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Basil Jelly

We grow lots of basil for our local farmers market, and this is a unique way to use it. The jelly is really good with cream cheese as an appetizer. I also like to combine a jar with 1 cup of barbecue sauce and simmer mini meatballs or cocktail wieners in the mixture. -Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Process: 15 min.
  • Makes
    6 half-pints


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
  • 3 drops green food coloring, optional
  • 5 cups sugar


  • In a large saucepan, bring water and basil to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Strain and discard basil. Return 3-2/3 cups liquid to the pan. Stir in pectin and, if desired, food coloring. Return to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in sugar. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam.
  • Ladle hot liquid into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  • Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Editor's Note
The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 81 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 21g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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  • Brian
    Jul 14, 2020

    Wonderful recipe! Try substituting apple juice for the water and see what happens…

  • Jo-Ann
    Jul 21, 2019

    Last year I had a bumper crop of Basil and tried this recipe. I chose it this one because most of the others used vinegar or lemon juice. I did not want to mask that wonderful Basil Flavour. I made it in small 125 ml jars thinking hostess gifts at Christmas time. So delicious, it was gone long before Christmas! This year I planted extra Basil so I could make more. Both times I did 2 batches one green and one with purple Basil. It's so pretty and so delicious. Yes it looks like tea when you boil the leaves in water. Essentially it is tea, but a very little green colouring as suggested fixes that nicely. The Purple Basil makes a beautiful ruby colour Jelly without any addition. Read the comment about not throwing out the basil and losing the flavour so I tasted the leaves after they had been boiled in the water. There was essentially no taste at all. It had all transferred to the liquid - like making grape jelly or apple jelly. We love this on bagels or crackers with cream cheese and the savory tastes compliments scones beautifully. I will make more batches this year so there's some left for Christmas...I hope. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • jerseysue55
    Feb 3, 2013

    I haven't tried this but as a cook throwing out the basil is like loosing all the flavor. I would find a good red pepper jelly recipe and just substitute the basil

  • drbennett
    Jul 3, 2012

    I would actually give this recipe minus stars. The concept was so mouthwatering but the actual product was a huge disappointment and a waste of my precious basil crop. The liquid that was to be used for the jelly was similar to water that you toss after cooking fresh vegetables. I have anticipated making this jelly since my sister forwarded a copy of the recipe to me, months ago. I have now chucked the recipe. I will be very cautious about trying another recipe for basil jelly any time soon. I just tear up when I think of the basil that was wasted and the lovely pesto that could have been made with it. FYI I am not a novice at jelly making. Family and friends always look forward to gifts of my jams and jellies.

  • psassy
    May 30, 2012

    I made this using Thai Basil and purple basil and it was outstanding! I looked high and low for Thai Basil for the garden this year just so I could make lots more jelly. I used the Thai Basil jelly to make Lemon Thai Basil Thumbprint Cookies. Oh my! Fabulous! Just make lemon thumbprint cookies and add a dollop of Thai Basil jelly as your jelly/jam. I can't wait to make more purple basil jelly to try with the lemon thumbprint cookies. One of these days I will have to also make it with "ordinary" sweet basil. Excellent jelly recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • cadamsorama
    Feb 20, 2011

    Basil is my fav herb and I love anything made with basil. and this recipe really delighted my taste buds

  • HobyB
    Aug 28, 2010

    We have not tasted this yet, but the aroma in the kitchen was wonderful! The color was beautiful! The novelty of the basil as a jelly is enticing. We can't wait for it to set up and cool down.

  • Hotcookie2
    Aug 6, 2010

    This jelly turned out so well. I loved the texture and the basil flavor. It's great to open this up during the winter and be reminded of this wonderful summer flavor.