The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Mint: Preserving Freshness and Flavor

How to Freeze Mint: The Ultimate Guide

Mint is one of those criminally underrated herbs with a light and refreshing taste. Not only is it essential for cocktails, but it also adds incredible flavor to salads and desserts. To keep this versatile ingredient on hand, freezing mint is a simple and effective solution. In this ultimate guide, we will explore two methods of freezing mint to preserve its essential oils, flavor, and color for up to six months.

Method 1: Freezing Whole Mint Leaves

Freezing whole mint leaves allows for easy measurement of ratios and proportions in cooking and closely resembles the fresh state of the herb. To freeze mint leaves, follow these steps:

1. Prepare the mint

Start by trimming the top of the mint leaves, leaving at least two-thirds of the plant intact. Use fresh, quality leaves and avoid damaged or insect-infested leaves.

2. Spread out

Carefully lay out the mint leaves on a baking sheet, making sure they are as flat as possible and do not overlap. Overlapping leaves can be difficult to separate once frozen.

3. Cover well

To keep the leaves from falling off the tray and to prevent additional moisture or dirt, cover them with plastic wrap or waxed paper to ensure complete coverage.

4. Freeze the mint

Place the baking sheet with the mint leaves in the freezer overnight for best results.

5. Pack in freezer-safe bags

Once the mint leaves are frozen solid, transfer them to freezer-safe food storage bags. Label each bag before placing it in the freezer. The leaves will not stick together in the bags due to their frozen state.

Method 2: Make ice cubes from fresh mint

Turning fresh mint into ice cubes is a convenient way to thaw and melt the herb as needed, making it suitable for a variety of recipes and beverages. Follow these steps to freeze mint into ice cubes:

1. Prepare the mint leaves

Trim the top of the mint leaves as described in the previous method to ensure that you are using healthy leaves.

2. Wash and dry the mint leaves

Wash the mint leaves in cool water, removing any excess moisture. Pat dry with paper towels or use a salad spinner to remove most of the water before freezing.

3. Portion the mint

Consider chopping the mint leaves into specific measurements, such as one tablespoon of mint per ice cube. This will make portioning easier when using the mint cubes later.

4. Line the ice cube tray with mint.

Fill the ice cube tray(s) with the desired amount of mint, making sure all leaves are submerged.

5. Freeze

Place the ice cube tray(s) in the freezer for at least one hour or until the mint cubes are completely frozen. Once frozen, add more water until it reaches the top of the tray and freeze again.
These mint cubes can add a burst of flavor to cocktails, iced teas, lemonades, and other beverages. They can also be added to recipes without affecting the final product due to excess water from the melted cubes.

Why Freeze Mint?

Freezing mint extends its shelf life and preserves its freshness and flavor. While fresh mint is plentiful during the summer season, it can be a challenge to use it all before it goes bad. Proper storage is critical in these situations.
Compared to drying, which can lead to flavor concentration, rot or mold, freezing mint preserves its essential oils and flavors without the need to adjust recipe ratios. This allows for seamless cooking with frozen mint, which maintains its intensity, freshness, and color over time.

Bottom line

Freezing mint is an easy and effective way to preserve its essential oils, flavors and colors. Whether you choose to freeze whole mint leaves or turn them into refreshing ice cubes, both methods provide a long-lasting solution for having mint readily available in your kitchen. By following the steps outlined in this ultimate guide, you can enjoy the benefits of frozen mint for up to six months. So the next time you have an abundance of fresh mint, don’t hesitate to freeze it and enjoy its delicious flavor in your culinary creations.


Can I freeze mint directly without any preparation?

Yes, you can freeze mint directly without any preparation. However, it is recommended to trim the top of the mint leaves and remove any damaged or insect bitten leaves for better quality and flavor.

How long can I keep frozen mint?

When properly stored in an airtight, freezer-safe bag or container, frozen mint can be stored for up to six months without significant loss of flavor or quality.

Can I use frozen mint in recipes that call for fresh mint?

Absolutely! Frozen mint can be used in recipes that call for fresh mint. The texture of frozen mint may become softer after thawing, but the flavor and aroma remain intact, making it a suitable substitute for fresh mint in a variety of dishes.

What is the best way to defrost frozen mint?

The best way to thaw frozen mint is to remove the desired amount from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. This gradual thawing process helps preserve the flavor and prevents excessive moisture loss.

Can I refreeze mint after thawing?

It is generally not recommended to refreeze mint once it has been thawed. Thawed mint can lose some of its texture and flavor, so it is best to use it immediately in your recipes or preparations.

Can I freeze mint stems or just the leaves?

While it is possible to freeze mint stems, it is generally recommended to freeze the leaves for better flavor preservation. The leaves contain most of the essential oils and flavors that make mint desirable in culinary applications.