How to Freeze Basil (Basil Cubes)

Learn how to freeze basil from your garden with these easy basil cubes with olive oil! Keep them in your freezer, then toss them into pasta dishes, soups, stews, and salad dressings for a quick pop of herb flavor.

Basil is one of my favorite herbs in the world. Its fresh flavor adds the perfect touch to so many dishes. My mom and I are both equally obsessed with it and grow a ton in our herb gardens every year!

When I have extra basil on hand, I love freezing it for easy use later or during non-growing seasons. To protect the leaves in the freezer, this method uses olive oil instead of blanching which is simpler and saves time!

Ingredients – What You Need

You’ll need only two ingredients to do these flavor cubes – fresh basil and olive oil!

A mason jar of olive oil and fresh basil sitting on a wooden board with a light background behind them.

How To Freeze Basil

  1. First, wash the basil and pat it dry with a towel. Then chop it into fine pieces.
  2. Then, lay out an ice cube tray (depending on how big it is) and add 1 Tablespoon of chopped basil to each cube slot in the tray, and about 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil (depending on how much oil you want in the cubes).
  3. Freeze basil cubes for 2-3 hours or overnight, until frozen solid. Then remove the cubes from the tray and place them in a freezer bag and freeze for whenever you need them!

A wooden cutting board with finely chopped fresh basil on it.

Freezing Fresh Basil Versus Drying Basil

Freezing and drying fresh basil are two great ways to save this wonderful summer herb! I personally love freezing basil more than drying it. Freezing helps preserve the freshness of the leaves (especially when frozen with olive oil), so when it’s added to dishes it tastes almost like using fresh summer basil!

Drying basil is of course great (and we do that too!), but I find a lot of the fresh flavor is lost when it’s dried. So these basil cubes are my favorite way to keep the freshness of this summer herb all year long!

Tips for Success

Use a food processor to speed things up! If you have lots of fresh basil to cut, use a food processor and add olive oil to the food processor to help it blend. Then measure and add straight to the ice cube tray!

Add different flavors – make the cubes more flavorful by adding minced garlic, lemon zest or juice, or even some additional herbs like fresh oregano or thyme. Be sure to separate and label the flavored ones in the freezer so you know which flavor is which!

Use quality olive oil – not water – For the basil cubes to have a longer freezer life and stay fresh (and green!) use quality olive oil to help preserve the herb instead of water.

How long they’ll keep in the freezer I like to keep these in my freezer for up to 6 to 9 months! They’re wonderful to make at the end of summer so they’re still fresh for the winter months.

Best ways to store them – Once the cubes are frozen and removed from the tray. Then keep them in a stasher bag (my favorite) or in a sealed freezer-friendly bag to stay fresh and prevent freezer burn.

A bowl filled with frozen basil cubes. The bowl is sitting on a wooden board with fresh herbs arranged around it.

How to Use Them

Salad dressings! One of my favorite ways to use these basil cubes is salad dressings! I’m constantly making homemade salad dressings (since I don’t use store-bought) and they are SO nice to pop out of the freezer and thaw into a salad dressing base.

Soups, stews, and sauces! Throughout the winter I love popping these cubes in a pot of warm soup like this vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli or minestrone soup! They’re also perfect for adding to our San Marzano tomato sauce or our fresh tomato sauce for fresh herb flavor.

Lasagnas and baked pastas! Love adding these to my favorite pasta dishes like our vegetable lasagna, Cauliflower baked ziti or any baked pasta dish you like. Just let the cube thaw for 20-30 minutes in a small cup before adding.

If you tried this How to Freeze Basil (Basil Cubes) recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

How to Freeze Basil (Basil Cubes)

5 from 1 vote

Learn how to freeze basil from your garden with these easy basil cubes with olive oil! Keep them in your freezer, then toss them into pasta dishes, soups, stews, and salad dressings for a quick pop of herb flavor.

Servings 12 cubes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Tags: basil cubes, how to freeze basil
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Calories: 81 kcal

Ingredients

  • a large bundle of fresh basil leaves (about 1/2 cup when chopped)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Chop the basil: after washing the basil leaves and patting them dry with a towel, chop the leaves into fine pieces.

  2. Make cubes: in an ice tray, add 1 Tablespoon of chopped basil with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil (depending on how much oil you want, I used 2 Tablespoons per cube).

  3. Freeze: when olive oil and basil are evenly distributed to the ice cube tray, freeze for 2-3 hours or overnight until they're frozen solid. Then remove the cubes from the tray and place the cubes in a freezer-friendly bag. Keep frozen until ready to use!

Notes

How long they’ll keep in the freezer I like to keep these in my freezer for up to 6 to 9 months! They’re wonderful to make at the end of summer so they’re still fresh for the winter months.

Best ways to store them – Once the cubes are frozen and removed from the tray, keep them in a stasher bag (my favorite) or in a sealed freezer-friendly bag to stay fresh and prevent freezer burn.

Nutrition Facts
How to Freeze Basil (Basil Cubes)
Amount Per Serving (1 basil cube)
Calories 81 Calories from Fat 85
% Daily Value*
Fat 9.4g14%
Saturated Fat 1.3g7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.7g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0.2mg0%
Carbohydrates 0.1g0%
Fiber 0.1g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 0.1g0%
Vitamin A 1IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

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