Healthy herb recipes, all vegetarian & mostly vegan, for using up fresh herbs from the garden. Over 25 recipes for cooking with herbs in summer and beyond.
As early summer takes hold, the availability of fresh herbs skyrockets. In our garden right now, we have (too much) cilantro, a good amount of parsley, basil taking off, rosemary, mint, and a quickly growing sage plant. Dill has started to pop up and will self-seed for next year. Oregano and thyme are starting to do all right but will stay in the garden all winter, and chives are coming up but will improve next year.
We’re late, but will be planting borage, chervil, lavender, lovage, and chamomile in the front garden for bees and butterflies. Nasturtium is sometimes also considered an herb but I think of it more as a green, since I wouldn’t add it to anything but a salad or cold dish.
That’s just what we have planted – of course there’s a huge variety of summer herbs, depending on where you live. Lemongrass, lemon balm, tarragon, and less common garden herbs might be more available in your area, or you might grow them in a garden or pots. You’ll find recipes using all of the above here, from drinks and desserts to savoury dinners.
These healthy herb recipes are a great way to use up fresh herbs, whether you’re growing them and end up with too much, or just really love cooking with herbs. I found that I didn’t have as many herb recipes as I thought I would when searching my archives for this post, but we haven’t has access to space to grow them for the past few years, and they’re so expensive to buy. Luckily, herbs are really easy to grow even in tiny spaces and indoors, especially easy to use types like basil and parsley.
If you end up with far too much, especially if growing yourself, here’s a good guideline on saving fresh herbs. My personal favourite for storage uses basil – I blitz up all the basil I can get with lemon juice, garlic, salt, and olive oil, then freeze in ice cube trays (there’s a really old ‘recipe’ for that here). A cube lifts up a pot of soup or tomato sauce in the winter like nothing else can.
1. Roasted Tomato, Zucchini, and Eggplant Soup – Occasionally Eggs
Basil and a tahini pesto (below) lift up this blended summer soup and add a nice colour contrast. The vegetables are roasted here before blending with stock, and I love how low effort it is. Get the recipe here.
2. Persian Herb and Chickpea Stew with Rice – Half Baked Harvest
A vegan Persian inspired dish with a simple chickpea stew and piles of herbs – mint, parsley, cilantro, dill, and chives – make a simple, cozy weeknight dinner. Get the recipe here.
3. Vegan Broccoli Flatbread Pizza – Occasionally Eggs
A broccoli and chickpea flour base is topped with pesto here, and some chives or other herbs would make a great addition to the topping if you have them. Get the recipe here.
4. Quinoa Tabbouleh – Foolproof Living
Tabbouleh is the quintessential herb dish. This one utilizes quinoa to make it into a full meal, with parsley, dill, and mint. Aysegul grew up eating traditional bulgur tabbouleh and vouches for the quinoa version, so you know it’s good. Get the recipe here.
5. Matcha Mint Chip Popsicles – The Bojon Gourmet
I love a good vegan mint chip ice cream, and popsicles are the natural offshoot of that, right? Matcha adds a beautiful vivid green shade to these vegan popsicles, made with fresh mint. Get the recipe here.
6. Cozy Moroccan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Occasionally Eggs
A classic bulgur tabbouleh with mint, oregano, and parsley makes up part of the filling for these sweet potatoes, alongside hummus, baba ghanoush, roasted chickpeas, and extra greens. Get the recipe here.
7. Watermelon Salad with Magic Sauce – Green Kitchen Stories
Watermelon salad is a summer staple, and tastes great with this herb-filled dressing. Leave out the halloumi (or sub chickpeas) for a vegan option here. Get the recipe here.
8. Spring Green Minestrone – Occasionally Eggs
This very green soup is topped with a mandatory no-cheese (and no nutritional yeast, either) pesto but would be just as good with other herbs- a generous handful of dill would be delicious. Get the recipe here.
9. Hibiscus, Lemongrass, Basil, and Honey Sweet Iced Tea – Half Baked Harvest
Tangy hibiscus tea, the jewel of any iced tea, is blended with basil and lemongrass in this alcohol free cocktail perfect for summer. Chilled hibiscus tea is a summer staple for me and this recipe is a gem. Get the recipe here.
10. Roasted New Potato Salad with Lentils and Herb Dressing – Occasionally Eggs
I make this potato salad obsessively every summer, and it’s really best with piles of dill and chives. My mom has always grown at least these two herbs (self-seeded) and always included them in her potato salad. It’s the best. Get the recipe here.
11. Fruit Salad with Thai Herbs – 101 Cookbooks
Thai herbs, in this case, are mint and lemongrass, and it’s a perfect match. With a variety of summer fruits for a refreshing and simple dessert. Get the recipe here.
13. White Bean Salad with Herb Dressing – Occasionally Eggs
Crazy simple, with more ingredients in the dressing than in the salad here, using mint and cilantro. Any herb combination you like can take their place but definitely serve with a side of naan if you can. Get the recipe here.
14. BBQ Mushroom Flatbread with Spelt Dough & Chive Cream – The First Mess
Vegan chive cream, yes please. Very into this barbequed flatbread pizza even though I definitely don’t have a grill. And that chive cream should go on everything. Get the recipe here.
15. Vegan Cucumber Salad with Dill and Chives – Occasionally Eggs
Dill and chives are best friends, especially with fresh summer cucumbers. This is your easy side dish to make all summer, with only a handful of ingredients. Get the recipe here.
16. Homemade Tarragon Soda – 101 Cookbooks
I rarely have tarragon, and mostly associate it with chicken dishes my mom made when I was a kid. Tarragon soda is delicately pretty, refreshing, and an interesting way to use the herb. Get the recipe here.
17. Moroccan Quinoa, Carrot, and Chickpea Salad – Occasionally Eggs
A good measure of parsley is mixed up with quinoa, shredded carrots, dates, and chickpeas in this ultra simple weeknight dinner. I made this three times a week this past winter and loved it. Get the recipe here.
18. Green Goddess Sandwich – The Simple Green
Chives and dill, the dream team, get an addition of parsley in the homemade vegan cashew based mayo for this very green sandwich. Serious cravings. Get the recipe here.
19. End of Summer Greek Chickpea Salad – Occasionally Eggs
This is a loose idea of Greek salad, but it’s delicious. Fresh oregano is excellent with summer tomatoes, a little red onion, and avocado. Worth noting that I made this when I was visiting family last summer and my very anti-veg parents loved it. Get the recipe here.
20. Savoury Roasted Cherry Panzanella Salad – With Food and Love
Panzanella is always good – bread in salad, what’s not to like – and savoury cherries are a revelation. Using parsley and chives, and a vegan feta can be subbed, or toasted nuts, or leave it out altogether. Get the recipe here.
21. Split Pea Spread – Occasionally Eggs
I wish I had lemon thyme in the garden this year. It has a delicate, slightly floral flavour that’s hard to find elsewhere, and makes a nice pairing with this light spread. Get the recipe here.
22. Shaved Cucumber Lemon Herb Labneh Toast – Ful-Filled
This recipe calls for comparatively small amounts of mint, basil, and thyme, but I don’t think it’d hurt to go a bit heavier on the herbs. Use a vegan labneh to make this dairy free. Get the recipe here.
23. Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta – Occasionally Eggs
For anyone reading this in autumn or winter, this is the one for you. Sage and rosemary are best with earthier flavours like pumpkin, and pair well with roasted mushrooms, too. Get the recipe here.
24. Fresh Green Salsa Verde – Cook Republic
Chives, parsley, and dill make the base of this salsa verde, alongside cucumber and a few capers. Sneh recommends using it like a pesto, with grains or any type of salad or roasted veggies. Get the recipe here.
25. Vegan Tahini Basil Pesto – Occasionally Eggs
Instead of pine nuts, or another nut or seed, tahini adds richness and ensures an ultra smooth texture in this plant based pesto. This miso pesto in another great alternative to run of the mill pesto. Get the recipe here.