Why you should be cooking with sage right now

Instant Pot Cheddar Risotto with Fresh Sage in a bowl with fork and sage leaves

Sage is the fall herb, but don’t save it just for stuffing, it pairs well with so many flavors of the season. I’m sharing my favorite ways to highlight this earthy, delicious herb from simple weeknight pasta dinners to special recipes for the holiday table.

Fresh herbs in a glass jar

Don’t count out the power of cooking with fresh herbs, even in colder weather

Sage is one of my favorite herbs any time of year, but I find myself reaching for it now more than ever.

  • Sage is a perennial Mediterranean herb, part of the mint family.
  • It’s incredibly aromatic, just rub the leaves between your fingers to release the essential oils and take a whiff.
  • The fresh stems keep longer than most herbs, I like to plop them in a little jar of water on the counter, but you can also wrap them in paper towels and put them in a baggie in the crisper.
  • To dry fresh sage hang a bundle upside down in a dry dark place. When dried, remove the leaves and store them in a jar in the cupboard.
  • To freeze fresh sage, remove the leaves and pack them in a zip lock freezer bag. Push out excess air before zipping up. They’ll keep up to a year this way.
  • Rubbed vs ground sage: when you see sage in the spice aisle you’ll notice two versions: ground sage is ground like other herbs, but for rubbed sage the dry leaves have been ‘rubbed’ to create a soft fluffy powder. Rubbed sage is lighter and less intense than ground.


Sage + cheddar = match made in heaven

Sage with sharp, aged cheeses like cheddar or Manchego is a fantastic pairing. My simple but utterly delicious Instant Pot Cheddar Risotto with Fresh Sage is one of my all-time favorite quick and comforting weeknight meals. Whenever I’m not sure what to make for dinner this autumn, I’ll be making this!

Instant Pot Cheddar Risotto with Fresh Sage in a white bowl with fork



No more boring gravy ~

Apples, pears, and cider all go wonderfully with sage. My Make Ahead Cider and Sage Gravy pairs well with just about any main course you can imagine this fall. I’ve you’ve always thought homemade gravy wasn’t really worth the effort, make this!

cider sage gravy in measuring cup



The fall-iest weeknight pasta dinner ~

Sage has a bold flavor that can stand up to other earthy bold flavors and mushrooms (wild or cultivated,) are a natural match. I love them together in my Wild Mushroom Pasta with Hazelnuts.

Pasta with wild mushrooms and hazelnuts in a skillet with large spoon



Extra special biscuits

Apples, cheddar, and sage make these biscuits SO flavorful and perfect for the season, I could eat them at every meal of the day.

cheddar apple scones


Slow cooked with pork and apples

Apples and sage get cozy again in this easy one pot slow cooked apple bourbon smothered pork chops.

slow cooked apple brandy smothered pork chops



Paired with pumpkin

Pumpkin (or any other winter squash) and sage are a great duo, balancing sweetness and earthiness. The creamy Pumpkin Chipotle Soup below benefits from a touch of rubbed sage. My Pumpkin Cornbread Stuffing with Country Sausage and Sage is a Thanksgiving staple around here, and my Spicy Sauage and Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is a super decadent fall meal.

pumpkin chipotle soup



Mixed into homemade sausage

Homemade Chicken Apple Sausage is perfect for chilly fall mornings and a generous dose of fresh sage gives them a robust flavor.

My Homemade Chicken Apple Sausage recipe is an easy way to make your own fabulously fresh sausage at home ~ it freezes beautifully, too, so be sure to make extra so you can enjoy it anytime.



A simple holiday side ~

Gorgeous rainbow carrots don’t need much help in the flavor department, but browned butter and sage will make just about any vegetable taste even better.

A bowl of rainbow carrots with browned butter and sage



Savory shortbread ~

My savory herb shortbread makes good use of all kinds of herbs, and are one of my favorite things to pair with wine and cheese. Pretty sage leaves are sturdy enough to laminate on the top ~ they weather the baking process and still look good!

Savory Herb Shortbread ready to bake

fall food image

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1 Comment

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    October 4, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    I grow culinary herbs and sell them at the local farmers market. I consider sage an underappreciated herb. Thank you for these recipes! My sage is GORGEOUS right now (our farmers market was cancelled this summer – you know why! – so it’s hardly been cut all summer and I have a lot of it) and I’m going to try some – maybe even all – of these this month.

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