Summer time is the perfect opportunity to use fresh basil! Just ask Ree Drummond, who is considering
basil for being one of her favorite herbs. “I’ve been known to ‘accidentally’ overplant basil in the summer so we end up being overrun with it in mid-July,” she says, but don’t worry, “it’s a big problem to have !” Not only does Ree use basil in many of her summer recipes, but it’s also the star ingredient in one of her favorite year-round sauces: pesto! “I make a bunch of fresh basil and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then you just pick the cubes into soups or sauces,” explains Ree. Of course, this list of basil recipes includes plenty of ideas for pesto, but it also shows you tons of other ways to use fresh, flavorful basil!
From summer salads and barbecue side dishes to main dishes and colorful cocktails, this list of basil recipes proves just how versatile the little herb can be. Pair fresh basil with juicy summer tomato recipes or mix it into a delicious creamy sauce for chicken. It’s also a delicious addition to creamed corn and Caprese pasta salad. Heck, you can even add basil to summer desserts, like Lemon Basil Cookies, for a bright, herbaceous and delightfully surprising treat. Whether you grow basil or just pick up a bunch from the store, there are so many basil recipes to choose from! Just be sure to read our tips on how to store fresh herbs, like basil.