HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What to do with fresh thyme?

I bought a bag of fresh thyme today so I can make Zuni chicken this week... that'll use four sprigs - now what do I do with the other 12 that were in the bag?! Can I freeze it, or does someone have some great recipe ideas for me?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yum. Rosemary used to be my favorite herb but Thyme has for the present surpassed it. I love it. I like to add it to any fresh vinaigrette I make. (It would also be good in creamy dressings, such as Ranch or even Blue Cheese.) I love to season steaks or, even better, pork chops with salt and pepper and fresh thyme, let them sit for a bit then grill them or pan fry them. The same goes for chicken. And when I roast a chicken, thyme goes inside the cavity and all under the skin. You can also add it to just about any homemade soup or stew. It is very versatile.

    1. Thyme, whether fresh or dried, goes into almost every simmered dish and braise/stew that I make.

      When using fresh thyme sprigs, it's a good idea to tie them together with a piece of butcher's twine; it makes removal a lot easier.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FlavoursGal

        That's a GREAT idea! Why haven't I ever thought of that? Just this weekend I made a pot roast braised in wine and used a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary. We were fishing out stems through the whole meal. I'm going to add a note to my recipe right now!

      2. Wrap your extra thyme in a paper towel, then seal in a baggie. This will stay fresh in your
        fridge for at least 1 week.
        To marinate chicken breasts, I mince some thyme, garlic, olive oil, lemon rind, freshly ground pepper and light soy. I use a grill pan ( because it is like 15 degrees outside ! ) and marinate the chicken, sometimes slicing it thin, for at least 1 hour. I buy thyme about once a week. You can also add it to panko bread crumbs with a little garlic, oil and sea salt. I sprinkle it over fish fillets and bake them until golden. Have fun.

        1. It's also good on any vegetable before roasting, a must in stocks, and nice in a vinaigrette. It will keep for quite a while if you store it as suggested above.

          1. Thyme is heavenly in scalloped potatoes. Boil your sliced potatoes in some milk, cream, and butter with a couple heaping teaspoons of the fresh thyme leaves. Also throw in some chives if you have them. Once it comes to a boil, taste and add salt & pepper, then put it all in your baking dish and arrange the slices, cover with foil and bake 40 minutes, then another 10 uncovered or till top is brown and it's bubbly. It smells and tastes fantastic.

            You can also dry out any leftover thyme leaves in your oven and that way save them for later.

            1. parsley sage rosemary thyme are great in soup and on meat

              1. Yes, it freezes beautifully. Especially since you almost always will use it in cooked dishes. Just pop it into a ziplock and throw it in the freezer.
                One of the advantages to freezing is that the tiny leaves come right off the stems when you pull it out to use it. Grab a stem out of the bag, hold it right over the pot or chopping board and rub your fingers over the stem, zipping the leaves right off.
                Rosemary does the same thing. Easy to freeze, zips right off the stems.
                I grow masses of both in the garden and they grow up even through the snow. I harvest a lot for the freezer anyway for convenience. It's a waste of time (thyme?) to bother drying it.

                1. I'll join in the thyme love...
                  under the skin of roasted chicken
                  in scrambled eggs with or without cheese
                  in lentil soup, with or without lamb
                  in basic tomato sauce, according to mario batali

                  1. Fave pita chips:
                    Whole Wheat Pitas cut in triangles
                    Spritz with olive oil
                    Top with a bit of garlic, kosher salt and a lot of fresh thyme
                    Bake in oven until crisp and lightly browned

                    Great with hummus or any dip....or just alone to munch on!

                    1. Make thyme butter
                      Add it to flavor garlic bread
                      Add it to bread crumbs
                      Add it to crushed cashews and create a nice breading for fish
                      Hang some in the kitchen :)

                      1. I love it with mushrooms, or apples - for example as part of a stuffing for pork tenderloin or chops.

                        1. I adore thyme! I seem to use it in lots of soups... corn chowder, bean with bacon soup, mushroom soup, etc. I also love it in onion dip.

                          1. I use fresh thyme in pasta sauce with tomatoes.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Den

                              I am making my pasta sauce - and a whole bunch fell in... too late to scoop it out.... Its way too much... Any ideas on how to lessen the flavor!!!!

                            2. I agree that thyme is a great marriage with pork. I blend it with mustard, salt and garlic to make a rub for pork loin. It's also very important in Cajun food so maybe a little premature Mardi gras?

                              I do also love it in creamy scrambled eggs with creme fraiche.

                              1. You can dry thyme very easily. Just lay the unsed portion out on a paper towl and leave out on the counter until they are dry. They strip the stalks of the leaves and store them in herb jars. I have a pot of thyme that I regularlly harvest all of the herbs and let dry and it always grown back a full bush.

                                1. Thyme is good in everything. I love to add chopped fresh thyme to my risotto towards the end of cooking along with some lemon zest.
                                  It does dry very easily and can be stored in a jar in the pantry.
                                  Anything braised is great with thyme and I have even made a butter cookie that hade fresh thyme in it.

                                  1. mmm ... french onion soup!

                                    1. love it on fresh baked potatoes!

                                      1. It was already getting a bit sad when I prepared the chicken, so I arrested it's decay by putting it in the freezer. I took some out today to put in my pasta sauce and it smelt gorgeous :)

                                        1. The thyme in our Ohio garden never freezes. I can go out right now in the snow and 15 degree weather and snip some.

                                          Must be a very low moisture plant. Same with the sage.