I have a kitchen hack that is seriously so perfect for summer. We shared it a couple of summers back and you all love it so much that I had to re-share it.
If you have fresh herbs growing in your garden or are constantly stocking up on them at the store, put some aside to freeze for this fall & winter!
In this post, I’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions for how to freeze herbs and easily use the frozen herbs in your favorite recipes all year long.
Why freeze fresh herbs?
It might seem unnecessary, but freezing fresh herbs is a serious game-changer once you try it.
- Save money. You can save money on herbs that might be out of season — just buy a ton in season and freeze for later!
- Avoid food waste. You’ll cut down on food waste after potentially buying too big a bundle of herbs.
- Speed up prep time. Making a recipe that requires fresh herbs? Simply throw in one of these frozen herb cubes, cook, and enjoy!
What herbs can I freeze?
The beauty of this tutorial is that you can truly freeze any type of herb! Try it out with:
What you’ll need
This tutorial for freezing herbs requires just a few tools and ingredients:
How to freeze herbs: a step-by-step tutorial
Let’s get to it! I have about 7 super simple steps for freezing fresh herbs, plus delicious ways to use them.
Step 1: Wash all of your fresh herbs and pat them dry with a towel.
Step 2: take your sprig and chop your herb leaves to the size that you’d like to use when you’re cooking them later (be sure to remove the stem!)
Step 3: Add your choppeds to individual sections of a silicone ice cube tray about ⅔ of the way full.
Why use a silicone ice tray? Using a silicone ice tray as opposed to a plastic one makes it much easier to get your herby oil cubes out of the tray without cracking or breaking. Plus, it’s much easier to clean for future use!
Step 4: Pour olive or avocado oil into each section of the ice cube tray. Be careful not to overfill (you can do this by the tablespoons if you’d like). Carefully press the herbs down so that the oil covers them completely.
Can I use water instead of oil? Sure! If you’re looking to use these herbs as a garnish or in a cold recipe like a cocktail or salad instead of cooking them, feel free to freeze the herbs in water.
Step 5: Freeze the entire ice cube tray for at least 3 hours until ice cubes form.
Step 6: Then, transfer herb ice cubes to a reusable, freezer bag or airtight container and seal it well. Feel free to keep different herbs in different bags and label them so you know what’s what!
Step 7: When ready to use, place one of the herb ice cubes in a heated pan and make your recipe as you normally would after adding oil and fresh herbs. It makes a truly incredible, easy pasta sauce!
Alternatively, you can let the herb oil cube thaw and use it in dressings and marinades!
If you’ve frozen the herbs in water: at this step, you’ll want to simply thaw the frozen herb cube and use the herbs as directed in the cold recipe.
Ways to use frozen herb cubes
Because we’re freezing these herbs in oil, the cubes are perfect for cooking up your favorite dishes and adding wonderful flavor. Add 1-2 cubes to a pot or pan to make:
Bonus tutorial: freezing pesto
That’s right, this easy method for freezing fresh herbs works just as well with pesto! If you’ve made homemade pesto (like my famous cilantro pistachio pesto) and want to freeze it for later, simply use the above method and stir your pesto cube into hot pasta, with rice or anything else your heart desires.
More tutorials and how-to guides
Get all of our how-to guides here!
I hope you love this simple tutorial on how to freeze herbs! If you try it be sure to leave a comment to let me know how you liked it. And remember to join the AK VIP list to get all of our Back to Basics straight to your inbox!
How to Freeze Herbs
Learn how to freeze herbs for later and use them in your favorite recipes! With this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be able to avoid extra food waste by easily freezing fresh herbs in an ice cube tray. Perfect for flavoring pasta, chicken, one pan meal and more.
- 1 small bunch of each: cilantro, basil, parsley, chives, rosemary & thyme
- Olive oil, to fill an ice cube tray
Wash all of your fresh herbs and pat them dry with a towel.
Chop your herbs to the size that you’d like to use when you’re cooking them later.
Add your chopped herbs to individual sections of a silicone ice cube tray about ⅔ of the way full.
Pour olive or avocado oil into each section of the ice cube tray. Be careful not to overfill. Carefully press the herbs down so that the oil covers them completely.
Freeze the entire ice cube tray for at least 3 hours until ice cubes form. Then, transfer herb ice cubes to a reusable, freezer-friendly bag.
When ready to use, place one of the herb ice cubes in a heated pan and make your recipe as you normally would after adding oil and fresh herbs.
Tutorial by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on July 4th, 2021, and republished on July 22nd, 2023.