Can You Freeze Fresh Rosemary? [Full Guide]

We all know that it’s better to grow your own fresh herbs than buying them in the store. But, usually we can’t use all of those herbs before they go bad. There’s just too much of them. So what can we do? Is it possible to freeze them, or do we just have to let them go to waste? It’s easier than you think.

Below, I answer the question can I freeze rosemary. I also step you through exactly how to freeze rosemary and how long it will last as well as how to thaw rosemary so you can use it again.

Can You Freeze Fresh Rosemary?

Rosemary is a wonderful herb used in a lot of dishes. It’s a versatile herb that can be used in combination with other herbs to achieve a unique flavor. It is very hardy and durable which makes it perfect for dishes that need to be cooked for a long time.

how big rosemary grows

So, can you freeze rosemary?

The good news is that you can freeze fresh rosemary, so there is no need to waste any food. It freezes well because of its thin texture. Although you can freeze it, you’ll want to use it within 3-4 months for the best taste. It won’t necessarily be bad after this point. Frozen rosemary will remain edible for up to 6 months, but it will certainly have lost most of its flavor.

Options For Freezing Rosemary

There are a couple of options to choose when freezing rosemary. Two of the most popular options are the flash freezing method and the ice cube method. We’ll go into more detail about these processes below. How you’re going to want to freeze your rosemary depends on what you plan on using it for.

Flash Freezing Method: This method works best if you’re going to be roasting things like chicken, potatoes, or vegetables. Flash freezing prevents the herbs from sticking together during the freezing process.

Likewise, it makes it easier to pick the amount of herb you need when you’re ready to prepare your meal. Of course, being forced to thaw more herbs than we need is counterproductive. We are trying to save product, after all.

Rosemary and olive oil ice cubes
Rosemary and olive oil ice cubes

Ice Cube Method: This is the better method for recipes where you need to blend foods. This includes dishes like soup, sauces, or stews. It’s easier to use this method when blending foods because you can just throw the whole ice cube into your mixture. It will melt as your dish heats up, so you can evenly blend it throughout your meal for flavor.

How To Freeze Rosemary

So, how do you freeze rosemary?

Fortunately, freezing fresh rosemary is quite simple. You don’t need anything special to do it. So, if you’ve just bought a bunch of rosemary for a dish and have plenty leftover, no problem! Learn how to freeze the extras here.

How To Freeze Fresh Rosemary

As we said, there are two good options for freezing rosemary. The flash freezing method is good for when you need to roast foods.

Flash Freezing Method

For best results, leave the sprigs attached to the leaves for this method. It simply makes handling the rosemary easier.

  1. Rinse your rosemary under clean water to remove dirt and debris.
  2. Place your rinsed rosemary in a colander over the sink. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes to dry.
  3. Remove the rosemary from the colander and place on a paper towel. Gently dab the herbs with the paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
  4. Grab a baking sheet or tray and line it with wax paper. Baking paper will work as well.
  5. Place the rosemary onto the sheet of paper on top of the tray. Be careful to space each herb apart. Take care not to let them touch.
  6. Place the tray of herbs directly into your freezer and leave them for 2-3 hours.
  7. After 2-3 hours, you can remove the tray from the freezer.
  8. Transfer the frozen herbs to a freezer bag or airtight container. If you choose to use a freezer bag, make sure to remove any air. This will help prevent your herb from becoming freezer burnt.
  9. Place the container or bag back into the freezer. Remember to label and date your container.

Ice Cube Method

This method is even simpler and is good for when you’re blending foods.

  1. Unlike the flash freezing method, you’ll want to remove the leaves from the sprigs.
  2. Rinse and dry your rosemary leaves just as we described in the above recipe.
  3. Dice the leaves or leave them whole. Everyone has their preferences where this is concerned. It also depends on what dishes you are planning on making. Sometimes diced is better than whole and vice versa.
  4. Grab an empty ice cube tray and pack your leaves down into each slot.
  5. Pour olive oil into each slot and make sure the rosemary is completely covered.
  6. Cover the tray with cling wrap and freeze for 5-6 hours.
  7. Remove the tray from the freezer and remove each ice cube from the tray.
  8. Transfer the ice cubes to a freezer bag or airtight container. Again, if you’re using a freezer bag, make sure you remove any excess air.
  9. Label and date your herbs and place them back into the freezer.
Pouring olive oil into ice cube tray with fresh rosemary to freeze
Pouring olive oil into ice cube tray with fresh rosemary to freeze

Should You Freeze Dried Rosemary?

Dried rosemary won’t be as flavorful as using fresh rosemary. Still, it’s the most cost effective and convenient way of keeping the herb. The reason so many people like to use dried rosemary is that it’ll last for up to 1-3 years when stored properly.

Because the shelf life of dried rosemary is already so great, there really isn’t any point in freezing it. Freezing dried rosemary isn’t beneficial because it’ll stay just as good sitting in your spice rack.

How Long Does Frozen Rosemary Last?

As we said before, fresh rosemary can technically last for up to 6 months. After 6 months, the herbs will begin to go bad and you should no longer use them.

Although you can technically use frozen herbs for up to 6 months, we recommend using them within 3-4 months. The earlier you use them, the more flavor they will retain and the better your meals will taste. After 4 months, the herbs really begin to lose their flavor and they won’t have as great an effect on the taste of your meals.

How To Thaw Rosemary (And Use It)

The great news is that you don’t even need to defrost rosemary. This goes for either method. Whether you flash froze the herbs or froze them as ice cubes, you can use them directly. Their easy usage is due to their convenient texture. The texture of the leaves allows them to be used frozen without needing to be thawed.

The ice cube method is particularly convenient when making stews and soups. You simply grab as many ice cube herbs as you need and put them directly into the dish you’re making. Stir them in and they’ll melt right into your meal, spreading the flavor.

Sauces are slightly different as they’ll be better if you wait until the end to mix in your herbs. Still, the process will be the same with the ice cubes melting into the sauce.

Even using flash frozen herbs is simple. If you’re roasting a meal, just grab as many sprigs of rosemary as you need and stick them in with your cooking. All done!

There is one thing you should keep in mind when cooking with fresh rosemary. What a lot of people don’t realize is that frozen rosemary is actually a lot stronger than fresh rosemary. When cooking from a recipe, don’t use as much of the herb as the recipe calls for. Start off with a smaller amount and taste it. If you still need more herb after that, feel free to add some more.

Final Words

Nobody likes having to waste food, so it’s always great finding ways to save things. Fortunately, rosemary is a very durable herb that makes saving it very easy. Freezing rosemary is a great option because you can use it later, and you can even use less. Frozen rosemary is stronger than it is fresh, so you’ll use less.

If you’ve ever worried about wasting your rosemary before, no need to worry any longer. Try flash freezing it or making it into ice cubes!

Want to learn more? Click here to learn if you can substitute thyme for rosemary or click here to find all my guides for growing and using rosemary.