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Freezing Basil

Learn all the tips and tricks for how to freeze basil to build a freezer stash of this incredible herb. Freezing basil is a great way to preserve it without needing to know any special kitchen skills.
frozen basil leaves on a gold baking sheet lined with parchment.

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Learn all the tips and tricks for how to freeze basil to build a freezer stash of this incredible herb. Freezing basil is a great way to preserve it without needing to know any special kitchen skills.

frozen basil leaves on a gold baking sheet lined with parchment.

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Basil is an easy and fantastic crop to grow in a home garden. Depending on your growing conditions you’ll have access to this fresh herb for 2-5 months every year.

And by freezing basil leaves whole or in olive oil, you can use this versatile ingredient all year long.

Does Basil Freeze Well?

Yes! You can flash freeze basil leaves whole on a baking tray. You’ll then transfer them to freeze-proof storage and later you’ll be able to use them in any quantity that you need.

I also love chopping the fresh basil into ribbons, stuffing them into Souper Cubes (ice cube trays work great too), and then using olive oil or water to fill the cubes.

You can freeze them and then pop the cubes out to add to soups (like this Instant Pot Lasagna Soup) or casseroles.

If you make a lot of savory dishes with basil, freezing chopped basil with a touch of a neutral-tasting oil (like avocado oil) makes a lot of sense.

I do find that using oil to freeze basil will limit its use later, but you know your kitchen best. I am also a huge fan of freezing chopped garlic in oil.

Want to make homemade pesto and then use it later? Check out our tutorial on Freezing Pesto.

2 photos of souper cubes filled with chopped basil and frozen with olive oil.

Is it Better to Freeze Basil or Dry Basil?

It depends on how you want to use it. Basil leaves that are frozen whole will turn black as soon as they thaw. You can mask the color change by adding them to things like Freezer Spaghetti Sauce, Gluten-Free Tomato Soup, or Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce.

Dried is great when you need to preserve the appearance of the basil in dishes like Cheesy Garlic Bread, Instant Pot Tortellini Soup, or Fried Gnocchi and Veggies. Check out this post if you’re looking for a tutorial on How to Dry Basil.

Can You Freeze Basil Without Blanching?

Yes! There is no need to blanch basil in order to freeze it. Unlike when you’re freezing spinach, blanching is unnecessary for the long-term storage of basil.

PRO TIPS/RECIPE NOTES

  • Frozen basil will keep in the freezer for 3-6 months.
  • Freeze chopped basil in quantities that you often use. Freeze in 1-2 tablespoon portions to eliminate the need to later defrost a big chunk when you only need a bit.
  • If you’re chopping a large quantity for freezing, use the pulse function in a food processor to make quick work of it.
cubes of chopped basil with olive oil on a blue plate.

frozen basil leaves on a gold baking sheet lined with parchment.
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Freezing Basil

Prep Time5 mins
Freezing2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Learn all the tips and tricks for how to freeze basil to build a freezer stash of this incredible herb. Freezing basil is a great way to preserve it without needing to know any special kitchen skills.

Ingredients

  • basil {as much as needed}

Instructions

How to Freeze Whole Basil Leaves

  • Rinse basil and gently pat dry.
    basil
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spread individual leaves onto the parchment. Freeze for 2 hours.
  • Gently remove frozen basil leaves and transfer to a freezer-safe container.
  • Whole frozen basil will keep in the freezer for 3-6 months.

How to Freeze Basil in Oil

  • Rinse basil and gently pat dry.
  • Chop basil to the desired size. Pro tip: if you're chopping a lot of basil at once, use the pulse function on a food processor.
  • Transfer chopped basil to Souper Cubes or ice cube trays.
  • Drizzle a neutral-tasting oil a teaspoon at a time until it fully covers the basil.
  • Freeze for 2-3 hours, and then remove the muffin liners from the pan and freeze each "puck" in an air-tight container for 6-9 months.

Notes

  1. Whole frozen basil will keep in the freezer for 3-6 months.
  2. Chopped basil frozen in oil will keep in the freezer for 6-9 months.
  3. My favorite neutral oil for freezing is avocado.
Nutrition Facts
Freezing Basil
Amount Per Serving (2 tbsp)
Calories 1
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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