If you’ve just harvested a bunch of chives or have a large bunch from the grocery store that you can’t get through in one go. Don’t stress! Storing fresh chives is easy! In this blog post, we’ll show you how to store chives to keep them good for weeks.
How to store fresh chives
Fresh chives are a staple in every kitchen. They add an amazing fresh flavor to so many different dishes.
But if you don’t store your chives correctly, they won’t last very long. They will start to wilt and to lose their distinctive flavor.
This article will teach you how to store fresh chives to keep them good for weeks, so you can enjoy them for longer.
Scroll down for the step-by-step printable guide on how to store chives, or read on for all the details.
How do you store fresh chives
Note: whether you have regular chives or garlic chives, the best way to store them is the same.
Use the freshest chives
To keep chives good for as long as possible, always start by using the freshest chives possible. Either use chives cut fresh from the garden, or choose the freshest bunch of chives you can from the grocery store or farmers market.
If harvesting your own, cut the chives off right above ground level, starting from the outside of the clump.
Prepare chives for storage
To prepare the chives to be stored, remove any wilted or dead chives from your bunch. Then wash the chives under fresh cold water to remove any surface dust or dirt, and gently pat dry on paper towels.
How to store fresh chives in the fridge (2 ways)
Storing chives in the fridge is the best way to keep it freshest for longest. The aim is to slow the loss of water from the leaves, by creating a cool damp environment.
There are two basic approaches:
1. Stand chives in water
Trim the ends of the chives (unless you have just cut them), then stand them in a glass or jar of cool water just like you would with fresh flowers. Loosely cover the jar with a food-safe plastic bag or cling wrap to keep the leaves clean.
You can keep the jar on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator. If storing it on the kitchen counter, the flavor will gradually be lost as the natural oils in the leaves are lost to the air. Storing it in the fridge will preserve the flavor for longer (so choose this option if you have the space.
If you are using large mason jars to store the fresh chives you can just cover them with the lid. Alternatively, you can get yourself a herb saver*, which is a purpose-made jar for keeping herbs fresh. These are designed to fit in the fridge door of most standard sized refrigerators.
Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh.
2. Store between damp paper towels
Another approach is to store chives in the refrigerator between two damp paper towels. Either in an air tight container or a ziplock bag.
You want to paper towels to be damp rather than fully saturated. I like to spray the paper towels with water rather than sticking them under the tap as it is easier to control the amount of water you apply.
Store the container in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Check the chives every couple of days and replace the paper towels as needed.
How long to store chives in the refrigerator
Fresh chives will keep for around 3 weeks if stored correctly in the refrigerator.
You will know it is time to throw it out when the chives start to turn dark or brittle, or if they start showing signs of sliminess or mold.
Remove any chives that start to show these signs, rinse the rest of the bunch, and replace the water or paper towels. This should help the remaining chives to last longer.
How to store chives long-term
If you want to store chives for longer than 3 weeks you have a few options.
One easy way to store fresh chives is to finely chop them, place them in an ice-cube tray, cover with olive oil and freeze them. Then you can pop out a chive cube as needed and add it to your recipe.
Alternatively, chives are a very easy herb to dry. Check out my article on How to dry chives for more.
- 1 bunch fresh chives [Note 1]
- A large jar or drinking glass and a lid or plastic bag OR
- An air-tight container and paper towels
First prepare the chives
- Remove any wilted or damaged chives from your bunch.
- Wash the chives under fresh cold water to remove any surface dust or dirt, and gently pat dry on paper towels.
Method 1: Stand in water
- Trim the ends of the chives (unless freshly harvested), then stand them in a glass or jar with an inch of cool fresh water in it.
- Loosely cover the jar with a food-safe plastic bag or cling wrap to keep the chives clean.
- Store the jar in the refrigerator [Note 2].
- Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh.
Method 2: Store in paper towels
- Line an air-tight container (or ziplock bag) with damp paper towels.
- Place the chives into the container and place another damp paper towel on top.
- Seal the container and store it in the crisper draw of your refrigerator.
- Check the chives every couple of days and replace the paper towels as needed.
Fresh chives should keep for around 3 weeks if stored using one of these methods [Note 3].
- Use the freshest chives possible. Either cut them right before you are ready to store them, or choose the freshest bunch of chives you can from the grocery store or farmers market.
- You can keep the jar on the kitchen counter, however the chives will last longer if you keep it in the refrigerator.
- You will know it is time to throw it out when the chives start to turn dark or brittle, or if they start showing signs of sliminess or mold.