If you want to preserve your fresh basil then freezing basil in olive oil is one of the best options. This recipe show you how to freeze basil in ice cube trays with a little olive oil so the basil remains fresh and ready to use in your meals. Just stash these frozen basil cubes in the freezer for an easy way to have fresh basil all year.
Preserving basil in olive oil is a really handy way to make sure you are not wasting any of that store bought basil or basil from your garden.
I often use these preserved basil and olive oil cubes for quick meals like my angel hair pasta with tomatoes with herbs or my Italian American meat sauce. The key is to make sure you are freezing the right amount of basil in each cube that you would use in your recipes.
For me, that is about 1-2 leaves of fresh basil for every space in the ice cube tray.
- Fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
When freezing basil in ice cube trays, you want to make sure you are only using fresh basil. You can use either extra virgin olive oil or regular olive oil, depending on what you have on hand.
Just make sure the oil you use is one that you will want to have in your recipes that you are making.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make
Place fresh basil in ice cube trays.
Cover basil with olive oil then freeze.
I often work with lots of fresh basil at one time and I end up using all of my ice cube trays to do this. The easiest way to freeze fresh basil in olive oil is to use a silicone based ice cube tray.
Once the olive oil is in its frozen state, you can easily pop the frozen basil and olive oil cubes right out. If you are using a regular ice cube tray, you will need to run a sharp knife along the edges of the frozen olive oil to help it release from the tray.
Pro-Tip:Using silicone ice cube trays is a real time saver when making freezing basil in olive oil. You can easily find these trays online for really cheap.
This method of freezing basil in olive oil works great with any fresh herbs. Here are some other fresh herbs I love to preserve in olive oil in the freezer.
- Italian Oregano
You can freeze any fresh herbs with this method of freezing herbs in ice cube trays with olive oil. Fresh herbs add so much flavor to recipes and are expensive if you are buying them at the store.
So make sure they do not go to waste 🙂
Storing the frozen basil and olive oil cubes
Once you are done freezing the basil in olive oil, you will want to pop them out of the ice cube tray and place them in a freezer proof bag and store in the freezer.
Because these ice cubes are made up of olive oil, they will not stick together and having them in a bag already makes it easier to reach in to the freezer to grab your preserved basil when you are cooking.
You could leave them in the tray but it is easier to access them when you remove them after freezing.
The best way to preserve fresh basil so you have it all through the winter is to place the fresh basil in ice cube trays, cover with olive oil and freeze. You will be left with fresh basil and olive oil to use in so many recipes.
No. Fresh basil is fine to add straight into olive oil before freezing.
You can freeze any fresh herbs in oil with great results.
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How to use
Once I have frozen the basil in olive oil, these are my favorite dishes to use them in:
Freezing Basil In Olive Oil
- 1 ice cube tray preferably silicone
- 1 cup fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil (enough to cover the top of the basil)
- Place 2 leaves of fresh basil in each ice cube tray.
- Pour olive oil over the fresh basil making sure the olive oil covers the top.
- Carefully place in the freezer making sure the ice cube tray is sitting flat and leveled in the freezer.
- Freeze overnight.
- Once frozen, remove frozen basil cubes from tray and store in freezer sage bags in the freezer.
- Use in your favorite recipes.
We followed this recipe and preserved fresh basil and a bunch of other herbs we had leftover from shopping. Such a great idea.
I am so glad it was helpful!