A solid lipid microparticle system containing budesonide was prepared by oil in water emulsification followed by spray drying. The solid lipid system was studied in terms of morphology, particle size distribution, crystallinity, thermal properties, aerosol performance, and dissolution/diffusion release. The microparticle system was also compared to conventional spray-dried crystalline and amorphous budesonide samples. The particle size distributions of the crystalline, amorphous, and solid lipid microparticles, measured by laser diffraction, were similar; however, the microparticle morphology was more irregular than the spray-dried drug samples. The thermal response of the solid lipid microparticles suggested polymorphic transition and melting of the lipid, glycerol behenate (at ~48°C and ~72°C). No budesonide melting or crystallisation peaks were observed, suggesting that the budesonide was integrated into the matrix. X-ray powder diffraction patterns of the crystalline and amorphous budesonide were consistent with previous studies while the solid lipid microparticles showed two peaks, at approximately 21.3 and 23.5 2θ suggesting the metastable sub-α and primarily β′ form. Analysis of the in vitro diffusion/dissolution of the formulations was studied using a flow through model and curves analysed using difference/similarity factors and fitted using the Higuchi model. Regression analysis of this data set indicated differences in the t0.5, where values of 49.7, 35.3, and 136.9 min were observed for crystalline, amorphous, and the solid lipid microparticles, respectively. The aerosol performance (<5 μm), measured by multistage liquid impinger, was 29.5%, 27.3%, and 21.1 ± 0.6% for the crystalline, amorphous, and the solid lipid microparticles, respectively. This study has shown that solid lipid microparticles may provide a useful approach to controlled release respiratory therapy.