1 Cup Fresh Basil Equals How Much Dried


Basil is a popular herb used in cooking, especially in Italian cuisine. It can be used in everything from pizza, to pasta, pesto, fish, frozen desserts and more. If you don’t have fresh basil though, you might want to substitute it with dried basil. To do so you’ll want to know how much to use. If your recipe calls for 1 cup fresh basil, you’ll likely have the question, “1 cup fresh basil equals how much dried?”

Sweet basil. Photo by CookThink.
Sweet basil. Photo by CookThink.

The answer to this question is 1/3 cup. One-third cup dried basil is the equivalent of 1 cup fresh basil. The rule of thumb for basil is to use a 3:1 ratio. That being 3 parts fresh is the same as 1 part dried. 

The reason that the portions of fresh versus dry are different is because dried basil when compressed has a more concentrated flavor. Basil is made up of about 85-90% water and during the drying process that water is removed.

As a result, the flavor is more densely concentrated. Not as much product is needed to meet the flavor requirement.

What Are the Varieties of Basil?

There are several varieties of basil that each have a bit of a different flavor. Some varieties are as follows:

Sweet Basil – is probably the most popular kind of basil. It has large green leaves and has a bit of sweet flavor along with the typical peppery, lemony and minty aspects.

Thai Sweet Basil – includes a hint of an anise flavor. It goes great in Asian dishes.

Holy Basil – displays more of a peppery taste and can sometimes be referred to as hot basil.

Lemon Basil– has a greater focus on the lemony aspect of the flavor. But it includes the peppery and minty flavors as more subtleties.

Purple Basil – has purple leaves and has won multiple awards because of its untraditional appearance.  

Cinnamon Basil – Cinnamon basil grows on more of a woody plant. The leaves have a hint of cinnamon flavor.

Purple Basil. Photo by CookThink.
Purple Basil. Photo by CookThink.

How Do You Use Fresh Basil?

In the culinary world, fresh basil can be used as one of the main ingredients for pesto, or in infused oils, frozen desserts and beverages.

Basil brings about a variety of complex flavors all in one bite that includes a peppery, lemony, and minty flavor. It is a unique herb because of this.

To use fresh basil, simply cut it from the plant and wash it gently in cool water. Lay it on a towel to dry.

The leaves of basil are typically removed from the stems. The stems are then discarded and the leaves are the usable portion.

How Do You Use Dried Basil?

Dried basil can typically be used in the same recipes where fresh basil is used. However, you’ll want to reduce the amount of basil that is used when switching to dry because the flavor is more concentrated in dried basil.

Some people insist that the drying process removes the mint flavor in the basil.

Can You Freeze Fresh Basil?

Yes, fresh basil can be stored frozen. To freeze fresh basil, just place it in a colander and rinse it under cool water. Lay it on a towel and pat it dry.

Once dry, lay the basil out in a single layer on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer.

Once frozen, the leaves can be placed in a zipped freezer bag and pulled out a few at a time when ready to be used.

Is Basil Healthy?

Yes, basil is considered to be healthy. After all it is green. Basil contains many vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that are beneficial.

Fresh Basil to Dried Basil Leaves – The Conversion Ratio

Below are some quick basil conversions that help to determine quantities of going from fresh to dry without having to do the calculations.

What is the Equivalent of Fresh Basil to Dried Basil?

It is important to know the equivalents of fresh to dried basil and vice versa. Otherwise, you can end up with too much flavoring or not enough. Following are some equivalents.

How Much Dry Basil Would I Need To Substitute for 1 Cup Fresh Basil?

Using our 3:1 ratio, we would determine that we would need 1/3 cup dried basil if we were to use it in place of 1 cup fresh basil.

What is The Dried Equivalent of ½ Cup Fresh Basil?

There are just over 6 tablespoons in a half cup. So, using our 3:1 ratio, we can determine that 2 tablespoons of dried basil is the equivalent of ½ cup fresh basil.

Sweet Basil. Photo by CookThink.
Sweet Basil. Photo by CookThink.

What is The Dried Equivalent of ¼ Cup Fresh Basil?

There are just over 3 tablespoons in one-fourth cup.

Therefore, using our 3:1 ratio, we know that 1 tablespoon of dried basil is the equivalent of ¼ cup fresh basil.

What is the Equivalent of 1/3 Cup Fresh Basil to Dried?

There are just over 4 tablespoons in one-third cup.

As a result, using our 3:1 ratio, we can determine that 1 ½ tablespoons is the equivalent of 1/3 cup fresh basil.

How Much Dried Basil Do I Substitute For Fresh?

Use a 3:1 ratio to determine the equivalent.

Three parts fresh is comparable in flavor to one part dried.

Can You Substitute Dried Basil for Fresh in Pesto?

You can, but it’s not the same. We don’t recommend it. The color does not turn out a beautifully vibrant green and the flavor is a bit off.

If you really want to make pesto from dried basil, you can search the web and find some recipes.

Just be sure you don’t have fresh basil before you do though.

Can You Use Dry Basil Instead of Fresh?

Yes, you can use dry basil instead of fresh. When you’re unable to obtain fresh basil, dried basil is the absolute best substitute.

It’s better than using another herb in its place because the flavor profile for basil is complex and can be next to impossible to match.

The best place to use dried basil in place of fresh basil is when basil is called for as a seasoning in a recipe, and not one of the main ingredients.  

What Can I Use Instead of Dried Basil?

Fresh basil is the best substitute for dried basil, because you’ll be able to match the intended flavor profile.

If you don’t have access to fresh or dried basil, oregano, thyme and mint or a combination of the 3 can be suitable substitutes.

Our caution when using a substitute is to start out with less than the recipe calls for and then taste test it. This will help to keep your dish from becoming overpowered with unintended flavor.  

Is Dried Basil Good For You?

Just like fresh basil, dried basil can be good for you. It is full of vitamins and minerals.

How Much is 2 Cups of Fresh Basil?

Two cups of fresh basil packed loosely is the equivalent of 1 bunch of basil. It is also about the same as 60 sprigs of basil. Or it can be comparable to the same volume as 1 cup of finely chopped basil. 

Sweet Basil. Photo by CookThink.
Sweet Basil. Photo by CookThink.

How Do You Dry Fresh Basil?

Fresh basil can be dried using a food dehydrator or in the oven using a very low heat. If you’re wanting to dry a whole bunch, it can be dried by simply tying it with kitchen twine and hanging it upside down for several days until it has dried out.

Can I Use Parsley Instead of Basil?

It is possible to use parsley instead of basil. It works very well when substituting it as a garnish. The leaves of parsley are nice and big similar to the leaves of basil.

When substituting parsley for basil in a recipe, you’ll want to keep in mind that parsley is a milder flavor profile and does not include as many flavors as basil.

Can You Substitute Mint for Basil?

Yes, mint can be used in place of basil. Actually, mint is related to basil, and basil has a minty aspect in its flavor. When using mint as a garnish, it also has large green leaves like the basil sprig.

Can I Substitute Bay Leaves for Basil?

Yes, you can use Bay leaves in place of basil. Bay leaves are especially great in soups, stews and sauces.  

However, we recommend starting out with a small quantity compared to what the recipe calls for. Basil can be overpowering if used too large of quantity.

Can You Substitute Sage for Basil?

Yes, you can substitute sage for basil. Sage goes especially well in poultry dishes. Start out using a small amount. You can always add to it after you’ve tasted it.

Can I Use Basil Instead of Oregano?

Yes, basil can be used instead of oregano. Keep in mind, however, that the two have different flavor profiles. They have a peppery aspect in common though. 

Which Is Stronger Fresh or Dried Herbs?

Dried herbs have a stronger flavor. This is because plants are made up largely from water. When the water is dried out, what is left is the flavor. The flavor becomes more concentrated after the herb has been dried.

What Does Dried Basil Smell Like?

Basil has different smells based on the variety of basil it comes from. The smell of dried basil is not nearly as aromatic as fresh basil.

What to Do When You Have Neither Fresh nor Dried Basil?

If you’re wondering what to do when you have neither fresh nor dried basil to complete your recipe, there are some other herb substitutions that you can do.

Though basil is unique in flavor it is hard to replace it exactly. However, oregano, tarragon, thyme, savory and cilantro can be used in its place if you’re in a pinch. Parsley also works well as a garnish.

Cinnamon Basil. Photo by CookThink.
Cinnamon Basil. Photo by CookThink.

What Can I Substitute for Dried Basil?

To substitute for dried basil, use fresh basil as a first choice. Secondarily, oregano, tarragon, thyme, and savory can stand in the gap in a pinch if needed.

How Much Does 1 Cup of Fresh Basil Weigh?

1 cup of fresh basil weighs 20.1 grams

How Many Grams is 2 Cups of Basil?

2 cups of fresh basil weighs 40.2 grams

How Many Cups is 4 oz of Basil?

4 ounces of fresh basil is about 5.64 cups. Below is a table that shows the conversions of ounces of basil to cups of basil.

Ounces to Cups of Basil
4 ounces5 2/3 cups
5 ounces7 cups
8 ounces11 1/4 cups
1/16 ounce1/8 cup

How Do You Measure Fresh Basil?

Before basil is measured, the leaves should be removed from the stems and the stems should be discarded.

Fresh basil can be measured as whole loose leaves that are lightly packed. Or it can measured by finely chopping it and firmly packing it.1 Cup Fresh Basil Equals How Much Dried?

How Many Cups of Basil Are in a Pound?

If you’re making a recipe that calls for a pound of basil, you’ll want to know that 1 pound of basil converts to 22.6 cups.

How Many Grams is a Basil Leaf?

Different recipes use different measurements. Below is a conversion table that shows the conversion measures between grams and ounces.

Measure and Unitgramsounces
pound453.59 g16. oz
5 leaves2.5 g.088 oz
2 tbsp, chopped5.3 g.19 oz
.25 cup leaves, whole6.0 g.21 oz

How Much Is 20 Grams of Basil?

20 grams of basil is the same as 15.9 tablespoons of basil.

How Much Is 25 Grams of Basil?

25 grams of basil is equivalent to 20 tablespoons of basil.

How Much is 100 Grams of Basil?

100 grams of basil is equivalent to 4.97 cups of basil.

How Much is 50 Grams of Basil?

50 grams of basil is equivalent to 2 ½ cups of basil.

How Much Is 30 Grams of Basil?

30 grams of basil is equivalent to 23.9 tablespoons of basil.

Sweet Basil. Photo by CookThink.
Sweet Basil. Photo by CookThink.

How Much Basil is in a Bunch?

A bunch of basil contains about 60 sprigs of basil. It is equivalent to 1 cup packed basil or 2 cups loosely packed basil. There are usually about 2.5 ounces of basil in a bunch.

How Many Basil Leaves are in a Tablespoon?

In 2 tablespoons of chopped basil, there are approximately 5 leaves fresh basil leaves.

What is a Sprig of Basil?

A sprig of basil can be another term of measurement used in recipes. A sprig of basil is usually cut from the top of a stem of basil and is about 3 inches long. One sprig usually includes 3 to 4 leaves.

How Much is a Sprig of Basil in Teaspoons?

A sprig of basil is approximately equivalent to ½ teaspoon dried basil.

How to Store Basil Bunch

The best way to store a basil bunch is to place the stems in a glass of one inch of water, much like you would put flowers in a vase. The bunch should be stored at room temperature and can usually last for up to two weeks.

General How to Store Basil Info

Below are some tips for general storage of basil:

Short Term Basil Storage

To store fresh basil for the short term, cut and place stems in fresh water, cover with plastic, store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Basil Long Term Storage

The best way to store basil for the long term is to freeze it. To prepare basil to be frozen, wash the leaves and lay them out to dry.

To freeze whole leaves, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer.

After they have frozen, transfer them to a zipped freezer bag.

To freeze chopped basil, place measured contents in ice cube molds, fill remaining space with water, if desired and freeze.

How Much Freeze-Dried Basil Equals Fresh Basil?

Basil can be purchased already freeze dried. For example, 1 jar of freeze-dried basil equals 2 bunches of fresh basil.

Why Is Basil So Important?

Basil is such an important herb because it is very unique and distinct from other herbs.

Its flavor profile contains quite the combinations of flavors all in one bite.

There is no other single herb that can be used to replace basil and have the same exact flavor profile. Basil is one of the most popular herbs for culinary uses.

What is the Dried Equivalent of ½ Cup Fresh Parsley?

The equivalent of ½ cup fresh parsley to dried is ¼ cup.

Can You Substitute Dried Herbs For Fresh?

Yes, you can use dried herbs in place of fresh herbs. Just be sure to use the proper conversions so you don’t end up with too much flavor.

Dried herbs have a more condensed flavor than fresh herbs.

Can You Eat Rosemary Leaves Raw?

Yes, you can eat rosemary leaves raw. Rosemary emits flavors and aroma best when the leaves are chopped.

Rosemary is delicious in poultry and potato dishes.

Is Dried Thyme Good For You?

Yes, thyme in general is good for you. Thyme exhibits antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.

It helps support the immune and respiratory systems. But just like any other food, we recommend using thyme in moderation.

When Should You Add Dried Herbs?

Dried herbs should be used when your recipe calls for them or when fresh herbs of the same are not available.

Variegated Basil. Photo by CookThink.
Variegated Basil. Photo by CookThink.

Is Dried Parsley As Good As Fresh?

The use of dried parsley being just as good as fresh parsley depends on its use. If you’re wanting to use it as a garnish, then it depends on your personal preference.

If you have in mind a nice big green leafy sprig on the top of your dish, you’re not going to achieve that with dried parsley.

But with that being said, generally speaking substituting the same herb with the dried version is the first and best recommended alternative.

What Can You Substitute For Dried Parsley?

Chervil, tarragon, oregano, chives, arugula, endive, cilantro, basil can be substituted for parsley.

What is the Difference Between Bay Leaf and Basil?

Bay leaf tends to have more of a bitter, peppery, taste. But basil can have a flavor closer to Bay leaf when it’s dried.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between Dried Basil and Oregano?

Knowing the difference between dried basil and oregano can be tricky. We recommend taste testing the fresh version first which will help you determine the difference between the dried versions.

Oregano is thought to have more of a peppery flavor. Basil has more of a combination of pepper, lemon and mint.

Which is Healthier Oregano or Basil?

Both oregano and basil can provide significant health benefits just as you’d expect with most any green leafy plant.

Oregano has more vitamins, minerals and protein. And basil is lower in calories, sugar and sodium but also has good vitamin qualities.

Can I Use Basil and Oregano Together?

Yes, basil and oregano can be used together. If you’re experimenting with flavor for the first time, remember to start small. You can always add more flavor.  

Does Basil Go With Oregano?

Yes, basil and oregano can be used in the same recipe. They work well together in pasta dishes.

What Does Garlic Pair Well With?

Garlic and basil are often used together in Italian dishes. Garlic also pairs well with parmesan cheese and sautéed onions.

But really, the sky’s the limit. So if you like garlic, just add it to your favorite dishes.

How Fresh Are Your Dried Herbs?

It’s good to keep tabs on how long you’re storing your dried herbs. I’m thinking that some of my dried herbs could be as old as my house. Not really.

But when I buy something I don’t use very often and it gets pushed to the back of the cupboard. A good rule of thumb is to keep dried herbs for 1-2 years, for the best freshness and then throw them out.

All You Really Need To Know About Converting Fresh Herbs to Dry Herbs

The main thing you need to remember is to use less of a quantity when you’re converting from fresh to dry herbs. In the case of basil, 3 parts fresh to 1 part dried is the perfect conversion. The answer to1 Cup Fresh Basil Equals How Much Dried.

There are, however, some herbs that work better with a 2:1 conversion ratio. We have included a conversion chart for your reference down the page.

Be sure to print it out and stick it inside your kitchen cupboard so you can refer to it later on.

Why These Ratios?

If you’re still puzzled and wondering about why these ratios, why can I just use an identical amount when I’m converting from fresh to dried?

The answer is because fresh herbs are 85 to 90% water. When the water is dried out of them during the dehydration process it makes the flavors become more condensed.

So not as large of an amount is needed to achieve the same taste.

Exceptions To The Rule

Like any rules, there are usually exceptions. We’ve mentioned a 3:1 ratio for conversion for some herbs including1 Cup Fresh Basil Equals How Much Dried, as well as a 2:1 conversion for others.

Garlic, for example, is an exception. You would not find the equivalent of a clove of garlic, without converting to some other kind of measurement or even some other product such as garlic salt or garlic powder. 

What Are the Conversions to Use Fresh to Dried Herbs and Spices?

Different herbs and spices use different ratios when converting from fresh to dried and vice versa, just like when we prepared our calculation to determine 1 cup fresh basil equals how much dried.

We wanted to reach an outcome that would provide a similar flavor to what our fresh basil would provide.

How To Convert Fresh Herb to Dried Herbs

Below is conversion chart that allows you at a glance to know conversions of fresh herbs compared to dried herbs.

HerbFreshCorresponding Dried
Basil3 tsp finely chopped1 tsp dried
Bay Leaf1 leaf fresh2 leaves dried
Chervil3 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Cilantro3 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Cinnamon1 cinnamon stick1/2 tsp ground
Cumin4.5 tbsp whole seed4 tbsp ground (1 oz)
Dill3 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Garlic (large)1 clove fresh (1.5 tsp minced)1/2 tsp powder
Garlic (small)1 clove fresh (1/2 tsp minced)1/8 tsp powder
Ginger1 tbsp freshly grated1/4 tsp dry ground
Ginger1 tbsp minced1/2 tsp dry ground
Marjoram3 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Onion1 medium onion1 tsp onion powder
Oregano3 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Parsley2 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Rosemary3 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Sage2 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Star Anise1 star anise fresh1/2 tsp anise seed
Tarragon3 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Thyme3 tsp fresh1 tsp dried
Thyme1 tsp dried3/4 tsp ground
Vanilla1 inch vanilla bean1 tsp extract

Print & Save

Be sure to print and save this table and tape it inside your kitchen cupboard so that you can refer to it in the future.

Cooking With Dried Vs Fresh Herbs

Dried herbs should be added at a different stage when cooking as compared to fresh herbs. Dried herbs should be added near the beginning so that the flavors have time to permeate.

Fresh herbs should be added near the end as they are more fragile and will break apart more easily. Consider sprinkling fresh herbs on the dish right before it is served. 

3:1 Conversion Exclusions

Question:1 Cup Fresh Basil Equals How Much Dried? Some specific 3 parts fresh to 1 part dried exclusions include garlic, which is measured in cloves, ginger roots, onion, sage, and thyme.

Refer to our table above for more details.

How To Store Herbs

Woody and sturdy herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano can be stored by wrapping them in a damp paper towel, placing that in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Herbs should last up to 2 weeks when stored in this manner.

Herbs that are more delicate like basil and mint can be stored in cup of about an inch of fresh water with the tips submersed, much like flowers in a vase.

Cooking With Rosemary

Rosemary is a woody herb that is used in meats. It is known for its antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Cooking With Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves are used whole in soups, stews, and sauces. Our recommendation is to use Bay leaves sparingly because a little bit goes a long way.

Cooking With Basil

Basil is known for its aromatic appeal. It is often used in Italian cuisine, pesto, sauces, and fish.

Does Dried Basil Taste Like Fresh Basil?

Dried basil is more flavorful and the flavor is more concentrated than the flavor of fresh basil. 

Growing Basil

One of the great things about basil is that it can be grown in a warm kitchen window year round. You can buy basil plants in the produce section of the supermarket or they are quite simple to start from seeds as well.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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