How to Store Fresh Basil

Cut herbs wilt so quickly, especially basil! Want to extend the life of your herbs? Here’s a trick of how to store fresh basil.

How to store fresh basil

Ever brought fresh herbs inside, only to have them wilt a few hours later? Some herbs are so difficult to keep fresh: and basil is one of them. Alex and I have brought in basil from our garden and placed it in a cup of water, only to have it fully wilted just 1 hour! Luckily, we’ve found a trick for how to store fresh basil inside: using a canning jar. The canning jar approach can extend the life of basil from an hour to 3 to 5 days! Keep reading for everything about how to store fresh basil indoors to extend its life.

Related: Best Basil Recipes

How to store fresh basil

How to store fresh basil

First of all, this method of how to keep basil fresh is for stems of basil leaves, not for cut basil leaves. Can you keep cut basil leaves fresh? Unfortunately, not really. Basil leaves that have been removed from the stems don’t keep well. We recommend using them the day of harvesting. If you need to, make a batch of pesto!

If you have branches of basil with the leaves still attached to the stem, this method works like a charm! All you’ll need is a large canning jar with a lid, like a Ball jar or mason jar. Here’s how to store fresh basil:

How to Store Fresh Basil

How to Store Fresh Basil

Active Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Cut herbs wilt so quickly, especially basil! Want to extend the life of your herbs? Here’s a trick of how to store fresh basil.

Materials

  • Basil plant
  • Large canning jar

Tools

  • N/A

Instructions

    1. Harvest the basil following the instructions in How to Harvest Basil.
    2. Find a large canning jar and place a few inches of water inside. Make sure the jar is large enough that the basil stems won’t be squished or packed inside.
    3. Place the basil stems inside the jar, cut side down. Screw on the lid of the jar, which helps to keep the basil fresh.
    4. Store refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. You also can store the basil at room temperature, which keeps it fresh for about 3 to 4 days.

How to keep other herbs fresh?

This method for how to store fresh basil works better than we expected! Alex and I have been using a storebought herb saver for years for our cilantro and parsley, but we didn’t realize that it also works for basil. The storebought herb saver works better for taller herbs like cilantro and parsley. The canning jar method is the same idea, but works perfectly for basil because it provides a bit more room for the branches.

How to grow basil

How to grow basil?

If you’re not growing basil at home, you should be! Growing basil is easy and all you need is a pot and a sunny ledge. Here are all our tips on How to Grow Basil.

Questions about how to store fresh basil?

Any more questions about how to keep basil fresh? Let us know in the comments below!

How to store fresh basil

Recipes with basil

Without a doubt, basil is Alex and my top herb to grow and cook with! It could be because we love to cook Italian style recipes and basil is key in Italian cuisine! But basil works in all sorts of different cuisines. Here are some of our favorite recipes with basil:

Related

In addition to showing how to store fresh basil, we love to provide resources for your kitchen and garden! Here are a few more of our resources:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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