How to Store Fresh Herbs the Right Way

Wondering how to make your parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme stay fresh longer? Follow these easy tricks.

A bright bunch of fragrant herbs is so exciting to bring home. You know you’re in for some serious flavor, whether they’re sprinkled over potatoes, paired with citrus on roast turkey breast, or stirred into dip. While we all have the best of intentions of using every last bit of these fresh herbs, sometimes we falter. Learn how to keep these garden-picked herbs fresher for longer.

How to Store Herbs the Right Way

There are a few ways you can store herbs to ensure maximum freshness.

Storing Herbs in the Fridge

After washing and trimming your herbs, place them in a glass of water, cover the top with a plastic bag and cinch it at the bottom. You can pop this in the fridge and keep for a week or more.

You can also lay a few sprigs of herbs between sheets of dry paper towel. Seal this in a plastic bag and store in the fridge. The paper towel will absorb any excess moisture.

If you want to skip the plastic bags, opt for a reusable herb keeper like this one. It works similarly to the glass and plastic bag method. Just fill the very bottom with water and replenish as needed. It will keep your herbs fresh for twice as long.

Storing Fresh Herbs on the Counter

You can also store your fresh herbs right on the countertop, much the same as you’d keep fresh flowers. Trim the stems and remove the leaves at the bottom before popping in a glass of water. You can top with a plastic bag to maintin more mosture. Be sure to keep this out of direct sunlight.

Test Kitchen tip: Store fresh basil this way. It doesn’t keep as well in the cold.

Don’t Forget About Them

Check your fresh herbs each day and remove leaves that have yellowed or are darkening. Change the water in the glass daily for herbs stored at room temperature, and every other day for herbs stored in the refrigerator. Hardy herbs like parsley, rosemary, and thyme can last up to two weeks stored in the fridge, and more delicate herbs like cilantro, dill and mint will last about one week. On the counter, they’ll be good for seven to 10 days.

Most importantly, enjoy them! Make a batch of savory rosemary-cheddar muffins, pluck some fresh parsley in Mom’s Swedish meatballs, or use stems from herbs to add flavor to soups like dilled potato-leek soup. Fix yourself an iced melon Moroccan mint tea, then kick back and think about what you’ll make next.

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Nancy Mock
Nancy Mock is a food writer and recipe developer from Vermont. In addition to writing for Taste of Home, she appears regularly on local Fox TV news. When not cooking, she loves game nights and superhero movies with her family! Find Nancy's recipes and travel writing on her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.