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

Print

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.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to How to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Showing 4 of 86 Comments / Reviews

  • Kelly K

    Super helpful to prevent waste. Thanks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • PM

    There’s something missing from these directions. Is the plastic bag used only for herbs stored in the refrigerator? Or do you need a plastic bag for all herbs?
    This is exactly what it says: “If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag”. There is no mention of a plastic bag for any of the herbs that follow, whether kept cool or on the counter. Please clarify. Thanks

  • Brita

    Great advice, thanks.
    A couple of years ago, I remembered my biology lessons – plants thrive on carbon dioxide. So nowadays, when I store any green leaves, I breathe into the plastic bag, and they stay fresh for even longer. However, be sure to wash them before using, especially when feeding other people!

  • Joedi

    @Mariana you really made me laugh today. Poor old basil could not be resuscitated. I’m going to try it and see though

  • Mariana

    Well… Sorry to say,but Harold McGee is WRONG.

    I left my basil like that one hour out of the fridge and when I came back, it was all black and dead. It started being green and fresh… so one hour out of the fridge and it died a terrible death, it was all disfigured and it took a while to recognize it….

    Parsley was the same, I did hurry to cover them loosely with a plastic bag and put them in the fridge, this morning, parsley had resuscitated, but poor basil was really done for.

View More or Leave a Comment/Review
how to store parsley and fresh herbsHow to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs