How to Freeze Fresh Herbs

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

Herbs frozen in ice cubes

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.

Several types of fresh herbs

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!

Freeze fresh herbs in an ice cube tray

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. 
  • 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.

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 3 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 to freeze fresh herbs with water and an ice cube tray

FAQ

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 sauteing them later, if you are using water then they will be easier to defrost later on.

Close up of frozen herbs

Use your frozen herbs as a substitute for fresh herbs in these recipes:

How to Freeze Fresh Herbs

You can freeze fresh herbs in portioned amounts to easily add into recipes later on! It preserves their intense flavor for months to come. 
4.61 from 23 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 mins
Freeze Time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 15 mins
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • dill
  • basil
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • chives
  • thyme
  • rosemary

Instructions

  • 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 3 months.
  • To use, place the cube in a small bowl and let the ice melt. Carefully drain the water and pat dry.

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. I have not tried either of these methods. What I do is wash, dry, and chop the herbs and then freeze them in airtight small jars. They always have the fresh flavor I want . However, I will try these methods with my next batch of harvested herbs. Thanks.

  2. 5 stars
    This is so great! Thanks! My son has a boatload of mint growing in his little garden, he’s going to love making mint ice cubes he can later use…even better, as an ice cube he can drop it in water, lemonade, cola… he’s going to be absolutely thrilled with this idea!

    1. I’m make basil pesto with a twist, I add chillies & tomato paste to the pesto, I love hot pesto try it, use ur recipe & just add to ur taste, it’s delicious on toast, nice warm burning (not to hot) taste in ur mouth, u won’t stop making it, enjoy…….mmmmm

  3. 5 stars
    This was so helpful and made it so much easier! I can’t wait to use this! Thank you for the helpful hints and tips!

  4. So it says in the FAQ they will last a year in the freezer in an airtight container, but in the body it says to freeze them for up to 3 months…which is it?

  5. 4 stars
    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!!

    1. Freezing your herbs is such a game changer and money saver. We all hate to throw away good food. Good luck!