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Our homemade herb salt, made with an aromatic blend of woodsy herbs, lemon zest, and garlic, is versatile in the kitchen. Try sprinkling it over everything from avocado toast to potatoes to risotto to roast chicken.
Why we love this recipe
Herb salt ticks so many boxes. It:
- Easily elevates a wide variety of meals
- Is a great way to preserve a large volume of herbs
- Keeps for at least a year
It also makes an excellent, easy, and inexpensive homemade gift for the holidays or any time you want to give a little something. Here’s how to make that happen.
What you’ll need
Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.
- A relatively coarse kosher salt (Morton and Diamond Crystal are both fine) produces the best texture in this recipe.
- Woody herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage chop well, dry well, and complement a wide variety of foods. You can, however, add, subtract, or substitute absolutely any herbs you like.
- Garlic isn’t likely to burn in a 200°F oven, but I still like to make sure it’s not minced beyond recognition and that it’s well-distributed throughout the salt mixture.
- Zest your lemons right over the mixing bowl to maximize the amount of citrus oil that lands in the salt mixture.
How to make it
Here’s what you’ll do to make a great batch of herb salt. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Pick the herbs from their stems and discard the stems.
- Chop the herbs finely, along with the garlic. You can do this by hand for a more rustic result or in the food processor for ease. See the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
- Pour the herb mixture and the salt into a large mixing bowl. Zest the lemons overtop. Mix well.
- Divide among baking sheets, arrange in a thin, even layer, and bake for about 20 minutes at 200°F, until the herbs are completely dry.
Expert tips and FAQs
The sky’s the limit, but try these combinations: For summer vegetables and fish: Basil, chives, chervil, and dill // For poultry: Thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, nutmeg // Italian: Marjoram, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, savory, and sage // Herbes de Provence: thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano
As long as you store it in a sealed jar or ceramic crock with a lid to prevent moisture from entering, it will easily keep for a year or more at room temperature.
For sure. You can quarter, halve, or double the batch. If you double it, just make sure to spread it on the sheet pans in a thin layer. You’ll need to bake in batches.
You can also alter the ratio of herbs to salt to suit your taste.
More favorite long-lasting condiments
- Spiced sugar (also makes a great gift, alone or in combination)
- Strawberry rhubarb jam
- Pickled or caramelized onions
- Bourbon caramel sauce
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh sage
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh thyme
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 3-pound box kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 200°F with two racks close to the center.
- Pick the rosemary needles, sage leaves, and thyme leaves from their stems and discard the stems.
- To chop the herbs by hand, place them on a cutting board and rock a chef's knife back and forth over the pile of herbs until finely minced. Add garlic cloves to the pile and continue to chop until they're minced as well.
- To chop the the herbs in a food processor, add the rosemary, sage, and thyme to the bowl of a standard food processor (about 12-cup capacity) fitted with the blade. Roughly chop the garlic and add it as well. Pour in about one cup of the salt. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.
- Pour the minced herb mixture and all of the salt into a large mixing bowl. Zest the lemons directly over the bowl. Stir together well using your hands or a large spoon, until the herbs, garlic, and lemon zest are well-distributed throughout the salt.
- Spread the herb salt onto two rimmed baking sheets and place in the oven for 20 minutes, until the herbs are completely dry. Depending on your oven and the size of your baking sheets, they may need a little more time.
- When cooled, break up any small clumps that may have formed.
- Store herb salt for up to a year, or divide it among 12 small jars such as these to label and give to friends.
- You can swap in whatever herbs you like.
- Feel free to use a higher or lower ratio of herbs to salt, and to scale the batch down if you're not planning to give some away.
- Salt is unlikely to clump if you've chopped the herbs by hand, but can clump up a bit if you've pulsed in the food processor and some of the salt has gotten very fine. It's nothing to worry about. Just break it up with your fingers before storing.
- Herb salt will keep well in a sealed container at room temperature for a year or more.
I first published this recipe in 2015. I've updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same.
Serving Size:1 teaspoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1Total Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 0.2gFiber: 0.1gProtein: 0g