How to Freeze Basil

….Or a tribute to Peaches and Herb.  Read along.  It’ll all make sense soon enough.

We love fresh basil.  So much so that we have planted it in our garden several times.  It grows really well in Central Florida.  Recently we learned rather than letting the plant flower and die, we could prune it all the way back and it will return!  The basil truly outgrows what we can possibly use, so we thought rather than have it go to waste we would try our hand at freezing some.  Several methods can be found online; we opted for chopping it up and freezing it in some olive oil.  (You can freeze it in water too.  Our reasoning behind the olive oil?  When adding to a dish, we don’t necessarily want to water it down but we almost always cook with olive oil so that made more sense to us.)

Super easy process, so if you have an overabundance of any herb (like we did) here’s the breakdown.

This picture is from about two weeks ago; the basil had virtually doubled in size since this was taken, but you get the idea.  They were BIG.  Mr F cut them all off pretty close to the ground.
A handful of sweet basil.  (Please note, I hesitated putting this photo of myself in here.  When I balked at it, my adorably sweet husband said, “Don’t talk about my wife like that!  You’re beautiful!!”  If this is what he finds beautiful then I feel obligated to include it!  Love him!!)

Back in the kitchen, we separated all the leaves and flowers (did you know they’re edible too?!…and pretty in a salad!) from the stalks and gave them a good soak/rinse to remove any dirt, debris, and hitchhikers (i.e., bugs.)
Following its bath, the basil was placed on a lint-free towel to dry out a little.

From this point you’ll just have to take my word for what we did.  I was busy working on dinner while Mr F got the basil ready to freeze.  He put several large handfuls of basil into our food processor, then added several large drizzles of olive oil (I would estimate a quarter cup or less), just enough to make a basil paste.  We then transferred the basil paste to ice cube trays and put them in the freezer overnight.
We did this same method with the Thai basil.
The next morning, I just popped out the basil cubes and transferred them to labeled food storage freezer bags.
Now when we need to add a little basil to a recipe, we can just drop in a cube!  I don’t know why we haven’t done this with prior basil plants.  I guess we just didn’t take the time.  Knowing now how easy this was, we’ll definitely do it again!  It was so easy, I started singing a song in it’s honor.

*To the tune of Peaches & Herb’s Reunited:  “We chopped basil and it smells so gooood!…”*

9 thoughts on “How to Freeze Basil

    • Basil is really easy to grow! Buy a plant (for less than $5!) and keep it in a window sill or on a patio. I hate paying so much only for it to go to waste or go bad before I can use it. My hubby is a hoot in the kitchen! I am usually the one holding the camera so he gets the glory of being photographed a lot!

      • I doubt it. Keep it in the sun inside and see if that works. We find out what works and what doesn’t mostly by trial and error. If it doesn’t work then it’s just a $5 error and you can try again when it’s warmer. With the basil you bought at the store, keep the stems in a glass of water on your counter. It will last longer that way. Good luck!

  1. yum! Sounds delicious. I love basil and my bunches always go bad so this is a great idea. Mom told me a story the other day about making my baby food and freezing it into the ice trays..this reminded me of that! That pic of you is’re crazy! Love you!

    • Oh yes! I remember your baby food! You can always take your bunch of basil and stick it in a glass of water on the counter rather than keeping it in the fridge. It will last longer. Plus it will be nice greenery! Love you!

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