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Best Garlic Scape Compound Butter with Lemon and Herbs

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This garlic scape compound butter with lemon and fresh herbs is the perfect way to enjoy the long-awaited scapes on just about everything. It is simple to make and loaded with flavor!

a roll of garlic scape compound butter with fresh garlic scapes next to it.

When garlic scape season comes around, I love to figure out how to enjoy them in everything I possibly can. These unique green vegetables have a mild garlic flavor and this time of year, they are plentiful! While it’s hard to choose a favorite way to use them, compound butter is certainly at the top of the list.

This garlic scape compound butter recipe brings together lots of flavors of early summer in one creamy, salty package. It tastes great on everything from toast to potatoes and is sure to make every meal extra delicious.

What are Garlic Scapes?

Garlic scapes are the flower bud and stalk of hardneck garlic plants. The stalk emerges in late spring or early summer and, if left alone, the garlic scape will turn into a flower and go to seed. Most growers remove the scape before it blooms so that the garlic plant can put its energy into larger bulbs rather than the flower.

Garlic scapes, which are lightly garlicky and tender when cooked, have become a delicacy that gardeners, farmers, and chefs look forward to each year.

A roll of compound butter ready to be cut into coins

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Ingredients for Garlic Scape Compound Butter

​Butter: I recommend going for the good butter here; it will be worth it. Grass-fed, high-quality, salted butter will make your compound butter all the better. If you prefer to have complete control over the sodium content, feel free to use unsalted butter.

Garlic scapes: Garlic scapes make this butter delightfully garlicky and add a beautiful color. They are undoubtedly the star of the show.

Lemon zest: A little bit of tartness and acidity ties this recipe together, making a well-rounded compound butter.

Fresh herbs: A small handful of chives and parsley will make this butter more flavorful. Feel free to add other herbs that you enjoy eating.

Red pepper flakes: Always optional if you don’t like spice, but red pepper flakes add a slight kick and additional flavor that is wonderful.

A bowl of garlic scape butter recently stirred

Tips for Making Compound Butter

  • Use softened butter. If your butter is too cold, it will be hard to incorporate the other ingredients well.
  • Use good quality butter. As I mentioned, the better quality butter really does make a difference. The flavor will be leaps and bounds ahead of the inexpensive butter that you might bake with. If you can, definitely go for the best butter you are able to buy.
  • Allot time to chill the butter. If you want the nice roll shape, you’re going to need a few hours to chill your butter in the fridge. For immediate use, you can scoop it into a small bowl or jar and use it as a soft spread.

How to Use Garlic Scape Butter

There are so many different ways to use garlic scape butter! Using this compound butter in place of regular butter in a variety of savory dishes will infuse your meal with flavor and make it more unique. Here are my favorite ways to use garlic scape butter:

  • Garlic bread: This garlic scape butter makes for an easy and delicious garlic bread! Use it in place of the garlic or add extra garlic if you are a big time fan.
  • Steak: Use this garlic scape compound butter to make your steak even more juicy and add a hint of flavor.
  • Baked potatoes: I love using compound butter on my baked potatoes! No extra chives are necessary, though you’re always welcome to use more (you can’t go wrong with chives).

A butter log rolled in parchment paper

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get garlic scapes?

Garlic scapes are not widely available at the grocery store, but there are plenty of ways to get some.

The most common way to get garlic scapes is to grow your own garlic. Of course, this requires planning as hardneck garlic must be planted in the fall for harvest the following summer. 

Fortunately, you can usually pick up a bunch of garlic scapes at a local farmer’s market and local co-ops when they are in season. Keep the lookout for scapes between May and July, or ask your local farmer when they expect they’ll be ready.

How long does garlic scape butter last?

Garlic scape butter is good for up to a week in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. For longer-term storage, cut the butter roll into coins and freeze them in a freezer bag for up to a year. 

More Recipes You’ll Love

Easy Garlic Scape Pesto

The Best Fresh Chive Butter

Easy Carrot Top Pesto

a roll of garlic scape compound butter with fresh garlic scapes next to it.

Garlic Scape Compound Butter with Lemon and Herbs

Yield: About 1 cup
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup fresh garlic scapes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. Combine garlic scapes, chives, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced.
  2. Combine butter, minced herbs, and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and place butter into a long, thin mound. Roll the paper tightly, forming a log of butter, and twist the ends to secure.
  4. Chill the roll of butter in the fridge for 3-4 hours, until solid. 
  5. Remove from the paper or plastic wrap and cut into coins.
a roll of garlic scape butter with the text "garlic scape compound butter"

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