5 Ways to Preserve Basil and Other Herbs

Taylor Holste, MA, CHC
CookWELL Kitchen Coordinator 

The end of summer is the perfect time to harvest summer herbs. Herbs like basil, parsley, thyme, sage, oregano, mint, rosemary, and dill all can be preserved so that you can use them all winter long. Join our Poe Center’s kitchen expert as she explains 5 ways to preserve basil as well as other herbs.

2 General Herb Preservation Methods

  1. Dehydrate your herbs in the oven at 150℉ for one hour. 
  2. Completely dry your herbs, chop, then freeze your herbs in freezer safe containers.

5 Basil Preservation Techniques

  1. Take a cutting of basil and place it in water to keep it fresh. This cutting in water will keep for about a month. 
  2. Pack basil leaves into cubes and fill with water. Freeze, then take out a cube of frozen basil-ice to use in soups or stocks. 
  3. Pack basil leaves into cubes and fill with oil. Freeze, then take out a cube of frozen basil-oil to use when cooking. 
  4. Make a basil-based sauce, then freeze into servings. You can use the ice cube tray to freeze these servings. 
  5. Basil can be preserved flat and frozen. Take a cup of basil leaves and place into a bowl. For every cup of basil leaves add a teaspoon of olive oil into the bowl. Carefully mix the two until the leaves are coated in oil. Label freezer container and place oil coated leaves into the container for freezing. Once in the freezer, the color of the leaves may darken. This is normal. Take out the frozen piece and break off as much as you need for your recipe.


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar 
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (substitute 1 jalapeno, finely diced)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup parsley (substitute preferred herb), whole
  1. Finely chop parsley.
  2. Add all ingredients in a small bowl and combine.
  3. Serve over roasted vegetables, meat, eggs, or with bread.

Roasted Potatoes (Vegetables)

  • 1 lb baby potatoes (substitute preferred veggie, cut into bite size pieces) 
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425℉.
  2. Toss ingredients in a bowl until potatoes are well coated
  3. Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

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and insights on growing and cooking edible plants:

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