The Single Best Way To Store Fresh Herbs

Wondering how to preserve leftover parsley, cilantro, and rosemary? We've got the best technique.

Unless you're growing your own herb garden, you're buying bunches of fresh herbs every time you're cooking. And that can get expensive and wasteful quickly, especially if you only end up using half of your bunch for the recipe at hand. The rest of your herbs inevitably end up rotting in the back of your fridge. Maybe you've tried your best to keep them fresh, but you aren't sure how exactly to preserve them. Is there a difference in preserving different types of common culinary herbs? Read on to find out the best way to store culinary herbs, no matter what type.

Storing soft herbs

This technique works for parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, and tarragon.

1. Wash and dry the herbs

Rinse the bunch under cold water and dry in a single layer on a paper towel. Gently dab with another paper towel until dry.

2. Trim the ends

trimming-parsely-ends
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Trim the ends of stems just enough to get rid of any unevenness, so your bunch fits into your jar or glass comfortably.

3. Place them in water

storing mint and parsley
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

You can use tepid water and a mason jar, a glass, or any type of plastic container. Make sure the ends of stems are immersed in water.

4. Cover with plastic

covering herbs with ziplock bag
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

A zippered plastic bag works really well here because you can seal it around the jar.

5. Store in the fridge

The herbs will be useable for up to 2 or 3 weeks. When they start changing color or smelling funky, it's time to toss them out.

A note on storing basil: Basil is its own story. Follow steps 1 to 3, but don't place it in the fridge covered with a zippered plastic bag. Instead, leave it uncovered and place in a sunny spot, like your windowsill.

Storing hard herbs

This technique works for thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and chives.

1. Wash and dry the herbs

Rinse the bunch under cold water and dry in a single layer on a paper towel. Gently dab with another paper towel until dry.

2. Roll them up

rolling rosemary in paper towels

Place the bunch on a dry paper towel in a single layer and loosely roll the stems up into a bundle.

3. Seal in a bag

rosemary in ziplock bag
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Place the bundle in a zippered plastic bag and seal.

4. Store in the fridge

The herbs will be useable for up to 2 or 3 weeks. When they start changing color or smelling funky, it's time to toss them out.

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Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more
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