Learn how to store fresh basil in three simple steps for it to last up to three weeks in your kitchen.

How to Store Fresh Basil

As one of the most commonly used herbs for cooking, basil not only can bring your food a delightful smell with a fresh taste, but also can add loads of nutrients to your meal, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, iron, and calcium. In addition, when it comes to food garnishing, fresh basil leaves can certainly enlighten your food.

However, if you buy some fresh basil for making a specific dish, you are probably not going to finish all of it at once. Fresh basil doesn’t last very long. Even if you keep them in the fridge, you will still find the shape of the leaves goes wither and the color turns black in about 3-4 days. I learned my lesson!

So I was looking for a way to prevent it from happening again…

There are probably more methods to store fresh basil. Freezing it seems to be a pretty efficient way (I haven’t tried this way yet as I would like to use basil frequently for my cooking), but I found storing it in the water to be the simplest method and I was very happy with the result.

According to my grocery shopping record, this bunch of fresh basil in the photos was purchased on August 9. (I have a little habit of keeping track of certain things. Grocery shopping happens to be one of them.:P) The left photo was taken about one week after I bought it. The right photo was taken about two weeks after the purchase day. (I did want to show you the result, so I checked the dates on my camera.) See? It still looks fresh and healthy!

How To Store Fresh Basil In Your Kitchen For 3 Weeks

Here’s what I did to keep this big bunch of fresh basil on my kitchen counter for 3 weeks.

  1. Find a reasonably tall container, such as a jar or a small vase if you happen to have it in hand. Apparently, a paper cup could do the trick too (see photos).:P Add some water in.
  2. Gently stick the basil into the water. Arrange it as if you arrange a bunch of flowers. Make sure the stems are covered by the water but not the leaves. Tear off some leaves near the end if necessary. (Just use the torn-off leaves for your upcoming meal – no wasting.)
  3. Loosely cover the leaves with a big plastic bag from the top to keep moisture in.
How To Store Fresh Basil In Your Kitchen For 3 Weeks

To use this method, keep it on your kitchen counter out of the sun so that you won’t forget about it. I changed the water once a week. It might or might not be necessary but I just like to keep things clean. 🙂

Here you have the result of my little experiment. Hope you find it helpful! Next time you have fresh basil in your kitchen, try it out. You will find it’s quite nice to have a little greenery on your kitchen counter.

About the Author

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.