How To Chop Rosemary

How To Chop Rosemary

The results you get from finely chopped herbs (in terms of flavor) are far superior to those achieved from whole leaves. It can be a real pain to chop small herbs like rosemary leaves, but it is a labor of love!

The best (and most efficient) way to cut rosemary is to use a chef’s knife or mezzaluna knife — both are extremely versatile and easy to use. You can also use an herb roller blade or a chef’s knife. For uniformly chopped rosemary, keep your blades sharp, cut in clean motions, and reassemble the piles.

It is today that we examine the benefits of properly chopping rosemary leaves. It is also today that we examine the best ways to chop rosemary leaves. We’ll explain how and why these methods work, as well as some tips to make the process easier!

Why Would You Need Chopped Rosemary?

One of the most versatile herbs, rosemary can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. You don’t have to imagine: a delicious, crispy pork chop basted in garlic butter and rosemary sauce, or a delicious white chocolate mousse with lavender and rosemary… We’re drooling just thinking about it! While many people use whole rosemary leaves instead of finely chopped leaves, some recipes call for finely chopped rosemary.

First, they release a lot more flavor. To develop what chefs refer to as “flavor-town,” you should crush or chop the herbs. It will certainly help create the best flavor this herb can provide. The chopped rosemary can also be served without being removed from the food. In essence, it means that you do not bite into an unappealing piece of leaf while getting the purest flavor possible (hello, bay leaves!).

Finally, chopping rosemary for recipes helps you get more accurate measurements. Because the sizes of rosemary leaves vary, you will be adding a different amount every time you need one teaspoon of whole rosemary leaves. You can measure more accurately and consistently by using chopped rosemary!

Can You Chop Rosemary To Various Degrees?

The consistency of rosemary can vary depending on how it is used, but if a recipe says “chop rosemary,” we recommend finely chopped. There are some recipes that specify “coarsely chopped” or “roughly chopped,” in which case you should definitely aim for that level of chop – but again, if nothing is mentioned, don’t leave the leaves too chunky.

If you want to make a paste from chopping rosemary, keep in mind that it can be quite time-consuming. We’ll cover some techniques below that will make paste easier to make.

How To Chop Rosemary With A (Chef’s) Knife

We decided to start with the most common method. Everyone has a knife, even if it’s not specifically a chef’s knife. Due to its size and design, a chef’s knife works better than, say, a paring knife. Herbs can be quickly chopped into fine pieces by controlling the blade movement and handling the knife easily.

For this technique to work, you don’t need an expensive chef’s knife – just a very sharp knife will do! A blunt knife will crush and bruise the herbs instead of cutting them cleanly. Bruised chopped herbs turn an unappealing black color, and some (rosemary included) can even develop a slightly bitter taste.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. By hand or with an herb stripper, remove the leaves from the stalks.

    • Because the stalks taste bitter, you shouldn’t use them in your food – they’re less tasty than the leaves.

  2. Make sure the surface of the chopping board is level, otherwise some parts will be finer than others.

  3. Don’t hurry! Chop the leaves slowly, moving the blade across the pile as you chop. Don’t cut your fingers!

    • It is a simple movement of the blade up and down, not a slicing motion.

  4. You can adjust the consistency of your chopped rosemary by continuing to chop until you are satisfied.


  • Herbs tend to stick to the knife blade – if you don’t get them off, your chopped mixture won’t have a uniform texture. Wipe down the blade and place the un-chopped herbs next to it.

  • It may also be necessary to frequently reassemble your rosemary pile – it will spread out quite a bit as you chop the herbs, so chop it, reassemble it, and chop it again.

  • It’s a bad idea to wet your knife blade in order to “prevent herbs from sticking” – it doesn’t work and worse, it changes their consistency and can make them tasteless!

How To Chop Rosemary With A Mezzaluna Knife

A mezzaluna knife also works extremely well for chopping rosemary (and other herbs).

Designed specifically for chopping herbs, this knife does nothing but that!

Why isn’t it the number one choice if it works so well?

Despite the fact that everyone already owns a (chef’s) knife, surprisingly few people own this specialized herb knife.

There are a few designs, but most of them are two-handed. There are one-handed blades, but we find them difficult to use.

In addition, some mezzaluna knives have two blades, while others only have one. Which design you choose will depend on your preferences, just as with any knife.

It has a super-curved blade and handles pointing upwards at both ends. It creates a see-saw motion across the herbs when you use it.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Leaves should be removed from rosemary stalks.

  2. In a flat chopping board or inside the special curved board that comes with the knife, arrange them in a single pile.

  3. The rosemary leaves should be cut in a see-saw motion. This is not an up-and-down chopping motion, but a smooth glide from side to side.

  4. Cut the rosemary leaves until you are satisfied with the consistency.


  • Because they glide through, these blades tend to stick less to herbs, but you must still clean them after each chop.

  • If you have the special indented chopping bowl that comes with some knives, it helps keep the herbs in a pile so you don’t have to.

How To Chop Rosemary With A Herb Scissor

Herb scissors come in two designs, both of which work differently.

The first tool you get is the original herbal scissor, which has a scissor-like design and multiple blades.

The tool does not work well for picked rosemary leaves, but it works great for herbs that have stems, like parsley.

Herb rollers are what we’re going to discuss today.

You might think it looks like a cross between herb scissors and a pizza cutter, but it works great!

Like a pizza cutter, it has multiple blades, but instead of cutting herbs with scissors, you continuously roll them over.

The tools are quite inexpensive, work very well, and are extremely handy. The leaves don’t stick to the blades as much as with the previous two methods.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Place the leaves on a flat cutting surface after picking them from the stalks.

  2. Roll the picked leaves over in a back-and-forth motion. The blades will slice through the leaves without bruising them.

  3. Roll until you are satisfied with the consistency.


  • A lot of the tools come with detachable blades so you can simply replace them with a new, sharp set if they wear out.

  • The blades can also be easily cleaned by removing them, just make sure you dry them thoroughly to prevent rusting.

  • This tool works quickly and efficiently, but you should still reassemble your pile of chopped leaves. This will ensure even slicing.

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