Freezing herbs is a great way to preserve them. Come and take a look at how to freeze fresh herbs so that you can readily use them in your favorite recipes any time you want.
Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavor, aroma, and vibrant color to many dishes without adding extra calories or salt.
Unfortunately, they can quickly lose their sought-after qualities even if adequately refrigerated.
The solution is simple – freeze the herbs! Freezing is one of the most effortless ways to preserve fresh herbs.
It doesn’t take up much space; it’s easy to do, helps you save money in the long run, and creates less food waste and fewer trips to the grocery store.
You can freeze fresh herbs individually, like freezing parsley and herb mixtures.
Today’s focus will be freezing the combination of rosemary, sage, and parsley.
You can freeze freshly chopped herbs in ice cube trays, airtight containers, or a Ziploc bag. Use frozen cubes of rosemary, sage, and parsley in soups, stews or oven-roasted potatoes year-round – replace the fresh herbs in your recipe as needed!
Whether you grow herbs in your backyard garden or buy them fresh from a farmer’s market or grocery store, look at how to freeze herbs so that you always have this delicious ingredient. This article also provides easy methods for refrigerating herbs.
- Harvesting and Shopping Tips
- How to Preserve Fresh Herbs in the Refrigerator
- Which herbs freeze best
- How to freeze herbs in multiple ways
- Let’s prep our herbs for freezing
- Chopping and mincing
- Freezing chopped herbs on their own
- Freezing herbs in ice cube trays
- Recipes to substitute for fresh
- More food preservation
- 1-Freezing Tomatoes
- 2-Freezing Rhubarb
- 3-Freezing Parsley
- 4-Freezing Swiss Chard
- 5-Freezing Fresh Peas
- 6-Freezing Strawberries
- How to Freeze Fresh Herbs
Harvesting and Shopping Tips
Growing your herbs and/or planting a herb garden is easier than you think! Whether growing in a backyard garden or pots on your patio, most plants grow prolifically to provide enough delicious flavors all season long.
To get the most from your herbs and to preserve your summer’s bounty, harvest them anytime during the season when they are at their peak flavor and aroma but before they start to flower. It is important to pick your herbs early in the day after plants have dried off but before hot weather sets in. [source]
When purchasing at the grocery store or produce market, look for herbs with vibrant green leaves and healthy-looking stalks- avoid any bunches that have yellowing or limp stems, as they’re most likely going bad.
How to Preserve Fresh Herbs in the Refrigerator
If you store your herbs properly, they will last 2-7 days in the fridge. This window of time allows you to use them or freeze them.
- Make a fresh cut on the bottom of the stems or stalks.
- Gently wrap the herbs in a damp paper towel.
- Slide the bundle into an open bag or container to prevent excessive moisture buildup.
- Store them in your refrigerator.
Another option for storing fresh herbs is to place the stems in water with leaves covered by a plastic bag and refrigerate them.
Which herbs freeze best
Herbs are the perfect way to add fresh flavor and aroma to your cooking. Frozen, they can be used just like fresh ones!
Many different kinds of herbs can be frozen, including cilantro, chives, dill, lemon balm, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, and tarragon.
Experiment with various herbs and combinations until you find one that suits you best – experiment by changing amounts; if it doesn’t work out, try another type of herb.
My favorite herb combinations to freeze are parsley, rosemary, and sage.
How to freeze herbs in multiple ways
If you love cooking but hate throwing away your overflow of fresh herbs, freezing is the perfect solution for long-term storage. Luckily, several ways to effectively freeze and preserve your favorite kitchen ingredients exist!
Let’s prep our herbs for freezing
To retain the most flavor out of your fresh herbs, let’s prepare them correctly.
Here are the simple steps:
- Soak the herbs in a large bowl of water, and swish them around. This will dislodge dirt, debris, or even insects -especially if picked from your backyard. You can soak with or without stems attached.
- To prevent freezer burn and the formation of ice crystals, it is important to get them as dry as possible. To do this, you can either spin or pat dry your leaves with paper towels or a tea towel for those without a salad spinner available.
How to prep sage leaves: When preparing sage leaves, they’re large and bulky, pinching them from the stem much easier than with smaller plants or herbs. It’s also worth including some of these stalks when making your homemade broth for extra flavor!
How to remove rosemary leaves from the stem: Hold the top part of the rosemary stem with one hand. On the other hand, pull down the individual leaves until it is bare. The rosemary stalk adds flavor to a homemade broth and white bean soup!
How to prep parsley leaves: Pinching the leaves from their stems is a delicate process that takes a little time but avoids bruising them, producing great results.
Learn more about How to Freeze Parsley
Chopping and mincing
To prepare your herbs for freezing, you can leave them whole or chop them down to the desired size.
To chop: Place the dry fresh herbs on a cutting board. Gather them in an even smaller pile and hold them down nicely with one hand while using your other hand to slice thin with as little effort as possible! Turn leaves 90 degrees, then cut again if needed until you have perfectly uniform pieces of whatever herb you are preparing to freeze.
To mince: Keep chopping your herbs, this time holding the handle with one hand and applying pressure to its tip. This will pivot the knife, allowing you to cut and mince the parsley as finely as you like. You can also use a food processor for mincing if you like – just a few pulses until it’s as fine or chunky as desired!
Another easy option is to use a mezzaluna to chop and mince your herbs down to size.
Freezing chopped herbs on their own
Now that you have the herbs chopped down to your preferred size, it’s time to freeze them, so they’ll be ready when you need them.
Place loosely into a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Label, date and freeze your bag. Use as needed. If you are making different herb mixtures, it’s a good idea to label each bag with the herb variety it contains.
Another option is to create a solid block by rolling whole leaves into a long log that can then be sliced with a sharp knife. This is a great method for fresh sage leaves.
To do so, firmly pack the herbs in a gallon-size Ziploc freezer bag. Without sealing the bag, lay it flat on your counter and start rolling from the bottom up while pushing out the air. When you reach the top, seal your bag. Be sure to label and date your bag before freezing.
When you are ready to use your frozen herbs, there is no need to thaw them. Remove the amount you need and quickly replace the container or log back into the freezer.
Freezing herbs in ice cube trays
The most convenient and best way to freeze herbs is using a standard ice cube tray. This preservation method creates frozen herb ice cubes perfect for cooking with and adding soups, stews, sauces, and more! The most common way to create these frozen herb cubes is by adding water or oil. However, you can also make them without any liquid at all!
Follow these steps for this convenient freezing option.
- Mince the bunch of fresh herbs.
- Measure 1½ tablespoons of minced herbs into each section of an ice cube tray.
- As an option, cover the herbs with 1½ tablespoons of cold water or olive oil. Neutral vegetable oil can also be used.
- Place the tray in your freezer until the cubes are frozen solid.
- Pop out the water or oil cubes, transfer them to a Ziploc plastic freezer bag, and seal them.
- Store them in the freezer until you need them.
If you can’t immediately freeze your herbs, refrigerate them in an airtight container first. This will help to preserve their flavor and keep them fresh for longer.
Frozen herbs can last up to 6 months when properly stored and without fluctuating temperatures. However, the longer it stays in the freezer, the greater the possibility of experiencing freezer burn. Furthermore, herbs may lose their flavor over time.
The best way to use frozen herbs is to add them directly to dishes while they are cooking, preferably towards the end of cooking. This will help to preserve their flavor and prevent them from becoming overcooked.
Recipes to substitute for fresh
This frozen herb mixture of rosemary, sage, and parsley can easily be used as a direct substitute for fresh in this roasted potatoes and carrots recipe. It also works well in this Italian sausage and potatoes recipe.
More food preservation
Food preservation and proper storage are key to preventing your food from going bad. There are many methods of food preservation, such as canning, freezing, pickling and drying. If you’re interested in learning more, check out these other step-by-step guides.
Do you have any fresh herbs that you need to use up? If so, then consider freezing them! Freezing herbs is a great way to preserve their flavor and make them last longer. Plus, it’s really easy to do! Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be freezing fresh herbs like a pro in no time.
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You can find the mezzaluna I am using in my amazon store. If it interests you, head to my amazon store for all the details.
★★★★★ Are you planning on freezing herbs? I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate these different methods!
How to Freeze Fresh Herbs
- 1 bunch sage fresh, washed and prepped
- 4 sprigs rosemary fresh, washed and prepped
- 6 stems parsley fresh, washed and prepped
- 18 tablespoons olive oil or water (optional)
- Properly wash herbs and use a salad spinner to remove all moisture. Tea towels can also be used.
- Mince the herbs.
- Place minced herbs in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Transfer to freezer until ready to use.
- Measure a total of 1½ tablespoons of minced herbs into each section of an ice cube tray.
- Cover the herbs with 1½ tablespoon of cold water or olive oil.
- Place the tray in your freezer until the cubes are frozen solid.
- Pop-out the cubes, transfer them to a Ziploc plastic freezer bag and seal. Store in the freezer until you need them.
- For both options, there is no need to thaw before using.