they are small pieces. It may take a moment; just keep going.
  • Add the scapes, butter, and lemon zest to the bowl of your stand mixer or a bowl. Using a paddle attachment, run the mixer on low to fully integrate the ingredients.
  • If you're using unsalted butter, add a sprinkle of salt while the butter is mixing. If you're using salted butter, skip this step.
  • Once the butter is fully mixed, portion out half of the mixture onto a piece of wax paper or parchment. Carefully tuck the edge closest to you over the log. Roll the log of butter up until you've used the whole sheet of parchment paper. Twist the ends of the roll of butter like candy. Follow this step again with the remaining butter.
  • Allow to chill in the fridge. Eat fresh within a week or store in the freezer in an airtight container like freezer bag for 6 months or longer.

Notes

Store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for 6 months or longer.
  • Want more? Double the recipe and freeze the extra for later!
  • You can make this recipe in a bowl or a mixer. If you use a mixer, you’ll have a smoother, fluffier butter.
  • This recipe would be wonderful with fresh herbs, like fresh basil or parsley! Feel free to add some chopped green onion if you have some around. 
  • Think of this butter as a treat or a luxury item. It’s a very simple recipe, so you want each component to be the best it can be. Those delicious garlic scapes deserve the best butter you can find.
  • You could use a piece of plastic wrap to roll the garlic scape butter.  Parchment or wax paper is a better alternative. If you’re looking for a totally zero-waste solution, you can scoop the butter onto your silicone baking sheet or in a mini-muffin pan and place it in the fridge or freezer to cool in little half mounds. Once firm, remove to your silicone bag to store in the freezer or store in a glass storage container in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbspCalories: 106kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.3gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 92mgPotassium: 4mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.04gVitamin A: 354IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword garlic scape butter, garlic scape compound butter, garlic scapes, scape compound butter
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to leave a star rating!

Did you try this garlic scape butter recipe?

What’d you think? I love making this recipe every year during scape season and hope it becomes a new favorite food preservation project for you, too!

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5 Comments

  1. You did a wonderful job documenting your recipe. A simple flavored butter than can be used for so many dishes.
    Happy Weekend!

    1. Thanks so much! I love this compound butter and it’s easy to tweak it to whichever herbs or ingredients you have on hand. Thanks for visiting!

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