Can You Freeze Rosemary?

How often do you follow a recipe that calls for a sprig of rosemary? You head to your local supermarket and pick up a packet of rosemary (because you can’t buy just 1 sprig) and then end up throwing the rest away. Well, what if you could store them for the long term?

Can You Freeze Rosemary?

Yes, you can freeze rosemary for up to 4 months. The best approach is to remove the leaves from a sprig of rosemary, chop it up finely then pack it into an ice cube tray before covering it with oil or butter.

Can You Refreeze Rosemary? No

Does Rosemary Freeze Well? Yes

How to Freeze Rosemary

Rosemary can be frozen in two ways. You can either freeze whole sprigs or, if you have time, the best option for freezing rosemary is in ice cubes:

How to Freeze Rosemary Sprigs

If you want to freeze sprigs of rosemary, which can then be thrown in with roast potatoes, vegetables or chicken, then follow this method:

  1. Flash Freeze
    Carefully lay your sprigs on a baking tray and place them in the freezer. Try to keep your tray level.
  2. Carefully Bag Up
    Once the rosemary sprigs have frozen after a few hours, then remove the tray. You need to be careful here. Remove the sprigs from the tray and place them in a container. We’d avoid using a bag as there’s a chance the rosemary will get crushed by other dishes in the freezer.
  3. Final Freeze
    Return to the freezer

Now, whenever you need some rosemary for roasting potatoes or other vegetables, you need to head to the freezer and grab a sprig. You can even take a few pieces of rosemary from an individual sprig.

How to Freeze Rosemary Sprigs

How to Freeze Rosemary in Ice Cubes

When it comes to freezing herbs, you need to consider how you use them. If you like to throw a sprinkling of rosemary into stews or pasta sauces, then this method is going to be perfect for you.

  1. Prepare Rosemary
    First, you need to prepare your herbs. Finely dice the rosemary (how you’d normally use it). With this method, we do find that the finer you can get it, the better. Why not try using a mezzaluna?
  2. Fill Ice Cube Tray
    Take your ice cube tray and pack the rosemary into each slot. You want each cube to be between half and two-thirds full.
  3. Top with Olive Oil
    Grab some good quality olive oil and cover the herbs with olive oil. You don’t need to fill the cubes – leave a small gap at the top.
  4. Flash Freeze
    Cover the tray with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. Give them a good 6 to 12 hours (or overnight).
  5. Final Freeze
    Once frozen solid, remove the tray and remove the herb cubes. You can now place these in a ziplock bag and place them in the freezer.

When you want to add a rosemary hit to your dish, you need to grab a cube and throw it in the pot. That’s all there is to it.

With this method, you can also throw together a herb mix. Don’t limit yourself solely to rosemary. You could mix the rosemary with other herbs. Try sage and thyme to create a wintery bouquet garni.

3 Tips for Freezing Rosemary

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing rosemary to have the best results:

Opt for the Ice Cube Method
The ice cube method of freezing rosemary is the best approach to take. The cubes will be packed full of flavour, can be used straight from the freezer and won’t leave you with sharp, brittle rosemary leaves. 

Mix with Other Herbs
Don’t be shy about mixing rosemary with other herbs and flavours. You could mix rosemary with thyme and garlic for a classic flavour combination that can be added to soups, stews or roasted vegetables. 

Use the Freshest Rosemary
Rosemary won’t improve when you freeze it. This is why you must use the best, freshest rosemary you can. If it is losing its flavour, then don’t bother freezing it. 

How Long Can You Freeze Rosemary?

Rosemary will last in the freezer for around a year. There is a small chance that the flavour will degrade slightly over time. That’s why it’s better to try and use it up within 3 to 4 months.

You Can Freeze Rosemary for up to 4 Months

How Do You Defrost Rosemary?

The great news is that you don’t really need to – and that’s for either method above. If you’re throwing the rosemary into a stew, soup, or sauce, then take it straight from the freezer and place it in the pan with your other ingredients.

You don’t need to leave it in the fridge overnight. You don’t need to gently defrost it in warm water. Just use it as and when you need it directly from the freezer.

Can You Refreeze Rosemary?

Where possible, we would avoid refreezing rosemary as it can begin to lose its fragrant flavour and smell rapidly.

The only exception is if you have used frozen rosemary in a dish that you then want to go on and freeze, such as a pasta sauce

Does Rosemary Freeze Well?

Nothing can beat fresh herbs from your own plant in the garden. But when you’re cooking rosemary as part of the base of a sauce, you’ll be hard pushed to tell the difference between fresh and frozen.

Fortunately, most woody/hard herbs will freeze particularly well and will retain their flavour well.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing rosemary or rosemary in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Rosemary Water?

Rosemary water (or any herb-infused water) can be frozen. Find a container that’s a suitable size and decant before sealing and freezing. Do not freeze the rosemary water in the glass bottle it came in.

Can You Freeze Rosemary and Thyme?

You certainly can – the best method is the ice cube approach. Just mix equal parts rosemary and thyme and pack this mixture into your ice cube tray, add water or olive oil and then freeze.

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