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Basil Infused Oil


If you have a vegetable garden or just grow a few herbs on a balcony, chances are you have a basil plant that is starting to flower. It usually happens mid to late summer as a natural process in the plant’s life. Basil is easy to grow and is the perfect companion to tomato plants! You grow them together, harvest them at the same time and eat one with the other.

Basil plant

Once the plant flowers, the leaves will get a little more bitter so this is a good time to harvest more leaves and make pesto or even better, basil oil. This is what happened to both my Thai and my Italian basil plant. By the way, if you like Thai food you will love growing Thai basil in addition to Italian basil! I usually pinch flowers when I see them and they usually end up in my pocket and eventually in the laundry! But this time I smelled the handful of flowers I harvested and the scent was so strong that I didn’t want to waste it. They are so beautiful too! Thai basil has deep purple flowers that are so fragrant!

Basil flowers

Sure, I could add some of the flowers to a salad or a Thai curry but what if I could preserve their incredible scent for a later use? I remembered buying some basil oil a while back and using it sparingly on our home grown tomatoes. It is so good that you only need a few drops! It is an amazing addition to salad dressing, pizza, pasta, bread, even cardboard will taste amazing! So now you know why we are making basil oil! If you are still not convinced it’s worth doing it, here are a few more reasons!

8 reasons to make basil oil

  1. It is so easy! No cooking, just wait 12-24 hours for the flavors to infuse the oil!
  2. Don’t waste any basil flowers and leaves when they are abundant in the summer.
  3. It is so much cheaper than buying it!
  4. Only use a little oil to create a strong basil flavor in any dish!
  5. Add other condiments to make it just like you like it (garlic, extra virgin olive oil etc.)
  6. Make it in the summer and use it all winter long!
  7. Can be made with Thai, Italian basil or any other herbs.
  8. Makes the best gift!

Health benefits of Basil oil

In addition to using it in your kitchen, basil oil can be used externally to soothe headaches, repel insects, calm and uplift the mind. When combined with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil, it will soothe skin irritations, scrapes and rashes.

Fun variations

The basic recipe only has oil and the basil leaves (and a pinch of salt) but you can add some garlic, chili flakes if you like some heat. You don’t want something too strong as it will overpower the basil but you get the idea.

How to best preserve basil oil

Homemade basil oil will keep fresh for 3-4 months refrigerated. If you have opaque or dark bottles, the oil can last even longer. Light

If you want to preserve basil oil over a long period of time (like for the winter months), you can finely chop basil leaves and flowers. Use an ice cube tray and add a teaspoon in each cavity. Drizzle a little olive oil and pinch of salt, and freeze. Pop each cube and place in a resealable bag for later.

Great uses for basil oil

If you like tomatoes check out my 10 recipes showcasing tomatoes for cool ideas.
Most grains like pasta, polenta, Pizza , roasted vegetables, breads, potatoes…

So let’s get cooking!


Basil Infused Oil

Infusing oil with basil flowers and leaves creates the most fragrant oil that can be used on salads, pasta, pizza, bread and so much more!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Infusing time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine European


  • Mason jar with lid


  • 1 cup basil leaves and flowers
  • 6 oz avocado oil
  • 6 oz virgin olive oil
  • pinch sea salt


Prepare the herbs

  • Harvest enough leaves and flowers to pack a cup. Separate the leaves and remove the stems.
    fresh thai basil leaves
  • Fill a sterilized mason jar with the leaves. Add the avocado and olive oil and the pinch of salt.
  • Place the lid on and put the jar on a sunny spot for 24 hours.
  • Open and taste the oil. If it is sufficiently fragrant, pour the oil through a sieve. Label and date the jar.
Keyword flavored oil



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