How to freeze fresh herbs in olive oil – the perfect way to extend your herb garden bounty

Have an excess of herbs? Then follow this simple and fullproof method to preserve and freeze extra herbs that you can use all throughout the year!

Learn how to make your own herb bombs at home by freezing excess herbs in olive oil! This method works great for basil, parsley, chives, rosemary, oregano and more. It’s an awesome way to save time, have fresh herbs available year-round and cut down on food waste.

I’ve never had good luck with growing herbs, but I really am trying. What often happens is I get excess from neighbours and friends or any of the local farms. People often have carts in front of their property with an honesty box selling their home-grown vegies and herbs. I love these types of operations because you can get a pumpkin bigger than your head for $2 and it lasts forever!

But today’s post isn’t about pumpkin, even though we always have an abundance of them. I have some basil growing and its flourishing. It’s getting taller instead of bushier which makes me think I should change the planter it is currently in.

how to freeze fresh herbs in olive oil

Why this is something you should implement in your kitchen

This simple hack on making your own herb bombs at home will help you enjoy fresh herbs all year long! Next time you’re making a Bolognese drop one of these into your mixture or add an herb bomb of chives to your fave Sunday scrambled eggs! The options are endless and ensures you have access to fresh herbs even if they’re out of season or you haven’t been able to source any.

Recipes that herb bombs would be amazing for include:

  • chives in omelettes, quiche, scrambled eggs or any other breakfast eggs
  • Parsley, oregano and basil for pasta sauce
  • rosemary for roasted potatoes or focaccia
  • thyme and rosemary for vegetable-based soups.
  • Honey mustard and chili pulled pork

I often end up buying several batches of basil to cook with because I don’t want to disturb what I have in the garden. (It makes absolutely no sense, I know!) The basil plants are full of leaves and will get to the point they’ll need picking. So, my next step will be to preserve them as best I can, just in time for the weather to turn cold and the frost to kill them.

And what about those times where you need to use an herb for a recipe in a small amount? We’ve all been there. A pinch of this (to taste), a pinch of that (to taste), and then you have all this extra that you have no use for.

Most times – and I’m sure this applies to many of us – most times I think I’m going to use it and I don’t. Instead it ends up tucked into the deep part of my fridge, gets squashed by a heavy piece of fruit and then a week later starts smelling because it’s turned into sludge.

The super-easy method!

I want to save as much of the basil as possible to use over the coming months. One of the best ways to do it, whether buying in bulk or from grown is to freeze them with oil in ice cube trays. The below is the easiest and most full proof method in doing so:

  1. Wash and dry the herbs.
  2. Cut or mince into the size dice you like to use. More delicate herbs like basil may bruise, so it’s best to gently chop those instead.
  3. Place loose pockets of herbs in the ice cube dish compartments. Do not pack the herbs in.
  4. Now, pour olive oil in to cover.
  5. Then put the filled trays in the freezer. Once solid, remove the frozen cubes, and store in a Ziploc bag or other freezer safe container for up to 6 months.
  6. When ready to use, simply add the amount of herbs required by a recipe straight into a skillet or thaw first if adding to a cold dish like pasta salad.

This method works well with any soft herb such as parsley, coriander, fennel, thyme, or oregano. Herbs like rosemary – which are woodier – still work, however their texture in the final food is sometimes a bit lumpy and woody.

When you need some fresh basil in you cooking, just grab an ice cube or two and whack it in. Delicious fresh basil flavour all year round.

Some of my fave tools for preserving herbs in oil

My favourite trays are the ones with the lids. It helps stop spillage when moving the trays to the freezer and instantly makes them stackable.

These ones from Amazon are perfect. I like them because they have the lip on the edge to make it easier to open. I have these trays in this size and a slightly smaller size and use them all the time.

You can also freeze herbs without oil if that is your preference. Simple wash the herbs and pat them dry, then place them on a flat tray and pop them in the freezer. When they have frozen right through, transfer them into a ziplock bag and use them as needed.

How do you preserve extra herbs? I’m thinking of trying dehydrating and freeze drying and would love to finally get around to doing it in the freeze dryer.

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