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How to Chop & Store Parsley (So It Stays Fresh All Week!)

5 from 3 votes

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Learn how to chop parsley and keep it fresh for days with this detailed tutorial. Use your cleaned and prepped parsley in all your favorite recipes, and it will be ready when you are!

A dish of sliced parsley on a surface, surrounded by parsley sprigs and a knife.

If there’s one thing I love to teach people who want to learn how to cook, it’s how to master basic, everyday skills. Chopping parsley is one of those tasks. And the great news is that it’s possible to clean and prep parsley so it’s ready for you to use at any moment!

You can use chopped parsley every single day, and not just as a decoration. Mix it into a gremolata as a tasty garnish for soups, blend it into a spicy green sauce, fresh herb butter, or puree it into a pesto sauce for pasta. Parsley adds a fresh, clean-tasting lift to just about any dish.

Types of parsley

Parsley is a leafy herb and a member of the Umbelliferae (or Apiaceae) family. It’s related to other familiar herbs such as cilantro, chervil, dill and lovage as well as vegetables like carrots, parsnips and celery.

There are two main varieties of parsley, and they can be used interchangeably in any recipe.

  • Flat leaf: (Petroselinum neapolitanum) Also called Italian parsley, this variety has dark green leaves with toothed edges. It has a full, fresh grassy flavor and aroma.
  • Curly: (Petroselinum crispum) With frilled, curly leaves, this type of parsley is often used as a pretty garnish. It has a slightly less pronounced flavor then flat-leaf parsley.

How to clean parsley

There’s one really important element for chopping parsley like a pro: You need to make sure the parsley is dry. Using a knife on wet — or even damp — parsley turns it into a messy paste, bruising the the leaves rather than sharply cutting them.

  • Tip: Save the thicker parsley stems to throw into stocks, soups, homemade juices or smoothies. They taste great and are packed with beneficial vitamins!

How to chop parsley

  • Chopping parsley by hand is a rewarding task that gets easier the more you do it.
  • Be sure to use a large knife with a very sharp blade. A dull blade will smash the parsley.
  • I don’t recommend using a food processor to chop small amounts of parsley. However, if you need a large quantity of parsley or plan to incorporate it into a pesto or other sauce it will do the job quickly, but make sure it’s dry.

Storing parsley and keeping it fresh

  • Washed and dried parsley leaves will keep for a week, refrigerated. Store it wrapped in damp, rolled towels placed in a zippered plastic bag. Or stand the whole bunch (with the stems trimmed) in a cup or jar with some water in the bottom.
  • Chopped parsley will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator, covered.
  • Dried parsley: Leave chopped parsley on a plate or shallow bowl at room temperature for a day or two. It will darken slightly in color and and become dry to the touch.
  • Freezing: Chopped parsley can be frozen in a small, airtight container up to one month. It will lose its fresh green color, but can still be used in cooked dishes.
Fresh chopped parsley in a small dish.

Fresh, washed parsley can be stored in a container with a little water for a day or two. Pick off what you need for your dish. It makes a pretty bouquet!

A bouquet of fresh parsley in a jar.
Flat leaf parsley soaking in a bowl of water.

How to Chop and Store Parsley (So it Stays Fresh All Week!)

Karen Tedesco
Learn how to properly clean, chop, and keep parsley fresh all week long with this detailed tutorial. Use prepped parsley in your favorite recipes!
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Vegetables
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, Italian flat leaf or curly

Instructions 

Yield: About ¾ cup chopped parsley

  • Trim off the bottom third of the stems. Separate the parsley into a loose bunch. Pick through and discard any wilted, damaged or yellow stems and leaves.
  • Put the leaves and tender stems in a large bowl of cold water. Swish the parsley around for a few seconds, then let sit 5 minutes to allow the dirt to settle to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Lift the parsley out of the bowl, leaving the debris behind. Place in a salad spinner and spin dry.
  • At this point, you can gather the the bunch of parsley into a bouquet, and put it in a cup of water. Keep it in the fridge or on the counter, picking what you need as you cook. Or you can put the washed parsley on a double layer of paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel). Pat the leaves gently, then roll the towel up with the parsley inside. Stick the rolled towel in a zippered plastic bag and refrigerate.
  • To chop the parsley. Set a damp paper towel under your cutting board to keep it from sliding around. Pile the parsley into a compact heap. Chop

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Washed and dried parsley leaves will keep for a week, refrigerated. Store it wrapped in damp, rolled towels placed in a zippered plastic bag. Or stand the whole bunch (with the stems trimmed) in a cup or jar with some water in the bottom.
  • Chopped parsley will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator, covered.
  • Dried parsley: Leave chopped parsley on a plate or shallow bowl at room temperature for a day or two. It will darken slightly in color and slightly dehydrate in texture.
  • Freezing: Chopped parsley can be frozen in a small, airtight container up to one month. It will lose its fresh green color, but can still be used in cooked dishes.

Nutrition

Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 4802IU | Vitamin C: 76mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 4mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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