Can You Freeze Rosemary And Preserve It

What Is RosemaryHow To Freeze RosemaryDrying RosemaryFreezing vs DryingUsing ItDefrosting RosemaryConclusion

Rosemary is actually rather easy and a good candidate for freezing. There isn’t a lot of liquid in the leaves and sprigs, making it quicker to freeze it, but the change in flavor won’t be that dramatic. 

Freezing the rosemary is a great way to preserve it for the long term, so you can enjoy it beyond the last harvest you had. It’s a perennial plant that will live on for many many years if you treat it right. Thankfully the plant grows well in a variety of climates and environments. You can expect harvests for a very long time.

Rosemary Plant
Rosemary Plant

What Is Rosemary

There are several different varieties of rosemary. Some grow taller and some shorter and more bushy. But all in all it’s a very old culinary herb that is native to several regions around the mediterranean. Used here for centuries, it sees more use in cooking for medicinal purposes these days.

It grows rather well in places where the soil is dry and not rich in nutrients. With plenty of sunlight each day it will be able to grow steadily and live for decades. The sprigs are able to store water rather well, making it able to survive tough times when water might otherwise be scarce.

The flavor of rosemary is first and foremost almost eucalyptus like with a nice citrusy tone. Very aromatic when used since the natural oils in the rosemary starts to get activated and releases aroma.

How To Freeze Rosemary

Freezing rosemary is very simple. Since the edible part of the herb is the needles or sprigs, we want to separate them from the rest of the plant. This will make it much more space efficient when we later freeze them.

Since there isn’t a lot of liquid trapped in the sprigs, they will freeze pretty quickly and won’t change that much either in the texture and look. So once they are picked you can lay them in an airtight container and then in the freezer. Shake the box a little before you open it the next time to help separate the needles from each other and make it easier to take some out.

It will keep well in the freezer like this for many years. The flavor and aroma of the rosemary won’t really change that much, meaning that this is a very efficient way of preserving the rosary.

Let’s list some of the other methods for freezing rosemary.

  • Flash freezing with liquid nitrogen
  • Freezing in ice cubes
  • Freezing whole sprigs

How To Dry Rosemary

Drying rosemary is another great way of preserving it for the long term. Our favorite way of drying it is to tie a bundle of it with some string. Then hang this and let it air dry for a few weeks. On top of making the room smell great, the flavor and aroma of the rosemary will stay on much better like this.

After completely dry you can clean the needles of rosemary from the sprigs and lay them in an air-tight container to store for the long term.

Rosemary Plant
Rosemary Plant

Is It Better To Freeze Or Dry Rosemary

There is a debate whether it’s better to freeze or dry rosemary. if you already have a pretty full freezer at home then it might just be better to dry the herb instead. We like both approaches but find that we mostly dry the rosary instead actually.

Drying it seems to keep the aroma better, but it also spreads that aroma to the rest of the room. It fills it and it’s a joy to enter it every day. Just like hanging lavender, we do the same with rosemary.

Using Frozen Or Dried Rosemary

Depending on the use that you want from your rosemary, that will decide whether frozen or dried rosemary is better. If you are making a stew or a soup for example, then dried rosemary will be a lot better. It will rehydrate in the liquid and provide a lovely flavor to it.

But if you are for example making a salad instead then frozen rosemary will be better. This way we can chop it finely while still slightly frozen. It will make for a much more pleasant flavor to the salad instead of the dried ones.

Defrosting Rosemary And Refreezing It

Defrosting rosemary to just refreeze it again is a bit of a waste in all honesty. It will diminish the flavor quite a lot and make for a less appealing aroma to the rosemary. Since we have already frozen the rosemary, it’s very easy to take out the amount that you want and then take more if need be.

But you want to refreeze it then lay it on paper first and let it thaw. This will make it easier to freeze it later as the excess water will be drained off.

Rosemary Sprigs
Rosemary Sprigs


Freezing rosemary is a great and efficient way of preserving the herb for the long term. We recommend draggin the needles off and then laying them in an air-tight container. This will make for a great preservation method. You can keep the rosemary like this for years before you start seeing any noticeable shift in quality.

Additional Information

Read more articles about Preserving Your Garden

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