How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

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Today it’s all about how to dehydrate basil and freeze it too! Do you like to have basil in your kitchen at all times? It’s an ingredient you may want to add to pasta dishes, stews, mashed potatoes, and other incredible meals that you make for your family.

Knowing how to preserve it and use it all year round is a must, if it’s an ingredient that you don’t want to do without. If you follow the right preservation methods, you can keep your basil in the best condition, while preventing it from going bad before you’ve had time to use it.

Check out these great options to choose from, and then decide what you’d like to do to start preserving your basil at home with ease.

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

Kitchen Items Needed

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

Wash Your Basil

The process of preserving the basil all starts with washing and sorting. Pull the basil leaves from the stems, collecting as many of them as possible before putting the leaves into a small bowl.

Place the bowl in your clean kitchen sink, and then run the faucet over the basil leaves to clean off any dirt or debris. You can continue this process for several minutes before straining out the excess water and placing the basil leaves on a clean towel to dry.

Avoid touching them while they’re still wet from when you washed them to keep them from breaking.

Put Your Dry Leaves in a Container

Grab an airtight container and place the basil leaves into the container as soon as they’re dry. It doesn’t matter if you use a plastic or glass food storage container, but it’s essential to make sure it’s airtight to keep excess air from getting into it and causing your basil to spoil.

Once you have the basil leaves stored in the proper container, you can put them in the freezer to keep them fresh. Many people use the freezer as a way to preserve basil leaves and keep them fresher for lengthy periods.

For example, when frozen, your basil should stay good for up to 12 months. That would give you more than enough time to use it in some of your favorite recipes throughout the year.

The Blanching Process

Some people prefer to blanch their basil leaves instead of washing them with cold water from the faucet. If you’d like to try the blanching process, it’s similar to the other technique and doesn’t require too much effort. 

  • First, you’d need to boil a cup or two of water in a pot on the stove. 
  • Once the water comes to a boil, you can remove it from the heat, place your basil leaves into the boiling water, and leave them there for a few seconds. 
  • The blanching process only takes a few seconds. After waiting up to 10 seconds, you can strain the basil leaves from the boiling water and then set them off on a clean cloth or towel to dry. 
  • Finally, you can pat them dry, but you’ll need to be gentle when you’re doing so.
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Once the basil leaves dry, you may add them to a container of your choosing. It’s OK to use an airtight food storage container, but you can use a resealable food storage bag if you don’t have a regular container.

Some people prefer using a food storage bag because it’s easy to open and close, making it that much easier for you to grab the basil leaves as quickly as possible when you’re planning to use them in a recipe.

Add to Ice Cube Tray

Did you know some people like to add their clean basil leaves to their ice cube tray? There is a simple way to make this work for you. Grab a handful of basil leaves and add that handful into each slot on your ice cube tray. Fill the tray slots with a small amount of water until the basil reaches the top, and then place the tray in your freezer. 

After a few hours, you’ll have frozen basil leaf cubes that you can conveniently toss into a pot when you’re making homemade marinara sauce, fresh soup, and other flavorful foods for your family to enjoy.

Lots of people love this convenient, time-saving method! If you plan to use the basil within six months or less, this technique is perfect for you.

How To Dehydrate Basil

Step One

Wash the leaves in a colander.

Wash the Basil

Step Two

Spread the basil leaves evenly on your dehydrator racks.

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

Step Three

Place the dehydrator racks in your dehydrator and set the temperature to 95°F (35°C). Please check your brand of dehydrator for the correct temperature. I have an Excalibur Dehydrator and my book recommends this temperature.

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

Finished Product

It took about 6 hours today to dehydrate the two trays. This is from one tray. Now you know why sweet basil is so expensive in those little jars at the grocery store.

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

Can I Dehydrate my Basil Outside?

Yes, you can. Grab a bunch of basil after washing it and tie some twine around the base and hang it upside down outside.

Dry it Outside

Reasons to Preserve Your Basil

When you’re growing basil in your backyard garden, you don’t want your efforts to go to waste. You’ve already taken the time to plant the seeds and provide the nourishment needed to get the basil plant to grow and produce many leaves that you can use when preparing foods. So, with that in mind, you’ll want to make sure you know how to preserve the basil to keep it from spoiling before you get to use it.

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Basil is the perfect herb to use at home for several reasons. These are a few of the benefits you can enjoy when you add them to different recipes:

  • It’s an excellent source of vitamins. It provides a generous serving of vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
  • Basil contains omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health.
  • It contains calcium that can help strengthen the bones and reduce the possibility of experiencing joint pain.
  • It’s the perfect ingredient to use when you want to increase your iron intake because it’s an excellent source of iron, too.

Knowing that basil is so beneficial to your health, it only makes sense to grow it and then preserve it for as long as possible to always have access to it when you need it.

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

Now, onto freezing basil. This is so easy because when your garden is producing large amounts of basil, you cut some, wash it, drain, and chop it. Place it in Silicone Ice Cube Trays and cover with water.

How to Dehydrate Basil and Freeze It

Place them in the freezer until frozen. Pop them out and place them in freezer bags. You will never run out of basil again.

Silicone Ice Cube Trays

Fragrant Basil Leaves

I want to share some tidbits about those fragrant leaves. The leaves have some natural inflammatory health benefits to help inhibit pain from arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions.

The leaves also help stop free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the bloodstream. If you have a cold or a cough, chew on some basil leaves to calm a cough. Indigestion can be soothed by adding 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil to a cup of warm water to sip. Who would have guessed?

Homemade Pesto Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Grow Basil
Basil Pesto Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 bowl
Author: Linda Loosli
  • 2-3 Cups washed fresh basil-remove tough stems
  • 6-8 Cloves fresh garlic
  • 3/4 Cups olive oil
  • 1-1/2 Cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts(shells removed)
  1. Use a blender to process the olive oil, garlic, and basil until smooth. Add the parmesan cheese and pine nuts and use the pulse button until mixed. This is great on cooked pasta and pizza. Delicious!

Final Word 

I hope you enjoyed my post today on how to dehydrate basil and freeze It. Try these different preservation methods to keep your basil in excellent condition.

When you’re putting in the effort to grow basil, you want to make sure it lasts long enough for you to use it. So whether you’re tossing it on a pizza, using it to make marinara sauce, or even incorporating it into an appetizer with fresh sliced tomato and mozzarella, it’s good to have basil at home when you want it and need it the most! May God Bless this world, Linda

Here are the other Dehydrating Posts I have done:

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  1. I have dried all my basil. My plants have given me a huge crop this year. I have them planted with my tomatoes on my deck. I just cut the plants to make sure they continue to produce and put the leaves into my drier. It takes only a few hours and the kitchen smells great! What a crop! I have already used some and it really adds to the flavor of whatever I add it to.

  2. I am also drying tomatoes. I have done about 4 large batches and it smells great. I can tell when they are ready. I am grinding o make powder for paste. I make my own sauce, but the paste is a great way to use them. Thank you for your info. on drying so many fruits and veggies. I am also drying lots of pears this year, too.

  3. 5 stars

    I just read a article that said Basil was one herb that could help with arthritis. Some of the other things they mentioned were onions, turmeric, Black Pepper, Basil, Ginger and Savory/Nutritional yeast and Vitamin B.
    Of course they were trying to sell something but I figure If I put these ingredients in my food than maybe some of my problems will go away.
    Thank you for the article


    P.S. Do you have a recipe for Cheddar Rolls?

    1. Hi Jackie, oh, that’s awesome to hear about basil! Somebody said ‘Let Food Be Thy Medicine”, or something like that! It makes sense! We are what we eat! Great tips on the vegetables you mentioned! I do not have a recipe for cheddar rolls, but I need to make one. I have one that is made with Parmesan cheese. But, cheddar sounds yummy! Love, Linda

      1. 5 stars
        Linda. It takes the savory/nutritional yeast so you will have to figure out the yeast problem but nutritional yeast is what is supposed to give the rolls the cheddar taste. Or that is what the article said.


        1. Hi Jackie, oh yeah, I remember taking a class and the lady made lasagna with nutritional yeast. LOL! I know it’s all in my head, but I couldn’t eat it. LOL! It was a class on eating whole foods and healthy stuff. The class was great until she made the lasagna! LOL! Let me know if you like it when you try it. Love, Linda

  4. 5 stars
    I still like to dehydrate my basil as I do other herbs – I hang them to dry. It takes too much power to run my dehydrator!

    Also, I have seen methods of freezing basil by placing the leaves (whole or chopped/sliced) in the ice cube tray then olive oil poured over and frozen. I haven’t tried that yet but would like to. You could also add minced garlic to the olive oil/basil I suppose!!

    1. Hi Leanne, thank you for the 5 stars!! Hanging basil as you do is awesome, it works!! Plus your hanging board looks so cute!! I saw where people froze the oil with basil, it should work, because you can freeze pesto. I just did mine in water. I may try some in olive oil, great reminder. Plus garlic, yummy! Linda

  5. 5 stars
    Yes, full quote is “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food!”

    I *thought* I was going to get some basil dried this last week–but my Excalibur (picked up some years ago on the “still good” shelf at the dump!) turned out not to want to heat any more; took me a while to figure it out, since the fan was going fine, and the 95 setting isn’t all that warm to feel. Figured I’d cut my losses and ordered a new one, and finished drying that batch in the oven, with the poke berries already in there. Maybe I can figure out what’s wrong with the old Excalibur–never hurts–“Two is one and one is none…”

    And *this* year I’m determined to get some pesto made… Thanks for the recipe to nudge me onward!

    1. Hi Rhonda, thanks for the 5 stars! It’s interesting you mentions your Excalibur was not heating after many years of use. My “knob” for the temperature popped off when I was shoving a heavy cookbook on the top of the dehydrator, not thinking about the knobs. When I pulled it out to use, the knob was sitting there, not attached. Urghh! I have used it for ten years and it’s been good for me. I tried to reattach the knob, the fan worked but no heat!! Dang! I need to order a new one now. Thanks for the full quote!! Linda

  6. 5 stars
    Freezing the hebs in oil might not be a bad idea right now especially if there will be an oil shortage! I just planted my parsley. Basil is ready to go in next week. Nothing like fresh herbs and veggies, but winter will be here before you know it. I’m hoping to learn to can this year. Just bought my first water bath canner. yay me!

    1. Hi Camille, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! Oh, I LOVE hearing you bought your first water bath canner!! SQUEAL! There is nothing better than fresh herbs, for sure!! Linda

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