Don’t Waste Your Fresh Herbs, Freeze Them

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I love to cook with fresh herbs but do you know what I don’t love? The fresh herbs wilting and going bad in my refrigerator before I’ve had a chance to use them. Then there are those recipes where you only need a little but you have to purchase a whole bunch from the store. Sure, planting your own herbs is a great solution but you still need to trim them down before they bolt and then what do you do with them? You can freeze them. 

This is one of those “why didn’t I think of this sooner?” things. It seems so obvious to me now but if it hadn’t occurred to me after years and years of wasting my fresh herbs then maybe it hasn’t occurred to you either. 

Don't Waste Your Fresh Herbs, Freeze Them

This really couldn’t be more simple. There aren’t any special things to do or preparations to make. First you wash your herbs, I wash and dry mine in a salad spinner. Once your herbs are clean, pull the leaves off and discard the stems. You don’t have to be perfect with this because the stems taste good, but the thicker ones can have a woody texture. 

Don't Waste Your Fresh Herbs, Freeze Them

Chop up the leaves just like you would if you were cooking with them. This doesn’t have to be perfect, a rough chop will do just fine. Once they’re chopped put them in a freezer bag, get as much air out as possible, label, and freeze. Living in Colorado my freezer may look a little suspicious to some people but really, it’s just parsley, basil, chives, and dill and they all freeze beautifully. 

Don't Waste Your Fresh Herbs, Freeze Them

To cook with your frozen herbs you don’t have to defrost them, they will defrost as they cook. It’s so convenient to have them already chopped; simply measure the amount you need for your recipe then put them back in the freezer.

Note: They do start to defrost fairly quickly once they’re out on your counter so take them out right as you need to use them then put them back in the freezer. That’s it! So simple, so tasty, so convenient. 

I love to make tomato sauce and burritos with my frozen herbs. What is your favorite thing to make with fresh herbs? 

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  1. You can also just freeze freshly washed and dried herbs whole, without chopping them up. If you look in a grocery store they sell them this way fresh in the produce section. Often they’ll mark these packages down and I’ll buy and freeze.
    It’s easy to throw the herbs in whole in soups, stews, gravies etc; or you can tear them if wanted.

  2. This never occurred to me either, and I cook with herbs ALL the time. This year I will have cilantro, basil, thyme, sage and parsley in my herb garden…and now I know they won’t go to waste. Thanks for this “aha” moment, Regan!

  3. We’ll be starting our garden soon and I hate wasting unused herbs. Never thought to do this. Thanks for sharing!

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