How to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs

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Have you ever had trouble keeping fresh herbs fresh? Do your cilantro and parsley go wilty, limpy, or dry after a few days? Several years ago my mother taught me this super easy trick, which really works, and keeps fresh herbs fresh and useable for up to a couple of weeks. The trick involves the clever use of a plastic bag.

Now, I don’t know why this works. It just does.

how to store parsley and fresh herbs

How to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs

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Method

1 Snip off the bottom of the stems.

2 Make sure the leaves are completely dry. Better to hold off rinsing them until you're about to use them.

3 Fill a jar or a water glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar.

4 If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Cilantro loves cool temperatures and should be stored in the refrigerator. Parsley can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. According to Harold McGee, basil is ideally stored at room temperature and not in the refrigerator, because it is susceptible to damage from cold.

5 Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor.

Fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs can last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.

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Showing 4 of 91 Comments

  • Elle

    I think it is ridiculous to try to keep a $.50 bunch of parsley and or cilantro fresh for weeks or months (price at my local Hispanic grocery, and super fresh because they go through them so fast). I just wrap them loosely in a paper towel, put in an open plastic bag, and buy a new batch every week. They lose their aroma and start to smell like grass pretty quickly, no matter how you try to store them, once cut from the plant. For 50 cents a bunch, it’s just too much trouble to try to keep them.

  • jenna

    Can we store parsley in the foil and freeze?

  • sue anderson

    Peserve your celery by wrapping it in aluminum kitchen foil. It will last for weeks in your refrigerator. Basil definitely should be in water on your counter and not in ther refrigerator. I will try the mint to see if it will root and plant it in a pot. thanks

  • V

    Fabulous and thank you!

  • Masha

    I did this with my fresh-from-the-farmers-market basil today. I set it on the counter at room temperature without a bag covering it (since your post seemed to suggest that the bag is only necessary for the fridge). I came home two hours later and it had all wilted.

    Sounds like you do not have much humidity in the air where you are. If you live in a dry climate, or at altitude where it is dry, I would put a plastic bag over it to help keep the herbs from drying out. ~Elise

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