How to Freeze Fresh Herbs So You Can Use Them All Year Long

If you grow an abundance of fresh herbs in the garden in summer, here's a quick and easy way to preserve them to enjoy all year long... all without hanging them up to dry!

Put your freezer to work to keep the flavors fresh.

These are my three favorite ways to freeze all kinds of herbs, from basil and parsley to rosemary and chives.

Freezing herbs as pesto or pistou


Pistou is a variation of pesto that usually consists of basil, garlic, olive oil, and salt — the traditional recipe omits the cheese and pine nuts. But these days, it’s common to see cheese added, or sometimes even a tomato for extra flavor.

Freezing herbs as ice cubes


Herbs that are frozen in water make more sense for lemon verbena, lemon balm, anise hyssop, mints, basil, and other herbs and edible flowers that you don’t plan to use in oil.

Freezing herbs in tightly packed or rolled freezer bags (or small jars)


Herbs with sturdy leaves and stems freeze well right on the stems. Simply cut them into 6-inch stems, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and place in the freezer.

Want to freeze chives? This is one of the simplest herbs to freeze, because you can just chop them up, pack them in a small jar (like a half-pint mason jar), and store in the freezer. Grab a pinch of frozen chives as needed and return the jar to the freezer.

Remember that once frozen herbs are thawed, they retain all their flavor but not their crispness. So don’t try to sprinkle them as a garnish on, say, grilled fish or roasted vegetables.

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