Making Basil Oil

Sharing is caring!

basil oilOne of the absolute joys of summer for me is to walk out into my garden and pick fresh basil leaves when ever I feel like it. I have basil growing all over my backyard, in pots and in the ground. Our seasons are so short here that I have to get it while I can. I’m not the gardener in my family, the husband is, but he takes great direction from me concerning how many plants I want even if I go a little overboard!
fresh garden basil This was a stellar year for basil, all the leaves were vibrant and lush, perfect for pesto and my new found love, basil infused olive oil!

Making basil oil is so simple and the end result is so amazing, trust me you’ll want to drizzle it all over your fish, meat, vegetables, eggs and crusty toasted bread! I had my sweet granddaughter help me in the process picking the leaves, check out her green toes!
making basil oil All it takes is just a few short steps and you’re finished, and a little goes a very long way. Put some in a pretty glass bottle and hand it off to your friends and family, they will love it!

basil oilGive the 3 ingredients a quick whirl in a blender or a food processor until nice and pureed. Check out that beautiful color you can tell by looking at it how good it’s going to taste!
basil oil When it’s finished you can choose to strain it through cheesecloth for a more refined and clear result or just leave it as is, I did it both ways to show you, but either way the flavor is dynamic!

Here it is not strained dripping over a tomato and mozzarella stack sprinkled with flaky sea salt. To-die-for!
 And here it is pictured above strained through cheesecloth, clear and still vibrant green. I made this for breakfast the other day, crusty toasted Italian bread drizzled with basil oil, layered with bacon, sliced tomatoes and a sunny side up egg drizzled with more basil oil. Another to-die-for!  Thanks M-A for the inspiration!

Basil Oil
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  1. Wash basil leaves then blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute.
  2. Remove and place in an ice bath to cool down.
  3. Squeeze out water and dry with paper towel.
  4. Place blanched basil, the oil and salt into a blender or food processor and puree.
  5. Let it settle a little then pour into a glass container.
  6. Use immediately or refrigerate. Flavors are even more intense the next day.
  7. Keeps for 1 week refrigerated.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sharing is caring!

Italian Sauces My Way E-Book


  1. Carol Bartraw says

    Just had to tell you, I made this in 2013 when you first posted the recipe, mmmmm, so good, my basil was abundant that year, I froze it in small ziplock bags, then double bagged them in bigger bags. Haven’t had another good crop of basil til this year, but that first batch kept well packaged in the freezer, bright green and flavourful, just finished the last of it this spring. I have been searching for a way to preserve basil for quite a few years, was never very happy with the results until your recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I love this simple recipe and your gorgeous photos. I’d never tried basil oil over bacon and eggs before but OMG it’s so delicious I’ll definitely be doing that on a regular basis!

  3. I have been making basil oil for years a completely different way. Just looked on the web and only found this method. Is there a problem with the way I make it? I like it because it does last a very long time. I take a jar pack it with fresh basil then pour oil over it. Let it sit for 24 hrs. then strain the oil back to the jar. I repeat this for ten days until I get a very potent basil oil with only the essence of basil in the oil no plant. One drop in a fry pan fills the house with the smell of basil. It lasts for at least six months in the frig. Admittedly it does take a whole lot of basil but it always been worth it to me to pull it out in the winter. Has anyone else used this method? Is there a health reason not too? I have used it for years.

  4. Just came to visit from Lea Ann’s link. This sounds (and looks) delicious!

  5. I made this today, but for some reason it did not turn out quite like expected. It looks good but it doesn’t have that delicious basil taste…..I’m wondering where I went wrong.

    • loly, it sounds like you didn’t use enough basil, did you pack it down good? Were your leaves too small? was the basil vibrant green when you picked it? I say that because some of mine now is fading in color and looking a little yellowish and I think that would affect the flavor.

  6. Your basil plants are amazing! I live in the Pacific Northwest and we have dismal weather-this year I’m not sure we are actually having summer. My basil is not nearly as green as yours and the leaves are no where the size yours are. Question-do you plant from seeds or starters? If seeds do you have a favorite source/variety that you plant? Do you fertilize and what soil do you use? Sorry for so many questions, but what is Italian cooking without Basil??!!

  7. It is so true we eat with our eyes first. Every photo on your blog shows bright fresh food that I can’t wait to get to my garden and kitchen to try. Thanks and congrats on your 6th anniversary.

  8. I love basil oil, and yours is positively glorious. As always, your pix capture the vibrant colors and freshness of your food. Well done, amica!

  9. I would think if you can freeze pesto (which has the same two ingredients in), you could freeze this. Ice cube trays would be perfect.

  10. I too have a back patio with a bumper crop of basil. I’ve been making pesto almost every weekend and will switch it up this weekend with some oil. That toast, bacon and egg sounds and looks divine! Thanks Marie.

  11. I’m making this today, Marie. It is beautiful and I can imagine how delicious it is on sliced tomatoes.

  12. Marie – I’ve made basil oil by cooking the leaves in oil, then straining them, but I like your way much better. It retains that vibrant green color. And those photos – oh so inviting. How did you get your granddaughter to coordinate painting her nails the color of basil?

  13. Do you think you could process this like for canning and give as gifts?

  14. I pinned this. My basil is starting to fade, but there is always next year.

  15. This looks wonderful. I’m wondering though, why does it only keep for a week? Thanks for these recipes. I’m going to make it.

    • Carole, Everything I’ve read talks about the water in the basil, if it sit’s too long it might turn rancid. I’ve had mine for a week now and all is still good. It must be refrigerated and then brought to room temp before using.

      • Thanks Marie, I was thinking if oil goes bad one whiff and you’d know. I can’t wait to make it. I think it will be good longer than a week. Thanks again for your prompt reply.

  16. Hi Marie

    This looks wonderful. Any way you can preserve this to last longer. Could you put it in ice cube trays like you do pesto. Just wonder if I would use it all up in a week. I know you are going to say, well of course you can, it is so good but you know how it goes with good intentions and I would hate for it to spoil.

  17. Patricia Buckley says

    Oh, Marie, I gotta try your green eggs and ham. Sorry, it’s the teacher in me. Thanks, I can’t wait to try it.

  18. I’ve purchased gourmet basil infused oil in the past, but your method is so easy I’ll be sure to do this every summer, Marie!
    I grew some basil in pots here this summer, as an experiment, and was happy the rabbits and deer did not touch it! I’ll certainly grow more next year, know that I know it will survive.

  19. Wow, look at the size of some of the basil leaves. I do something similar but don’t blanch the leaves. I wonder what the difference is.
    P.S. Gorgeous photos. I could just smell the wonderful aroma of basil.

  20. I need more basil plants. The last big pesto I made stripped my few plants and now I have to wait for the leaves to grow back in again. Actually, what I need most is a yard to put more basil plants!

    Once they’re in, I think a nice basil oil would be just the thing to do with them. I agree it would be great over eggs. Chicken breasts would also benefit greatly!


  1. […] was inspired by a recipe and this photo I found last year over at Marie’s web site, Proud Italian Cook. Basil oil drizzled over toast, bacon, tomato and a runny egg…I was smitten and it was […]

Please leave a comment


Rate this recipe: