How Much Dried Basil for Fresh? (EXPLAINED)

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How Much Dried Basil for Fresh

If you are wondering how much dried basil you will use instead of fresh basil; you have come to the right place. This blog discusses the culinary rules for substituting dry basil for fresh basil and vice versa. 

Can I Substitute Dry Basil for Fresh?

Absolutely, you can substitute dry basil for fresh basil. The ratio is one teaspoon (Ts) of dry basil equals one tablespoon (TBS) of fresh. 

Because dried basil is fresh basil without water, dried basil is more concentrated. In short, there is more flavor in dried herbs (in general) than there is in fresh herbs. For that reason, when you substitute dried basil for fresh basil, you use fewer dried leaves. 

How Much Dried Basil to Substitute for Fresh?

dried basil in a small bowl

The formula for substituting dried basil for fresh basil is one teaspoon of dried basil in place of 1 tablespoon of fresh basil. This ratio is not set in stone. If you like basil, try a little more of the dry. If basil is not your favorite flavor in the world, try a little less. What you want to avoid is putting in too much of the dried basil. 

The Potency of Dried Basil

Generally, dried basil is more potent than an equal sizes batch of fresh basil. This is because the water in the dried basil leaves is missing, and all the flavors are compacted. However, some things can affect the taste of dried basil. Those include:

  • The age of the dried basil – As dried herbs sit on the shelf, they lose flavor and potency. If your dried herbs are older than 2-3 years, toss them and replace them. 
  • How the dried basil is stored – Typically, we dry basil by hanging it. We store basil in an airtight jar once it is perfectly dried and then put the jar in a dark place where the temperature is even. A cupboard or panty is a good place. If the basil is not stored correctly, it will lose color and flavor. 

Age and storage are two ways that dried basil loses potency. If that happens, you need more dried basil to get the same flavor as freshly dried basil. 

What is the dried equivalent of 1/4 cup fresh basil?

To find the equivalent of dried herb (basil or otherwise), you would convert cups to tablespoons. Fun Facts:

  • There are 16 tablespoons in one cup
  • There are eight tablespoons in 1/2 cup
  • There are four tablespoons in 1/4 of a cup
  • One teaspoon of dried basil is equal to 1 tablespoon of fresh basil.

If there are four tablespoons in 1/4 of a cup of fresh basil, you will substitute four teaspoons of dried basil. Don’t fall for the fact that there are three teaspoons in a tablespoon. One teaspoon of dried basil is equal to one tablespoon of fresh basil. That is because the dried basil and the fresh basil are the same, minus the water removed during the drying process. 

What is the equivalent of 1/2 cup of fresh basil to dried basil?

The ratio for dried basil to fresh basil is:

  • One teaspoon of dried basil = one tablespoon of fresh basil. 

There are 16 tablespoons in a cup. So a cup of fresh basil would equal sixteen tablespoons of fresh basil. Since we want to know how much dry basil equals 1/2 cup of fresh basil, we would convert the 1/2 cup to tablespoons. So there are eight tablespoons of fresh basil in 1/2 cup. 

How many teaspoons of dried basil equals eight tablespoons of fresh basil? The ratio is one teaspoon of dried to one tablespoon of fresh. So the answer would be eight teaspoons of dried basil equal 1/2 cup of fresh basil. 

How much dry basil is in 6 leaves?

six basil leaves

In general, because basil leaves are not identical, six dry leaves are about one teaspoon. It would help if you went with the “about” measurement when you cook with herbs because you can freely adjust the volume of dried or fresh herbs to suit your tastes. On average, six dry basil leaves will make about one teaspoon of dried basil. This also assumes that you crush the leaves with a pestle and mortar to make the flakes small. 

Is fresh basil better than dried?

drying basil leaves

Fresh basil is better than dried because the aromatic oils and enzymes remain intact with fresh basil. The drying process can remove enzymes and deplete natural oils in the plant’s leaves when you dry basil. For certain types of creations using basil, fresh is better than dried. Those creations include:

  • Basil infused vinegars
  • Basil infused oils 
  • Tinctures with basil

For most other applications, using fresh basil has a slight advantage over dried basil. 

Sources

Measurement Conversion Table USDA

A review of drying methods for improving the quality … – PubMed

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