Anchovy Butter

Salmon featuring anchovy butter
Salmon with anchovy butter

Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill : 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
208 Calories
23g Fat
0g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 208
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 95mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 20mg 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.)

Easy-to-make compound butters are excellent ingredients to have at hand as they can add a touch of flavor to all sorts of preparations, from veggies to steak, fish, or chicken. Delicious on fresh bread, compound butters are often made with herbs, spices, or in our case with anchovies. They require very little work but deliver big flavor. These butters can be made in large amounts and then frozen until it's time to use. This recipe requires just two ingredients, 20 minutes of preparation, and ideally at least one hour in the fridge for it to hold its shape, though you can use it right away if needed. A pat of anchovy butter on a medium-rare steak or fillet of halibut or haddock is a real treat. Don't hesitate to put it on some grilled asparagus spears or steamed broccoli florets, as well.

You'll need unsalted butter and rightly so as anchovies are very salty on their own. Naturally salty because of their saltwater origin, anchovies are sold preserved in oil and salt is used to prevent bacterial growth, making them even saltier. You can, of course, find fresh anchovies, but for the purpose of this recipe, you need canned anchovies.

Anchovy butter is one of many common variations on Maître d'Hôtel butter or compound butter,, which is typically rolled into cylinders, chilled, and sliced into little pats for a pretty presentation. You can make your own flavor of compound butter by adding ingredients like lemon zest and lemon juice, black pepper and garlic, or mixed dried or fresh herbs.


  • 4 sticks unsalted butter

  • 8 to 10 anchovy fillets, minced and mashed to a paste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, using your hands or a potato masher, soften the butter. Alternatively, cream the butter using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. The overall goal is just to get the butter soft so you can incorporate the anchovies.

  3. Add the mashed anchovies into the butter and continue mixing until all is fully incorporated.

  4. Spread out a 1-foot or bigger square of plastic wrap across your work surface, then scoop the mixed butter onto the plastic. Roll the butter into a cylinder inside the plastic wrap.

  5. Tie the excess plastic wrap at the ends of the cylinder into a knot, or just use little pieces of string to tie off the ends.

  6. Chill until needed. If you're not using it all at the same time, freeze part of it in smaller portions and thaw the amount you'd need when ready to use.

  7. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

Add one or more of the following along with the mashed anchovies:

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • 2 to 4 minced cloves of garlic.
  • 2 tablespoons of capers, drained and minced.