Fun fact—you can freeze fresh herbs in portioned amounts to easily add into recipes later on! It preserves their intense flavor for months to come.
Stop wasting your herbs and save money by freezing your herbs and using them in your cooking from frozen. It is so simple to do and makes for months of flavor! Try using these herbs in Bone-in Chicken Breast, Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore, or Veggie Loaded Lentil Soup.
Did You Know?
Did you know that you can freeze fresh herbs to use at a later time?! I love gardening and growing fresh herbs, but there are so many times that my herbs got to flower before I can use them all. That’s why I love to freeze bunches so I always have delicious herbs on hand.
Freezing works well for basil, chives, oregano, lemon balm, mint, or tarragon. Frozen herbs can be used in the same proportion as fresh herbs. Remember though they will be limp when defrosted, but will still add fabulous flavor to your cooking.
Storing fresh herbs is an excellent way to make the herb harvest from your garden last all year round.
Prep the Herbs
WASH: Wash and dry your herbs.
CHOP: Make sure to remove any thick stems from the herbs before chopping them! If you are doing a small quantity of herbs you can chop them with your knife, if you have a lot more of one herb you can use a food processor to pulse them to finely chop your herbs.
It will save you a lot of time!
Different Ways to Freeze Them
There are several different way to freeze herbs. Some popular choices include:
- Ice cube trays: You can push the herbs into an ice cube tray and top with a little bit of oil before freezing. I love these large, silicone ice cube trays from Amazon.
- Plastic bag: You can chop up the herbs and pour a tablespoon of oil in the bag before removing all of the air and laying it flat in the freezer
- Cookie sheet: some heartier herbs can be frozen on the stem. Place the herbs on the cookie sheet and place in the freezer until solid. Once they’re solid, you can place them in an airtight container or ziploc bag.
- Pureed herbs: You can puree your herbs in the food processor with enough oil to coat them. The oil will make the herbs look dark, but you can always add in a few ice cubes to lighten up the frozen herbs.
My favorite way is in ice cubes! They are easy to store, taste delicious and reconstitute with ease. Here’s how to to do it!
PREP. Rinse herbs and pat dry. Chop as desired. These herb scissors make cutting herbs, quick and easy.
TRAY. Place herbs in an ice cube tray, silicone ones work best. Fill each well with water, just enough to completely cover the herbs. Press the herbs into the water so they are fully submerged.
FREEZE. Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and freeze for 3-4 hours.
PACKAGE. Remove the cubes from the tray and place in Ziploc bags labeled with each type of herb. Freeze for up to 12 months.
TO USE: To use, place the cube in a small bowl and let the ice melt. Carefully drain the water and pat dry.
How long do they last? They will last for about a year in the freezer, as long as they are stored in an airtight container.
Using them? When the herbs are frozen in some oil they are most easily used in a soup or in a sauce. They will melt and provide the same flavor as fresh herbs. If you froze any herbs without oil then you can defrost them and sprinkle them on top of any dish you so desire!
Is it better to freeze herbs in water or oil? You can store them in either, if you are using oil I recommend using olive oil. If you are using oil they will be great for sautéing them later, if you are using water then they will be easier to defrost later on.
Use your frozen herbs as a substitute for fresh herbs in these recipes:
How to Freeze Fresh Herbs
- Rinse herbs and pat dry. Chop as desired.
- Place herbs in an ice cube tray, silicone ones work best.
- Fill each well with water, just enough to completely cover the herbs. Press the herbs into the water so they are fully submerged.
- Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and freeze for 3-4 hours. Remove the cubes from the tray and place in Ziploc bags labeled with each type of herb. Freeze for up to 12 months.
- To use, place the cube in a small bowl and let the ice melt. Carefully drain the water and pat dry.
On one part it says freeze up to 3 months; (“Remove the cubes from the tray and place in Ziploc bags labeled with each type of herb. Freeze for up to 3 months.”)
on another section it says up to 12 months! (How long do they last? They will last for about a year in the freezer, as long as they are stored in an airtight container. ) Which is it?
Hi Pauline, they will last for up to a year in the freezer. Thanks for catching this, the post has been updated.
Thanks! Planted 3 raised beds again this year. Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Parsley, French Sorrel, Dill, Sage.
Phil, we can already taste those delicious flavors!
Thanks a lot for your article. I have wasted so much money on herbs that go bad! The worst for me are dill and chives, I buy them but I don’t have a chance to use it much…Now we have a nice basil, cilantro and other herbs planted in the garden but I’d like to keep some for the winter. I will definitely try and give you another star after I see how they turn out!!
Freezing your herbs is such a game changer and money saver. We all hate to throw away good food. Good luck!