How to Freeze Parsley (& Other Herbs) to Have On Hand

how to freeze parsley

Follow 5 simple steps to learn how to freeze parsley (and other herbs).

Heard that you can freeze parsley, but don’t know how?

In this post, you’ll discover how easy it is to freeze portioned amounts of chopped parsley to have on hand for recipes, including our super-simple Parsley and Lemon Vinaigrette dressing!

Before we dive in, let’s see if it matters what type of parsley we use.

Flat Leaf vs Curly Parsley: What’s the Difference?

Interestingly enough, the two most common parsley types are relatives of the carrot family. Here’s how they compare in appearance and flavor: 

  • Italian flat-leaf parsley has broad, flat leaves and a bolder flavor
  • Curly leaf parsley has ruffled leaves with a milder flavor

Neither type of parsley stand up to excessive, prolonged heat, and is best added to dishes near the end of the cooking process to allow their flavor to remain detectable. 

Fresh curly leaf parsley is most often used as a garnish. It maintains its color and curly texture over long periods of time, lending itself well to enliven serving platters like charcuterie boards.

Taste-wise, both types of parsley have flavors that are so mild that most palates won’t be able to discern differences after cooking. 

More good news: Both types of fresh parsley can be chopped and stored in your freezer for future use.

The following instructions are specific to parsley, but you can use this method to freeze and store other herbs like basil, chives, lemon balm, mint, rosemary, or tarragon.  

Now, let’s get to work!

how to freeze parsley preparation
Image by Ayelet Stern from Pixabay

How to Freeze Parsley

1. Wash and dry the parsley stalks and leaves

Thoroughly wash your parsley stalks and leaves under cold running water, ensuring that you remove any dirt residue.

Sandwich the washed stalks between two absorbent towels and gently blot them to remove as much water from the leaves as possible. Optionally, remove excess moisture from the pieces with a salad spinner

2. Cut or pinch off leaves from the stems

Remove and reserve the leaves from the stems.

Tip: Parsley stems are tough and generally not eaten. However, they can be bundled with other fresh herbs in a bouquet garni to add flavor to a soup or stew. 

3. Chop the parsley leaves  

On a cutting board with a sharp knife, carefully chop the parsley leaves into small pieces, as desired. (Smells good, doesn’t it?)

Place the chopped leaves in a non-metal bowl. 

4. Add oil and distribute evenly in an ice cube tray

Add a small amount of olive oil to the chopped parsley leaves, just enough to make them stick together. Generally, the ratio should be around 1 Tbsp. olive oil to 1 cup of chopped parsley leaves.

With a spoon or small cookie scoop, distribute equal portions (about 2-3 Tbsp.) of the leaf mixture into ice cube tray sections. Press the mixture down into the sections to remove any air pockets.

Cover the trays with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer overnight.

Tip: Alternatively, fill and freeze herbs in flexible silicone trays with lids, which release frozen cubes easier than plastic trays. You can skip the last step, but don’t forget to label what’s stored in each tray.

5. Remove frozen parsley cubes from the tray and store

how to freeze parsley cubesPop the frozen parsley cubes out of the ice cube trays and store them in a freezer bag or container.

Chopped herbs look alike when they’re in frozen cube form. Be sure to label contents appropriately with a “use by” date of one year in the future.

How to Use Frozen Parsley Cubes

If you store parsley in pre-portioned cubes, it’s easy to pull one or two from the freezer and pop them into your soup or stew near the end of the cooking process. Parsley cubes melt quickly and conveniently add their flavor without the fuss!

If you want to add your stored chopped parsley to a fresh dish, microwave a cube or two in a small bowl for 30 seconds. Optionally drain the liquid from the defrosted herbs before adding it to a recipe.

how to freeze parsley lemon vinaigrette dressing
Image by Carina Hofmeister from Pixabay

Parsley & Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

[Download a Printable Recipe & Project Sheet]

This no-fuss Parsley & Lemon Vinaigrette is your go-to dressing for green salads, fruit salads, roasted asparagus, and grilled fish.

Yield: Makes dressing for 4 small salads.

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen parsley cube (or another herb cube), defrosted for 30 seconds in the microwave, drained (or 2-3 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley)
  • Freshly-squeezed juice from 1 whole fresh lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • salt & freshly-ground black pepper to taste (about ¼ tsp. each)

Directions:

1. Defrost a parsley cube (or another type of herb cube) in a small bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients with the defrosted parsley in the bowl. Whisk to blend.

You Now Know How to Freeze Parsley

Whether you have a leftover bundle of store-bought parsley or a bumper crop from your backyard, don’t waste it!  

Now that you know how to freeze parsley, rescue that herbal goodness for future meals.

A little effort now will pay off big time, saving time and frustration when you’re in the midst of prepping healthy meals for your on-the-go family.

So what are you waiting for?

Get chopping!

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