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

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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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the Founder and President of Simply Recipes. A blogging pioneer, 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. In 2012 Elise was named "one of America's 50 Most Powerful People in Food" by The Daily Meal. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University. She lives in Carmichael, California.

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88 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Ann

    It’s great. Sometimes when I buy cilantro and put in the refrigerator the next it wilt. After reading your instructions, I will try this method. Thank you , Ann

  • Susan

    My parsley and cilantro are going strong, almost two weeks now! Thank you!!

  • 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!

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