7 Herbs That Are Surprisingly Easy to Grow and Cook With
Plant and cultivate these 7 herbs to add a delicious burst of flavor to your favorite dishes.
Nothing improves the taste of food quite like fresh herbs. And if you want that just-picked taste in your meals year round, it couldn’t be simpler to start your own indoor herb garden. For one thing, herbs are easy to grow. You don’t need special lights or a lot of space – just a brightly lit area, some pots and some delicious recipe ideas.
Any pot or container will do, but it should be at least 6 inches in circumference and have drainage holes. Herbs usually grow better when planted on their own rather than together in one big container. They don’t need a lot of water to survive, but the amount does depend on the particular herb. To test if they need watering, poke your finger an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, then your herbs are thirsty.
Check out these herbs – and our recommended recipes! – to grow freshly picked seasonings all season long.
Tip: Cooking is about combining delicious flavors and experimenting with ingredients … not about the cleanup. Keep it short and sweet by putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher with a Cascade Platinum ActionPac – you won’t even have to rinse first! Then wipe up spills and splatters on countertops with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Done!
With the taste of the Mediterranean in every leaf, basil likes plenty of sun and warmth. Start it off as seeds in a south-facing window. Keep the soil slightly moist. Try growing different varieties, including lemon basil for a hint of citrus.
Get cooking! Add basil to Lemon Basil Brussels Sprouts, and use it to dress up a variety of pasta dishes.
Rosemary likes to live in a south-facing window and is best planted from a cutting. It likes a slightly drier soil, so don’t overwater it – but don’t let rosemary dry out completely.
Get cooking! Rosemary is the highlight of this savory, aromatic Rosemary Sage Bread.
Bay is a perennial that will grow well in containers throughout the year, though it is quite slow-growing at first. Its main requirement is plenty of air circulation and space – bay doesn’t like to be crowded!
Get cooking! Dried bay leaves add a distinct flavor to a variety of dishes – just remove them from the dish before serving. Try bay leaves as a seasoning in a seafood boil.
You can start parsley from seeds, though it will take a few weeks before you see any results. Parsley likes to sunbathe in plenty of light and warmth. Ideally, harvest the outer leaves first to encourage new growth from the center and keep the plant buoyant.
Get cooking! Parsley is one of the most versatile herbs in the kitchen. Use it as a garnish or sprinkle it into just about any savory Italian dish.
You can start growing indoor thyme from a cutting or by digging up an established outdoor plant and moving it to a pot. Thyme likes the sun but will also do well in an east- or west-facing window.
This grass-like plant looks great in kitchens and, unlike most herbs, doesn’t need a lot of light to thrive. Chop the plant back to the soil when you use small bunches to encourage regrowth.
Get cooking! Chives pair well with garlic and add a punch of onion-y flavor to condiments like butter and veggie dip.
Mint thrives indoors but is best grown alone as it can easily choke other plants. Mint likes to live in slightly moist soil and doesn’t need as much light as some other herbs. Just make sure it gets a bit of sunlight each day.
Get cooking! Mint is bursting with fresh spring flavor. Add a sprig to sun tea, or mix it into fruit salad.