Field to Fork Rosemary (FN1936, Reviewed Jan. 2020)

Learn about growing, storing and preserving rosemary, and view cooking tips and recipes using rosemary.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist

Maria Topp, Dietetic Intern

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) is a savory kitchen herb with evergreen, needlelike leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region and can be used to add flavor in a variety of foods, such as lamb, chicken, pot roast and root vegetables.


Rosemary can be purchased from grocery stores fresh or dried, but it also can be grown at home. Grow rosemary by potting a small bedding plant from a garden center because growing it from the seed can be difficult.

Use a high-quality commercial potting mixture and a pot that is 6 to 8 inches deep. Plant the rosemary to the same depth as it was in the original container. Make sure the pot is at least 12 inches in diameter so the roots have space to expand, and be sure the pot has a draining hole so the soil is well-drained.

Proper watering helps ensure optimal growth for rosemary. If the top 1 to 2 inches of soil are dry, water the plant and let it drain freely.

Rosemary grows best in full sun and shows damage when temperatures dip below 20 F. In the warmer months, place it in a sunny location outdoors. When grown outside, plant rosemary in a pot or in the ground.

Growing rosemary indoors during the winter months can be challenging. When growing rosemary in the winter, bring the plant inside and place it in a sunny window sill. Make sure the plant doesn’t become chilled from the cold air. 


If stored properly, fresh rosemary will keep in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days. Loosely wrap the rosemary sprigs in a slightly damp paper towel and then again in a plastic storage bag. If you have more rosemary than you can use in two weeks, follow the freezing or drying instructions. 


Freeze or dry rosemary to preserve it. Rosemary leaves can be frozen in ice cube trays suspended in water or olive oil. You also can place rosemary sprigs on a baking sheet in the freezer until they are frozen solidly, then transfer the sprigs to a freezer bag for future use.

Rosemary can be dried by washing the sprigs under cold running water and patting them dry with a paper towel. Then bundle the sprigs and tie them together at their bases. Hang them in a well-ventilated area to air-dry. To protect from dust and other irritants, place a brown paper bag around the hanging herb.

Cooking Tips

Dried vs. fresh rosemary cooking conversions:   

1 tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon dried

The leaves from three sprigs of fresh rosemary generally equal 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary. Dried rosemary is a good substitute for fresh rosemary in the winter months, when growing fresh rosemary and/or finding it at your local grocery store is more difficult. Because the dried version has a more concentrated flavor, you will need less of it than the fresh.


Slow Cooker Rosemary Focaccia

(NDSU Extension)

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 c. warm skim milk
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. minced rosemary leaves
2 Tbsp. finely chopped thyme leaves

Line the slow cooker with parchment paper so that it covers the bottom and comes up the sides about 3 inches. Grease with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt. In another bowl, stir together the milk and one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the milk mixture to the dough and stir together until combined. The dough should be sticky. Transfer the dough to the greased slow cooker and spread it out into the corners or in an oval shape. Without turning the slow cooker on, cover with the lid and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, combine the remaining tablespoon of olive oil with the minced herbs in a small bowl. After the dough has risen, brush the olive oil-herb mixture on top of the dough. Using a sharp knife, score across the surface of the dough about a fourth of the way deep. Place a towel over the bowl of the slow cooker, cover with the slow cooker lid and cook on high for two hours.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 170 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 310 mg sodium.

Parmesan Rosemary Carrot Fries

(NDSU Extension)

3 to 4 large carrots, peeled
3 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
Leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel and cut the carrots lengthwise to resemble the shape of french fries. Mix olive oil, Parmesan, garlic powder, rosemary, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Add carrots and toss to coat. Place carrots on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until carrots become slightly crispy. Turn carrots over halfway through baking. 

Makes four servings. Each serving has 110 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 290 mg sodium.

Garlic Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Pork Tenderloin

(NDSU Extension)

2 lb. boneless pork tenderloin
¼ c. olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
10 garlic cloves, smashed
½ c. fresh rosemary leaves
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground pepper
2 lb. small red potatoes, washed and quartered

Preheat oven to 450 F. Grease a 9- by 13-inch pan with cooking spray; place pork loin in pan and set aside. In a food processor, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, rosemary leaves, salt and pepper; process for two to three minutes or until thickened and the consistency of paste. Spread three quarters of the rub on all sides of the meat. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Turn half way through cooking for even browning. In the meantime, prepare the potatoes by combining them with the remaining rub. Remove pan from oven; reduce the heat to 350 F. Place prepared potatoes around the tenderloin. Put back in the oven and continue to cook for 45 minutes or until cooked through and potatoes are tender. Pork is done cooking when internal temperature reaches 145 F. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer roast to a cutting board; slice and serve with potatoes.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 290 calories, 11 g fat, 26 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 150 mg sodium.

Key to abbreviations

c. = cup                      g = gram                oz. = ounce

tsp. = teaspoon          mg = milligram       lb. = pound

Tbsp. = tablespoon    kg - kilogram

Funding for this publication was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM170100XXXXG005. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

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