If you like to spend time in the kitchen, you’ve surely found yourself frustrated when you found a new recipe but didn’t quite get how much of each ingredient you will have to buy from the store and then use. You will sometimes get just the weight, which can be 2 ounces for example, or you might get a quantity or volume of parsley, like a quarter of a cup, for example. There are also some recipes that only give general guidelines like “use a medium bunch”. So what do all of these really mean in terms of actual measurements? And what is the weight of a parsley bunch? As we’ve done so many times in the past, we took it upon ourselves to do some experiments, so that people at home know exactly how many bunches they would need for one recipe or another.
Parsley can be found in one of two types, either curly or flat leaf (Italian). You should use flat Italian parsley for flavoring because its taste is a lot more robust. On the other hand, the curly leaf type is used mostly as a garnish, having a mild flavor. Usually, curly parsley will weigh less than the same amount of flat-leaf parsley because it will have fewer springs. On the other hand, when you chop it, the Italian parsley will have half the weight of the curly parsley. Although each of the two varieties of parsley will come with its own very unique flavor, you should know that recipes calling for just “parsley” usually refer to the Italian variety. Even if a recipe calls for a type of parsley, as long as you adjust the quantity properly, you will get a great result regardless of the type of parsley you use.
So to figure out exactly how much parsley, or better yet, how many parsley bunches, you’ll need in your recipe, we went straight to the grocery store and browsed their produce section. So while checking out the herbs on the shelves, we noticed that the average bunch of flat Italian parsley will have about 49 springs and a weight of around 2 ounces.
So we then went ahead and tried to figure out how many parsley bunches will fit in a cup, and to do this, we tested on a 2-ounce medium bunch of Italian flat parsley. When chopping them, we noticed that the leaves you can take from two parsley springs fit in about one tablespoon. Our tests also revealed that you would need a little over 3/4 of a bunch of parsley if you wanted to get to the one-cup mark. You should also de-leaf on a bunch-worth of parsley springs to fill a cup of loosely packed leaves.
You might not know this but parsley is actually very commonly used in American Cuisine and is also one of the most popular spices all over the world. Parsley also belongs to the same family as poisonous hemlock, cumin, caraway, cilantro, dill, carrots, and celery.
The information provided up to this point should be enough to give you some understanding of how much parsley you will need when a recipe calls for a cup of chopped parsley, for example. If you still need help figuring out the exact amount of parsley you’d need to buy for a certain recipe, then you can use the conversion tool we provide below.
How to Store Parsley Bunches
As I said above, you will find in stores two different types of parsley, the flat-leaved type and the curly type.
When added just before serving a meal, the curly parsley will add both color and texture due to its crispy and fresh taste. This is usually the parsley the recipe calls for, because it gives out the classic flavoring, being one of the essential ingredients. The Italian parsley also called a flat leaf, won’t hold up the same for garnishing mostly because of its very delicate flat leaf pattern. It is usually used more for cooking due to its very strong flavor.
Parsley Long-Term Storage
If you want to freeze it, you will have to remove the leaves and then completely discard the stems of the parsley. You will then fill the ice cube tray with parsley leaves and then top off every ice cube cavity with water. After placing the ice cube tray in the freezer for two days, take it out, remove the parsley cubes, and move them to a Ziploc bag that is placed into the freezer. The Ziploc bag can be stored in the freezer for the next two months and used whenever you need it.
Short-Term Parsley Storage
When needing to store parsley only for a short period of time, you will start by snipping off the bottom of the parsley stems that are left unwashed. You will then follow this by partially filling a jar or glass with water. Then, put the ends of the stems of these herbs into the water in that container. Before storing the jar of parsley at room temperature or even in the refrigerator, make sure you cover it with a plastic bag, but loosely. When you notice that the water starts to discolor, change it. This should be after several days. When properly stored, fresh parsley will easily last for 2 weeks or even more.
When refrigerated, the curly parsley will hold its shape pretty well. You can wrap it in a damp towel and then place it directly in a plastic bag.