Freezing Basil Is So Easy!

Freezing basil in olive oil is so easy.  And I’m so glad for this because I grow a lot of genovese basil (pictured here).  By a lot I mean a ton.  By a ton, I mean enough to use while it is growing and enough to freeze to get us through the winter.  I’m married to my personal chef who loves to use basil.  Freezing it is similar to freezing oregano except you use olive oil instead of water.

Because basil grows throughout the summer and you need to pinch it back and keep it from flowering so it keeps on growing, I freeze in batches throughout July, August, September.  It’s easy so keep reading! 

Simply, chop up the basil to any size you wish.  Mix in a little olive oil so the leaves begin to stick together.

Stuff the leaves into ice cube trays, as little or as much as you want.  I really stuff each cube.

Top off each cube with more oil and then freeze.

Pop out the cubes, and place them in a marked baggie.  You can defrost and rinse off the oil (rarely do we rinse) and pop the leaves in your pot of bubbling goodness.  Or sprinkle the leaves over a homemade pizza.

(If you don’t grow basil, watch for it to go on sale at places like Sunflower Market or Trader Joe’s.  Snap a bunch up at that great price and freeze.  Fresh basil is the best and frozen basil is almost as good as fresh.  And buying it fresh in the winter?  That will break your bank.  So freeze some!

How do you use basil?  Share your tips in the comments below.

Chop up the leaves.

Add some olive oil. By some, I mean some…just eyeball it. Don’t make this harder than it is.


This is the size to which I chop the leaves. Again, do whatever!

In this pick, I have packed the leaves but not topped off with more oil. Do top off with more oil before freezing.

Pop out the cubes.

Pack the cubes in baggies and return to freezer.


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  • Katharine

    Thanks Laura. I have a small herb garden and was wondering how to save my abundance of basil. So excited to do this.

    • laura

      An abundance?!? Yipee! You will not regret freezing some of it. And, go ahead and do some now, pinching off the tops of the plants because it loves to be pinched. Then do another batch again, pinching and freezing. Let it grow again…pinch, freeze. We use it all winter long. If I run out I cry.

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