Preserve basil when abundant in summer with these recipes for canning, freezing, refrigerating, drying, and more to enjoy the fresh flavor of basil all winter long.
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Are you swimming in a bumper crop of basil? Did your farmer's market box get stuffed with bunches of basil? A relative or friend give you a bag full? No matter how you got it, you're probably wondering what to DO with all that basil!
Kind of like I am right now. I've got five plants that have been giving me fresh basil for months (and yes, I used this when they were small to keep the bugs off and they then grew like mad!). AND I've got our freezer stocked with enough of our favorite (and frugal!) pesto to last us for a year.
But the plants still keep pumping out glorious leaves and I don't want to waste them. So I did a little research about other ways to preserve basil and decided to share my findings with you, since I figured there has to be more like me who are looking for recipes other than pesto for preserving basil.
So when you're done with pesto and you still need to deal with a lot of basil leaves before winter comes, these recipes will come to your rescue. And no worries if you don't consider yourself a 'preserver' - there's something for everyone on this list: salad dressings to keep in your fridge for a few months, soups to freeze, jams to can, butters to make - even salt to flavor. And a lot more!
Note: Feel free to pin the lead basil photo to remember this whole list, but please pin from the original source for any photos below - thank you!
Ways to Preserve Basil
Strawberry Basil "Sorbet" @Sur La Table
Basil Jelly @Tast of Home
Lemon Basil Syrup @Garden Betty
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup @Cooking Classy
Freeze basil whole or pureed in ice cubes @The Balance
Edamame Basil Hummus @Two Peas & Their Pod
Basil Noodles @Taste of Home
Summer Squash Soup with Basil @Food Network
Purple Basil Parmesan Biscuits @My Recipes
Slow Cooker Basil Marinara @Spabettie
Lemon Basil Frozen Yogurt @Taste of Home
Basil Butter @Southern Living
Basil Vinaigrette @Simply Recipes
Tomato Basil Vinaigrette @My Recipes
Preserving Fresh Basil with Oil & Salt @Red Head Can Decorate
How to Preserve Basil in Salt @Melissa K. Norris
Gourmet Basil Salt @The Rising Spoon
Basil Oil Recipe @Food Network
Basil Infused Honey @The Kitchn
How to Dry basil by Microwaving @The Frugal Girls
How to Dry Basil by Oven @The Kitchen Garten
How to Dry Herbs with a dehydrator @The National Center for Food Preservation (Tip: you don't have to use the 95 degree setting, you can choose up to 125 degrees to make it go faster!)
Want to know what I'm using from this list?
Preserving in salt (no oil), making basil vinegar, freezing whole leaves, and a couple batches of the roasted tomato-basil soup since I have tomatoes to use up, too. I'd love to try the butter and basil salt, too! What about you?
- I didn't really like how the basil leaves preserved in salt turned out - they were hard to use since it was difficult to get all the salt off and quite dark and wilted. They didn't smell very basil-y, either, so I won't be using that method again.
- Basil vinegar was wonderful!
- I actually did some testing on the best ways to freeze basil here and found that two of the easiest methods turned out the best. Love that, don't you?