How To Freeze Fresh Basil Perfectly

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:58 pm

Sometimes a more abundant harvest of fresh basil is available than can be used in cooking. Professional freezing serves as an effective method of preservation. Find out here which approaches have proven successful.

Basilikum einfrieren

Careful preparation is half the battle
For basil to retain its unique flavor after freezing, preparation plays an important role. Harvest whole shoots just before flowering during the morning hours. Once royal weed blooms, the leaflets quickly take on a bitter taste. Here’s how to properly prepare basil afterwards:

  1. cut each branch so that two leaflets remain on the plant.
  2. rinse thoroughly under clean water and pat dry
  3. optionally dry in a salad spinner
  4. pluck the basil leaves one by one

How To Freeze Fresh Basil Perfectly

Now sort out all the brown leaves and otherwise damaged specimens. Chopping royal cabbage already during preparation has an immensely reducing effect on the aroma. Therefore, leave the leaves in one piece and chop them only after thawing just before preparation.

Blanching and freezing fresh basil – this is how it works

To freeze royal herb in an aroma-preserving way, it is blanched in advance. First, fill a bowl with cold water, add some ice cubes and set aside. Then fill a kettle with water and bring it to a boil. Place the prepared basil leaves in a slotted spoon. This is dipped into the boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds maximum, and then immediately into the ice water.

Subsequently, a little patience is now required, because the blanched herb leaves should dry on spread paper towels. After 10 to 15 minutes, continue in this way:

  • place the leaves one by one on a plate without touching each other
  • put them in the quick freezer for 60 to 90 minutes
  • take out the plate from the freezer
  • without delay, put the hard frozen herbs into freezer bags or tins and seal them.
  • In this way, you can now freeze the king herb in the freezer, saving space. If basil is preserved in this way, the herb can be used over the period of 6 to 12 months.
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Freezing royal cabbage in a jiffy – this is how it works
It is perhaps a little to the detriment of the aroma, but at high speed. To freeze basil particularly quickly, it is also possible without blanching. These variants are available for selection:

  • let the washed leaves dry for 30 minutes
  • spread them out individually on a baking tray
  • pre-freeze in the freezer until they are hard
  • simply collect them, put them in a freezer can and freeze them again
  • alternatively, place one basil leaf at a time in the tray of an ice cube tray
  • fill with water and freeze

Frozen in ice cube form, this variation has the advantage of uncomplicated dosing for later preparation. One basil ice cube is equivalent to one tablespoon. So if a recipe calls for two tablespoons of royal herb, get two ice cubes out of the freezer without further ado.

The gourmet method – puree and freeze basil.
Basil forms a wonderful partnership with olive oil that makes foodies cheer. This is true for all basil varieties, such as exotic Thai basil or tart wild basil. To enjoy this delicious treat all year round, we recommend the following method of freezing:

  • cut or clip off the stems from the prepared leaves
  • put them in the food processor and grind them
  • add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil during the process.

Once the chopped herb has reached the desired consistency, turn off the food processor and pour the mixture into small freezer containers. Instead of olive oil, you can also use water, whereupon a tangy sorbet will be created in the freezer.

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Tips & Tricks
If the freezer is already bulging, basil can be stored in other ways. Pickled in white wine vinegar, preserve leaves and flowers for many years. Dried in an air-circulated place, royal herb will also serve as an aromatic spice for a long time to come.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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