Can You Freeze Rosemary?

Rosemary is a very popular herb that has a pinewood scent, very much like charred wood. It is used widely in Mediterranean cuisine, one of the healthiest in the world. It is a great addition to roast potatoes with garlic.

Rosemary chicken is delicious, and it can be added to stews and casseroles. Try rosemary and garlic roast beef or make rosemary bread. Add it to a pasta sauce with thyme, marjoram, and oregano.

However, your recipe might only require one or two sprigs of rosemary but it is often sold in a larger packet. It would be a terrible waste to throw it away so what can you do with it? It only lasts for 10 – 14 days in the fridge and you might not need it all within that time.

The answer is simple. You can freeze it, and in this article, we will tell you how to do this and how to defrost it.

How To Freeze Rosemary

You can freeze rosemary in two different ways. You can either freeze it as whole sprigs, or you can chop the sprigs and freeze them in an ice cube tray. If you are going to use rosemary with roast chicken or roast potatoes, sprigs are probably the best option. If, however, you are using it in a stew or casserole, it is better to freeze the rosemary in an ice cube tray.

How To Freeze Rosemary Sprigs

1. Wash the rosemary sprigs.

2. Flash freeze the sprigs.

Line a baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper and lay out the rosemary sprigs. Make sure that they are not touching each other so that they don’t stick together when they are put in a container. Freeze for a few hours.

3. Put the rosemary sprigs in an airtight container.

Be careful when placing the rosemary sprigs in the freezer as they are delicate. It is better that you use a container rather than a freezer bag as there is a chance that the bag will get crushed by other items in the freezer. Put a label on the container with the contents and the date frozen so that you don’t keep them in the freezer for too long.

4. Put the container in the freezer.

How To Freeze Rosemary In Ice Cube Trays

1. Wash the rosemary sprigs.

2. Prepare the rosemary.

Dice the rosemary finely, the finer the better as you don’t want to bite into a piece of rosemary when you eat your pasta or stew. Why not dice the sprigs with a mezzaluna. This is a utensil for chopping herbs that has a semi-circular blade and a handle at each end. You will get very finely chopped rosemary with this utensil. 

3. Flash freeze the rosemary sprigs.

Fill the ice cube tray slots about two-thirds of the way up, depending on how much you need for your dish. Cover the rosemary in extra virgin olive oil. Don’t fill the slots right up to the top because the liquid will expand when put in the freezer. Cover the tray in cling film. Make sure that it is tightly wrapped so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Although the rosemary will still be safe to use, it will lose flavor. Put the ice cube tray in the freezer overnight. 

4. Put the ice cubes in a freezer bag.

Remember to squeeze out the air from the freezer bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Put a label on the bag with the date frozen and the contents.

5. Freeze.

The ice cubes won’t stick together because they have been frozen separately. You will be able to remove as many cubes as you want for your dish and avoid wastage. 

Tips For Freezing Rosemary

  1. Squeeze out the air from freezer bags to prevent freezer burn.
  2. When making ice cubes, add the other herbs needed in the dish. Rosemary, thyme and garlic are a classic combination, and rosemary, sage (see also Can You Freeze Sage?), and thyme are lovely for a wintery feel. This bouquet garni would go beautifully in a warming beef stew.
  3. Whole sprigs are best thrown over roast potatoes or roast meat. Add some garlic and thyme for an extra kick. 
  4. Use the freshest rosemary you can find as it won’t improve with freezing. If the rosemary is already deteriorating it will have started to lose its flavor and there will be no point in using it.

For How Long Can You Freeze Rosemary?

You can keep rosemary in the freezer for a year but it tastes better when it is used earlier. If you use it within four months, it will taste at its best.  

How Do You Defrost Rosemary?

You don’t need to defrost rosemary which makes it easy to use. You don’t have to remember to put it into the fridge to defrost overnight. If you are using whole sprigs, just throw them over your vegetables, potatoes, or meat. If you are using ice cubes, you will, no doubt, be using them in a soup, stew, or pasta sauce. All you have to do is put the ice cubes directly into the dish. They will melt in a few minutes. 

Can You Refreeze Rosemary?

It’s not a good idea to refreeze rosemary sprigs as the more times they are frozen, defrosted, and refrozen, the more flavor they will lose.  However, if you have made a dish with it like chicken stew or a marinara pasta sauce with rosemary, you can freeze this. 

Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Rosemary?

Of course, fresh herbs are always the best. However, rosemary is a woody herb and this type of herb freezes very well, retaining most of its flavor. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing rosemary but in case you are still curious, we have answered a couple of questions here.

Can You freeze whole sprigs of rosemary and thyme together in a freezer bag?

Yes, you can if you want to throw them over roast potatoes, vegetables, or meat to give flavor. They don’t look alike so you will be able to differentiate between the two and will be able to take out how many of each you need. Freeze the thyme sprigs in the same way as you would rosemary sprigs. Rosemary and thyme are a match made in heaven so their flavors will blend well. 

Can You Freeze Rosemary Water?

You can buy rosemary water, or you can make your own, and yes, you can freeze it. You need to decant it and then put it in an airtight container. Don’t fill it right to the top as the water will expand in the freezer. If it is store-bought, don’t freeze it in the bottle it came in as it will probably be filled right up to the top.  

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