Today’s Recipe: Preserving Herbs in Oil

I recently used up the last of the “herb cubes” in my freezer. Here’s the recipe again—an oldie but a goodie!

Preserving herbs in oil is a quick and easy process that adds convenience to cooking and reduces waste. Whether you buy herbs from the market or you grow your own, it always seems like there comes a time when you have more than you need. Rather than let them sit in your fridge with the best intentions of using them before they spoil, try preserving them.

First, gather your ingredients …


To properly preserve whole sprigs of hardy herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme for later use, place a sprig in the bottom of a small jar and cover with olive oil, butter, or a combination of both.


Place in the freezer and remove when ready to use.


For convenient portions of minced herbs, mince any extra and fill ice cube trays about ¾ of the way full with herbs. For our cubes, we used parsley rosemary, sage, thyme, and basil.




Melt butter and pour into the trays, completely covering the herbs. Place into the freezer until set, then pop out of trays and freeze in jars or bags until ready to use. To pop the cubes out of the trays, run a knife along the outer edges of the cube; they should pop right out. These little cubes offer endless possibilities in the kitchen.

If you have several different types of herbs on hand, try mixing them up for flavor blends. Pop a cube into steamed vegetables, rice, over a baked potato, on top of meat. It’s all good.


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Whoop, I love these recipes! I just planted my favorite herbs last week and was thinking about trying something new to preserve them. I love the idea of the frozen cubes. Perfect!

  2. I am SO excited to learn how to do this! Such a great idea! Thanks again Mary Jane for your endless inspiration!

  3. Karlyne says:

    I have a garden full of sage, but it’s usually gone by Thanksgiving and Christmas when I need it most. So last fall, I popped softened butter, a few garlic cloves and lots of sage into the food processor where I proceeded to grind it all up. I spread it on a parchment lined cookie sheet and froze it. (It’s easy to just put in a ziplock and moosh it down until it’s about 1/4″ thick, too, and then freeze) Break off frozen pieces as needed! Not only was it great for my holiday stuffing, but it’s lovely on pasta!

    • LOLA COLLINS says:

      That works so well to breadk off what you need. I do that with pesto. The basil from our herb garden goes crazy, and we can’t keep up with it, so last summer I made lots and put it in zip lock bags, flattened the pesto. How easy is that to add broked pieces to pasta, etc?

  4. Vicki says:

    Does this work for cilantro?

  5. I love these ideas. I grow a lot of herbs and have not been able to preserve them. This is great! Thanks.

  6. CAROL MAYO says:

    i rec’d this from a friend and can’t wait to try it. i’d like to get your recipes regularly. thank you

  7. Roseanne says:

    What great advice. No more wasted herbs in my fridge!

  8. Sharon says:

    I dried my abundant crop of parsley from last years garden. I keep it in mason jars on the kitchen counter to sprinkle on my salads and in meals I cook, plus it looks lovely in the jar. I love this herb! It has such a fresh flavor, even dried. I also recently learned how nutritious it is. I will try this frozen recipe this year, bet it is good in the butter. I let some of the parsley go to seed in the garden, sprinkle it on the soil in the fall and it makes new plants the next spring! How easy is that?

  9. Kathy says:

    I really love this idea. Thanks so much passing it along again for those of us who somehow have missed it!

  10. Susan Laquintano says:

    Can’t wait to try these wonderful ways to save herbs. I have been dreaming about this and I am finally going to do it. Thank you all.

  11. Sandi O says:

    OMG, I love this idea! I have a little ice cube tray and have several fresh herbs I’ve been tying to winter over! I’ve almost killed my basil several times, now I don’t have to worry about it! Thanks MJ! xoxoxo

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