This post teaches you everything you need to know about freezing herbs in olive oil and how to make ready-to-use, frozen herb cubes. It’s the ultimate cooking hack!
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Do you struggle with using up herbs? If so, I bet you’re familiar with the scenario of opening your fridge to see that the fresh parsley or basil you got last week is now wilted and rotten. Sound about right?
Using fresh herbs before they go bad is a common culinary struggle, especially if you’re only cooking for one or two people. But herbs are also an amazing addition to meals…so what’s a home chef to do?!
I’ve got the perfect solution for you: frozen herb cubes!
Freezing herbs for later use is one of my favorite tips to give my readers and clients. It’s a great way to prevent food waste while still having the option to add flavor and variety to meals.
How to Make Frozen Herb Cubes
The process for making these is so easy!
- Chop up any fresh herbs you have on hand.
- Fill each section of an ice cube tray 3/4 of the way with chopped herbs.
- Add olive oil until the herbs are just barely covered.
- Freeze overnight, then pop the cubes out of the trays, and store them in labeled bags for later use!
You can also freeze herbs in water, but I find that the oil-based cubes melt faster and offer more flavor to dishes.
I highly recommend using a silicone ice cube tray to makes these, but you can technically make them in any ol’ ice cube tray. Since we got rid of our old trays during our recent move, I picked up a silicone one at Target before creating this post.
It was SO easy to pop the frozen cubes out of the tray when they were ready. I also made a batch in a plastic tray, but it was harder to get the cubes out of that one, and I had to use a butter knife to help me pop them out.
What herbs freeze well?
Pretty much all of them! You can make frozen herb cubes with parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, mint, sage, rosemary, and more.
How long do frozen herbs last?
Herbs that are frozen in oil can last for a long time in the freezer – up to 12 months. Just be sure to keep them in tightly sealed freezer bags to prevent freezer burn/loss of flavor.
Are frozen herbs as good as fresh?
You may be wondering how frozen herb cubes compare to fresh herbs. Their taste is less robust than fresh herbs, but I personally think they’re better than dried herbs in most instances.
Plus, I love that frozen herbs are already chopped and ready to go, so you don’t have to spend time picking herbs off their stems and cutting them up when you’re in a rush to start cooking.
Ways to Use Frozen Herb Cubes
The most intuitive way to use these is to pop one in a skillet over the stove, and then sauté veggies in the melted oil and herbs. But you can also use frozen herb cubes in the following ways:
- Let them melt in a bowl at room temperature and use the oil and herbs as a base for salad dressings.
- Add them to cooked quinoa or rice that’s still warm, and stir it all up to coat the grains with the flavorful oil.
- Melt a cube in a skillet before you cook eggs in it.
- Let a couple cubes melt at room temperature, or heat them up in the microwave, and then pour over freshly popped popcorn.
I can’t wait to hear if you make these cubes, so be sure to report back and let me know! If you like this post, check out my Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil or browse my recipe library for something different.
- 2 cups fresh herbs – chopped
- Olive oil – enough to just barely cover the herbs in the ice cube tray
- Chop fresh herbs of choice (basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, etc). Fill each section of an ice cube tray about 3/4 of the way with chopped herbs.
- Pour olive oil into each section until the herbs are just barely covered. Lay the ice cube tray flat in the freezer.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours or until the cubes are frozen solid (it may take longer). Remove the ice cube tray and gently pop out each cube. If you use a silicone tray, they should pop out easily. With a plastic tray, you may have to carefully use a butter knife to help you get them out. Transfer the cubes to labeled freezer bags and store for later use.
- When you want to use one, pop it into a skillet over medium heat and use the melted oil and herbs to cook veggies, eggs, or other foods.
- In salad dressings
- Mixed into warm quinoa or rice
- Drizzled over popcorn
Pin this ultimate cooking hack now to remember for later!