Preserving Herbs - in Olive Oil




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There are a lot of techniques available to help you preserve some of your garden herbs that generally die out over winter.

Whilst drying herbs is a well known method they do suit certain types of dishes (slow cooked dishes that slowly release juices) but with this method of using olive oil to infuse before freezing, you get the best results many weeks after you've cut them and it allows you to continue enjoying those summer flavours well into winter.

Once frozen use them with soups, stews roasts and to flavour vegetables. Once you try this method you'll be doing it Winter!

Check out the video to see how it's done.

Step 1: Video Methodology - Preserving Herbs in Olive Oil

Check out the full method with a few ideas of what to include and ultimately the dishes to use the frozen herbs on.

Step 2: What You Need:

Freshly picked herbs

  • ideally the hardier herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage etc.
  • Basil and Mint will not preserve well in oil or being frozen on their own. The best way to preserve these is through making a sauce/pesto

Garlic cloves (pureed)

An Ice tray

Olive Oil

Step 3: How To:

Remove the herb leaves from the stalks and place in a pile (make a mix of herbs if you want too), then fill each ice cube holder up by 2/3 of herbs (pat down) and then begin to fill with olive oil until the the whole tray is full, but not spilling over the edge.

Freeze the produce for several hours, then take out of the ice cub tray and arrange as you need them in freezer bags (replacing them back in the freezer once done).

Step 4: Enjoy With:

Try these frozen oil-infused herbs on all the winter dishes you love - but with the summer flavours. Soups, Stews Roast Meat & Vegetables. Why not throw one into a chili to really add an extra layer of flavour (rosemary works really well with slow cooked smoky meat like brisket.



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    6 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Is there a reason only hardier herbs will work for this? I am a bit new to the herb thing, but would like to know how each can preserved. I guess rosemary has more oils that should tend to dissolve into the olive oil, where things like mint is more watery and dissolve more poorly?

    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    while the more delicate flavors/textures may not be suitable for freezing, you can heat the oil to ~180 degrees and steep the herbs in the oil, let it stay there for approx 30 minutes, and then slowly cool to room temperature, filter the infused oil with cheese cloth and the freeze, you'll get the fresh herb flavor without the texture, or the longer cook times needed for dry herbs.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Indeed Jeff, great point! I buy these type of oils a lot but should be making them too!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Gavin, I believe it's the thickness off the herb and surface area. Thinner leaves become papery when frozen (even in oil) and you lose some of the taste/texture. By all means have a go though as you'll still get some of the flavour - it's just the harder ones are closer to the original.


    3 years ago

    Hmmm never heard of this method before, great job ~Momoluv

    1 reply