Our Favorite Basil Flavor Combinations

Honestly, sometimes we have trouble narrowing down our ideas on what to pair with basil. The herb is an absolute powerhouse, particularly if you plan with different varieties in mind. From Italian classics to new school decadence, here are a few of our favorite basil flavor combinations.

Basil & Tomatoes

Although this pairing may seem obvious, it’s doesn’t make it any less powerful. Basil and tomatoes have been making waves in Italian cuisine for centuries, showing up in everything from pasta sauces and Caprese salads to sun-dried tomato pesto and Margherita pizzas. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that every time we work with the two, we love them both even more.

Thai Basil & Mushroom Chicken

A champion of stir-fry, Thai basil is one of our favorite ingredients to add to Asian-inspired dishes. Unlike traditional sweet basil, Thai basil has a spicy kick that easily slides into the savoriness of mushroom chicken. It looks fantastic as a garnish too, but be warned that it has a much more powerful bite when raw. 

Lemon Basil & Fish

Lemon basil is fairly unique among basil varieties, containing underlying citrus notes that set it apart from the crowd. We like showcasing its unique flavor profile by adding it to a marinade and letting it soak into grilled fish. Garnish with a few leaves and watch the inevitable customer Instagram post. 

  • Pro Tip: Interested in other basil varieties? Check out our guide!

Basil & Chocolate

Basil and chocolate have been going steady in the artisan dessert scene for decades, but they’ve just recently hit the mainstream. Although this combo is definitely elegant, it isn’t exclusively reserved for fine dining; for example, try creating a low-key basil/chocolate ice cream! Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this delicious pairing.

Basil & Fruit

While we’re tempted to write a whole piece on pairing basil and strawberries, we can’t ignore that the little leaf works with a ton of other fruits. Basil is an excellent partner to kitchen constants like bananas and oranges, while still standing tall next to tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. Expand your horizons and experiment with different fruits.

  • Pro Tip: Really into citrus? Try adding lemon basil to your next lemonade or limeade.

Basil & Mint

Basil and mint are part of the same botanical family, so it makes sense that they get along so well. While you may initially think of desserts when planning dishes, we’d recommend incorporating them into craft cocktails. Nothing says mixologist better than a carefully placed basil leaf in a mint julep!