How to Store Fresh Herbs

Whether you grow your own herbs or pick them up from the market, you need to know how to make them last. Read on to learn how to store fresh herbs for the short term or long term and how much to use when cooking with fresh or dried herbs.

Short-term ways to save herbs

  • Bouquet method:
    • Trim stems
    • Fill a jar with water
    • Place cut herbs in water
    • Cover with plastic bag & secure with a rubber band
    • Store in refrigerator or on the kitchen counter
  • Towel method:
    • Wrap herbs in a damp paper towel
    • Place wrapped herbs in a zip-close bag
    • Store in refrigerator

Long-term way to save herbs

  • Ice cube method:
    • Mince fresh herbs
    • Place in an ice cube tray
    • Fill a tray with olive oil or boiling water 
    • Let cool, cover with plastic wrap,  freeze
    • Store herb ice cubes in zip-close bags up to 1 year

How to dry fresh herbs

  • Hang dry method:
    • Hang herbs upside down at room temperature for 2-3 weeks
    • When dry, strip leaves from the stem by running fingers against the direction of growth
  • Oven dry method:
    • Strip leaves from stems
    • Heat oven on the lowest setting (high heat will diminish flavor)
    • Evenly spread leaves on baking sheet
    • Place sheet in the oven with door slightly cracked to release moisture
    • Turn leaves every 30 minutes
    • Leave in oven until cool
  • Store up to 12 months:
    • Crumble dried herbs
    • Air-tight container or zip-close bag
    • Store in a cool, dark place, out of direct sunlight

Fresh vs. Dried Herbs 

A good rule of thumb for cooking substituting dried for fresh herbs is one tablespoon of fresh is equivalent to one teaspoon of dried. Refer to the table below to see more specific recommendations for each herb.

Basil2 tsp minced1 tsp dried
Cilantro1 Tbsp minced1 tsp dried
Cinnamon1 stick½ tsp ground
Dill1 Tbsp minced1 tsp dried
Garlic1 large clove       (1.5 tsp minced)½ tsp powder
Ginger1 Tbsp fresh grated½ tsp ground
Onion1 medium onion1 tsp powder
Oregano1 Tbsp minced1 tsp dried
Parsley2 tsp minced1 tsp dried
Rosemary1 Tbsp minced1 tsp dried
Sage2 tsp minced1 tsp dried
Tarragon1 Tbsp minced1 tsp dried
Thyme1 Tbsp minced1 tsp dried¾ tsp ground

To learn more about cooking with herbs, click here. Have you tried a new herb in your cooking recently? Tell us about it in the comments! 


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