in the kitchen

How to Freeze Fresh Herbs

Go Gingham: Making fresh herbs last longer

While I like fresh herbs to last, in hot weather they can wilt before using them. Store bought frozen or freeze dried herbs are nice but there’s all that packaging and expense. Wasting food is a waste of resources. My solution? Food process herbs and freeze them in a glass jar.

This couldn’t be easier to do. Let’s do this with cilantro, which is an herb I seem to use almost daily!

Start with a fresh bunch of cilantro. If it’s already looking wilted, cut off the bottom inch or so and stick it in a glass of cold water overnight.

Fresh cilantro cutting off bottom Go Gingham

Pretend like it’s a bouquet of flowers and admire it.

Go Gingham: Making fresh herbs last longer

Now that your cilantro is fresh, let’s begin. With a food processor, place the entire bunch of herbs in the bowl and process/pulse until all chopped up. Once it’s done, use a small spatula to place cilantro in a small glass jar or two. Be sure and label. When frozen everything looks the same.

Frozen cilantro Go Gingham

When you want to use your herbs, take out the jar and let it come to room temperature for a few minutes. Get the herbs you need and then refreeze the jar. We’re a microwave free home so I’ve not tried using a microwave. Less than ten minutes in a warm kitchen usually does the trick.

Another option is leaving the jar out on the counter and letting it completely thaw. I do that if using the entire jar of herbs.

Follow these directions for freezing any herbs. Don’t blanch and freeze anything – too much work! With basil, I just harvest it and stick it in a freezer bag – stems and all. When we want to cook with it, break off a chunk and cut it up or simply toss it in. You can’t go wrong with herbs. Fresh herbs that have been frozen will taste amazing in whatever you’re cooking.

That’s it! Super easy and now you have herbs when you want them without extra packaging or wasting resources. Love it!

What herb do you use daily? Do you have a small spatula? I only ask because I recently ground one up in a blender.

Go Gingham related links:

Grocery shopping from the bulk bins and food storage containers
Reusing glass jars and how to get them ready for re-use
Frugal grocery shopping – without coupons!

8 thoughts on “How to Freeze Fresh Herbs

  1. More great tips. Did not know you could just pop them in the freezer like that. I did just use your cilantro in a glass of water trick just last week. It will keep like that in the fridge for about a week I’ve found. As long as I don’t tip over the glass anyway!

    Sorry to hear about the spatula tragedy!


    1. Hi Erin!
      Yes, that glass of water with cilantro (or other herb) works until it gets spilled. There’s only one person in our house who cleans those spills up (me) so I’m preferring this new method – big time!! šŸ™‚
      I found some great little spatulas to replace my ground up one at New Seasons. They have wood handles and two different styles of spatula heads – just mini versions. They get every last little bit of everything out of whatever!!
      Thanks for writing in, Erin ~


    1. So glad, Darcy! When we started talking about this on our walk recently, I had just written this out so it was fresh in the old noggin! šŸ˜‰
      I’m getting ready to freeze all of my thyme. It doesn’t always winter over and I don’t like it dried. We use it all the time – and there’s never enough thyme. Ok, I’ll stop now.
      See you soon!!


  2. I grow basil and cilantro, but have never stored them in the freezer, but I will, now! Thanks, as always, for the great tips, Sara!


    1. You are so welcome, Vanessa! I want the freshness of just out of the garden in December and January and this comes pretty darn close. Plus, there’s no food waste which is something we try not to have.
      Thanks for writing in, Vanessa!! šŸ™‚


  3. The perfect post for me, as I looked out my window and have more basil and mint than I can use right now. It never occurred to me to freeze my own herbs! Duh! I didn’t have the best glass jar for the job (too big), but it worked and I’ll start saving smaller ones.


    1. So glad, Angie! I’ve been using fresh mint for tea all summer/spring but thinking I’ll freeze some of that, too. It doesn’t do well in winter – actually we don’t have many that do – so more ‘freezing’ in my future.
      Happy growing to you ~ thanks for writing in! šŸ™‚


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