Fresh Basil Recipes that Make the Most of Your Garden Harvest
Blended in Soups
Blend a whole cup of fresh herb leaves into this creamy, summery Chilled Avocado Soup for a pop of freshness to balance out the rich coconut milk. You’ll chill the soup before serving, true, but the ginger and chili oil will warm you up from the inside out as you scoop up this basil soup.
Layered in a Towering Lasagna
In addition to the basil in the pasta sauce, this Mile-High Meatless Lasagna Pie features flecks of fresh basil leaves in the garlicky spinach-mushroom mixture. The fresh herbal notes nicely echo the garden vegetables (here, we suggest carrots and zucchini).
Polka-dotting a Punch Bowl
Just in case this fizzy citrus punch wasn’t refreshing enough for you as-is, try stirring in equal parts fresh jalapeno and fresh basil leaves. It’s a mocktail in its original format, but add a splash of tequila and the Sparkling Basil Lemonade makes a stellar swap for a classic margarita.
Whirred into a Bread Spread
Go ahead, give it a spin. Fresh herbs steal the show in this easy blender Basil Pesto recipe. Try the nutty, cheesy sauce tossed with pasta or as a swap for marinara atop pizza.
To Summer-ify Shakshuka
Amp up the Mediterranean flair in Eggs in Spicy Cherry Tomato Marinara by adding a hefty handful of fresh basil to the slow-cooked sauce. Whether you get cracking for breakfast or dinner, this easy vegetarian recipe will be a crowd-pleaser.
To Herb-Upgrade Preserves
Preserve the best of summer via this sweet stone fruit jam recipe! Infused with citrus and fresh herbs, this Basil-Peach Jam is a stellar addition to grilled ham and cheese, a bowl of oatmeal, or a simple slice of toasted bread.
As a Fragrant Soup Topping
If you’re not a fan of cod and shrimp, try the same citrus-basil gremolata sprinkled on a bowl of pasta, chicken soup, or roasted veggies. Or stick with our speedy Quick Fish Stew as the base and double up on gremolata for more herby goodness.
Folded into Cake Batter
Here’s an idea that’s sure to grow on you: fresh herbs + dessert! You may have folded mint into fruit salads before, but we bet you’ve never tried tossing basil into cake batter. The herbal touch is the perfect, unexpected addition to this just-sweet-enough Olive Oil-Basil Cornmeal Cake with Strawberry Sauce.
Tossed in a Spud Salad
Balance out the pleasant saltiness of green olives with a cup and a half of slightly peppery basil leaves and sweet yellow peppers. Basil and Olive Potatoes will blow away standard, mayo-heavy potato salad.
Muddled with Cocktail Fixings
One sip of Grilled Peach Whiskey Smash is all the proof you'll need that bourbon isn't just a cold-weather spirit. Farmers market finds including peaches and basil, plus fizz from a splash of club soda, transform it into a scorching-summer-day refresher.
As a Swap for Leafy Greens
Toss together a one-to-one ratio of basil leaves and red leaf lettuce for a far-better-than-iceberg salad base. For restaurant-quality texture, color, and flavor in this Fresh Basil Salad, pile on fresh raspberries and farro-coated goat cheese “croutons.”
To Season a Marinade
Stir basil and balsamic vinegar into olive oil, then bathe bocconcini (AKA small rounds of fresh mozzarella cheese) for a fight-over-the-last-bite Italian appetizer. Marinated Mozzarella with Basil looks like something you’d order at a fancy restaurant but is remarkably easy to make.
To Freshen Up Bread Salad
Bread and basil make dream counterparts in this Tuscan side dish salad. For an extra herbal punch, sprinkle fresh leaves on the Panzanella and shake some into the dressing for basil flavor in each bite.
In a Pasta Salad Party
Make over the summer potluck favorite, pasta salad, and make it a real meal by adding sauteed chicken, chopped walnuts, sliced peaches, and a bunch of basil. In just 30 minutes, you'll have a party-ready meal with this Peachy Chicken Pasta Salad.
To Add Flavor to a Skillet Supper
Gluten-free yet loaded with cups of garlic-scented greens, nutritious vitamins, and satisfying protein, this 25-minute supper skillet is an ideal summer meal. Double up on the herbs in this Basil-Tomato Chicken Skillet to really make the flavors pop.