freezing basil and garlic – another kitchen shortcut

My basil plant has been growing like crazy, but I noticed that lately even it looks unhappy in the heat. I was afraid that it would end up baked before my tomatoes were ready, so I thought I’d be proactive and put some of it in the freezer just in case. I freeze it in cubes, which makes it handy to pop one or two into a pot of sauce or soup.

There is no recipe for this one. I kill two birds with one stone and chop garlic and basil together with some olive oil and freeze it all in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I just pop the cubes into freezer bags and label them.

Just fill up your food processor with basil (I had the bowl packed full) and garlic (I used about 2 1/2 heads of it) and chop it all together with some olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice to keep it fresh. You could go ahead and make pesto too and freeze it this way, but this is the quick and easy, done in a few minutes version. It would be easy enough to make it into pesto in the food processor afterwards with the addition of parmesan and pine nuts (or, if like me you are out, roasted pumpkin seeds and nutritional yeast).

Linked to A Pinch of Joy, Like a Mustard Seed, Frugally Sustainable, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Traditional Tuesday, A Delightful Home, Homestead Simple, I Did It Tuesday

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38 thoughts on “freezing basil and garlic – another kitchen shortcut

  1. thank you thank you thank you – I am going to do that with my basil – am having same issues as you – thanks so much bbff (best blog friend forever) – sorry could not resist that last one–do I sound twelve years old?

  2. Love this – I really needed a solution for the massive amount of herbs growing in my garden right now. There are only two of us and we can never eat as much as we can grow. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Sarah says:

    THANK YOU! I really appreciate this tip, my basil doesn’t love all this heat either. This is great!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Great idea Heidi! Lovin’ it.

  5. Somer says:

    Great Idea Heidi! I freeze a lot of my fresh herbs because it keeps things simple and I can use them all year round. I have frozen fresh pesto too (the nutritional yeast and nut variety too, hehe). But I’ve never thought of doing the cube idea with the garlic. AND I LOVE IT!

  6. oceannah says:

    GREAT! and so easy to pop into anything when you want a burst of basil-y flavor…thanks Heidi.


  7. Excellent tips – thanks so much.

  8. Heidi, as always, helpful and time saving tips! I rescue my herbs (basil and otherwise) by cutting them back and then sticking them in the freezer, in plastic containers or bags. When I go to make sauce or a stew in the winter, I toss them in. I’m always thankful when I take the time to label them. Frozen herbs all look the same!! Your method seems much more civilized. Thanks.

  9. Fantastic idea – will give this a go!! Thank you!

  10. Fairy says:

    I am interested in the vegan pesto. Do you have a specific recipe? Thanks

    • No, sorry, I would have just added stuff in the normal proportions until it tasted right. Any pesto recipe, that is.. so I probably would have added 1/4 cup nutritional yeast to replace the cheese – or started smaller and increased up to that amount.

  11. love this! so clever! heck it even looks tasty to me just all frozen up in blocks haha.

  12. Roar Sweetly says:

    Oh I’m definitely trying this one.

  13. slowborg says:

    I really need a food processor. I love your new header photo too 🙂

  14. Katie Glenn says:

    More uses for my ice cube trays! Going to give this a try!

  15. Shira says:

    A totally brilliant tip! This would also be great for parsley come the end of the season and to prepare for winter. Awesome Heidi!

  16. Thanks for the tip! We’re having the same problem.

  17. Great idea. I’d heard about freezing basil in ice cube trays, but thought you’d have to add some water. This is better!

  18. laraszoo says:

    This is such a great idea! All my herbs are starting to wilt in the heat.

  19. Sharon says:

    What a great idea! Love it! I hope I remember it . . .

  20. I just bought ice cube trays so I could do this tomorrow… great tip. I also followed your link to Frugally Sustainable and a. love that blog and b. I found My Merry Messy Life there and I really like that one too! (Um, I love yours too)… =)

    • Thanks for leading me to My Merry Messy Life – hadn’t seen that one before and spent some time looking through it last night.

      I’m making some more cubes up today too. The rest of the basil plant was looking extremely unhappy, so I’m going to finish it off. The ice cube trays clean up nicely in the dishwasher afterwards.

      • MMML is an awesome site… but that lady is a little out there on some things… like the toilet paper! I don’t know if I could ever do that. But hey, more power to her… if it works in her house that’s cool. I’m going to make that deodorant today though!!!

  21. Courtney says:

    Love this! My basil is also looking sad and I was considering drying it, but i think I’ll try this instead. Thanks! New follower from Musings of an Imperfect Mom

  22. I just made some more too, before my basil plant bit the dust altogether. Welcome, and nice to meet you!

  23. […] and really flavorful. I made some quick pesto using it and the basil from my garden. Thank you, lightlycrunchy, for this inspiration! (There wasn’t enough to […]

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