Get The Most Out of Your Thyme from Backyard Eats

Harvesting Thyme

When It’s Ready
  • You may harvest pieces from thyme plants throughout the summer and fall, but don’t cut them back severely in fall.
  • For fresh use, harvest midmorning, after the dew has dried. Do not wash.
How To
  • Cut with scissors or pruners as needed, or cut back to 2” above ground level.
  • Cut no more than one-third of a plant at a time to allow continued regrowth.
  • Clipping a main stem will induce branching at that point, resulting in a bushier plant.
  • Removing an entire branch will reduce bushiness and encourage more upright growth.

Growing Thyme

Thyme is an aromatic herb that has a strong and distinct flavor, which can be described as earthy, slightly minty, and slightly sweet. It pairs well with a variety of foods and is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. Thyme is a popular herb to use when roasting meats, vegetables, and potatoes. Thyme is also a great herb to use in soups, stews, and marinades.

Storing Thyme

Fresh Storage: Wrap in damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for storage up to three weeks.

Long-Term Storage: “Woody” perennial herbs like thyme can be dried at home to enjoy all year long! First, trim stems from the main plant. Tie 3-5 stems together into a bundle, then hang them to dry in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place for 2-3 weeks. 

Once the herbs are dry and brittle, you can store and enjoy them long-term.

Cooking With Thyme

  1. Thyme Roasted Vegetables: Toss chopped vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and zucchini with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and infused with the aromatic flavors of thyme.
  2. Lemon Thyme Chicken: Rub chicken pieces with a mixture of minced thyme leaves, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast or grill the chicken until it’s cooked through and enjoy the vibrant and citrusy flavors of thyme.
  3. Thyme Butter: Mix softened butter with minced thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. This herb-infused butter can be used to add a burst of flavor to grilled steaks, roasted vegetables, or spread on warm bread.
  4. Thyme Infused Oil: Place fresh thyme sprigs in a bottle of olive oil and let it infuse for a few days. The resulting thyme-infused oil can be drizzled over salads, grilled vegetables, or used as a marinade for meats.
  5. Herbed Quinoa with Thyme: Cook quinoa according to package instructions and stir in freshly chopped thyme leaves, lemon juice, diced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. This light and flavorful quinoa dish is a perfect side or light meal.

Try These Thyme Recipes:

Want To Learn More?

At Backyard Eats, we’re passionate about helping our clients discover and share the magic of homegrown good. Our Harvest Guides will teach you everything you need to know to harvest, store, and cook with fresh produce right from your own backyard! Our Harvest Toolkit Directory includes a list of all our step-by-step guides. Click below to give them a try!