Can You Freeze Basil Leaves – How To Freeze Basil Leaves To Use Year Round

Can You Freeze Basil Leaves: Basil is considered to be one of the most adored herbs of summer and is a very delicate herb that doesn’t survive well in the cold and usually darkens when cut.

Fresh Basil leaves are used majorly as dressing ingredients in various soups, stews, and sauces and also used as a garnishing dish on various salad recipes, sandwiches, etc.

Now, let’s come to the point of why you are here today. You have a bounty of basil harvest and are worried about storing them to preserve them from changing weather conditions, right?

Well, let us learn about some of the most beneficial storage tips to keep your Basil leaves fresh and good for a long time irrespective of how massive the quantity is.

Can You Freeze Basil Leaves

Can You Freeze Basil Leaves Whole?

Yes, Basil Leaves can be easily frozen as a whole. You will be able to preserve your Basil in this changing season only if you know how to freeze it properly.

How To Freeze Basil Leaves As A Whole?

Let’s share with you a step-by-step guide to freezing and storing your Basil whole properly

  1. In order to freeze Basil leaves whole, blanching is the first process you need to perform. Blanching is an amazing way to hold on to the rich green color of Basil leaves even if you are freezing them.
  2. To blanch Basil leaves properly first you need to wash them thoroughly and boil them for around 5 to 6 seconds only, ensuring that you don’t start to boil them.
  3. Next, you will need a strainer or vegetable sieve to drain all the excess hot water, and then put these leaves in a bowl of cold water to cool down the cooking process.
  4. After cooling them down fully, place the leaves on a dry paper or dish towel to soak up all the moisture. You can also use a salad sinner in this step to dry your Basil leaves completely.
  5. Once dried, spread the Basil leaves in batches on a couple of parchment papers, put them inside a freezer-safe plastic bag, and put them inside the freezer.

Can You Freeze Basil Leaves Without Blanching?

Yes, if the blanching is something you are not very fond of or maybe you do not have enough time or resources to do the same then there are two other ways to preserve and freeze your Basil leaves that you can follow. These are as under

Freezing Basil Puree In Ice Cube Trays

Yes, making a puree of your Basil leaves and then freezing them in ice cube trays with water or Olive oil is a fantastic method to preserve them without the need for blanching.

This process works best for cooked dishes like stews, soups, and sauces where you can add the cube of Basil, directly to your dish at the last moment during the last bit of the cooking time.

When finally your Basil leaves are ready to be used, just place the frozen basil cubes in a bowl at room temperature and let the ice melt to be reused in a recipe.

Using Basil As Dry leaves

Yes, you heard that right, the last option to preserve your Basil leaves properly if none of the above options work for you, is to store and use them in the form of dried leaves. Here are the steps that you can follow to achieve the same:

  1. First, you need to wash and dry the Basil leaves from the sprigs well.
  2. Next, place the leaves on a baking sheet with sufficient gaps left and put them inside the oven on the lowest heat setting possible, 170 degrees would be enough.
  3. Now, bake them and keep checking on your leaves until they have dried and crumbled up.

Once they are nicely dried and crumbled, place them in an air-tight container and use them in the measurement of spoons, in your soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes as an ingredient in your homemade vinaigrette.

How To Freeze Basil In Ice Cube Trays?

Well, as already mentioned in the above section the benefits of freezing basil leaves in ice cube trays, here are the steps you need to follow to do so perfectly:

  1. First, wash and dry your Basil leaves thoroughly and chop them in fine pieces to make them fit in the slots of an ice cube tray.
  2. Next, place about 2 cups of chopped Basil leaves in a food processor and put in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Now, puree the Basil leaves according to your choice, you can keep them a little chunky or even completely pureed.
  3. Once your Basil leaves are pureed, take the oil-basil mixture carefully and place it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet(s), preferably use a large spoon or table-spoon measure to do this.
  4. Next, place this set up inside the freezer, making sure not to tilt it anyhow, and let it sit inside the freezer for about an hour or so until the Basil leaves mixture is completely frozen solid. In the meantime, you can also transfer the Basil mixture to the slots of an ice-cube tray and let it freeze to solid for an hour.
  5. Once your Basil mixture cubes are ready, pop them inside a plastic freezer-safe bag, making sure you have squeezed out all the excess air and sealed it very tightly before putting it back inside the freezer for the final freezing process.
  6. You can also try tearing or coarsely chopping basil leaves and placing them inside the ice cube tray submerged in just water instead of oil or vegetable broth. Once the ice is melted at room temperature, drain the water from the bowl with a sieve and proceed with the recipe as given.

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Best Tips To Freeze Basil Leaves

Now, that you have learned the three major ways to freeze and preserve your Basil leaves for a really long time, let us share some amazing tips with you, following which you will get the best results while freezing your Basil. The tips are:

  • Basil tends to turn black easily when it’s frozen, hence if maintaining the bright green color of Basil is important to you, go with the Blanching process first.
  • Make sure you use oil to store your Basil only if it is going to be frozen. Instead, if you preserve Basil leaves in Olive oil in your refrigerator or at room temperature, you will end up causing botulism.
  • Use silicone ice cube trays for performing the flash freezing technique to freeze Basil leaves as they are way more flexible and make it easier for you to pop out the cubes.

How Long Can You Freeze Basil?

Basil can be frozen for up to 1 year inside the fridge, but there can be a fairly high chance for the leaves to turn black over time.

However, if you store Basil leaves with olive oil either in the plain method or as a pest, then the leaves are expected to be greener for a much longer time. Not that, basil leaves frozen in just water have a higher chance of turning black, much quicker.

How To Defrost Frozen Basil?

Basil is quite a delicate herb as compared to others, hence whole basil leaves can be easily thawed within a couple of minutes. Just take it out from the freezer and let it sit on the countertop till it normalizes down on its own.

Frozen Basil may take up to 10 to 15 minutes to thaw completely, depending upon its quantity. Instead of thawing, you can also use basil pesto cubes directly from the frozen to your dish, let it melt in the cooking heat, and coat your other ingredients.

For more knowledge on herbs such as wild garlic and their freezing methods involved refer to our quick guides on Can You Freeze Wild Garlic and clear the doubts.

FAQs On Can You Freeze Basil

1. Is it better to freeze basil or dry it?

Freezing Basil is considered to be better than drying it because freezing will retain the fresh taste better as compared to dried or shriveled ones.

2. Does basil turn black when frozen?

Yes, Basil actively turns black when frozen, so if you want to keep its bright green color intact, make sure to blanch it first before freezing.

3. Why should you not refrigerate fresh basil?

Refrigeration of Basil in loosely covered plastic bags will do nothing but turn your Basil black as opposed to other herbs like cilantro, parsley, etc. Make sure you only go for freezing instead.

4. Does freezing basil ruin it?

No, Basil can be frozen throughout the year preserving its leaves, taste, and aroma intact if you blanch it first and then store it properly either through Olive oil in ice cube trays or parchment paper as a whole in good air-tight freezer-safe bags.


With this, we end this article here today, we hope you found this article helpful enough to clear all your doubts regarding Basil’s leaves.

Make sure to read this article thoroughly and pick up any one of the preservation techniques depending on your choice, time of reuse, purpose, and resources.

Make sure to stay tuned to us for more such interesting yet informative food-related articles like Can you Freeze Dill and many more here.

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