It is easy to Chiffonade Cut leafy greens to add color and flavor to any dish. Simply roll leaves tightly then slice them with a knife to the size you need. These delicate and beautiful ribbons are the perfect garnish for soups, salads, pizza, and more.

Sweet basil is perfect for a chiffonade cut.

What is a Chiffonade Cut?

Chiffonade is a way to prepare leafy greens and herbs to get long, thin strips for garnishing soups, salads, or other entrees. (Perfect for this Tomato Basil Bisque!)

You can do everything from fresh basil to spinach to lettuce, or herbs like mint and sage. It’s simple to add a pop of color and flavor with a garnish.

In French chiffonade means “little ribbons,” the perfect name to describe the beautiful pieces of greens you get.

This is different from a julienne cut, which is slicing veggies like carrots and zucchini into thin sticks.

Not only does it look gorgeous, but we’re also increasing the surface area of the cut leaves which will bring out the most flavor!

And despite it’s fancy French name, it’s actually SUPER easy to do if you follow the step-by-step instructions below.

How to Chiffonade Basil

The basic steps for doing a chiffonade cut are simple to follow:

Layer the Leaves

Be sure to use firm leaves that are free of holes or dirt.

The first step is to remove the stems. This part is fibrous, and you don’t want it in your dish.

Use a sharp knife or your fingers to carefully cut or break away the leaves from the stalk.

Then, layer the leaves. Try to keep them similar-sized.

Roll it Tight

Once the leaves are evenly stacked, you need to roll them up.

You can start on any side, either the end or edge, depending on how long you want the shreds.

For longer strips, start rolling from the stem end. If you’d rather have shorter slices, roll from the long-edge of the leaf.

This chiffonade technique is best when you tightly roll the leaves.

Cut into Ribbons

You don’t need crazy knife skills to make chiffonade.

Hold a very sharp chef’s knife by the handle with your dominant hand while grasping the rolled leaves with the fingertips of your free hand.

Make cuts along the roll with the blade of the knife. Depending on what you’re using them for, slice the leaves into ⅛ to 1/16-inch sections.

Use a circular motion while cutting to ensure the delicate leaves get cut all of the way through.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Depending on the leaf you’re cutting, you can slice them up to a few hours for more delicate herbs or up to 1 to 2 days ahead of time for sturdier lettuces.
  • To Store: Keep leftover sliced leaves in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Any longer and they will start wilting.
  • To Freeze: While you can freeze chiffonade cut leaves, they will lose their texture when they thaw.

FAQs

Are chiffonade and julienne cut the same?

While both of these techniques involve thinly slicing things, the result is different. Julienne cut is for vegetables like carrots and yields matchstick-style pieces. Chiffonade is best for leafy greens, like basil and gives you thin, ribbon-like strips.

How do you do chiffonade?

The best way to chiffonade cut a leafy green is to first remove the stems, then stack them on top of each other. Roll from one end and slice the leaves into small strips.

What does chiffonade cut mean?

In French, chiffonade means “little ribbon,” and that’s what these leafy greens look like after you roll and slice them into strips.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Break away. Use your fingers to snap off the stems before slicing the leaves.
  • Keep it even. Stack similarly sized leaves to make rolling and cutting easier.
  • Pick an end. The length of the ribbons will vary based on which direction you roll. Start from the stem end for long strips or the longer side of the leaf for short ones.
  • Roll tight. Be sure to tightly pinch the leaves when you coil them, so it is simple to make cuts.
A bowl of basil cut into ribbons.

How to Use a Chiffonade of Basil

Use this method to prepare a chiffonade for any of these dishes:

More How to Cut Tutorials

Check out these other cutting methods to sharpen your knife skills (pun intended):

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Chiffonade Cut

It is easy to Chiffonade Cut leafy greens to add color and flavor to any dish. Simply roll leaves tightly then slice them with a knife to the size you need.
A roll of basil is thinly sliced.
Yield 1 serving
Prep 2 minutes
Total 2 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch basil or other leafy vegetable

Instructions 

  • Break a few basil leaves off right where they meet the stem.
  • Layer anywhere from 3-5 leaves into a stack on a cutting board, one placed directly on top of the other.
  • To get really long strips roll the leaves up from the stem end. For shorter slices, roll the leaves starting on the longer side of the leaf. Try to make the roll as tight as possible.
  • Using a well-sharpened chef’s knife, make cuts roughly ⅛ to 1/16-inch apart, perpendicular to the length of the roll. Use a circular motion while cutting to ensure the delicate leaves get cut all of the way through.
  • Repeat this process with the remaining leaves until you have a chiffonade of basil.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

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5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Depending on the leaf you’re cutting, you can slice them up to 1 to 2 days ahead of time.
  • To Store: Keep leftover sliced leaves in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Any longer and the leaves will start wilting.
  • To Freeze: While you can freeze chiffonade cut leaves, they will lose their texture when they thaw.

Nutrition

Calories: 2kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.2g, Protein: 0.3g, Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 0.3mg, Potassium: 24mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.02g, Vitamin A: 422IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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