12 Delicious Basil Recipes for Herb Lovers

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Wondering what to do with that basil plant? Or are you looking for a starter herb to get your fresh-from-the-garden cooking skills going? Whatever your objective, these basil recipes are a surefire way to bring delicious, herby flavor to the table. We collected a lineup of our favorite recipes using fresh basil so you never run out of inspiration for how to use fresh basil. From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, these recipes are bound to be bountiful showstoppers. And we're not just talking about garnish here. Each of these recipes calls for a heaping dose of basil, ensuring the bright and flavorful herb is the star. So next time you're at the grocery store and are tempted to add a little basil plant to your buggy, just go ahead and do it. We've got you covered on all the ways to put that little cutie to use.

01 of 12

Chicken with 50 Leaves of Basil

Chicken with 40 Leaves of Basil
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Chicken with 50 Leaves of Basil

It's basil all around for this roasted chicken. Not only did we create an herby marinade with a full two-cups worth of fresh basil, but we also managed to tuck a few leaves under the bird's skin for good measure before baking.

02 of 12

Basil-Lemon Bars

Basil-Lemon Bars
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Basil-Lemon Bars

There's something so decadent about a dessert that calls on fresh-from-the-garden flavor—and these Basil-Lemon Bars prove it. You'll be tempted to dig in as soon as they're pulled from the oven, so be sure to warn all your lurking family members that they'll need to show restraint for about an hour while the bars cool completely. Top them with a dusting of powdered sugar, lemon slices, and basil leaves—of course.

03 of 12

Cherry Tomato Cobbler with Basil Ice Cream

Cherry Tomato Cobbler
Southern Living

Recipe: Cherry Tomato Cobbler with Basil Ice Cream

We don't know if we should call this dessert or the second course. We combined summer-favorite Bing cherries with ruby red cherry tomatoes, and fresh lemon for an out-of-this-world cobbler that truly needs no additional fanfare—of course, we brought it anyway. We serve it with a custardy basil ice cream that will change everything you thought you knew about the frozen treat.

04 of 12

Strawberry-Basil Sweet Tea

Strawberry-Basil Sweet Tea
Johnny Autry; Food and Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Strawberry-Basil Sweet Tea

If you thought you had your sweet tea recipe down, allow us to shake things up for you. We mixed in a pound of fresh berries, lime juice, and a half cup of fresh basil leaves to deliver a summertime sipper no one will soon forget.

05 of 12

Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing

Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Fried Chicken Salad with Basil-Buttermilk Dressing

This salad will take you just 10 minutes to pull together but, with a homemade dressing that calls on plenty of fresh basil, your family might think you've been at it for hours. We won't tell that store-bought chicken tenders happen to be your little secret.

06 of 12

Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets

Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets

You'll create a delicious pan sauce right in the foil package as these single serving portions cook thanks to cherry tomatoes, basil, butter, and lemon.

07 of 12

Lemon-Basil Spritzer

Lemon-Basil Spritzer
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Lemon-Basil Spritzer

Cheers to this summer-ready cocktail that takes basil and lemon and livens up an already delicious bottle of bubbly. Make it a mocktail by swapping in lemon-flavored seltzer water for the Champagne or dry sparkling wine.

08 of 12

Basil Fried Rice

Basil Fried Rice
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Basil Fried Rice

Chiffonade the basil to create ribbons of flavor that'll weave their way through this aromatic fried rice recipe.

09 of 12

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil

Fresh and light shrimp scampi gets a basil upgrade that takes an already delicious dinner to the next level. Substitute chicken stock in place of the wine if you prefer.

10 of 12

Basil Bourbon Orange Smash

Basil Bourbon Orange Smash
Becky Luigart Stayner

Recipe: Basil Bourbon Orange Smash

A basil simple syrup is the star in this sipper. Top each glass with a slice of orange and a sprig of basil for a wow-worthy presentation that gives a hint of the flavor to come.

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Slow Cooker Tomato-Basil Meatloaf

Slow Cooker Tomato-Basil Meatloaf
Photo: Victor Protasio

Recipe: Slow Cooker Tomato-Basil Meatloaf

Sun-dried tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic, sausage, and more create one delicious meatloaf. But the real reason we can't stop talking about this one? It's prepped in the slow cooker. Now that's a meal we can't wait to get home to.

12 of 12

Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo

Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo
Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo

Orzo dressed in a fresh basil and tomato sauce makes for a fine bed to nestle perfectly browned scallops. Plate each serving with a sprinkling of chopped basil to really take that herbaceous flavor home.

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