How to store asparagus so it stays fresh, crisp, and delicious in the fridge – a simple step-by-step guide!
While asparagus season generally runs throughout Spring (between February and June), it usually hits its peak season in April and May. Meaning you really don’t have all that long to enjoy this delicious and nutritious vegetable at its best, making it all the more important to learn how to store asparagus to enhance its shelf life.
When storing asparagus properly, it will keep for up to a week (or more!) in the refrigerator, staying fresh right up to the moment you’re ready to roast, grill, air fry, or sauté it to perfection. Want to preserve it for longer? Try pickling asparagus or freezing it!
Tips to Select the Freshest Asparagus for Storing
Unsurprisingly, one of the key factors in storing asparagus for the longest time is to ensure you’ve chosen the best ones right from the supermarket/farmer’s market. Look out for stalks that:
- Have bright green (or violet) tips with firm, compact buds,
- Stand upright and are firm yet slightly flexible with smooth skin,
- Have moist cut ends – not overly dried out and woody or split,
- Have no signs of spoilage – mold, wilting, or rancid smells.
How to Store Fresh Asparagus
If you intend to use the asparagus within 2 days, gently wrap the end of the stalks in a damp cloth or paper towel (wring it mostly dry first so it’s only lightly damp). Then place it in an airtight container, and refrigerate. It’s best to store it in the vegetable crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
This can sometimes keep it fresh for 5-7 days. But if you want to keep it for that long, I usually recommend a couple of additional steps as seen below.
Does asparagus need to be refrigerated? The short answer is yes. Otherwise, it will spoil much faster.
How to Keep Asparagus Fresh for 5+ Days?
The best way to store asparagus when you aren’t planning on using it immediately is the “flower vase” method.
- Trim: begin by trimming the woody ends from the spears. Snap one spear, and it should break off naturally at the right point (usually about 1-1 ½ inches). You can use that as a guide to line up the remaining spears (or keep them within their rubber band) and trim them with a sharp knife in one go.
- Place in water: Transfer the trimmed bunch to a large glass or glass jar (like a mason jar) filled with an inch of water (fresh cold water). I also like covering the asparagus loosely with a plastic bag to keep away dust/odors.
- Refrigerate: Transfer the glass/jar to the fridge and replace the water with fresh water every 1-2 days.
How long does asparagus last using this method? This can help it last about a week, though I’ve had it last up to 12 days at one point.
Chef’s Tip: This storage method also works well for storing and rehydrating carrots, fresh herbs, green onions, and more.
Can You Freeze Asparagus?
Freezing asparagus is a wonderful way to extend its shelf life by 6-8 months, even up to a year. However, it’s not as simple as just throwing it right into the freezer from raw.
Luckily, though, you only need to follow a quick, simple process to retain the best color and texture (first blanch, then cool in an ice bath).
You can then cook it directly from frozen, either in the dish (like casseroles, pasta dishes, or soup) or sautéed with a little olive oil/butter, salt & pepper- delicious! Browse the blog for more asparagus recipes.
How to Tell If Asparagus Is Bad?
There are a few signs to look out for to determine if your asparagus is past its best.
- If the color has become dull or there is the appearance of mold.
- If the spears are soft, wilting/shriveled, and/or slimy.
- If the asparagus smells sour/rancid (It should be mild and earthy when fresh).
More Ingredient Guides
- How to Eat and Store Radish Greens
- How to Freeze Spinach (The Best Way!)
- How to Freeze Green Beans – The Complete Guide
- What Are Fava Beans and How to Cook Them
If you try this easy method on how to store asparagus, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
How to Store Asparagus Properly
- 14 oz asparagus or as much as wanted/needed
To use within 2 days
- Gently wrap the end of the spears in a damp cloth (wring it mostly dry first so it’s only lightly damp). Place it within an airtight container, and refrigerate. It’s best to store it in the vegetable crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
To keep for 5+ days
- Trim the woody ends from the stems. Snap one spear, and it should break off naturally at the right point (usually about 1-1 ½ inches). You can use that as a guide to line up the remaining spears (or keep them within their rubber band) and trim them in one go.
- Transfer the trimmed asparagus to a large glass or jar with an inch of fresh, cold water at the bottom. I also like covering it loosely with a plastic bag to keep away dust/odors.
- Transfer the glass/jar to the fridge and replace the water with fresh water every 1-2 days.
- You can use all types of asparagus: Not just green. These tips work for white or purple asparagus and spears of all thicknesses.
- Save any scraps: The woody ends can be added to a freezer bag of veggie scraps to turn into vegetable stock or asparagus end soup.
- Change the water: I prefer to change it every 2 days. Make sure to change it if it starts looking cloudy, and check on the veggie’s freshness at the same time.
- Don’t store in a cold spot: I like to place the wrapped asparagus in my crisper drawer and the upright “flower vase” ones at the front of the 2nd or 3rd shelf (not the top shelf) in my fridge. Keep it away from the very back/cooling system; otherwise, it can freeze and become mushy.
- Don’t overcrowd: It’s best if the spears have a little room to breathe, so split the spears between several jars if needed.
- Only wash before cooking: If you wash it before storing and don’t thoroughly dry the spears, it can lead to premature spoiling.
- Keep the stems moist: This is important as the longer they dry out, the more you’ll need to trim from the bottom.