If you’re wondering what you can make with sage leaves, these Crispy Fried Sage Leaves are your answer! Make them as a snack or use them to dress up your favorite fall dishes.
I could eat fried sage leaves every single day for the rest of my life and never grow tired of them.
Sage itself is one of my least favorite herbs (I like it but cilantro, parsley and mint are the top of my list). Still, there’s something about crispy fried sage leaves that I can’t resist. The texture and flavor combination – with a little salt sprinkled on – is SO GOOD. And as an added bonus, it’s a low-calorie, healthy snack.
So says everyone else I’ve ever made them for!
Someone asked me the other day if fried sage leaves will keep and for how long. I realized that I have no idea because ours are always gone within ten minutes! No joke.
Where to Buy Sage Leaves
Fresh sage leaves can be purchased year-round at grocery stores, farmer’s markets, specialty food stores and online. In the grocery store, fresh sage leaves are typically found in the herbs section of the produce area, alongside other fresh herbs like thyme, mint, and rosemary.
When selecting fresh sage leaves, look for healthy, vibrant green leaves that are free from browning or wilting, and gently rub a leaf between your fingers to ensure a strong, earthy, citrus aroma. As sage spoils it will turn brown, soft, and lifeless and the aroma will turn to an unpleasant odor.
Fried Sage Leaves Ingredients
- Whole sage leaves – When cooked, sage leaves take on a nutty and savory flavor while retaining subtler herbal and earthy notes.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – Just enough to coat entire bottom of skillet. Use a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil, if you prefer.
- Kosher salt – For sprinkling.
How to Fry Sage Leaves
To make fried sage leaves, simply coat the bottom of a skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, heat until shimmering then add sage leaves in a single layer. Watch them closely as it only takes about 30 seconds or so for them to crisp up, then remove them with a slotted spoon.
I put them on a plate lined with paper towels then transfer them to a pretty serving plate. Or I just eat them myself straight off the paper, which is what usually happens.
I like a lot of salt on my fried sage leaves. Use whatever amount tastes best to you but I definitely recommend sprinkling some on as soon as you remove them from the oil. Remember what I always preach: SALT = FLAVOR.
What to do with Fried Sage Leaves
We’ve covered that you can make fried sage leaves just as an easy snack. But I almost always garnish my fall dishes with a few of them, too. This Creamy Baked Pumpkin Gnocchi with Italian Sausage (that is SO GOOD, you have to try it!) look gorgeous with a few on top, and it really adds to the dish, both in presentation and flavor.
Crispy sage leaves also make a perfect garnish on top of pasta, risotto, meats, fish, potatoes, or vegetable dishes or as a crunchy garnish on top of soups, stews, or salads. A few favorites are squash or many white fish, chicken and pork dishes.
Use them as a unique addition to a charcuterie board or cheese plate and serve with cheeses, nuts and jam. Top toasted bread, crostini or bruschetta with fried sage leaves, along with ingredients like goat cheese, prosciutto, or roasted vegetables, for a flavorful appetizer.
They can be mixed with dried fruits, nuts, yogurt for a healthy appetizer.
Use as a whole garnish or crumbled, depending on the dish.
- Whole sage leaves, as many as you like
- Extra-virgin olive oil, enough to coat entire bottom of skillet
- Kosher salt, for sprinkling
- Coat the bottom of a skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, heat until shimmering then add sage leaves in a single layer. Watch them closely as it only takes about 30 seconds or so for them to crisp up, then remove them with a slotted spoon. Put them on a plate lined with paper towels then transfer them to a serving plate. Sprinkle immediately with salt to taste.
- Repeat in batches until all sage leaves are fried.
Fried sage leaves are best served within three if stored at room temperature. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The sage infused oil can strained and saved for later use or to make more fried sage leaves or for use with other dishes.