Ina Garten's Secret To Making Herbs Last Longer

Fresh basil to sprinkle on your homemade pizza. Chives to chop up for a baked potato topping. Sage to mix in with your roasted veggies. No matter what you're using them for, fresh-picked herbs can instantly elevate any dish in a way that their freeze-dried counterparts just can't. The only issue with opting for fresh herbs? Using them up before they go bad. Similar to spinach and other leafy greens, it's all too common to bring home a bunch of herbs and toss them in the fridge — only to find them wilted or moldy when you go to use them just a few days later.

Fortunately, Ina Garten has a simple solution for all of your herb-storing woes. When a frustrated fan reached out to the "Barefoot Contessa" cook for her tips on keeping herbs fresh for longer, the Food Network star revealed her hack to storing them in the fridge. Spoiler: It takes just a few seconds and only uses what you already have on hand.

Keep them in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag

On the "Ask Ina" page of Garten's website, one fan asked the celebrity chef how they could store fresh-picked herbs from their garden in the fridge to last longer. Her best tip? Dry them in a salad spinner and then simply wrap them in a paper towel and Ziplock bag. "To make herbs last a few days in refrigerator, I wash them, dry them well in a salad spinner, and place them in a plastic storage bag with a slightly damp paper towel," Garten explained. The moisture from the paper towel keeps them from drying up or wilting quite so fast.

As for how long they'll last using said method? The blogger behind Lexi's Clean Kitchen says your herbs should keep for anywhere from one to two weeks. She also recommends puncturing holes in the plastic bag to allow the herbs to breathe and prevent them from molding quickly. This should work for any fresh-picked herb, including sage, thyme, basil, and oregano.