How to Store Fresh Parsley

Parsley is a popular herb that can be used in many different dishes. However, storing it can be a bit of a pain as it can dry out quickly and doesn’t last long unless stored correctly. This article has all the details on how to store fresh parsley properly so it stays good for weeks. 

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Fresh parsley stored in a jar of water.
How to store fresh parsley.

How to keep parsley fresh

Fresh parsley is a tasty herb that can be used to dress up many dishes as a garnish, or used to flavor many types of food.

Like many tender herbs, parsley is best used fresh from the garden. However, if you have some freshly picked parsley either from the grocery store or from pruning your parsley plant, you will want to learn the best way to store parsley to keep it fresh as long as possible. 

Note: whether you have curly parsley or the flat leaf parsley variety (Italian parsley), the best way of storing parsley is the same.

Scroll down for the step-by-step printable guide on how to store fresh parsley, or read on for all the details. 

How do you store fresh parsley?

Use the freshest parsley

Use the freshest parsley possible. Either pick it right before you are ready to store it, or choose the freshest bunch of parsley you can from the grocery store or farmers market. 

If harvesting your own, cut the parsley from the outside of the plant, and cut the sprigs off close to the ground.

>>For more details see this post: How to harvest parsley

Prepare parsley for storage

To prepare the parsley for storage, remove any wilted or dead leaves from your bunch of parsley. 

Then wash the cut parsley under fresh cold water to remove any surface dust or dirt, and spin dry in a salad spinner or gently pat dry on paper towels.

How to store fresh parsley in the fridge (2 ways)

Storing parsley in the fridge is the best way to keep it freshest for longest. The aim is to create a damp environment to slow the loss of water from the leaves, but without the leaves being wet and becoming slimy.

There are two basic approaches:

1. Stand in water

Trim the ends. then stand the cut stems in a glass or jar of cool water just like you would with fresh flowers. Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh. 

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.

Fresh parsley in a jar of water covered with a plastic bag.
Place fresh parsley in a glass or jar of water and cover with plastic wrap or a bag.
Fresh parsley in a jar in the door of a fridge.
Store parsley in the fridge to keep it fresh for the longest.

Alternatively, you can store the fresh parsley in large mason jars and cover with the lid, or get yourself a herb saver*, which is a purpose-made jar for keeping fresh herbs fresh. These are designed to fit in the fridge door of most standard sized refrigerators.

2. Store between damp paper towels

Store parsley leaves in the refrigerator between two damp paper towels either in an air tight container or a ziplock bag.

You want the 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 draw of your refrigerator.

Check the parsley every couple of days and replace the paper towels as needed. 

Storing parsley in a container.
Store parsley between damp paper towels in an air tight container.
Parsley stored in a fridge.
Store container in the fridge. Check it every couple of days and replace the paper towels as needed.

How long to store parsley in the refrigerator

Fresh parsley will keep for around 3 weeks if stored correctly in the refrigerator.

You will know it is time to throw it out when the parsley starts to turn dark or brittle, or if the stems start showing signs of sliminess or mold. 

Remove any leaves or stems that start to show these signs, rinse the rest of the bunch and replace the water or paper towels. This should help the remaining parsley to last longer.

How to store fresh chopped parsley

Chopped parsley can be stored in oil for a few days. Place the chopped parsley in a small container and cover with olive oil.

It also freezes well. Place the chopped parsley in an ice-cube tray, cover with olive oil and freeze. Then you can pop out a parsley cube as needed and add it to your recipe. This is a great way to store fresh parsley to flavor soups or sauces.

How to store fresh parsley long term

If you want to store fresh, parsley for longer than 3 weeks you have a few options. The best option to choose will depend on how you want to use the parsley.

If you want to store it for a longer time then try freezing the parsley (see above for how to freeze chopped parsley).   

Alternatively, parsley is a very easy herb to dry, check out my article on How to dry parsley for more.

Final thoughts

So there you have it. There are lots of different ways to store parsley to keep it fresh so that you can enjoy its flavor for as long as possible.

Now it’s over to you. How do you store parsley to keep it fresh? Do you have any other tips or ways to keep parsley fresh? Let me know in the comments below! 

How to store fresh parsley

Fresh parsley stored in a jar of water.

How to store fresh parsley to keep it good for weeks.

Materials

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley [Note 1]

Tools

  • A large jar or drinking glass and a lid or plastic bag OR
  • An air-tight container and paper towels

Instructions

First prepare the parsley

  1. Remove any wilted or dead leaves from your bunch of parsley.
  2. Wash the cut parsley under fresh cold water to remove any surface dust or dirt
  3. Spin dry using a salad spinner or gently pat dry on paper towels.

Method 1: Stand in water

  1. Trim the ends of the parsley (unless freshly harvested), then stand the cut stems in a glass or jar of cool water.
  2. Loosely cover the jar with a food-safe plastic bag or cling wrap to keep the leaves clean.
  3. Store the jar in the refrigerator [Note 2].
  4. Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh.

Method 2: Store in paper towels

  1. Line an air tight container (or ziplock bag) with damp paper towels.
  2. Place the parsley into the container and place another damp paper towel on top.
  3. Seal the container and store it in the crisper draw of your refrigerator.
  4. Check the parsley every couple of days and replace the paper towels as needed. 

Fresh parsley should keep for around 3 weeks if stored using one of these methods [Note 3].

Notes

  1. Use the freshest parsley possible. Either pick it right before you are ready to store it, or choose the freshest bunch of parsley you can from the grocery store or farmers market. 
  2. 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.
  3. You will know it is time to throw it out when the parsley starts to turn dark or brittle, or if the stems start showing signs of sliminess or mold. 

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