A friend just gave me a big bunch of fresh sage - way more than I need for my turkey and stuffing. I find sage doesn't last long in the fridge and I hate to let it go to waste, so question: can I freeze the fresh leaves and if so, just in a ziploc or is there some better method? (Ironically, I'm not even a big sage fan, but I'm thinking of making butternut squash ravioli for a holiday party next month, which is great with brown butter and sage.)

  • Posted by: amysarah
  • November 23, 2010


Sharon December 12, 2022
Sage doesn't really freeze well. It turns black and never really recovers. Gather it in bundles, tie them by the stems and hang to dry out. Store in a canning jar as betteirene suggested. Make yourself a big batch of poultry seasoning by smashing the dried leaves to a powder in a mortar & pestle, along with dried rosemary, thyme, etc., pinch of nutmeg. Oh, and white pepper is great in this. I've been doing this and haven't bought a grocery store variety in decades! I've also stuffed lots of the fresh leaves into an inexpensive bottle of white wine. Wonderful for deglazing pans when making all kinds of gravies. Throw a few rosemary sprigs in too! And a sage simple syrup will inspire many a great cocktails! Here's a good basic poultry seasoning link to start with: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/233909/homemade-poultry-seasoning/ There are many more if you do a search. Happy cooking!
Pia December 11, 2022
Freeze the sage, and use it when you make tomato sauce: heat olive oil, add the sage, fry for a bit, without burning it, then add your pelati or tomatoes and cook away.
MLHE December 11, 2022
Sage advice, all! I wish a sage abundancer lived next door…a share arrangement could’ve been contracted for I have an excess of fragrant white roses this fall. Sage… it is one of my favorite herbs! I’ve used it in pumpkin ravioli, and as a fried topper for mushrooms stuffed with cornbread stuffing. Mmm.
Jacque December 11, 2022
You can make pesto from an abundance of sage - think I used pistachios instead of pine nuts, but use what you like as pesto is endlessly customizable. One memorable use of the sage pesto was in a butternut squash lasagna.
healthierkitchen November 24, 2010
If you have the stems and not just leaves, put the bunch(es) in some water. I've had a few sprigs in a vase on my sill for weeks!
amysarah November 24, 2010
Cool idea, Madame Sel...I just may give that one a go. (Not that it matters since you defrost them before using, but it sounds like the cubes must look pretty too - and what can I say? I'm a very visual girl ;-)
Madame S. November 24, 2010
I've frozen sage in ice cubes trays filled with water. The leaves kept floating to the top but I kept pushing them down as they froze. Eventually the were submerged under the ice and kept their nice green color. Put the cubes in plastic bags once frozen and thaw as needed!
amysarah November 24, 2010
Thanks for all the answers! Yes, I'd considered drying the sage (and probably will do with some of it,) but was thinking more about saving the leaves in a 'fresh' state - think I'll give freezing some a whirl too. Love the saltimbocca suggestion - had totally forgotten about that. Not to date myself, but it's one of those classic old school dishes I recall from 'fancy' Italian restaurants (i.e. not everything was red ;-) when I was a kid. Like I said, sage isn't really my favorite herb, but with some frozen and some dried on hand, at least I can use it up gradually.
pierino November 23, 2010
I'm in sympathy because someone with the best of intentions hacked down all the beautiful sage in the community garden---before Thanksgiving! He handed me a whole bunch which I tied up and have hanging outside. Still, it's not going to be as good. And yes, frying it in olive oil is a terrific idea; not just for chips or dips, but throw it on a pizza too.
adashofbitters November 23, 2010
Regarding sage simple syrup, I concocted a recipe for Edible Rhody last fall that used that very ingredient, in an Apple Sage Old Fashioned:

usuba D. November 23, 2010
Fry the leafs to make chips. They are great for dipping in salsa.
betteirene November 23, 2010
I've never frozen it, but I've read that it can be done, and that freezing intensifies the flavor. Wash, pat dry, freeze single leaves on a baking sheet until hard, then put them in a zipper bag and they're good for a year.

I dry my sage by hanging small branches upside-down until they're dry and leathery-crisp. I store a few whole leaves in paper bags and use these for garnish. I hand-rub the remaining leaves between my palms and store the sage fluff in a pint canning jar. It lasts until the plants come back in the spring, about six months. It'll probably last longer, but I toss the old stuff as soon as the fresh leaves start growing.
hardlikearmour November 23, 2010
Yes you can freeze them. Rinse and pat or air dry, then freeze. I'm also thinking a sage simple syrup could be turned into a delicious holiday drink somehow.
mainecook61 November 23, 2010
It doesn't freeze well--turns quite black. Drying would be a better option. Or make chicken saltimbocca: on a thin chicken cutlet lay a sage leaf or two and a thin slice of prosciutto. Dip in flour and then egg. Saute in hot oil.
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