Skip to content

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.

More on Cooking Tips

  • cookbooks

    5 Amazing Cookbooks Written by Black Authors

    Add these to your bookshelf now!
  • dry ages barbecue porterhouse steak on cutting block

    25 Tips to Grill the Best Steak of Your Life

    It's grilling season—treat your steak right!
  • New York strip

    15 Mistakes You're Making When Cooking Meat

    You don't need a grill to make delicious steak.
  • breakfast spread

    50 Breakfast Mistakes to Avoid

    Stop cooking bacon on the stovetop!
  • scrambled eggs pan

    You've Been Scrambling Eggs Wrong All This Time

    You must whip it. Whip it good.

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.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

She Lost 100 Pounds—And Shows You How!

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein lost her weight and kept it off—and in You Can Drop It!, she'll show you how to lose it, too. More than 240,000 clients have chosen her program—and now it’s yours to keep.

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