Parsley is a wonderful addition to just about every delicious meal we could think of, and you can keep it around for longer if you store it as you would store cut flowers: by plopping it down in a glass of water and leaving it in the fridge.
Much like asparagus, parsley keeps best if you treat it like a flower. It is, after all, an herb that you’d ideally trim right before using. Naturally, ready access to parsley might not always be available. You may want to extend its shelf-life, and we are going to teach you how to do just that.
While the water cup trick will do the job well enough, there are a few more things we need to mention. The water cup won’t be your only option for storing parsley, though it usually is the best way to go about it.
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How to Store Parsley Properly?
The water cup trick is a thing we’ve discussed before, in our previous guides, and the method doesn’t really change at all when you’re dealing with parsley. When you’re ready to refrigerate your leftover parsley, just trim the ends a bit and set the whole bundle down in a cup with about an inch or two of water in it.
This method will basically hydrate the herb over a longer period of time, while your refrigerator will keep the whole thing cool enough for your parsley not to expire too soon.
An extra tweak we find useful is to cover both parsley and the cup with a Ziploc bag (like this) to keep the moisture in. Just put it over the top of your parsley and leave it open at the bottom, it’ll help with longevity even further.
- 52 gallon storage bags with smart zip plus seal, bags measure: 10-9/16 inch x 10-3/4 inch
- 50 quart storage bags with smart zip plus seal, bags measure: 7 inch x 7-11/16 inch
- 125 sandwich bags with smart zip seal, bags measure: 6-1/2inch x 5-7/8 inch
If you’d like another useful option for parsley safe-keeping, you could also try wrapping your herbs in a damp kitchen towel and putting that in your fridge. This can help by extending parsley’s shelf-life by a few extra days, though the water cup trick is far more useful. At least, in our experience.
Can I Freeze Parsley for Long-term Storage?
Something that might not have crossed your mind, though, is that you can freeze parsley for longer safe-keeping, too! It’s definitely an option, but there are a few caveats you need to keep in mind.
First is that – if you freeze parsley – you won’t be able to use it as a garnish anymore. Inevitably, parsley will lose its spryness and crispness once frozen, though it’s still going to add loads of flavor to your soup, roast, sauce, or whatever else you might want to add it to.
Secondly, preparing parsley for freezing requires a bit more work than regular refrigeration does. Let us explain!
Parsley cigar: prepare parsley for freezing!
Wash your parsley thoroughly. You need to remove all the dirt and grit that might still be stuck to your herbs. Once you’re 100% positive that it’s thoroughly washed, get as much moisture out of your parsley as possible.
In our experience, simply spreading the herbs out on a clean kitchen towel and then dabbing them dry with paper towels will probably get you the best possible results. This is important because otherwise, your parsley may suffer chilling injuries (i.e. freezer burn) down the line.
Once your herbs are clean and as dry as you can get them to be, bundle them back together and place them at the very bottom of a freezer bag (here’s a good one). Get as much air as you can out of the bag, and then roll it up into as tight of a cigar shape as possible.
- Includes 90 freezer gallon bags
- Each food storage bag holds 1 gallon
- Reclosable top has a double zipper closure
Throw your newfangled parsley cigar into the freezer for safe-keeping for months at a time! When you need to use it, just pull it out and use scissors to cut as much parsley as you want or need.
How Long Can Parsley Stay Fresh in Storage?
By using the damp towel method, you’ll get just 3-5 days of extra time before your parsley starts to go bad. Put your stalks of parsley in a cup of water instead, and you’ll be able to keep it safe and sound for up to two weeks at a time.
If, instead, you opt for the cigar method, you can extend parsley’s shelf-life for up to six months! Of course, we did mention the downsides to this method, so you’ll need to decide if this sort of storage option is even useful for your specific use case.
How Would I Know if My Parsley Has Already Gone Bad?
Depending on the extent of exposure to specific elements, parsley can spoil in a variety of ways. None of them are any fun, we assure you. For example, too much moisture will turn the leaves slimy, while too little moisture may dry them out.
An excess of light exposure will turn your parsley yellow, while an excess of oxygen (and/or the development of chilling injuries) may cause it to turn brown.
Ideally, you shouldn’t use parsley that’s been affected in any of these manners, though it’s worth pointing out that you’re unlikely to get sick from it.
Parsley Storage Mistakes: Avoid Them!
As far as we can tell, moisture is usually the biggest problem when attempting to store parsley for days or weeks at a time. If you fail to thoroughly rid your parsley of water and moisture, it’s going to go bad rather quickly.
Other than this, long as you stick with our advice, you’re highly unlikely to do something wrong with parsley storage!
Store Parsley Correctly to Keep it Fresh
Parsley is one of our favorite herbs. It’s extremely versatile, adds that lovely oomph to any meal you throw it into, from soups to salads, and it’s easy to keep for reasonably long stretches of time.
Of course, if you’d like to take things a step even further than anything we’ve covered in this guide, you may want to consider getting a batch of potted parsley to grow in your home! Yes, this is an option, and it’s a surefire way to always have a little something to spice things up.