Basil’s Perfect Pairings: Discover What Foods Go Well with Basil



What pairs well with basil? This is a question that many of us might have asked ourselves while preparing our favourite dishes. Basil, an aromatic herb from the mint family, has been used in various cuisines across the globe for centuries. With its distinct flavour and aroma, it can add depth to any dish.

Basil is a versatile herb that blends well with other ingredients in both sweet and savoury dishes. It has been paired with everything from tomatoes and mozzarella cheese to strawberries and chocolate. Its unique taste adds complexity to soups, salads, pasta sauces, marinades and dressings.

In this article about what pairs well with basil, we will explore some interesting combinations of flavours that can elevate your cooking game. So whether you are an experienced chef or just starting out in the kitchen – read on!

What pairs well with Basil?

Basil is one of the most versatile herbs in the kitchen. It's an essential ingredient in many dishes, from classic Italian pasta to Thai curries and everything in between. But what are the best foods, flavors, and ingredients that pair well with basil? In this article, we'll explore some of the top combinations and share tips on how to use them.

The Best Foods That Pair Well With Basil

Basil has a sweet, slightly peppery flavor that makes it perfect for pairing with a variety of foods. Here are some of our favorite food combinations:

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and basil are a match made in heaven! Whether you're making caprese salad or homemade pizza sauce, adding fresh basil will enhance the flavor profile significantly.

2. Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella cheese is another classic ingredient that pairs exceptionally well with fresh basil leaves. Together they make delicious sandwiches or homemade Margherita pizzas.

3. Garlic

Garlic adds depth to any dish it's added to: combine garlic with chopped basil leaves for an aromatic seasoning blend ideal for sautésing vegetables or marinating meat.

4.Olive Oil

Olive oil is often used as a base ingredient when preparing Italian cuisine; incorporating freshly chopped up Basil into olive oil can transform your simple pasta dinners into something magical!

Flavors That Complement Basil

While many different foods go hand-in-hand perfectly alongside Basil as its natural partner there are also ingredients whose tastes complement it just right:

Lemon Juice

Lemon adds tanginess which goes very well all kinds of salads – especially those containing tomatoes or cucumbers – accentuating their freshness quotient!


Berries like strawberries add sweetness which balances out nicely against herbaceous notes present within Basils flavourscape – giving off fruity yet subtle hints throughout every bite!

Black Pepper

Black pepper enhances the herbaceous notes of basil, making it especially suitable for pasta dishes or marinades.


Garlic adds depth to any dish it's added to: combine garlic with chopped basil leaves for an aromatic seasoning blend ideal for sautésing vegetables or marinating meat.

Tips on Using Basil in Cooking

Now that you know what foods and flavors pair well with Basil, here are a few tips to help you use this versatile herb in your cooking:

  • Use fresh basil leaves rather than dried. Fresh herbs have more flavor compared to their dried counterparts.
  • Add basil at the end of cooking process; its flavours can break down if cooked over long periods causing bitterness and off-tastes.
  • Experiment! Try adding small amounts of fresh chopped up Basil into various dishes such as soups, stews curries.

In conclusion, Basil is a versatile herb that pairs well with many different foods and flavors. Combine it alongside tomatoes or mozzarella cheese in sandwiches or pizza toppings; try adding lemon juice when savoring salads containing cucumbers & tomatoes – even consider blending black pepper into marinades! When using Fresh Basil ensure they add towards end stages during cooking procedures so as not be lost from too much heat exposure leading bitter aftertastes.. So go ahead – experiment away until finding perfect taste-matchups which work best together!


What are some popular dishes that pair well with basil?

Basil is one of the most versatile herbs that can be used in a variety of dishes. It is an essential ingredient in Italian cuisine and can be found in classic dishes such as pesto, Caprese salad, and Margherita pizza. Additionally, it pairs well with fish, chicken and beef.

One popular dish that incorporates basil is Bruschetta – toasted bread topped with garlic-infused tomatoes and freshly chopped basil leaves. The combination of sweet tomatoes mixed with the herbaceous aroma of fresh basil makes for a delightful appetizer or snack.

Another dish to consider is Thai Basil Chicken – a stir-fry made from tender chicken breast strips sautéed with onions, peppers, garlic and flavoured using soy sauce & fish sauce. Freshly chopped Thai basil leaves are added at the end to give it a distinct depth-of-flavour which complements other ingredients perfectly.

In addition to these two examples above there are many more options available for experimenting different flavour combinations when cooking food along side this fragrant herb.

Can I pair fruits like strawberries or peaches along with Basil?

Yes! Fruits like strawberries or peaches go great alongside herbs like basil. These fruits add sweetness while balancing out the pungency present within the herb's flavour profile.

For instance: A simple yet elegant dessert preparation would be sliced fresh strawberries accompanied by whipped cream blended together using finely minced up pieces of sweet smelling (and hyper-local) Genovese Basil on top.

What beverages should I consider pairing alongside my meals containing Basil?

When considering beverage choices there're no hard rules but guidelines which could assist you make informed decisions:

  • For spicy foods where chilli flakes/form have been incorporated into your meal try sipping on drinks containing ginger elements (i.e ale), earl gray tea infused water may also help bring relief
  • In case you have prepared a dish with lighter flavors and textures like fish or chicken, you could consider white wine which when paired with basil containing dishes could accentuate the delicate flavours.
  • Alternatively, iced tea is another popular option that pairs well along side many dishes. The freshness of basil can be complemented really well when added to peach iced tea.

What are some herbs that compliment Basil flavor?

Pairing different herbs together is a nuanced topic but there are some combinations that work extremely well in conjunction with each other. Here are few examples:

  • Mint: A great herb for pairing alongside basil as it helps to bring about an overall refreshing taste profile especially during summers.
  • Oregano: When used together these two Mediterranean spices can create magic by adding depth and complexity into traditional Italian sauces such as Marinara or Pizza sauce.
  • Thyme: Although not necessarily associated with Italian cuisine thyme goes incredibly well alongside breads & roasted meats.

Are there any precautions I need to take while using Basil in my preparations?

While incorporating Basil into your meal preparation might seem like a breeze, here are three important things you should keep in mind:

  1. Wash thoroughly: Always make sure your fresh produce has been washed before use – this includes all types of herbs and particularly so if they have dirt on their leaves

  2. Use sparingly at first : As basil contains essential oils which can often be quite potent it’s important to add small quantities gradually until the desired flavor profile has been achieved

  3. Store properly : Fresh Herbs including Basil tend not too last long once packed out from supermarkets so ensure proper storage conditions e.g placing them wrapped up inside damp towel/paper towels then refrigerating them immediately after purchase.

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