10 Surprising Ways We Love to Use Fresh Mint

Mint plants are prolific, and growing one means you'll find yourself with WAY more of this aromatic herb than you anticipated. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to use fresh mint.

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Steaks being seasoned with herbs as they cook on bbq grill with vegetable kebabs, mediterranean food, healthy lifestyle, food and drink
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Use mint as a basting brush

Did you know you can use fresh herbs as a basting brush? Grab a bunch of mint and use it to brush your favorite sauce over meat or vegetables as they cook. It’ll infuse the sauce with minty flavor and keep clean-up to a minimum.

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Three wild-caught salmon filets on a cedar plank in a backyard grill. Fist is bright reddish orange and is topped with lemon, dill and cracked pepper
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Lay mint down on a cedar plank

The next time you grill with a cedar plank, lay a few sprigs of mint on the board before adding your fish or vegetables. The resulting flavor will be subtle, and the aroma will be out of this world.

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Melonensalat mit Fetakäse, Tomaten, Radieschen, Minze, Studio
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Add mint to salads

Mint is generally thought of as a sweet herb, but its fresh flavor goes well with savory ingredients. Add it to any salad (especially this minty watermelon-cucumber salad) or toss it in with pasta salads like summer orzo. Really, the possibilities for fresh mint recipes are endless.

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Two glasses of Mojito
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Make mint cocktails (or mocktails)

Mint is a cooling herb, so it’s perfect for creating summertime porch sippers like mojitos. If you’re avoiding alcohol, use mint to create a refreshing mocktail instead.

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Homemade fresh mint sauce
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Create bold sauces with fresh mint

Sauces like pesto and chimichurri are typically made with basil or cilantro, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them with other herbs. Try making a mint pesto. It’s absolutely perfect for lamb chops!

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Refreshing homemade sugar scrub with vegetable oil, chopped mint leaves and essential mint oil
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Make mint-infused sugar

Mint sugar can be used in almost any recipe that calls for regular sugar. Simply blend 1/2 cup sugar with 12 mint leaves and let it dry in a single layer on a baking sheet. Store it in an airtight container and use it in recipes like sugar cookies.

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Cold drinks. Glasses of homemade iced cold lemonade with fresh lime, juice and mint leaves, refreshing summer drink, top view
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Flavor water and other drinks

Add a few chopped-up mint leaves to freshen-up regular water, or add it to iced tea or lemonade. You can also freeze mint in ice cube trays to create a visually-stunning addition to any drink.

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Chocolate and mint on a wooden table. Shallow depth of field.
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Turn mint into dessert

Mint is often used as a garnish for chocolate desserts, but you can turn it into the dessert itself. Dip a few mint leaves into melted chocolate and chill them in the fridge until they’re hardened. Yum!

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Minted Butter
Taste of Home

Make minted butter

This minted butter recipe is super easy to make! Spread it on scones or biscuits, or use it instead of regular butter when making pasta dishes like cacio e pepe.

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Zuckerfreier, veganer Detox-Smoothie mit Spinat, Mandelmilch und Banane
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Blend mint into smoothies

Mint was made for smoothies. It’s especially tasty when paired with ginger or lemon, but you can add a few leaves to any smoothie recipe to help your taste buds get past kale’s bitter flavor.

Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay has been writing for digital publications for seven years and has 10 years of experience working as a professional chef. She became a full-time food writer at Taste of Home in 2023, although she’s been a regular contributor since 2017. Throughout her career, Lindsay has been a freelance writer and recipe developer for multiple publications, including Wide Open Media, Tasting Table, Mashed and SkinnyMs. Lindsay is an accomplished product tester and spent six years as a freelance product tester at Reviewed (part of the USA Today network). She has tested everything from cooking gadgets to knives, cookware sets, meat thermometers, pizza ovens and more than 60 grills (including charcoal, gas, kamado, smoker and pellet grills). Lindsay still cooks professionally for pop-up events, especially if it provides an opportunity to highlight local, seasonal ingredients. As a writer, Lindsay loves sharing her skills and experience with home cooks. She aspires to motivate others to gain confidence in the kitchen. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her cooking with fresh produce from the farmers market or planning a trip to discover the best new restaurants.