How to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs

How ToBasilCilantroParsley

Have you ever had trouble keeping fresh herbs fresh? This super easy trick keeps fresh herbs useable for a couple of weeks.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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


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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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111 Comments / Reviews

No ImageHow to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs

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  1. William

    I store cilantro in a sealed container in the refrigerator and it stays fresh for a month. Before storing remove any leaves or stems that have darkened.

  2. Lisa Downs

    Excellent information.


  3. What's the frequency, Kenneth?

    I’m thinking you can rinse the herbs beforehand and remove excess water in a salad spinner, then put them into the jar, without the bag, in the refrigerator, then cover them a couple hours later. I tried a similar technique for drying blanched cauliflower before freezing and it worked outstandingly.

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  4. Renee

    Thank you!
    This is very helpful.


  5. Laura

    I want to avoid using plastic as much as possible. It’s causing terrible problems for the environment and our fellow creatures on this planet. Our oceans are full of dumped plastic, which see creatures than consume or get caught in. Any comments or suggestions?

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how to store parsley and fresh herbsHow to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs