What to Do with All this Basil? Fresh Basil Recipes Part 4

by Pamela

jelly recipe, fresh basil, jelly, basil lemonade, how to make jelly

My annual post of “What to do with all this basil?” Keeps rolling on with part 4 today. Based on the response that the posts get…fresh basil recipes are a very welcome thing to find. Looks like I’m not the only one with a three foot tall basil bush in their backyard. And while tomato and basil salads are delicious (especially with some fresh mozzarella and red onion tossed in there), how many of them can you eat before you need a change? Today’s recipe is definitely something different to do with fresh basil and wait until you taste it – Basil Lemonade Jelly.

I got the idea for basil lemonade jelly from a recipe over on Epicurious that I stumbled on. I also have no idea how I ended up coming across such a random sounding thing either. I think I sleep search. Like some people do weird stuff when they sleep….like sleepwalking. I think I actually fall asleep and search for things. There is some truly weird stuff on the internet and I’m pretty sure I’ve come across a most of it. <shudder>

But I can tell you that as weird as this lemonade jelly recipe might sound…I’m pretty sure it’s going to be your favorite summertime jelly because guess why? It tastes just like a glass of lemonade, with a hint of basil!

Basil Lemonade Jelly Made with Fresh Basil

I like showing you how to make jelly that doesn’t require an entire day to make, an orchard of fruit or enduring the hot and steamy canning process. This recipe, like my other jam and jelly recipes, makes 1 jar of the stuff that you can just keep in your refrigerator. You can increase the size of the recipe and can it if you like, but it’s not necessary and it’s not part of the jelly recipe you’ll find here.

Making a super high acid jelly like this lemonade jelly does have its challenges, but they aren’t anything you can’t handle. Unlike my other jelly recipes, you need to use pectin in this one (because of the lack of pectin in the juice). It also needs some help thickening by cooking it a bit longer. But that’s it. See? I promised you it wasn’t hard.

Plus, this is another way to use up that ginormous basil bush that’s taking up an entire corner of your patio.

So bust out some lemons, a little sugar and some fresh basil and make a batch of this basil lemonade jelly…you’re going to love it!

What to Do with All this Basil? Basil Lemonade Jelly
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
What to do with too much basil. Fresh basil recipes: Basil Lemonade Jelly. This tangy and refreshing jelly recipe will have you savoring breakfast. Makes about 1 - 1½ cups.
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
  • ¾ Cup Water
  • ¾ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Packed, Fresh Basil (you can use leaves and stems)
  • ¼ Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Pomona Pectin
  1. Add water, lemon juice and sugar to a medium size pan and heat over medium high heat.
  2. Continue to heat, and stir, until the sugar melts.
  3. While this mixture is cooking, drop the basil leaves in a bowl big enough to hold the lemonade mixture.
  4. Once the sugar melts, pour the hot liquid over the basil and let steep for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Strain juice mixture back into pan and add orange juice and pectin.
  6. Whisk the pectin into the juice and heat over medium high heat until mixture thickens. You'll basically be cooking this down by ⅓.
  7. Remove from heat and pour into a jar (with a lid) to cool. Then pop it into the refrigerator.
  8. Once chilled, go ahead and serve up some sunshine.
While this is a spreadable jelly, it will be a bit looser than the store bought stuff.


Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.


DW August 21, 2014 at 5:15 am

Just an update – I made this a few days ago and even though I added extra pectin it did not set. It tried really hard to set but I what I ended up with was still even runnier I think that what it was supposed to be. That being said I am absolutely sure it was a pectin issue and nothing else. Second point, the taste is so dang fine that I don’t even care. I made a trifle using some leftover birthday cupcakes and before my layering a soaked the cake bits with the lemon jelly and WOW. Divine. I am definitely saving this recipe.

DW August 16, 2014 at 4:45 am

I know that sometimes the fruit to pectin ratio gets wonky when you double/triple a recipe, but I would want to use a water bath canner and preserve a few jars of this. Do you think I could just triple the recipe and maintain the ratio of pectin to fruit?

Pamela August 16, 2014 at 7:35 am

Hi DW, You probably can keep these ratios, but it’s easy enough to add more pectin if you think it’s not thick enough. Go with the recipe as written and watch how it’s thickening as it cooks. This is a runnier jelly (as it’s written), so if you add a bit “too much” pectin you’re not going to get a bad result.

Thalia @ butter and brioche August 11, 2014 at 5:28 pm

a basil and lemon jelly sounds delicious! never made something like this before, definitely need to try the recipe.

Pamela August 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Hi Thalia, It’s definitely delicious and definitely different…but different in a very good way. ENJOY!!!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef August 6, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I can’t wait to try this. It sounds fantastic. Sort of like lemon curd but way better.

Pamela August 7, 2014 at 6:37 am

Maureen, this is WAAAAAAYYYY more delicious than lemon curd. 🙂

John@Kitchen Riffs August 6, 2014 at 8:50 am

Yeah, our basil is 3 feet high. Which is a good thing — we love the stuff! But I’m always happy to find new recipes for it, and this one is a winner. I’m a real lemon freak, so this is perfect for me. Thanks.

Pamela August 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Then you’re definitely going to want to make at least 1 batch of this John.

Leave a Comment