How Much Does Basil Cost? (Fresh, Dried, Thai & More)
Are you curious about the different varieties of basil and what the leaves are worth? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will show you several types of basil and how much each cost per ounce and per pound. While prices can range from region to region, this should give you a decent ballpark estimate to start.
Whether you’re a culinary artist, a hobby gardener, or an avid farmer looking to add basil to your operation, finding the sale price for each type and variety can be largely helpful.
Keep in mind that dry basil usually costs more than fresh basil, and certified organic typically commands a higher price than non-organic.
Now let’s get into it.
Certified Organic Fresh Basil Cost
Certified organic basil, usually found at health food stores, from farm CSA’s, farmer’s markets, or specialty shops, typically costs $8 to $20 per pound. Organic basil purchased in smaller quantities is usually priced at 75 cents to $4 per ounce.
Non-Organic Fresh Basil Cost
You can find Non-organic basil in most grocery stores, as well as some CSAs and farmer’s markets. This type of basil usually costs $5 to $12 per pound. If you purchase basil in smaller quantities, expect to pay about 50 cents to about $2.50 per ounce.
Dried Certified Organic Basil Cost
You can find dried organic basil in the spices section of your grocery store. Usually, dried organic basil can be found for $4 to $8 per ounce, though some brands go for $105.55 per ounce, as seen with Walmart’s Simply Organic. When translated to pounds, this is $64 to $128 per ounce. Or, in the case of Simply Organic, $1,668.8 per pound.
Dried Non-Organic Basil Cost
You can find dried basil alongside organic basil in the spice aisle. Usually, this is freeze-dried and comes in a plastic or glass jar. Dried basil is approximately $1 to $3.50 an ounce. This equals roughly $16 to $56 per pound.
Lightly Dried Non-Organic Basil Cost
Lightly dried basil is the perfect middle ground between fresh and thoroughly dried; the basil tastes fresh but will last for four weeks in your refrigerator. This type of basil costs approximately $9.97 per ounce, which is equal to $159 per pound.
At this time, lightly dried certified organic basil is not available for purchase at any major retail stores, grocery stores, or online.
Basil Paste / Basil Puree Cost
Basil paste, also known as basil puree, is a convenient way to add the taste of basil to a dish without much prep. It also incorporates seamlessly into dishes, making it suitable and a good option for those catering to picky eaters.
Basil paste is about $1 per ounce, which equals $16 per pound.
This large leaf plant is commonly used anywhere Sweet basil is used. You’re most likely to find it on pizzas, in salads, soups, pastas, and pesto.
You can expect to pay approximately $1.93 per ounce or $30.88 per pound for Italian Basil.
Micro Italian Basil
Micro Italian Basil is Italian Basil that has just sprouted and began to grow the first sets of true leaves. It is a delicacy that has a subtler, more mild mint-anise flavor. It is best added to hot dishes just before serving, usually as a garnish or as a topping. It goes for $36 per ounce online, which equals $581 per pound. You may be able to find it at a more affordable rate locally, but be warned; it is hard to track down.
Sweet basil is one of the more popular options, and it is also one of the most accessible and affordable options. Most people use it for salads. You can identify sweet basil by the medium shade of green, cupped leaves, and highly aromatic sweet scent.
You can find sweet basil for approximately $5 per ounce fresh, which is about $80 per pound.
Holy basil is a fun, vibrant variety of basil. Usually, it is sweet and spicy, with a strong (delicious) scent. Most people use Holy Basil for meat curries, though you can use it in vegetarian or vegan curries.
Holy basil usually goes for $2 an ounce when fresh, which equals $32 a pound.
Genovese basil is best described as the dark green-leafed Italian basil but with extra-large leaves. It is one of the most common options to create pestos, Italian seasonings, and sauces.
Genovese basil typically costs 30% more than sweet basil, making it about $1 to $5.20 per ounce or $16 to $83.20 per pound.
Certified Organic and Non-Organic Thai Basil
Thai basil has an extra kick to it that is popular in Thai, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese cuisine. There is a spicier, more peppery flavor with subtle hints of anise or mint. Thai basil leaves are oblong, cupped, and with a pointed leaf tip in a medium green color. The stems are a shade of deep purple.
Organic Thai Basil costs approximately $3.80 per ounce or $61 per pound.
Non-organic Thai Basil is usually $4.50 per ounce or $72 per pound.
Purple basils are unique because the plant’s entire leaf is a bright shade of purple, and the plant produces a profoundly aromatic scent. It is said to have a warming feeling, with restorative and sedative properties. Many people use Purple basil in pasta, pesto, or for medicinal uses, usually in the form of herbal tea.
Purple basil typically costs 30% more than sweet basil, making it about $1 to $5.20 per ounce or $16 to $83.20 per pound.
Lemon basil is a brighter, more neon shade of green-leafed basil. It is commonly used in northeast African and South Asian dishes. Think of an Italian basil taste, but with a hint of lemon’s scent and flavoring. It’s also great for grilled vegetables, teas, and on turkey, duck, and chicken.
It is available for approximately $2 per ounce or $32 per pound.
Micro Lemon Basil
Micro Lemon basil is a young lemon basil plant that has been harvested shortly after the first sets of true leaves come in. Microgreens are more tender with a subtler flavoring than their more mature counterparts.
Micro Lemon Basil is available for $36.33 per ounce or $581.33 per pound.
Opal Basil Cost
Opal Basil boasts a beautiful dark purple color with a milder flavor than sweet basil. It has a more noticeable minty or clove element that many culinary artists find refreshing and fun.
Dark Opal basil is sometimes used in herbal teas or to remove acne or stinging from insect bites in the form of an antibacterial agent.
Opal basil sells for $1.53 per ounce or $24.60 per pound.
Lettuce Basil Cost
Lettuce basil is best used in salads or wraps where you don’t want the basil flavor to be too strong. It is mild but pleasant. The leaves are considerably larger than most other varieties of basil, spanning to be about five inches long. They are a vivid bright green and are crinkled, much like lettuce plant leaves.
Lettuce basil costs approximately $1.40 per ounce or $22.40 per pound.
Cinnamon Basil Cost
Cinnamon basil has a narrow, lightly serrated leaf. The leaves are also dark green, shiny, and have uniquely reddish-purple veins and stems. Many gardeners plant cinnamon basil near their tomatoes and roses to discourage whiteflies and other pests from disturbing their garden.
Cinnamon basil typically costs 30% more than sweet basil, making it about $1 to $5.20 per ounce or $16 to $83.20 per pound.
Micro Cinnamon Basil Cost
Like the matured Cinnamon basil, micro cinnamon basil tastes like sweet basil with a hint of cinnamon but with a more subdued taste and more tender leaves. You can use micro cinnamon basil in almost any dish where you would add sweet basil. In Mexico, micro cinnamon basil is commonly paired with fruits and fruit flavors.
You can expect to pay approximately $7.37 for an ounce or $118 for a pound.
African Blue Basil Cost
African Blue basil originates from somewhere in the continent of Africa. It is a hybrid created between camphor and dark opal basil. Blue African Basil is one of the very few true perennial species. Because of this though, it is sterile and can only be grown from leaf cuttings because it doesn’t bolt and seed. The leaves are sometimes used to make a rich, mellow flavor for pestos, soups, salads, and amongst other vegetables such as tomatoes and green beans. It is sometimes used as a poultry seasoning, too.
African Blue basil typically costs 30% more than sweet basil, making it about $1 to $5.20 per ounce or $16 to $83.20 per pound.