Freezing Herbs

with Sharon Peterson

Freeze Fresh herbs like Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Sage

Three methods of freezing herbs.  Though all fresh herbs can be frozen or dried, some herbs freeze better than dehydrating.

For herbs like basil, chives, lemon balm, mint or tarragon, freezing is an option that works well.

Freezing herbs like basil, oregano, sage, and parsley are all covered in our free guide on preserving your spices fresh all winter long. Pick up some new skills at

Frozen herbs can be used in the same proportion as fresh herbs.  Remember though they will be limp when defrosted.   They are great used in recipes but don't work well for garnishes.

In the pictures on this page I am freezing oregano.  Other herbs may be frozen using the same methods.

Your first step will be to harvest and clean your herbs.  Simply rinse them if needed in clear water.  Then be sure to pat dry or spin them dry in a salad spinner.  Don't crush them.

You can also roll up the herbs in a tea towel to blot them dry.  See pictures on my freezing peas page on how I do it if needed.  Again, don't crush them.

Be sure and label and date!  The herbs will all look similar when frozen and you may not remember which is which.  

Method one.  Freezing herb leaves individually.

This is probably the easiest way to freeze herbs.  Simply strip the leaves off the stems and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Place in the freezer.

As soon as they are frozen.  Place them in a freezer bag.  Label and date.  Since the leaves froze separately you will be able to remove the amount you need.

Method two. Freezing herbs in ice cube trays in water.  

In this method you will also strip the leaves off the stems.  I like to then chop them as I would if using them fresh.  This is optional. 

Now take an ice cube tray and fill it half way full of water.  Place you herbs in each section of the tray.  I placed about a Tablespoon in each. This way I know when I use them how much each cube holds.

The herbs may float.  Don't worry about it too much.  Just get them under the water as much as possible with no fuss.Place your tray in the freezer.

The next day take them out and top off each cube. The herbs won't float and this way the herbs will be fully covered and frozen. Replace in your freezer.

After the trays are fully frozen. Pop out the herb cubes and store in a freezer bag.  Be sure to label and date.

The cubes can be used in soups, stews or other meals. 

Method three. Freezing herbs in oil.

Another great way to freeze herbs is to make an oil based paste.  Chop your herbs. Mix about 1/3 cup of oil with 2 cups of herbs.  Olive oil would work well with this.  Then freeze in the ice cube trays.

Use these cubes as you would the water based herb cubes.

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by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2019

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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