Easy Cacio e Pepe Butter

Easy Cacio e Pepe Butter

This Cacio e Pepe Butter recipe is going to change up your pasta game forever. If you’re looking for an easy way to add flavor to your pasta night creations, try this simple compound butter recipe. Featuring black pepper and Granino cheese, this is a convenient make-ahead option for quick and easy weeknight dinners. Your Future Self will thank you.

Bucatini pasta topped with a melting slice of peppery butter served on a plate with toasted bread

What is Cacio E Pepe Butter?

Cacio e Pepe Butter is an easy compound butter featuring freshly ground black pepper and Granino cheese—like the classic Italian pasta dish of the same name. Roll up this butter ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze. Once in a log, you can slice off as much as you need for a quick and easy dinner idea. Pair up with your favorite cut of pasta to create an easy classic Italian pasta dish.

Why You'll Love Cacio E Pepe Butter

Cacio e Pepe Butter is easy to make with only 5 ingredients. This compound butter makes it easy to add flavor to any pasta dish—as an addition or as the featured flavor. Add the butter to your serving bowl of piping hot pasta with some hot pasta water. Stir to combine. That’s it! What’s not to love?

The Ingredients You Will Need To Make Cacio e Pepe Butter

Butter: Any unsalted butter will do, but be sure to soften the butter before its use to make it easier to form. It will take about an hour to firm back up in the refrigerator.

Cheese: We love Granino cheese for this butter, but any hard Italian cheese will do. Pecorino Romano is another favorite.

Pepper: Fresh matters! Don’t just use the shake of pepper for this one. Freshly ground black pepper is super aromatic and flavorful—the best way to experience Cacio e Pepe.

Salt: Using unsalted butter, then adding the salt to your liking is the best way to control the amount of salt in your final dish. This is certainly a preference, so experiment with your tastes. You can always add salt to your pasta, but you can do nothing about too much salt in your butter.

Ingredients for cacio e pepe butter laying on a counter top

Pasta: Bucatini is an amazing cut for this one. Just be sure your pasta is al dente and piping hot to easily melt the butter. If pasta sits too long in the bowl waiting for the butter, it’ll begin to stick.

Pasta Water: Reserve 1 cup of the hot pasta cooking water. This will help to melt the butter in your serving bowl and finish the dish.

How To Make Cacio e Pepe Butter In 4 Steps

1. Create the butter.

Combine softened butter with cheese, pepper and salt. Transfer to parchment paper and roll it into a log. At this point you can serve or save for later in the refrigerator or freezer.

Butter, salt, pepper and cheese combined and formed into a log in a glass bowl

2. Cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Be sure to save 1 cup of pasta water to finish your sauce. Quickly transfer the hot pasta to a large serving bowl.

Hand stirring a pot of boiling pasta on a stove top

3. Butter the pasta.

Add 3 tablespoons of the butter to the bowl and at least ¼ cup of the hot pasta water. Stir until combined.

Bowl of cooked bucatini pasta topped with cacio e pepe butter

4. Serve.

Serve pasta topped with freshly grated cheese.

Bowl of cooked bucatini pasta in a buttery sauce topped with grated cheese

The Best Pasta Shapes For Cacio e Pepe

Long cuts of pasta are a great choice for silky oil- and butter-based sauces like Cacio e Pepe. Bucatini is a great choice, since it is long strands like spaghetti, but with a tiny hole running through its center. Other options for your Cacio e Pepe recipe:

Top Storage Tips

Cacio e Pepe Butter can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Freeze for up to 3 months. Just be sure to keep it rolled up tightly to prevent freezer burn.

Plate of bucatini pasta in cheesy buttery sauce being scooped with a fork

Easy Cacio e Pepe Butter



  1. In a mixing bowl, combine softened butter with cheese, pepper and salt. Using parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll butter into a log shape. Chill in the freezer until slightly firm, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the hot pasta water for finishing sauce.
  3. Quickly transfer hot pasta to a large mixing bowl. Immediately add 3 tablespoons of the compound butter and ¼ cup of the warm pasta water to the bowl. Stir until fully combined.
  4. Serve topped with freshly grated cheese.


Compound butter can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 1 month or frozen for 3 months.

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