Parsley Shelf Life: How Long Does Parsley Last?

What is the average shelf life of parsley? How long does parsley last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store parsley to increase their shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Parsley

Ground2-3 Years--
Dried2-3 Years--
Fresh5-7 Days4-7 Days2-3 Years

Parsley is an annual herb. It originates from the Mediterranean region, but it can now be cultivated worldwide. It has bright green leaves, along with erect stems. The shelf life of parsley is influenced by its storage and interaction with the environment.  Ground parsley in the pantry can last up to two or three years, and the same is true for dried parsley. While fresh parsley stored in the pantry has a shelf life of five to seven days, if stored in the refrigerator, the shelf life increases to two or three years. Other factors, such as extensive exposure to heat and moisture can also have an effect on the shelf life. Therefore, if stored at room temperature and under suitable conditions, it can have a nice long shelf life.

Purchasing Parsley

Parsley is an important medicinal and culinary herb and bears significance due to its unique antioxidants. Parsley has properties that prevent and cure diseases. Parsley exists in several forms, including flat leaf and Italian parsley, which both containing more intense flavor than curly leaf parsley. Parsley is available in fresh and dried forms all year round in the markets. When purchasing parsley, one should attempt to get the fresh form rather than the dried, as it is supplied more richly by vital antioxidants and vitamins, and it also has a better flavor. The parsley should be free from molds, yellowing, or dark spots, and it should feature a firm stalk and vibrant, green-colored leaves. If purchasing dried parsley, organically grown parsley is preferable, as it is free from pesticides.

Storing Parsley

If stored in a container with a tightly-sealed glass and kept in the dark, cold, and dry area, dried parsley leaves can be kept well for a few months. When storing fresh parsley, a jar should be used that is filled with water enough to cover the stem; then, cover the parsley with a plastic bag or plastic wrap, and secure it with a rubber band around the rim of the glass or jar. Keep the jar or glass in the fridge, and change the water when it starts to discolor. Parsley stored this way can last up to two weeks or longer.

Handling Parsley

Safe handling of parsley is very important to avoid any foodborne illnesses. Parsley should be washed thoroughly with water to remove dirt and sand and to get rid of any pesticide residue. Old and bruised leaves, along with the thick part of stems and roots, should be trimmed off. A colander can be used to wash the parsley under running water; rubbing the parsley leaves between your hands also cleans off dirt and bacteria properly. There should be separate utensils for raw meat and for the chopping and cutting the parsley to avoid any pathogens from the meat being transferred to the parsley. Leftover parsley should be refrigerated for reusing.

Cooking with Parsley

Parsley is widely used as a garnishing herb. To preserve the aromatic flavor and fragrance, it is usually sprinkled on top of food after cooking. Since ancient times, it has been used in the preparation of many popular European and Mediterranean dishes. It is also used along with other herbs as a flavoring agent in the preparation of fish, vegetables, chicken, and other meat dishes. When making salads, chopped parsley can be a tasty addition. Dried and fresh parsley leaves can also be used in the making of dips, chutney, and pesto.