How to Preserve Fresh Herbs in the Freezer

Whether you have a bunch of fresh herbs from the farmer’s market, your garden or the grocery store, we are sharing tips on how to preserve them in the freezer for use any time of the year! If you are looking for how to store fresh herbs in your refrigerator, see this post.

Showing how to preserve fresh herbsPreserving Fresh Herbs in Your Freezer

Using fresh herbs is a great way to brighten any dish and bring it from just ok to really delicious! But sometimes a little goes a long way with fresh herbs and you can be left with an entire bunch leftover from one recipe. Or you have an overabundance of herbs from your summer CSA or your backyard garden and want to preserve the freshness all year long. Fear not there are TONS of ways you can preserve fresh herbs so you don’t have to waste any. We’re telling you all about the ways we’ve been successful preserving fresh herbs in the freezer. If you are looking for ways to store herbs fresh in the refrigerator, check out this post here.

There isn’t one hard and fast rule about preserving herbs, so we’re going to walk you through all of our favorite ways to store each particular herb that is good to freeze!

Can you freeze fresh herbs?

Absolutely yes. We’re talking about three main ways to store fresh herbs in the freezer for preservation today.

  1. Storing whole herbs in the freezer.
  2. Storing herbs submerged in water, stock or oil in the freezer in ice cube trays or jars.
  3. Storing pureed herbs in the freezer.

Not all herbs are equally freeze well, though. Depending on the type of herb will determine how it is best to freeze it. Soft herbs, like parsley, cilantro and dill have to be slightly processed before being able to be frozen. Others, like sage and rosemary can be frozen just as is because they are more hearty. If you don’t see an herb on this list, such as mint, it’s because we do not recommend freezing.

The Best Way to Clean Herbs

Herbs can be very dirty and gritty, whether coming from the supermarket or the farmer’s market. The best way to clean herbs is to fill up a big bowl with clean, cool water. Dunk the herbs in the water, letting all the dirt and grit sink to the bottom a few times. Empty the water, fill it back up and repeat until no sand or dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl.

It is best to dry herbs in a salad spinner. If you do not have that you can let the herbs dry in a clean kitchen towel, taking off as much water as possible, especially if you are storing the herbs in oil.

containers for saving fresh herbs

Storing Whole Herbs

Some herbs are great candidates to store in the freezer whole. To prepare them for freezing follow the steps below. Most important you want to remove as much air as possible from the storage containers, so plastic bags are a good choice here for storing whole herbs. You can use a straw to suck as much air out of the bag as possible before closing. But we preferred using glass jars to store herbs that are best cut before freezing.

Rosemary: Wash and dry the leaves / stems very well. Place in a plastic bag with as much air removed as possible and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Thyme: Wash and dry the leaves / stems very well and then pick off the leaves. Sometimes picking off all of the leaves can be tedious and difficult if the stem is soft. It’s okay to have some bits of stem in there, so long as it is soft as this contains lots of flavor. You can chop it small if you want. However, make sure you discard any woody pieces of stem as they don’t taste good! Store in a plastic bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Chives: Wash and dry and slice. Store in a airtight container or plastic bag or with as much air removed as possible and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Lemongrass: Wash and dry and remove the outer layer, then slice. Store in a airtight container or plastic bag or with as much air removed as possible and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

pieces of fresh herbs preserved

Storing Chopped Soft Herbs in Water or Oil

Soft herbs cannot be stored whole without some processing in the freezer. The herbs are washed, chopped how you would like it to be used and then submerged in either oil, water or broth. Small portions can be stored in ice cube trays, small mason jars or bags. Freeze in small quantities so you can easily take out a small amount that you’ll need in a specific dish.

Oil preserves the herbs the best because it’s air tight and prevents discoloration, plus then the oil is infused with the herb flavor. BUT you won’t always need the oil in the recipes you’ll be using the fresh herbs for. You can alternatively use water or broth to store the herbs in.

Parsley: Wash and dry the parsley and pick off the leaves. Rough chop parsley and freeze in ice cube trays or other small containers and submerge with either water, broth or oil.

Cilantro: Wash and dry the cilantro and pick off the leaves. Rough chop cilantro and freeze in ice cube trays or other small containers and submerge with either water, broth or oil.

Basil: Wash and dry the basil and pick off the leaves. Rough chop basil and freeze in ice cube trays or other small containers and submerge with either water, broth or oil.

Sage: Wash and dry the sage and pick off the leaves. Rough chop sage and freeze in ice cube trays or other small containers and submerge with either water, broth or oil.

Sage pesto with spoon

Storing Pureed Herbs in the Freezer

Our favorite method for storing herbs is to make a simple puree with olive oil and storing in the freezer. Delicate herbs like basil, dill and cilantro are best preserved this way. We’ve included a recipe for a simple pesto below but really any combination of herbs with a touch of olive oil and some seasoning will brighten up any future dish. We recommend adding an extra splash of olive oil to the surface of the herbs to help preserve them longer, since oil creates an air tight seal. You could also use broth and stock as well.

When making a puree you do not always need to take all of the stem off. There is a lot of flavor in the stem so often times we will leave portions of the stem in and not be as careful with taking off individual leaves. This is only true though for soft herbs like basil, parsley, dill and cilantro. “Woody” stems from herbs like thyme, rosemary and sage are not edible.

Parsley: Clean the parsley. Pick the leaves from the stem or optionally leave some of stem in for more flavor.  Puree with oil or water and (optionally with additional flavoring) and make parsley pesto.

Cilantro: Clean the cilantro. Pick the leaves from the stem or optionally leave some of stem in for more flavor. Puree with oil or water and (optionally with additional flavoring) and make cilantro pesto.

Dill: Clean the dill. Pick the fronds from the stem or optionally leave some of stem in for more flavor. Puree with oil, water or broth.

Basil: Clean the basil. Pick the leaves from the stem or optionally leave some of stem in for more flavor. Puree with oil, water or broth or make a pesto.

Sage: Clean the sage Pick the leaves from the stem (do not puree with stem). Puree with oil, water or broth or make a pesto.

Ways to use preserved herbs:

  • in soups, stews or sauces
  • With pasta, rice
  • In a salad dressing
  • In egg dishes (omelet or quich)
  • As a sauce (think freezer pesto chicken)
  • As a spread on sandwiches, pizza
  • As a dip

Simple Pesto

Prep Time 00:05 Total Time 00:05 Yields 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups herbs
  • ⅓ cup nuts or seeds (pine nuts, almonds, pistachio, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine herbs and nuts and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add the Parmesan, if adding, and pulse again.
  3. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. When storing, drizzle some extra olive oil on top of the pesto to create an air tight seal.
  6. Will keep in refrigerator about 1 week. Will keep in freezer about 3 months.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

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How to Preserve Fresh Herbs in the Freezer

How to Store Fresh Herbs in the Refrigerator

Fresh herbs can accumulate quickly in your refrigerator, whether you have a bunch of fresh herbs from the farmer’s market, your garden or the grocery store we are sharing tips on how to store them in your refrigerator so they remain fresh for as long as possible! If you are looking for how to preserve fresh herbs in your freezer, see this post!

how to store fresh herbs so they lastHow to Store Fresh Herbs So They Last

Using fresh herbs is a great way to brighten any dish and bring it from just ok to wow! But sometimes a little goes a long way with fresh herbs and you can be left with a whole lot leftover from one recipe. Or you have an overabundance of herbs from your summer CSA or your backyard garden and want to make them last as long as possible. We’re sharing all the ways we’ve succesfully stored fresh herbs in the refrigerator to get the maximum use out of them. If you are looking for ways to preserve fresh herbs in the freezer to last all year, check out this post here.

There are two main ways we recommend storing fresh herbs for maximum longevity in the refrigerator. But how you store them depends on what type of herb it is! Soft herbs, or herbs with a soft stem, such as cilantro, dill, parsley, basil should be stored liked fresh flowers, in a jar of water. Hard herbs, or herbs with a hard stem should be stored rolled in a slightly damn paper towel in a bag in the refrigerator.

Cutting the ends off herbs so they last longer

How to Store Soft Herbs: treat as flowers

Storing soft herbs in jars with water prolongs the life of the herbs by keeping them alive like flowers.

Pro-tip: Don’t wash these herbs until right before use.

To store parsley, cilantro or dill cut off 1” of the stems and place in a jar with water and store in the refrigerator. We found it unnecessary (and wasteful) to place a plastic bag over the top of the herbs as they stayed just as fresh without one. Check and replace water as necessary, or every few days. Store until the leaves start to turn yellow or very limp, about 2-4 weeks (seriously).

To store fresh basil: cut off 1” of the stems place in a jar with water and store at room temperature just like fresh flower. Refresh water as necessary, or every few days. Store for about 1 week or until the basil has turned soft and limp. Please note: this only works with very fresh basil cut from a garden or the farmers market. The boxes of basil that you buy in the store is typically grown in green houses and are not hearty enough to be stored for longevity. Store bought green house basil must be used within a few days before it starts to go bad.

How to Store Hard Herbs: prolong moisture content

Storing hard herbs in damp paper towels prolongs their moisture levels and keeps them fresher, longer. You’ll notice there is one herb included in here that is not technically a hard herb: chives. Chives last the longest when they are frozen, see this post, but they can have a longer shelf life in the refrigerator when stored the same way as hard herbs.

To store sage, thyme, rosemary, mint, or chives:  Clean and dry the herbs very well (see below for cleaning tips). Place in a pile in a slightly damp paper towel and wrap them up. Place inside of a plastic bag with a few punctured holes. Keep in the refrigerator about 1-2 weeks or more. 

Best ways to store fresh herbs

The Best Way to Clean Herbs

Herbs can be very dirty and gritty, whether coming from the supermarket or the farmer’s market. The best way to clean herbs is to fill up a big bowl with clean, cool water. Dunk the herbs in the water, letting all the dirt and grit sink to the bottom a few times. Empty the water, fill it back up and repeat until no sand or dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl.

It is best to dry herbs in a salad spinner. If you do not have that you can let the herbs dry in a clean kitchen towel, taking off as much water as possible.

Rolling up herbs so they last the longest

Recipes that feature herbs:

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How to Store Fresh Herbs in the Fridge

Loaded Kimchi Fries

Loaded Kimchi Fries | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Perfectly crispy oven baked fries topped with caramelized kimchi (seriously amazing), cilantro, cheddar cheese, onion, and a special spicy sauce makes for the ultimate vegetarian side-dish or appetizer. These Loaded Kimchi Fries will take your french fry game to the next level!

    Loaded Kimchi Fries | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

I often get asked where I get inspiration for my cooking. One of the best sources of inspiration is from traveling! Trying new cuisines, meeting the brilliant chefs behind the dishes, and exploring new flavor profiles and combinations are some of my favorite things to do!

I have been wanting to create this recipe ever since trying the Kimchi Fries at the Korean BBQ inspired food truck turned store front, Chi’lantro during my last trip to Austin, Texas! I couldn’t get over the complex and all-around amazing flavors going on and had to try making a version of my own.

I left out the meat to make these a fabulous meatless/vegetarian side, though they did serve them up with some pretty amazing chicken and pork!

Kimchi Fries | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Look at those crispy, crispy fries!

These will definitely be a staple for game-day entertaining and summer BBQ’s! Everyone will go nuts of these flavors, guaranteed.

Loaded Kimchi Fries | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Look at all of those toppings! A truly amazing flavor combination.

P.S. I recommend digging in with a fork!

Loaded Kimchi Fries | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Loaded Kimchi Fries

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 45 minutes Total Time 0:55 Yields 3

Ingredients

    Fries

    Caramelized Kimchi

    Spicy Mayonnaise

    • 1/4 cup organic mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade
    • 1 tablespoon Sriracha

    Everything Else

    • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1 small onion, sliced thin
    • 2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon black and white sesame seeds for garnish
    • 1 avocado, thinly sliced or diced
    • Optional: Sprinkle Nori (dried seaweed) on top as a garnish

    Directions

    1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees °F.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, toss potatoes in spices.
    3. Lay potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with additional spices if desired. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crispy. Toss every 15-20 minutes and make sure there is a good amount of space between each potato.
    4. Combine kimchi ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Heat a medium skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the kimchi to the pan and cook over high heat until the kimchi has browned, about 4-5 minutes. Take off heat, roughly chop and set aside until ready to assemble.
    5. In a small mixing bowl, mix Sriracha and mayo until well combined.
    6. Place baked fries in a desired serving dish. Top with cheese if using, onions, cilantro, caramelized kimchi, avocado, and sesame seeds. Drizzle with spicy mayo and serve!

    Recipe Notes

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    There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

    Tequila Lime Shrimp

    This Tequila Lime Shrimp is packed with flavor, easy to make, and is the absolute perfect summer shrimp dish! It’s ready in under 15 minutes and you can pair it with veggies, zucchini noodles, rice or cauliflower rice for a delicious weeknight or weekend meal in no time. It’s gluten-free, low-carb and paleo friendly!

    Skillet tequila lime shrimp

    This Tequila Lime Shrimp recipe is one of those dishes that can be whipped up pretty quickly when you don’t have much else on hand. If you are like me, you’ll likely have some frozen shrimp hanging out in your freezer that can be defrosted quickly and the whole thing cooked up from start to finish in about 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite side dish, over a bed of greens or as tacos!

    Here’s what you need:

    • butter or oil
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1 small yellow onion
    • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, about 15-20 shrimp
    • salt and pepper
    • clear tequila
    • 3 limes
    • handful of fresh cilantro

    Fork holding shrimp

    How can you defrost frozen shrimp quickly?

    Place the frozen shrimp in a bowl with cold water for about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under water for a minute and the shrimp will be ready to go!

    What can I serve this with?

    Tequila lime shrimp is versatile and you can serve it with so many different sides:

    An easy shrimp recipes in a skillet

    If you like this seafood recipe, check out these others:

    [yumprint-recipe id=’365′]