10 Culinary Herbs To Grow In Containers (+ 100 Ways To Use Them)

10 Culinary Herbs To Grow In Containers (+ 100 Ways To Use Them) | Growing Up Herbal | 10 herbs to grow in containers and use in your homemade food, skincare, and medicinal products.

I have something to confess. I am not a natural at gardening.

Folks, I am serious when I say that I do not have a green thumb. People often look at me in surprise because they assume that because I write about natural health and use herbs on a regular basis, I must automatically have a luscious garden that I tend to every summer day. 

I could only wish.

I do manage to grow a few tomatoes and a variety of lettuces, but I’m still striving for that luscious garden of my dreams.

Growing herbs in containers, however, is something I can do. There’s something about sticking plants in a pot that produces a higher success rate for me than digging that spade into the ground. Container growing can be a simple and rewarding way to grow culinary herbs to use both for cooking and making medicine!

If you struggle with traditional gardening like I do, I have good news! Container growing is easy and can be very rewarding.

So here are some culinary herbs that are easy to grow in containers. Plus, I’m sharing several delicious recipes and medicinal ways to use each herb – 100 ways to be exact!

10 Culinary Herbs To Grow In Containers (+ 100 Ways To Use Them)

10 Culinary Herbs To Grow In Containers (+ 100 Ways To Use Them) | Growing Up Herbal | 10 herbs to grow in containers and use in your homemade food, skincare, and medicinal products.

1. Mint

Mint is a very invasive herb and can take over your whole garden, so containing it in a pot is a great idea. Mint is so good to consume for digestive issues!

Pearl Couscous Salad with Mint and Pecans @ The Kitchn

Cranberry Bean Salad with Basil, Mint, and Feta @ The Kitchn

Mixed Berries and Mint @ Saveur

5 Ways to Use Fresh Mint @ Bonnie Plants

Yellow Watermelon and Mint Pops @ Epicurious

Chile Ginger Mint Jellies @ Epicurious

Garlic and Mint Chicken Breasts @ Better Homes and Gardens

Honey Mint Glazed Chicken @ Simply Recipes

Fresh Mint Ginger Lemonade @ A Beautiful Plate

Mint Lemon Limeade @ Food Network

2. Basil

Basil is good for the digestive system and is a choice herb for pizza and pastas. It’s a good herb to plant indoors on a windowsill, or outdoors in a container as well!

Just a Spoon Full of Basil Helps The Coughing Go Down @ Herbal Root Zine

Pesto Chicken Tart @ The Kitchn

Lemon Basil Bow Ties @ Taste Of Home

Basil Baked Tomatoes @ Taste Of Home

Chicken in Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce @ Taste Of Home

Basil Ice Cream @ The Faux Martha

Chicken Salad with Olive Oil and Herbs @ Alexandra’s Kitchen

Thai Basil Chicken @ Foodie Crush

Strawberry Basil Paletas @ A Girl Defloured

Edamame Basil Hummus @ Two Peas & Their Pod

10 Culinary Herbs To Grow In Containers (+ 100 Ways To Use Them) | Growing Up Herbal | 10 herbs to grow in containers and use in your homemade food, skincare, and medicinal products.

3. Parsley

Parsley is many times only used as a garnish for dishes, but it really does great inside dishes as well. It’s also healthy for the urinary and digestive tracts.

How To Use Parsley For Urinary Tract Infections @ Simple Remedies

Chimichurri @ Simply Recipes

Gremolata @ Simply Recipes

Parsley Pesto Recipe @ Food Network

Jamie’s Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto with Fresh Parsley, Lemon, & Parmesan @ Hello Fresh

Roast Chicken with Onions and Parsley @ NY Times Cooking

Green Peas With Fresh Parsley and Garlic Butter Sauce @ Food.com

Mashed Potatoes with Olive Oil and Parsley @ Fine Cooking

How to Make Parsley Tea With Fresh Parsley @ Healthy Eating

Parsley Pesto Pasta @ Budget Bytes

4. Thyme

Thyme is another herb I really like for Italian dishes, but it’s also great on vegetables and grains. Medicinally, it’s good for the immune, respiratory, and nervous systems. Thyme is also the active ingredient in my natural disinfectant! 

As a medicine, thyme is popular as a syrup for coughs!

Sweet Lemon, Honey, and Thyme Syrup @ Reformation Acres

Juniper and Herb Roast Turkey @ My Recipes

Linguine with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme Mushrooms @ Food Network

Thyme Cornbread @ My Recipes

Slow-Baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme @ Epicurious

Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts @ For the Love of Cooking

Roasted Carrots with Parsley and Thyme @ NY Times Cooking

Thyme Roasted Potatoes @ Recipe.com

Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and Fresh Thyme @ Food.com

Thyme Roasted Vegetables @ Taste of Home

10 Culinary Herbs To Grow In Containers (+ 100 Ways To Use Them) | Growing Up Herbal | 10 herbs to grow in containers and use in your homemade food, skincare, and medicinal products.

5. Oregano

Oregano is an herb in the same family as mint, so it can really grow fast and take over an herb garden. Growing oregano in a pot is a great choice to keep it contained. It grows up to 2 feet tall and its flavors intensify when it’s had a full day of sunshine. Oregano is a perfect culinary herb for spaghetti, pizza, vegetables and meat.

Roast Lamb with Olives, Lemon, & and Fresh Oregano @ Nourished Kitchen

Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots, and Potatoes with Fresh Oregano @ Capay Valley Farm Shop

Rigatoni Puttanesca with Eggplant and Fresh Oregano @ Blue Apron

Lemon-Oregano Salmon with Roasted Tomatoes @ Recipe Girl

How To Make Oregano Tea @ Do It Yourself

Marinated Goat Cheese with Fresh Oregano @ Recipe.com

Greek Salad with Fresh Oregano @ Integrative Cancer Answers

Fresh Tomato Penne with Oregano @ My Recipes

Easy Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Fresh Oregano @ Cookie and Kate

Sweet Corn and Fresh Oregano Fritters @ Anolon

6. Cilantro

Cilantro is my favorite herb to put in homemade salsas, Mexican rice, and is delicious tossed in salads too! It has no special soil needs and does fine growing in the shade, so it’s hard to go wrong with this herb.

Garlic Cilantro and Lime Rice @ Food Network

Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad with Fresh Cilantro @ Epicurious

Cilantro Chicken @ Food.com

Cilantro Lime Herb Butter @ Simply Recipes

Cilantro Lime Shrimp @ Simply Recipes

Chicken Enchilada with Salsa Verde @ A Spicy Perspective

Cilantro & Ginger Hummus @ A Beautiful Mess

Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries with Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream @ Food 52

Fresh Cilantro with Black Beans and Tomato @ Spark Recipes

Fresh Corn Cilantro Salad @ Spark Recipes

7. Rosemary

When I think of rosemary, I think of how delicious it is in my sister’s potato soup, and how great it is at improving the memory and helping the respiratory system. Rosemary prefers dry soil and hot temperatures. The small leaves are most commonly used, but the flowers of this plant are edible too and great in cakes, cookies, and salads.

Rosemary Salve @ Herb Idea

Rosemary Butternut Squash Tofu Quiche Squares @ Fresh Thyme Farmers Market

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes @ Food Network

Skillet Rosemary Chicken @ Food Network

Caramelized Apples with Fresh Rosemary @ Martha Stewart

Fish Fillets with Fresh Rosemary @ Diabetes.org

Lentil Soup with Fresh Rosemary @ Vegetarian Times

Rosemary Lemonade @ Health.com

Fresh Rosemary French Fries @ Recipe 4 Living

Apple Chicken Salad with Rosemary Pecans @ The Fresh Market

10 Culinary Herbs To Grow In Containers (+ 100 Ways To Use Them) | Growing Up Herbal | 10 herbs to grow in containers and use in your homemade food, skincare, and medicinal products.

8. Sage

Sage is the traditional seasoning in stuffing for turkeys and chickens, but I actually use it most in my homemade gravy. I had a lady tell me in my early years of marriage that sage has a taste similar to sausage, and it gives the gravy a sausage-like taste. We have learned to love adding sage to our gravy. Not only does it taste great, but it’s good for our health too!

Sage is also good for the respiratory tract and throat ailments.

Fettuccine with Brown Butter and Sage @ Epicurious

Sage and Garlic Roasted Chicken @ Pillsbury

Chicken Breast with Fresh Sage @ Food52

Sauteed Carrots with Sage @ My Recipes

Omelette with Fresh Sage @ The Everday French Chef

Roasted Potatoes with Fried Sage @ White on Rice Couple

Rosemary Sage Bread @ P&G Everyday

Fresh Lemon & Sage Veggie Pasta @ Living Well Spending Less

Sage-Roasted Turkey @ Williams-Sonoma

Broccoli and Sage Pasta @ Good Food

10 Culinary Herbs To Grow In Containers (+ 100 Ways To Use Them) | Growing Up Herbal | 10 herbs to grow in containers and use in your homemade food, skincare, and medicinal products.

9. Dill

Who doesn’t love dill pickles? Well, most of us probably do! This herb is perfect for making pickles at home with your garden-fresh cucumbers, and it’s also fabulous in homemade potato salad. (I use dill pickles in my potato salad, but just the dill herb would taste great too!)  

Lemon & Dill Chicken @ Eating Well

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers with Fresh Dill @ Epicurious

Braised Lemon Chicken with Dill and Turmeric @ Tori Avey

Baked Salmon with Dill @ My Recipes

Fresh Dill Cucumbers with Lemon @ Bon Appetit

Fresh Dill Yogurt Dip @ Betty Crocker

Green Beans with Fresh Dill @ Food.com

One Pot Chicken Dinner With Fresh Dill @ Real Healthy Recipes

Homemade Hummus with Fresh Dill @ Boston Magazine

Fresh Dill and Red Potato Salad @ Aberdeen’s Kitchen

10. Horseradish

You are likely familiar with horseradish as a dipping sauce for fish, but the herb itself is so excellent for the respiratory system. In fact, it’s one of the herbs that I use in my homemade fire cider that we take to help prevent and treat the flu. It’s a very potent herb, and does its job well!

Horseradish does well growing in gardens, but it also can be easily grown in containers!

Horseradish Cream Sauce @ Food Network

Fresh Horseradish Sauce @ My Recipes

Fresh Horseradish with Beets @ Panning the Globe

Winter Root Vegetable Stew @ Blue Apron

Twice Baked Potatoes with Fresh Horseradish @ Fine Cooking

Cream of Parsley Soup with Fresh Horseradish @ Saveur

Fire Cider @ Mommypotamus

Horseradish Mash @ Good Food

Fermented Horseradish @ Good Food

Tomato and Horseradish Cocktail Sauce @ Kitchen Konfidence

With a little effort and a handful of containers, you can soon enjoy a whole summer of cooking with fresh culinary herbs!

Have you tried container gardening? Which plants do you grow?


  • Henderson, J. (2015). Everything You Need to Know About Growing Oregano – Herb Gardening 101. Retrieved June 02, 2016, from http://www.thekitchn.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-growing-oregano-220612
  • Hartung, T., Holt, S., & Hartung, T. (2011). Homegrown herbs: A complete guide to growing, using, and enjoying more than 100 herbs. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.
  1. Jana says:

    I am terrible at keeping herbs alive even in small containers.. Do the pots need holes on the bottom to drain? Do all herbs need the same amount of water. How much water?? That’s the hard part for me. I usually over or under water!
    Oh and one more thing.. Do they all need lots of light like in a window?
    Thanks for this article! I hope I can make an indoor herb garden work someday.

    • Meagan says:

      Yes, Jana… your pots need holes in the bottom so they can drain and the soil needs to stay moist. These are my favorite kind of pots because they’re ceramic and they have that little lip at the bottom where you add your water so the soil can slowly absorb it. I add water to mine every day. If the soil doesn’t need the water then it sits in that lip which keeps your plants from getting too much. Does that make sense? And yes, they need lots of light. I keep most of my plants outside on my deck so light is not an issue, but when your plants are indoors, you want to put them near a window where they’re get a decent amount of light during the day. Hope that helps, and best of luck! I’m still learning as I go!

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Anna@greenTalk says:

    Actually the leaves of the horseradish are quite delicious!

    • Meagan Visser says:

      Interesting, Anna. I’ve never had the leaves… only the root. I’ll have to try them sometime. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Anonymous says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *