How To: Store and Freeze Fresh Herbs

When it comes to gardening, I’ve shared before that I have a bit of a black thumb, but ironically, I can care for a bunch of fresh herbs once they’ve been uprooted from their soil.

Keeping fresh herbs fresh can be tricky, but if stored and cared for properly, they can last from several days to a week and a half, depending on the herb.

Here are some of my most favorite tips and tricks for keeping your herbs healthy, happy and ready for your next delicious dish:

How To Store…

Tender Herbs: Basil • Chervil • Chives • Cilantro • Dill • Mint • Parsley • Tarragon

• Treat these herbs like you would a bouquet of flowers. Snip off the bottom stems and place in a small glass filled with about 3 inches of water. Store in a cool corner away from direct sunlight. Change the water daily.

• You can also wrap these herbs loosely in a damp paper towel or plastic bag and place in the refrigerator. With both methods, the herbs will stay fresh for several days.

• Do not rinse these herbs ahead of time. Cut off the portion that you need, rinse and pat dry just before using them. If using a large bunch of herbs, submerge them in a large bowl of cold water and gently move around to release dirt. Then lift them out of the water and pat dry between paper towels.

• Herbs like chives, chervil, tarragon or basil should be handled as little as possible, and delicately.

Robust Herbs: Bay Leaf • Marjoram • Oregano • Rosemary • Sage • Savory • Thyme

• These herbs can be stored in paper or loose plastic (either keep it loose or puncture some air holes to let out moisture). They can also, like tender herbs, be kept in a glass filled with a small amount of water, topped with a perforated plastic bag and set in the refrigerator for several days.

• You can also simply hang these herbs upside down in your kitchen, where they will dry slowly.

How To Freeze…

If you need to store fresh herbs for a long period of time, consider freezing them. Stored properly, frozen herbs can last up to one year.

Here are a few methods:

• Pack the herb leaves into the bottom of a quart-sized resealable bag, making a 1-to-2 inch layer. Then tightly roll the bag, secure with rubber bands, and freeze. Use slices from the roll as needed.

• Store in sealed canning jars.

• Remove the herbs’ stems, rinse, pat dry and blend them with just enough water to make a paste-like liquid. Pour into an ice-cube tray and freeze. You can keep the herb cubes in freezer bags and later drop them into soups and stews as needed.

Join the Conversation

  1. Great tips! I love to cook with fresh herbs all year round and this will help!

  2. Thanks for all the great info about saving my herbs! I appreciate this very much.

  3. This is wonderful…

  4. Thanks for the tips! I hate buying huge bunches of herbs to only use a bit and have the rest quickly wilt and die. I will try freezing the extra.

  5. Thank you. Thank you. And a million times thank you!!! I’m always buying fresh herbs only to watch them die. I will place this post on my toolbar for a future, frequent reference.

  6. lunchboxbunch says:

    I love this tip! And you amazing photos! I really hope you will submit it to ~Kathy

  7. Jenn's Food Journey says:

    Great tips…thanks for sharing, Georgia!

  8. Oh Monet, I can’t wait to have an herb garden one day! It sure will be much easier to tend to them outside than the way they line my kitchen sink now! Thanks for visiting :)

  9. Feel free to link to this post, Jane. Thanks for visiting!

  10. Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen says:

    I would like to put this link on my blog Sweet Basil Kitchen. I refer to herbs a lot.

  11. Great tips!

  12. 5 stars
    So this is helpful…and will be more so when Ryan and I finally get around to planing our own herb garden. I had no idea you could freeze herbs! There have been so many times when I’ve had to throw fresh herbs out, but now they will never go to waste again!

  13. Freezing herbs is the next best thing to fresh and the vacuum sealer is great for extended storage

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