How to Clean, Chop, and Store Parsley

Learn the trick to chopped parsley perfection.

Parsley once was relegated to garnish status, with a sprig on every plate. Now we know that parsley is good for adding freshness to plenty of dishes, from pasta and stews to summer salads: The key is knowing how to chop parsley. Luckily for home chefs everywhere, cutting parsley at home is a little easier than learning how to cut an avocado or how to cut a mango.

Adding fresh chopped parsley to almost any dish gives food a bright, flavorful boost that the dried version can't provide. One bunch of parsley from the grocery store can often last a while, so you'll want to clean and store parsley properly. Follow the easy steps in this video to learn how to cut parsley like a pro and store whatever you don't use for maximum freshness.

small wooden cutting board with parsley bunches and a knife laying on it, sitting on top of a striped kitchen towel, and surrounded by small bows of chopped parsley
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What You Need

How to Prep Parsley for Cooking

Step 1: Clean and Dry Parsley

You can rinse off the parsley in cold running water, but the best way to clean parsley is the "dunk and swish" method. Dip the parsley bunch leaf side down into a bowl of cold water, swish it around to allow the sand and dirt to fall to the bottom of the bowl, then shake out the excess water. Use a paper towel to pat the parsley dry.

Tip: If the water in the bowl becomes very dirty, empty the bowl and clean the parsley again with fresh water until the water runs clear.

Step 2: Keep Parsley Bundled

Keeping the parsley bunch tied together with a rubber band or twist tie makes it easier to store and cut the parsley properly.

Step 3: Slice Parsley Leaves Off Stems

Hold the parsley by the stems, angled down onto your cutting board. Run a sharp chef's knife along the length of the stems toward your cutting board to shear off the parsley leaves. Only cut as much as you need for the recipe.

Step 4: Pick Out Any Remaining Stems

Remove any larger parsley stems that made it into your cuttings.

Step 5: Chop Parsley

Gently gather the leaves together to avoid bruising the parsley. Then go through and slice the parsley for your initial rough chop. If you need your parsley more finely chopped, use a rocking motion to slice the parsley at a 90-degree angle from your initial cuts, running the knife through the leaves two to three times.

Step 6: Store Parsley

To help preserve the parsley, wrap it in the damp paper towel you used to dry it off, then seal it in a plastic bag and store it in your refrigerator. We've found that this is the best way to store fresh parsley. Using this storage method will help ensure the parsley stays fresh for up to five days in your fridge.

Using Parsley in Food

Parsley—that brilliant green herb—can be used in a variety of ways when cooking:

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