The 6 Best Herbs for Growing Fresh in Your Kitchen

Some herbs seem to go well with almost any dish. These are the plants you want to grow in your kitchen. When a hint of fresh herb is called for you need only pinch off a sprig rather than pile in the car for the store.

My favorite herbs for growing in a kitchen herb garden

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Here are the herbs I recommend as the the most versatile – and easy to grow – for your indoor herb garden:

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The herb that makes pesto perfection! Basil has a sweet and spicy smell and taste that pairs beautifully with almost every Italian dish.

Basil is a great herb to grow in your kitchen
Basil Growing in Mason Jar

Try this: A few fresh leaves minced and tossed over pasta turns the dish into a garden delight. Roasted tomato, mozzarella and a fresh basil leaf on some crusty garlic bread (“bruchetta”) makes a mouth-watering appetizer or a healthy afternoon snack for grown up taste buds.

Try growing fresh basil in your kitchen and then turning it into Basil pesto
Fresh Basil Pesto

Growing tips: Basil grows faster and fuller the more it is harvested. Pinching off a sprig just above a paired leaf; that stem will then split and grow two sprigs from the one pinched off.

Fresh basil is a great way to top fresh Bruchetta
Basil Bruchetta


Summer isn’t the same without fresh mint leaves floating in sun tea or garnishing a seasonal salad.

Mint is a great herb to grow fresh in your kitchen
Bundle of Chocolate Mint

Try this: Mint deliciously flavors summer drinks like lemonade and sun tea but also adds a fresh twist to fruit salad. When winter comes, you can use those fresh mint leaves to brew up a strong herbal tea which is great for clearing stuffy noses and soothing a sore throat.

Fresh mint tea is a welcome outcome of growing mint in your kitchen herb garden
Mint Tea

Growing tips: Like basil, mint grows better when pinched off regularly … and there are so many different kinds! Consider grapefruit mint, apple mint, chocolate mint or variegated mint for a fun twist on the traditional.

Grow fresh mint in your kitchen and turn it into fresh mint sauce for steak, chicken, or pork
Mint Sauce


Thyme is a BBQ chef’s perfect garnish. Since thyme grows on a woodier stalk than most herbs, it holds up to the smoky cooking environment while still giving off its pungent flavors and smells.

Thyme is a great herb to grow in your kitchen herb garden
Thyme in a deck planter

Try this: Thyme pairs well with pork, beef, fish and chicken and the variations available are fun to experiment with. Consider trying lemon thyme with a fresh salmon fillet or any number of the over 100 different varieties of thyme with your favorite cut of meat to make an original creation.

Thyme goes well with smoke meats like pork and salmon.
Salmon with Thyme

Growing tips: Thyme LOVES the sun, so don’t be afraid to grow it in a planter box in a kitchen window that gets plenty of sunlight.

Thyme is an herb that goes well on most meats, especially those cooked on a grill
Thyme Pork Chops


Cilantro is the herb you will want to reach for in every Latin American dish you create.

Cilantro is a great herb to grow in your kitchen herb garden
Cilantro bundle
Try this: Fresh chopped cilantro on top of enchiladas or mixed into salsa makes your recipe taste like it came straight from the garden. Try this fresh cilantro lime dip and shrimp!
Create a cilantro topping from fresh herbs grown in your kitchen garden
Sprinkle cilantro onto a variety of dishes
Growing tips: Cilantro is easy to grow from seed and needs to be used often to prevent it from bolting and making seeds instead of leaves.
Tacos al Pastor are a great way to use fresh Cilantro from your kitchen herb garden
Tacos al Pastor


Dill is fun and easy to grow and you can use the feathery leaves and flowery seed heads.

Dill as a great, easy herb to grow in your kitchen garden
Dill has feathery tips.
Try this: Dill sprigs chopped and tossed into a bowl of steamed green beans makes a potentially boring dish so much better. Dill is also delicious in potato or pasta salad, soups and stews.
Add fresh dill from your kitchen herb garden to your potatoes for a great side dish
Add dill to your potatos
Growing tips: The upright growth pattern of dill blends nicely with low growing herbs in your box to give variation and balance.
Borscht with sour cream and dill from your kitchen herb garden
Borscht with dill and sour cream


Sage is also an easy herb to grow and its pungent flavor and aroma pairs beautifully with not only meat but fruit.
Sage from your kitchen herb garden can add a unique aroma and favor profile to your recipes
Sage from your kitchen herb garden can add a unique aroma and favor profile to your recipes
Try this: Consider dried apricot and fresh sage scones for a summer breakfast feast or pork chops topped with chopped sage and onions.
Sage from your kitchen herb garden can add amazing flavor to pork chops
Sage pork chops
Growing tips: As with most herbs, the more pinching of the sprigs, the thicker and healthier your plant will be.
Pumpkin Orzo with fresh sage and green beans
Pumpkin Orzo with fresh sage and green beans

I hope these tips for using some of my favorite herbs from my kitchen herb garden have been helpful! Everyone has their favorite herbs, so be sure to share your favorite herb in the comments and let me know what dishes or recipes you think they pair well with. If you have a tip for growing specific herbs effectively, share them, as well.

Sean - Signature - My Almost Green Thumb


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