Whether curly or Italian flat leaf, it’s all the same: you need a really sharp knife, dry leaves, and the correct knife motion to quickly and easily chop a bunch of parsley. Below you’ll find our foolproof method with step-by-step photos to get your parsley recipe-ready in no time.

Parsley is chopped into small pieces.

Italian vs. Flat-Leaf Parsley

There are two very commonly found parsleys in most American grocery stores. Italian, or flat-leaf, has a more robust or stronger flavor while curly is more subtle in taste. When determining what type to use, consider how much parsley is called for, the type of dish you’re cooking, and whether the parsley will be added in before or after cooking.

The choice is totally yours and the method you’ll find below for chopping it can be applied to whatever variety you use!

Flat leaf, or Italian parsley, and curly leaf parsley are laid on a cutting board.
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How to Clean Parsley

Before you can start chopping, you need to first rinse the leaves to remove any hidden dirt or debris. (Curly leaf especially needs to be cleaned as it has many folds where dirt can hide!)

There are two simple ways to do this:

  • Rinse under cold running water. In a colander or simply holding the bunch in your hands, turn the sprayer on (if you have it) so it more forcefully dislodges any dirt. Move the parsley around as you do this.
  • Soak in a bowl of water. Carefully cover the bunch in water, shaking it to release any dirt. This works with parsley better than cilantro since it has tougher leaves. Don’t let it soak for more than a few minutes, so the leaves don’t start to wilt. Make sure it’s cold water and not warm, as well.

After it’s cleaned, you need to dry it. You can either let it air dry, spread it between paper towels, or use a salad spinner.

Parsley is washed in a colander.
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

How to Chop Parsley

Please see the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and more detailed instructions.

1. Remove the Long, Thick Stems

If you’re not using the entire bunch, only pull out what you need. Check out how to store parsley if you have leftovers.

Place the parsley on a cutting board and cut where it starts to turn from a bush into only thick stems. Discard the stems.

*Make sure you have a sharp knife! Consider investing in a good knife sharpener if you don’t already have one.

A sharp knife removes the thick stems of the parsley bunch.

2. Finely Chop Parsley Using Rocking Motion

Bunch the parsley you’re going to be using into a pile on the cutting board. Place your knife across one end of the pile, and start cutting across by rocking the knife from tip to handle-end.

Then, turn your knife 90-degrees and repeat the same process going the other direction.

Keep going back and forth until the parsley is as finely chopped as you want.

A sharp knife chops a pile of parsley.

How do you store parsley?

If you have some of the parsley bunch left over, you can easily save it for another day. (For more details, check out this post on How to Store Parsley.)

1. Storing Chopped Parsley

Spread a few paper towels in an airtight container, then lay the chopped parsley evenly in the container. Seal it up. The parsley should last for up to 4 to 5 days.

2. Storing Parsley Bunch:

With parsley still attached to the stems, set the bunch in a mason jar or large glass filled with a couple of inches of water. Cover the parsley with a plastic bag and leave the entire jar in the fridge for up to 2 to 4 weeks.


How long does chopped parsley last?

Chopped parsley will last in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days when stored correctly. Wrap it in a paper towel and keep it in an airtight container.

Can I substitute dried parsley for fresh?

Generally, you can easily sub in dried herbs for fresh in most recipes. Note that dried has a stronger flavor, so reduce the amount used.

What is parsley best used for?

Parsley is a super versatile herb, so you will find it used in a wide variety of recipes. Some of the best places to utilize its flavor is with grilled meats, like chicken, fish, or steak, or in soups, sauces, or pasta.

Recipes with Parsley

With these handy tips for chopping, you’ll want to incorporate parsley into every recipe you can get your hands on!

5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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