Fresh veggies are so healthy to keep on hand and can be used in a wide variety of meals. Today, we've got some great tips on how to store vegetables so they'll last longer. Reduce food waste and save money!

woman making a salad, from Shelf Cooking

The best thing about shelf cooking is that you can take a bunch of random ingredients and turn them into a delicious meal for your family… Without having to go to the store! But what happens when you go to reach for the lettuce and realize that it's soggy and wilted and sad?

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It's time to learn how to store your vegetables properly so that they stay fresh for as long as possible! No more throwing veggies in the trash because you couldn't eat them quick enough. Use these tips and always have fresh veggies on hand that are ready to supply your family with a delicious and nutritious meal!


Before we go over how to store your vegetables, we wanted to give you a few extra options that will really take your veggies to the next level! You don't have to have these products at all to keep your vegetables fresh, but they can definitely help to make a difference.

  • Produce Saver Food Storage Containers – These containers help to prolong your produce and we can see why! They act as a crisper tray and help to keep the moisture away. Just make sure that you don't wash your veggies before putting them in. If you absolutely have to prewash, then make sure that they're completely dry!
  • Cut Veggie Saver – If you like to eat off an onion during the week or slice peppers to snack on, then you've got to try out these veggie savers! They keep them fresher for longer and keep the smells out of the fridge. Plus, they're shaped like the vegetable that they're made for, which makes it easy to spot in the fridge.
  • Wire Baskets – The pantry can get pretty full of vegetables, so we recommend getting some kind of basket system that will help to keep them all organized. This will help you to easily see what you have so that nothing gets thrown in the back to slowly rot.

These vegetable storage ideas are a great way to keep them as fresh as possible, while also keeping them organized so that you don't lose track of what you have.


woman chopping vegetables, from Shelf Cooking

Wait, you mean there's a proper way to store veggies so that they stay fresh? Yep! No more throwing everything into the fridge because you think that it'll keep for longer.

And stop piling all of your vegetables together, it's not doing you any favors! Use these tips on how to store whole vegetables and be amazed at how much longer they'll last.


These vegetables stay fresh for the longest when they're stored in a cool, dry place. The pantry is usually the best place for this! However, if your pantry can be on the warmer side of life, then store them in a cabinet or somewhere else that they'll stay cool and dry.

  • Onion – Keep them away from any other veggie or else they'll make the other veggies ripen quicker!
  • Potatoes – Any and all types of potatoes (brown, sweet, red, etc.) do best in the pantry.
  • Garlic – Whatever you do, don't put it in the fridge!
  • Winter SquashButternut, acorn and other winter squash can last for a long time at room temperature.

Give these plenty of room to breathe and they'll last you for a good while in the pantry!


These vegetables do best sitting at room temperature! Putting them into the refrigerator before they're ripened will actually mess up with ripening process, so the counter is the best spot for them to go.

  • Avocado – Store them on the counter and keep them away from other fruit. If you need to ripen one quicker, wrap it in a paper sack with an apple. Once it's ripened, it can be stored in the fridge to help it to keep for longer.
  • Tomato – Yes, we know, it's actually a fruit! But since people eat them like veggies, that's how we're considering them. Leave them on the counter out of direct sunlight. And whatever you do, keep them out of the fridge!
  • Cucumber – They actually don't like the cold, so they do best at room temperature in a dry place. If you must have them cold, then wrap them in a paper towel, put them in a paper sack (left open) and store them in the door of the fridge where it's the warmest.

Stick to those tips and you'll have the freshest veggies in all the land. 😉


woman picking tomato off the vine, from Shelf Cooking

Oh, the refrigerator. What a magic cold box that helps to keep so many vegetables at their peak freshness! Be sure to keep your fridge organized so that none of those goodies go to waste.

Also, keep in mind that any of these that need to be stored in the crisper should only be stored with other vegetables. Keep the fruit in their own crisper so that they don't make the veggies ripen quicker.


  • Herbs – Fresh herbs, such as cilantro and parsley, do best when they're kept moist. Stand the bunch in a glass of water and cover with a plastic bag.
  • Asparagus – Cut the bottom inch off and stand in a glass of water, covered with a plastic bag.
  • Green Onions – Place the roots in a glass of water and cover with a plastic bag.
  • Carrots – Cut the green tops off and store in a tupperware container full of water.


  • Celery – Take out of the plastic bag and wrap in foil before storage. This will help it to breathe, while keeping the moisture away.
  • Whole Mushrooms – Take them out of their package and store in a paper bag. They'll be able to breathe better and won't get slimy.
  • Sliced Mushrooms – Remove them from the container that they came in and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
  • Corn on the Cob – Leave in the husk to store.
  • Lettuce – Don't wash it until right before eating! If you must wash it so that you can prep salads for the week, make sure that it's completely dry before putting away.
  • Summer Squash – Zucchini and other summer squash can be wrapped in a paper towel to keep moisture away. Then, put it in a plastic bag.
  • Cauliflower – Keep it in the bag that it came in or put it in a plastic bag. Store it stem-side down so that the head doesn't collect any moisture.
  • Broccoli – Wrap the head in a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out.
  • Cabbage – Don't wash until right before you need it!
  • Peppers – Don't wash until right before you need them.
  • Okra – Put in a paper bag for storage. Don't wash until right before using!

Bonus Tip: The next time that you make too much guacamole, push the leftovers down in airtight container with a spoon to remove any air bubbles. Then, cover with a thin layer of water (1/2 inch) and put the lid on top. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. When you're ready to eat it, pour the water off the top and stir. It'll be as fresh as the day that you made it!

Alright, well there you have it! Now you know all about how to store vegetables the right way so that they stay fresher, longer! Do you have any tips that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Image with text that reads "how to store veggies & keep them fresh" from Shelf Cooking

Wanting some more great ideas?

  • Needing a way to use up those veggies that are starting to go bad? Build your own soup from scratch!
  • Sneak some veggies into your family's meals! Get some great ideas and enjoy knowing that your family is getting some extra nutrition.
  • Wanting to make a salad but completely out of salad dressing? Make your own!!!