The Best Recipes to Use a Plethora of Parsley

Parsley is a great herb—but what do you do with whole bunches of it? Here are, ahem, a bunch of ideas.

April 20, 2020

There are so many great conversations on the Hotline—it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge—and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Parsley is a great herb to have in the kitchen—but what do you do with bunches and bunches of it (or even just a single bunch you bought for a recipe, but don't know what else to make with it)? One community member even found themselves with 10 pounds of the stuff; this might not be exactly the situation you're in, but we've got enough parsley recipe ideas below to prepare you just in case. 

Preserving Herbs

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Parsley is sort of like cilantro's fancier older sibling. Whereas cilantro is happy casually thrown in guacamole and chicken noodle soup, parsley does better sautéed with shrimp or mixed into a salad with beets and Welsh rarebit croutons. Some people have a strong aversion to cilantro, but parsley rarely offends anyone. Plus, when Alice Waters tells us she relies on an herb, we listen. 

Of course, parsley is often used in relatively small amounts. So when Pamela731 asked the Hotline what to do with 10 pounds of the herb, the community came to the rescue. It turns out there are a lot of wonderful ways to use and store parsley, even when it feels like you have an actual ton of it. Here's what fellow Food52ers had to say:


Use It Now:

  • Tabbouleh is one of the most popular ways to utilize a lot of parsley. Maedl advises using "a large proportion of parsley and mint. In most Middle Eastern countries, they use a very fine bulghur and there is more parsley and mint in the salad than there is bulghur."
  • HalfPint suggests turning the parsley into a chimichurri sauce and pairing that with a nice steak.
  • In a similar vein, Matt Piazza says: "You could make a bucketful of pesto!"
  • Parsley goes well in salads, too. Julie calls it a salad brightener, while ieatthepeach goes a step further and treats parsley like any other salad green, saying it's "really nice with some cucumber and a light vinaigrette."
  • Elisabeth recommends throwing some parsley into your next green juice.
  • She also recommends adding it to vegetable stock: "Parsley makes a great addition to homemade soup stock—just combine it with some potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, salt, allspice berries, black pepper, and water, and simmer for an hour."
  • A few users, like Jonee Austin and EmFraiche, suggest making Roberta's Parsley Cake.
  • Drbabs suggests chopping up the stuff and whipping up a big pot of gumbo z'herbes. It's traditionally eaten as a meatless alternative to gumbo during Lent, but there's no reason not to enjoy it all year round. 
  • Chop it up, mix it into softened butter, and slather it on a crusty loaf for epic garlic bread
  • You can also use it to enliven crispy-skinned chicken thighs, a dish about which community member Bonnie B.  asks, "What could be better?" (Not much, Bonnie.)
  • Hearty slow-cooker squash with chewy whole grains is a perfect dish—only to be made more perfect with some brightness and freshness from a parsley-rich salad. Pinkowl02 hails it as "amazing!!" 
  • Totally vegan chickpea alfredo needs something to cut through the luscious creaminess, and parsley does an excellent job.
  • Eggs in purgatory are a great vehicle for briny capers and roughly chopped parsley, too. 
  • If stuffed peppers are your thing (and boy, should they be), our Best Stuffed Peppers with lamb, orzo, and halloumi (plus a good amount of parsley) come highly recommended by community members Nick K. and Liz. O.

More: Here's how we make vegetable stockno recipe required.

Roberta's Parsley Cake Recipe

Save Some for Later:

  • If you're feeling parsley-ed out, you can save it for later by freezing it in ice cube trays and then transferring the cubes to a zip-top bag.
  • Keep it simple and freeze parsley straight-up in olive oil, or turn it into a sauce or pesto first. DianaAdams blends parsley with garlic, mint, and olive oil, and uses the mixture in soups, pastas, and eggs. 
  • You can also dry parsley to keep it longer, as Sam1148 points out. "Put it in a 200° F oven on a sheet of parchment paper, then turn the oven off after 10 minutes or so and let it sit overnight." If the parsley isn't fully dried out in the morning, repeat the process. 
  • You can even make parsley jelly, which QueenSashy says goes well with meat dishes—think roasted lamb or ham hock.

If you're feeling really overwhelmed, you can also give some of the parsley away, as Maedl and Sam1148 suggest.

Do you have a favorite way to use or store parsley? Tell us in the comments or join in the conversation over on the Hotline!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Cybele
  • FS
  • Louise Vidricaire
    Louise Vidricaire
  • Pete Mack
    Pete Mack
  • rob
I put chocolate chips in 95% of the things I make and am a strong proponent for lunch dessert.


Cybele June 12, 2020
One of our favorite family parsley recipes for a side dish is pasta snails from “Simply Nigella.” Snail-shaped pasta, loads of garlic and parsley sautéed in butter and pasta water. The best parts of escargot, minus slimy snails!
FS May 29, 2020
Parsley is a host plant for the appropriately named parsley worm, which is the caterpillar of a swallowtail butterfly. Parsley gone to seed in its second year is a fine
food source for pollinator insects. Every year I grow parsley from seed to have enough
for me and the animals!
Louise V. April 23, 2020
My wonderful Nana W. used to make Uge, a quick Lebanese egg dish that combines eggs, parsley and a little ground meat (lamb or beef) cooked in 1 finely chopped onion (I use a little olive oil). After letting the meat cool, she would fold it into her egg mix (6 whisked eggs + 2 tbsp cornstarch + S & P + 1/2 cup milk + 1 cup finely chopped parsley). Transfer to a lightly buttered square baking pan. Bake time: +/- 25 min. at 400°. Let cool a little and cut it into squares; serve warm or eat it cold, tucked into pita. Great lunch/brunch choice! Gotta love parsley :P
Pete M. April 22, 2020
Taboileh, yes. But it's hard to beat Alison Roman's sheetpan vinegar chicken with crushed olives and parsley. #1 at NYT last year for very good reason.
rob April 20, 2020
I use heaps of parsley in falafels.
Smaug April 20, 2020
Parsley is a free going volunteer in my part of the world; it's actually quite a nice looking plant, especially growing in bunches- in flower it stands up well in mixed borders. Bolts quickly in summer weather, though. I'm afraid I end up composting most of it, just too much of it; plants can become huge in fertile soil in winter/spring. My experience is that dried parsley, like most of the annual/biennial herbs, tastes like lawn clippings.
tunie August 25, 2014
Make a gremolata, adding a nearly equal amount of parmesan and toss generously with penne pasta. I use about 1 cup of chopped parsley per bowl of pasta. It's a lot but it is so good. I also use an entire bunch with 4 ripe bananas and coco water as a green smoothie. Sounds weird but is really great. Enjoy!
Paula W. February 17, 2020
When you make the green smoothie, do you take the parsley leaves off of the stem or just throw the whole bunch in the blender?
Allison T. August 23, 2014
I remember when I was growing up parsley was only served as a garnish, I am so glad it is finally being recognized as something that gives more to a dish then garnish.
Linda M. September 1, 2019
My parents always told me pardley was good to freshen your breath after a meal. My husband also remembers this from his mother.