Want to cook with carrot greens but not sure how to wash them? This step-by-step guide shows you how to cut, wash, dry, and store carrot greens before cooking with them in your favorite meals. No waste cooking at its finest!

carrots with long carrot leaves on a marble countertop

Do you want to cook carrot greens but you're not sure how to prepare them? We've got you covered! Cooking with carrot greens is a great way to reduce waste in your kitchen, but it's important to wash them well because the small leaves usually harbor a lot of dirt as carrots are a root vegetable that grows very close to the ground.

👉 Here's how to wash carrot greens before cooking with them:

  1. Cut the carrot tops from the root, then remove the hard part of the stems
  2. Wash carrot leaves in running water, or soak them in a bowl of water to remove dirt
  3. Lay the greens flat or hang them upside down to dry

Ready to learn how to prep carrot tops for no-waste cooking? Let's do it!


🥕 How to wash carrot greens (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Cut carrot tops from the stem

The first step to preparing carrot tops for cooking is to cut the top of the carrot where the stem meets the carrot itself.

carrot tops and steps cut from the carrot root on a white table
Cut stems and leaves from the carrot root

Then once the carrot stems and leaves are separated from the carrot, you'll want to cut the leaves from the stem. The stems themselves are edible, however they're typically very tough and don't have a great taste. However, you can keep them after washing to use in a Carrot Greens Soup Stock.

sliced carrot tops on a white cutting board
Cut the leaves from the hard part of the stems

2️⃣ Step Two: Wash in running water or soak in a water bath

Once removed from the stem, wash the carrot leaves under running water to remove excess dirt.

Alternatively, you can also place them in a water bath – or a large bowl filled with water – and let them soak for 5-10 minutes, shaking them lightly with your hands to remove dirt.

cut carrot greens in a colander with running water
Wash the leaves

3️⃣ Step Three: Dry carrot tops

After washing, lay the carrot tops flat to dry on a kitchen towel. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

You can also bundle the leaves and hang them up to dry like herbs.

carrot tops on a blue table

🧊 How to store carrot greens

To store carrot greens until you're ready to cook with them, simply place them stem-down in a glass filled halfway with water and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. The water will help keep the stems hydrated until you're ready to prepare them.

Because carrot leaves are very fragile, they will only stay fresh for about two days in the refrigerator. If you plan to use them later than two days, wrap them in a damp kitchen towel and place them in a eco-friendly freezer bag and freeze for up to a month (possibly longer, we haven't tested it) until ready to use.

To thaw, simply remove from the freezer and thaw at room temperature.

👉 Carrot storage tip: Keep carrots, and carrot greens, as fresh as possible by storing them properly. Check out our guide to storing carrots to extend their freshness!


❓ Questions + quick tips

Are carrot greens poisonous?

Carrot greens are not poisonous. They are edible and make a great addition to many dishes. You can treat them like any other green, adding them to dishes that call for leafy greens like spinach or chard, or for herbs like parsley or cilantro.

How do you keep carrot greens fresh?

To keep carrot leaves fresh after cutting them from the carrot root, simply place the cut carrot stems in a glass of water and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. The water will keep the leaves hydrated, however because the leaves of carrots are very fragile they will begin to wilt quickly so do not cut them unless you plan to use them within 1-2 days.

How do you store carrot tops?

If you have more carrot tops than you can use in a few days, you can store them in the fridge by rinsing them, drying them off completely, and placing the stems in a glass of water to keep them hydrated. To freeze carrot greens, simply rinse and dry them, then store them in a freezer-friendly bag wrapped in a damp towel to keep them from developing freezer burn. Then thaw to room temperature before using.

carrot leaves, carrot peels, onion, garlic, and celery in a large soup pot on a white table
Use carrots in soups, stews, sauces, and smoothies

🌿 Recipes using carrot greens

Carrot greens are an excellent green that can replace things like spinach, chard, parsley, or cilantro. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

♻️ Want more inspiration for going green in the kitchen? Join the Green Living Community for plant-based recipes, sustainable kitchen hacks, and get our FREE guide to meal planning to reduce food waste!

How to Wash Carrot Greens

Want to cook with carrot greens but not sure how to wash them? This step-by-step guide shows you how to cut, wash, dry, and store carrot greens before cooking with them in your favorite meals. No waste cooking at its finest!
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Ingredients

  • 1 colander
  • 1 kitchen towel, for drying

Instructions 

  • Cut carrot tops from the stem: Cut the top of the carrot where the stem meets the carrot itself.
  • Wash carrot greens: Once removed from the stem, wash the carrot leaves under running water to remove excess dirt. Alternatively, you can also place them in a water bath – or a large bowl filled with water – and let them soak for 5-10 minutes, shaking them lightly with your hands to remove dirt.
  • Dry carrot leaves: After washing, lay the carrot tops flat to dry on a kitchen towel. This usually takes about 10 minutes. You can also bundle the leaves and hang them up to dry like herbs.

Notes

  • How to store in the refrigerator: Place them stem-down in a glass filled halfway with water and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. The water will help keep the stems hydrated until you're ready to prepare them.
  • How to store in the freezer: If you plan to use carrot leaves later than two days, wrap them in a damp kitchen towel and place them in a eco-friendly freezer bag and freeze for up to a month (possibly longer, we haven't tested it) until ready to use. To thaw, simply remove from the freezer and thaw at room temperature.