25 Ways to Put Your Bounty of Fresh Herbs to Good Use
Don’t let your leftovers go to waste! They’re perfect for salads, sauces, breads and more.
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Our Best Ideas
Whether you’ve got a countertop herb garden, are figuring out how to grow your own at home or simply picked up too many at the farmers market, it can be difficult to know what to do with an abundance of fresh herbs. Sure, you can make pesto and toss a few into your salad in hopes of using them up. And maybe you’ll even dry some in the microwave for a future use. But what do you do beyond that? If you’re stumped, you're in the right place. We’ve got plenty of ideas — starting with this savory green jam. It’s a perfect way to use up past-their-prime greens and excess herbs before they go bad. We like to treat this jam like a condiment, spreading it on toast, using it as a pizza sauce and serving it alongside fish.
Get the Recipe: Herby Green Jam
Forget basic potato salad! Giada gives tender baby potatoes a refreshing spin by topping them with lots of bright lemon and basil. This is the perfect side dish for summer dinners and weekend cookouts.
Get the Recipe: Lemon-Basil Potatoes
Chimichurri Chicken Marinade
Fresh and flavorful even after a month in the freezer, this garlicky marinade works great with boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs — and it will quickly use up any extra parsley you have on hand!
Get the Recipe: Chimichurri Chicken Marinade
Ree gives her mojitos a summery twist by replacing the mint with fresh basil — and adding lots of ripe, juicy strawberries.
Get the Recipe: Strawberry-Basil Mojitos
Lemon-Herb Compound Butter
It’s always a good idea to have some herb butter on hand. You can spread it on bread and biscuits, rub it all over a whole chicken before roasting, use it to finish steaks and so much more. Best of all it’s a breeze to make. You can use whatever herbs you have on hand and easily scale this recipe to suit your needs; Geoffrey uses 3 Tablespoons of chopped herbs for every 4 Tablespoons of butter.
Get the Recipe: Lemon-Herb Compound Butter
Parmesan-Basil Corn Cakes
The natural sweetness of corn is the perfect blank canvas for so many flavors, fragrant basil included. Here we chop it up and add it to pan-fried corn cakes — for a summery snack, starter or side that’s completely irresistible.
Get the Recipe: Parmesan-Basil Corn Cakes
Lime Cilantro Rice
Adding fresh herbs to cooked rice is an easy way to elevate a dinnertime staple. The fluffy grains pair perfectly with whatever herbs you’ve got on hand but we’re partial to cilantro, especially when you add some fresh lime to the mix. Together they brighten the flavor of the rice, making it an excellent addition to the table on taco night.
Get the Recipe: Lime Cilantro Rice
Vegan Basil Pesto
The combination of smoked almonds, pistachios and green tea gives a depth of flavor that cheese would normally provide, making this a great vegan condiment for pasta or crostini. Freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray and store for up to one month.
Get the Recipe: Vegan Basil Pesto
Buttered Rosemary Rolls
Warm rosemary bread, fresh from the oven, is one of the most delicious things you can eat. But, what do you do if you’re not a baker? Use Ree’s simple hack! She brushes melted butter onto store-bought, frozen dinner rolls and sprinkles each one with salt and fresh rosemary before baking.
Get the Recipe: Buttered Rosemary Rolls
Chicken with Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh is a Levantine salad that’s bright, refreshing and chock full of fresh herbs. Ina’s 5-star version will help you use up one cup each of parsley and mint. She adds chicken to the mix giving the salad some extra heft — and making it the perfect choice for any summer dinner.
Get the Recipe: Chicken with Tabbouleh
Store-bought Italian Ice has met its match with this homemade granita. Light and refreshing, with the perfect amount of citrus and herbs, this frozen treat is the perfect way to use your fresh basil before it wilts.
Get the Recipe: Lemon-Basil Granita
The herbaceous flavors of chives and tarragon enhance the floral notes of matcha tea, itself derived from a potent, aromatic green leaf. Parsley, cilantro, rosemary or thyme would make a great substitute for the tarragon, if you like, but chives are essential, as their flavor helps balance the bitter matcha with the rich dairy in these savory scones.
Get the Recipe: Matcha-Herb Scones
Tomato, Watermelon, and Basil Skewers
These sweet-and-savory skewers are one of our favorite warm-weather treats — and worth getting excited about. Rich, tangy balsamic lets the sweetness of the fruit sing while our star ingredient, basil, adds truly irresistible fragrance and flavor.
Get the Recipe: Tomato, Watermelon, and Basil Skewers
When you need to use up a mountain of fresh herbs, make kuku sabzi. It will remind you of a frittata although the ratio of eggs to add-ins is much different. This dish is all about the fresh herbs — the eggs just help hold everything together!
Get the Recipe: Kuku Sabzi
Potato Basil Frittata
With potatoes, ricotta and Gruyere, Ina’s frittata is rich and savory. Adding a healthy dose of fresh, herbaceous basil gives the flavor just the right amount of lift.
Get the Recipe: Potato Basil Frittata
Caprese Skewers with Plum Balsamic Drizzle
Extra sprigs of rosemary make the perfect skewers for these caprese bites. They look pretty — and lend just a hint of woodsy fragrance to the cheese.
Get the Recipe: Caprese Skewers with Plum Balsamic Drizzle
Goat Cheese with Fresh Dill
Ree rolls logs of goat cheese into chopped fresh herbs for an easy upgrade that will instantly elevate any cheeseboard. Dill works well here, thanks to its light, feathery fronds.
Get the Recipe: Goat Cheese with Fresh Dill
For Iranians, the herb platter known as sabzi khordan is a delicious, refreshing companion to any meal, served as an appetizer or with the main course. The herbs can vary, depending on one’s preferences and availability, but in Iran, the most common choices are mint, basil and Persian cress (which can be substituted with arugula). This version calls for a bounty of fresh herbs including cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, dill and tarragon but you can feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Get the Recipe: Sabzi Khordan
Dill Flakey Bread
Molly rolls fresh dill into homemade bread dough for a flaky, flavorful treat that’s perfect alongside chicken or seafood. This bread is cooked in a skillet and best served hot so be sure to plan ahead.
Get the Recipe: Dill Flakey Bread
Zucchini and Basil Soup
It's always a good time for soup. It's easy to whip up and can be made in bulk and frozen to enjoy later. Take this satisfying soup, for exmaple. It's packed full of fresh flavors like garlic, basil and zucchini and easy to enjoy as a seasonal summertime treat. We blend in just a little bit of potato, to make it nice and creamy.
Get the Recipe: Zucchini and Basil Soup
Cheddar-Dill Mashed Potatoes
Why settle for a boring bowl of mashed potatoes when it’s so easy to upgrade them with cheese and fresh herbs?!
Get the Recipe: Cheddar-Dill Mashed Potatoes
Basil isn’t the only fresh herb that you can use to make a pesto. We’re quite fond of one made with fresh mint leaves ourselves. We add just a bit of fresh rosemary, too — to round things out.
Get the Recipe: Rosemary-Mint Pesto
Basil-Mint Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut cream pie gets a makeover with the addition of fresh herbs. The savory-sweet flavors of basil and mint work well with coconut, giving this classic dessert a sophisticated (and delicious!) twist.
Get the Recipe: Basil-Mint Coconut Cream Pie
With just a few ingredients and some hands-off time, feta cheese can be transformed into a delicious appetizer to serve with crostini or as an accompaniment to grilled vegetables and meat. One of our favorite ways to flavor it? Fresh herbs.
Get the Recipe: Marinated Feta Three Ways
Spicy Cilantro-Scallion Salad
Although a lot of recipes that call for herbs start by telling you to remove the leaves from the stems, this one is a good reminder that for tender herbs like cilantro the stems are not only edible — they’re delicious. Tossed with a simple dressing, they make an excellent stand-in for leafy greens.
Get the Recipe: Spicy Cilantro-Scallion Salad