Food & Drink

25+ Delicious Ways to Use a Bunch of Basil

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As the weather warms up, fresh basil is constantly on hand in our kitchens. It’s hard to find a dish that isn’t improved by a handful of this bright, fragrant herb. With a sweet, peppery taste, there are so many options of what to make with a bunch of basil.

A simple pesto sauce or bowl of pasta are always good choices, as are tossing a handful of fresh basil leaves into your salad or punching up the flavor of a stir-fry. And if you’ve got more than you know what to do with, you can preserve basil in the freezer where it will last for months and months.

If you’re in need of a few new ideas to trim back an enormous pot on your patio or use up that second bunch you couldn’t resist buying, take a look through these 25+ great recipes for inspiration.

Basil Pesto Recipes

If you have a monster haul of basil, the top way to use it all up is definitely pesto. This blend of fresh basil, garlic, nuts, cheese, and olive oil is one of the most versatile condiments around. If you have some left over at the end of the week, pesto will freeze beautifully for months when sweet basil is less abundant.

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The Best Homemade Basil Pesto

Spread it on sandwiches, toss it with pasta, or treat yourself a single happy spoonful, but definitely absolutely positively make pesto any chance you get.

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Vegan Basil Pesto

This easy step-by-step recipe to guide you in making basil pesto that’s naturally vegan, without cheese or dairy.

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Pasta with Fresh Basil

Whether you’re tossing your pasta dinner together with a mess of veggies with lemon-butter sauce or going for something creamy, there’s always a place for fresh basil. And of course, you can never go wrong with a serving of pesto pasta.

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Lemon Butter Pasta & Veggies

This colorful pasta is tossed in a lemon butter sauce and filled with sautéed zucchini and cherry tomatoes.

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One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Pesto Pasta

In this 20-minute vegetarian dinner, vibrant pesto and creamy mascarpone cheese combine to create a silky sauce that clings to the noodles.

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Easy Dinners with Fresh Basil

Take any one of your favorite dinners, and there is a place for basil, even if it’s not already in the recipe. Basil can be used to jazz up everything from casseroles and soups to chicken and mac and cheese.

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Stuffed Eggplant Parm

Everything you love about classic eggplant Parm, stuffed into a hollowed-out eggplant shell and topped with melted mozzarella.

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Tomato-Basil Chicken and Rice

This one-pan chicken thigh and tomato basil rice casserole is almost completely hands off and feeds your whole family generously.

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Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken

Homemade pesto mixed with hearty chunks of chicken in the slow cooker, ready for a week’s worth of salads, wraps, and grain bowls.

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Tomato Basil Soup

This 5-ingredient, dairy-free tomato soup is made with fresh tomatoes, ensuring each bite is packed with pure tomato flavor.

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Baked Caprese Mac and Cheese

With gooey melted cheese, bright tomatoes, and sweet basil, this is the ultimate way to indulge in caprese.

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Salads with Fresh Basil

Anytime you’re tossing together a green salad, go ahead and mix in a few spoonful (or even just a few leaves) of chopped basil. It adds a pop of sweet, peppery flavor that’s kind of unexpected and totally delightful.

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Pesto Pasta Salad

Nothing says summer like tendrils of pasta, fresh mozzarella pearls, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cucumber dressed in a basil pesto sauce.

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Easy Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Our easy caprese salad recipe features sweet tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fragrant basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and a spoonful of balsamic glaze.

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Strawberry Arugula Salad

This 5-ingredient recipe for arugula salad with strawberries, pistachios, and fresh basil is both simple and surprising.

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Avocado Caprese Salad

There’s one ingredient that’s makes classic caprese even better: avocados.

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