Freeze fresh herbs at their peak to preserve them for the year.

By Carl Hanson and Melanie Fincher
Updated March 10, 2021
Advertisement

I know I'm not the only one who feels wasteful buying fresh herbs, knowing that I'll never get through the whole bundle before they go bad. Fortunately, there's a simple solution to this conundrum. Freezing fresh herbs preserves their freshness so you can actually get your money's worth from that bundle of fresh herbs for once. Here's how to freeze fresh herbs in three simple steps.

How to Freeze Fresh Herbs Step-by-Step

1. Blanch

First, rinse the herbs as you would normally. To blanch, hold the herbs by their stems using a pair of tongs. Dip them in a pot of boiling water for about 10 seconds. Once the herbs brighten in color, plunge them into a bowl of ice water to cool. This process will help to preserve their color and flavor, especially if you plan to store them in the freezer long term.

Water Boiling on a Gas Stove, stainless pot.
Credit: Getty Images

2. Dry and Remove Stems

Dry thoroughly, in a salad spinner; then dab dry with paper towels. Remove the stems and either chop or leave them whole, depending on how you plan to use them.

Parsley-spun-dry-in-a-salad-spinner_Photo-by-Karla-Conrad.jpg

3. Freeze

To freeze hardier herbs like rosemary and mint, portion out individual servings of herbs, and place them in freezer-safe bags. Add two tablespoons of oil or water to help preserve the flavor. Label with the date and freeze for up to three months.

Herbs-Preserved.jpg

For less hardy herbs, like cilantro and basil, remove leaves from stems and give them a whirl in the food processor with just enough olive oil to create a pesto-like paste. Then freeze in small ice trays for adding, pre-chopped, into dishes.

Pesto-Cubes
Photo by Carl Hanson

How to Use Frozen Herbs

For cooked dishes like soups and sauces, there's no need to defrost, simply toss your individually-portioned herbs into the dish and cook as otherwise directed. For cold or room temperature dishes, thaw the herbs and drain before adding them to the dish.

Related: