While parsley is one of the best herbs for cooking thanks to its vibrant green color, mouth-watering smell, and unique taste, it’s also one of the most difficult herbs to store.
Parsley can get yellow and limp quite quickly, especially if it’s not stored properly.
In fact, let me guess…
You tossed parsley into the refrigerator, hoping for the best, only for it to start going yellow after a few hours? I’ve been there, and that’s what inspired me to test different methods of storing parsley to find which ones really work.
So, without further ado, let’s talk all things parsley. Here’s what you need to know:
Prepping the Parsley
As you can probably guess, you can’t just throw parsley in the refrigerator and call it a day. That might work to keep it fresh for a few hours, but it won’t survive much more than that.
So, before discovering the different methods of storing parsley, you need to make sure your herbs are ready to be stored.
First of all, you need to wash it. Place parsley under cold running water and rinse it thoroughly.
After that, remove any loose or limp leaves or pieces as it’s important to only store FRESH parsley.
Pat it dry with a paper towel to remove excess water. Do this gently as damaged parsley goes bad faster.
Methods of Storing Parsley
There are a lot of different ways to store parsley, but they won’t all lead to the same results.
Your parsley can stay fresh for hours, days, or even weeks; it all depends on which method you use. Let’s talk about a few of them.
The Traditional Method
This is the method we all know. It may not be the most effective because it’ll only stay fresh for up to a couple of days, but it’s the easiest method.
Not everyone needs to store their parsley for weeks, sometimes two days is more than enough, and this method will provide you with just that.
It’s quite simple! Just wrap your herbs in paper towels and place that bouquet in a resealable bag. After that, just seal it up and leave it in the refrigerator, and you’re all done.
Store Parsley Longer in a Refrigerator
If you want your parsley to stay fresh for over a week, all you need is a jar and a plastic bag.
Start by trimming off the end of the stems, which helps your parsley absorb more water. After that, place it in a mason jar (or a similar glass container) filled about halfway with water. Make sure the leaves aren’t submerged or even touching the water; the stems should be the only part of the parsley in the water.
Next, place a plastic bag over the parsley quite loosely; we want decent airflow in there!
Place the jar with the parsley in the refrigerator, and you’re good to go for up to 2 weeks.
However, I recommend keeping an eye on it and changing the water every few days or whenever the water gets brown. Also, make sure to trim the ends of the stems every few days so the parsley can absorb enough water to stay fresh.
Freezing parsley is the long-term way to keep parsley fresh. However, to be honest, frozen parsley doesn’t look as good as fresh.
The herb will loses its vibrant green color, so I wouldn’t recommend using frozen parsley for garnish.
Before freezing your parsley, make sure it’s completely dry because lingering moisture will turn into ice and may cause freezer burn.
Take clean, dry parsley and start chopping or throw the pieces into a food processor. Keep chopping until you’re left with very fine pieces that are almost like a paste.
After that, add two tablespoons of olive oil to your paste and mix it well. The olive oil will help the parsley maintain its unique taste for longer periods.
Now, there are different ways of approaching the next step:
The simpler approach is to move your parsley paste to a freezer bag and roll it to get rid of air. You can also use a resealable bag, but make sure there’s little to no air with your parsley.
While this approach is easier at first, it can be quite difficult to deal with later on.
If you’re cooking and want some parsley, you’ll have to take the whole thing out of the freezer and break off the amount of parsley you need, then place the bag back into the freezer.
On the other hand, you can use ice trays.
Just place the parsley paste into ice trays, which forms individual serving sizes, making it much more convenient to take out later on.
Wait a day or two until the parsley paste is completely solid, then move the cubes to a freezer bag, and you’re good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you’ve taken a look at all the different methods of storing parsley, you should be able to pick whichever method best fits your needs.
But here are a few common questions and issues that come up.
How do you store parsley long term?
The freezer method works well, but for really long-term storage, I would dry parsley in a dehydrator or oven. The flavor is much more potent with you preserve it yourself at home verses buying dried parsley in the store!
How long can you keep fresh chopped parsley?
Once you chop any fresh herb, it won’t last as long because a larger surface area is exposed to air. I recommend not chopping parsley until you’re ready to use. Once chopped, it will last about 5 days in the fridge.
What is the best way to preserve fresh parsley?
If you’re only looking to store parsley for a few days, it’s best to simply place the parsley in a resealable bag and toss it in the fridge.
However, if you want your parsley to last for up to 2 weeks, cut off the ends of the stems, place the parsley in water, and loosely cover it with a plastic bag. While this method requires some maintenance, like changing the water and recutting the stems every few days, it’s the optimal method for most people.
Lastly, if you want parsley to last for months, freeze it. But ultimately, dried herbs last the longest – up to 5 years if stored correctly in an airtight jar.
I’m a foodie that’s slightly obsessed with drying fruits, veggies, beans, and more – especially from my own garden! It started as a hobby but became a “must” when my family fell on hard times, and my dried food stash sustained us. Now I’m always experimenting with different techniques and recipes and sharing them here!