How Long Does Fresh Parsley Last?

by Dana Severson

We've all heard those TV chefs touting the virtues of cooking with fresh herbs, yet most of us don't really seem to heed their advice. There is definitely something to be gained when opting for the greener variety, but many people will object that fresh herbs don't last. Here's a look at how long fresh parsley can last.

Function

It really all depends on how you choose to store the fresh parsley. When placed directly in the fridge, you'll most like find it wilting after only a few days. Yes, it can still be used to a certain degree, but the flavor will sort of fritter away as the days pass.

Considerations

To keep parsley fresh for a long time, start by snipping off the ends of the stems at a diagonal, much like you would with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Dry off any water that may be present on the actual leaves of the herb and set aside. Now fill a small mason jar about halfway full of water. You'll be using it as your "refrigerator vase," as some grandmothers like to call it. Place the parsley in the jar, making sure that each end of the stem is submerged. Cover with a small plastic bag large enough not to crush the leaves. When placing the plastic bag over the parsley, make sure there is a way in which air may reach the leaves. Every few days, change the water, and you'll be able to keep these fresh herbs up to 2 weeks.

Misconceptions

You may be surprised to learn that you really don't have to keep a fresh herb like parsley in the fridge. It can be stored on your kitchen counter--just don't cover it with a plastic bag. Not only do you have fresh parsley handy, but you now have an herbal bouquet as well.

Benefits

We've already mentioned that one of the advantages to cooking with fresh parsley is its far better taste, but there are actual health benefits to using this herb. Fresh parsley can in fact act as an antioxidant as well as a great source of vitamins A and C.

Expert Insight

Many people may not know that is really best to wash an herb like parsley as you need it. Instead of washing the whole clump, only wash as much as you will be using in the meal. This will make parsley last a bit longer.

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.