Easiest, BEST way to preserve fresh herbs! Freeze with olive oil in ice cube trays for fresh herb flavor all year in soups, stews, roasts, gravies and much more.
At the risk of jinxing myself, the one thing that always grows well for me is herbs. It works out well because I add fresh herbs to elevate practically every dish I make.
I preserve fresh summer herbs to use all year and here’s how I do it.
Freezing fresh herbs in olive oil is a great kitchen hack that takes almost no time and you’ll have it on hand whenever you want to infuse tons of flavor to your favorite recipes.
Because so many recipes start with olive oil anyway, it’s the ideal liquid to freeze the herbs in.
WHAT DO I NEED TO FREEZE HERBS?
- ice cube trays
- fresh herbs
- olive oil
If you don’t have ice cube trays the Dollar Store is a great place to buy a few inexpensively.
which herbs are best for freezing?
First off – you don’t have to wait until the end of summer to preserve herbs. Anytime you have more than you can use, freeze away and elevate your favorite recipes with minimal effort.
Here are some of the herbs I freeze. They’re hearty and stand up to cold temps making them ideal to use.
- Sage: I grow it to use in winter soups, gravies and stuffing.
- Celery leaves: though technically not an herb, celery leaves add celery flavor to a dish without the crunch.
The exception to this rule is this homemade Basil Spinach Pesto that does freeze really well in small containers (jello shot containers work like a charm!)
how to freeze Fresh Herbs:
Gather the herbs you’ll be using then wash and dry completely them. It’s important the herbs are completely dry so you don’t get ice crystals.
Remove the herbs from their stems and give larger leaves a rough chop so they fit in the trays. Fill each well of the ice cube tray about ⅔ of the way up with herbs then top with olive oil. Gently press down on any herbs that aren’t submerged in olive oil.
Cover the trays with plastic wrap and freeze several hours up to overnight.
Carefully remove the herb cubes from the trays and transfer them to a zip lock bag or other airtight container. Label the container with the kind of herb and store 9-12 months in the freezer.
TIPS FOR FREEZING HERBS:
- Use only fresh herbs. If they’re already on their way out, they won’t improve in the freezer.
- Feel free to mix up the herbs – for example combine sage, rosemary and thyme in one tray.
- Be sure to label the container of herbs.
- A standard ice cube tray ‘well’ contains about 1 tablespoon of chopped herbs (plus the olive oil).
how to use frozen herbs:
You’ll find more uses as time goes on but a good place to start is to use your preserved herbs in soups, sauces or gravies. You don’t even have to thaw them – just add right in! They’ll melt and provide the same fresh herb flavor plus you’ll save chopping time.
other fresh herb recipes:
Here are a few other recipes where herbs really shine:
Basil Chimichurri – simple, uncooked vibrant fresh herb sauce transforms any dish and takes grilled steak, seafood and chicken to the next level.
Spinach Basil Pesto – easy, no-cook sauce – delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made in a food processor OR blender
Garlic Herb Butter – this herb butter enhances the flavor of almost anything – from the holiday turkey to steak, garlic bread or even corn on the cob!
Basil Pesto Pasta – al dente pasta blended with sun dried tomatoes packs loads of flavor with just 4 ingredients and 20 minutes!
If you tried this post on freezing fresh herbs or any other on the blog then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or a bunch of stars.
Freezing Fresh Herbs
- ice cube tray
- fresh herbs
- olive oil
- Wash and thoroughly dry the herbs. It's very important the herbs are completely dry so ice crystals don't form.
- Strip the leaves from the stalks.
- Rough chop the herbs so they fit in the trays, filling each well of the ice cube tray about ⅔ of the way up with herbs then to with good quality olive oil.
- Cover the trays with plastic wrap and freeze several hours up to overnight.
- Carefully remove the herb cubes from the trays and transfer them to a zip lock bag or other airtight container. Label the container with the type of herb and store 9-12 months in the freezer.