Categories Recipe

Using Basil in Cooking: Orange Basil Chicken Recipe, Italian Mozarella Salad, Basilled Beef

Basil lends a spicy flavor somewhat like mint, pepper, and cloves or anise. You either like it or you don’t but it is very much worth a try. Most of the time basil shows up as pesto sauce but it can be used many different ways in vegetables, on chicken or beef and other meats, and in salads. It shows up most in Italian Mediterranean and Thai food.

Orange Basil Chicken

This recipe is good to use for dinner parties but if it is something your family would like – go for it.


  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 – ½ Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from the orange that was zested)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cups water


  1. Trim all the fat from the breasts. In a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and add chicken making sure it is all covered by the marinade.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator over night or at least 1 hour.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and place in a pan coated with non stick spray.
  4. Strain the marinade and cover the chicken with the solid portion of the marinade (garlic, orange zest and chopped basil)
  5. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Place liquid portion of marinade in a saucepan and reduce to about half.
  7. Make a paste with cornstarch and water and add it to saucepan.
  8. Stir constantly until thickened.
  9. Pour over chicken and serve hot.
  10. Serves 4 to 5.

Italian Mozzarella Salad

This is a take on an old fashion Italian salad that is really delicious. You can use shredded mozzarella if you desire.


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, and crushed
  • 3 ripe red tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 medium purple or Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 8 to 10 basil leaves
  • Fresh cracked pepper


  1. Combine olive oil and garlic a few days before making the salad.
  2. Store in glass bottle or jar in the refrigerator.
  3. Slice tomatoes in ½ inch slices and place on individual plates (about 2 or 3 slices per plate).
  4. Cut slices of mozzarella then cut into strips and place on top of tomatoes.
  5. Place onions on the salads.
  6. Chop basil leaves and sprinkle on top.
  7. Drizzle with olive oil garlic mixture. Save any unused olive oil for other purposes.
  8. Add cracked pepper and serve.
  9. Serves 5 to 6.

Basilled Beef Roast

Basil goes well with beef and this proves it.


  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 fresh basil leaves


  1. Take 4 of the basil leaves and crush them in your hands, then rub them all over the meat.
  2. In a Dutch oven heat the oil.
  3. Add the onion and sauté until transparent.
  4. Add the meat and brown on all sides.
  5. Cover meat with water and add soup mix, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer for 3 hours.
  7. Remove and cut in slices.
  8. Finely chop remaining basil leaves and sprinkle over top. Serve immediately.
  9. Serves 4 to 5.

Basil Vegetables

You will love these vegetables. Even the kids will love them.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 summer squash, sliced
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • ¾ cup chopped red or green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large frying pan or Dutch oven sauté garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add onion and sauté until transparent.
  3. Add rest of ingredients and enough water to cover bottom of the pan.
  4. Cook until tomatoes break down and other vegetables are tender crisp (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  5. Add basil, salt and pepper. Serve warm.
  6. Serves 4 to 5.

Fresh basil leaves are easily found in grocery stores but it can also be grown easily in your garden or in pots on your patio or porch. Don’t miss out on the great flavor of basil.