How long will cut celery last in the fridge?

Celery is a healthy and versatile vegetable that can last a surprisingly long time in the refrigerator when stored properly. Knowing how to keep cut celery fresh can help you reduce food waste and always have this crunchy veggie on hand when you need it.

Quick answer

Properly stored, cut celery will usually last 5-7 days in the refrigerator.

How can you tell if cut celery has gone bad?

There are a few clear signs that indicate your cut celery has spoiled and should be discarded:

  • Slimy or mushy texture
  • Brown or black spots
  • Dry, shriveled stalks
  • Off smell

If you notice any of these, it’s best to throw the celery out. Always inspect your cut celery before eating it or using it in recipes.

How to store cut celery correctly

Storing cut celery properly is key to maximizing its shelf life. Here are some tips:

  • Rinse under cool water and pat dry before storing.
  • Trim off any brown or damaged parts of the stalks.
  • Place in an airtight container or plastic bag.
  • Wrap the celery loosely in paper towels or put it in a container with a damp paper towel to help retain moisture.
  • Keep in the refrigerator, ideally in the crisper drawer.

Proper moisture is important for keeping cut celery from shriveling and drying out. An airtight container will also prevent the odors of the celery from spreading to other foods in your fridge.

Does cut celery need to be refrigerated?

Yes, you should always refrigerate cut celery. The cold temperature of the refrigerator will slow down the spoilage rate. Leaving cut celery out on the counter will cause it to wilt and go bad much more quickly.

What’s the best way to cut celery to store it?

The best way to cut celery for storage is to slice the stalks widthwise instead of chopping them. Leaving larger intact pieces rather than small chopped chunks will expose less surface area to air and slow down moisture loss and spoilage.

Wash the celery stalks first and then slice across them so you have long pieces rather than small bits. Try to avoid leaving damaged or bruised edges exposed too if possible.

Does celery last longer when kept on the stalk?

Yes, keeping celery attached to the stalk rather than cutting it does help it last a bit longer. An intact celery stalk has less surface area exposed overall, so it loses moisture more slowly.

However, leaving celery connected to the stalk also takes up a lot more space in the fridge. For practical reasons, most people do end up cutting celery stalks down to store them. As long as you store cut celery properly in the refrigerator, it will still last for 5-7 days before spoiling.

What are the best ways to use up cut celery before it goes bad?

If you have cut celery that’s starting to near the end of its prime, there are plenty of tasty ways you can use it up:

  • Add it to soups, stews, and stocks.
  • Sauté it into a stir fry.
  • Roast it in the oven as a snack.
  • Juice it or blend it into smoothies.
  • Pickle it.
  • Cook it into tuna or egg salad.
  • Stuff it into sandwiches.

Getting creative with recipes that use up celery can help reduce food waste!

Does cut celery freeze well?

Cut celery can be frozen for longer term storage, but it does lose some texture in the process. To freeze celery:

  • Wash, dry, and slice stalks.
  • Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
  • Cool in ice water.
  • Pat dry and place pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Freeze for 1-2 hours until solid.
  • Transfer to airtight freezer bags or containers.

Properly frozen, celery can last about 6 months in the freezer before becoming mushy or taking on freezer burn. It’s best for use in cooked dishes rather than eating raw after thawed.

How long does celery juice last in the fridge?

Fresh celery juice will last 3-5 days when properly stored in the refrigerator. To get the most shelf life:

  • Store in an airtight container.
  • Minimize air exposure by leaving only about 1 inch of headspace.
  • Keep celery juice in the coldest part of the fridge, ideally the bottom shelf.

If you see any separation, bubbling, sliminess, or changes in smell or appearance, the celery juice has spoiled and should be discarded after that point.

Does cut celery need to be used right away or can you wait?

One of the benefits of cut celery is that it does not need to be used immediately – properly stored in the fridge, it will keep for 5-7 days before going bad. So you can cut your celery ahead of time and have it ready to go when you need it for recipes, snacks, etc.

Just be sure to loosely wrap or cover the cut pieces, keep them chilled in the refrigerator, and use within about a week for the best quality and freshness.

What are some of the best ways to use up celery?

Celery is very versatile, so if you have some on hand there are plenty of tasty ways to use it up:

  • Make homemade celery juice or smoothies.
  • Chop and add raw to salads for crunch.
  • Roast in the oven with olive oil and spices as a healthy snack.
  • Sauté with onion and garlic as the start of many savory dishes.
  • Add to soups, stews, casseroles, and stocks.
  • Make celery boats by stuffing hollowed stalks with tuna/egg salad, nut butter, etc.
  • Pickle into tangy celery sticks to enjoy or use on bloody marys.
  • Use as scoops for dips and spreads.
  • Stir into tuna/chicken/egg salad.

Getting creative with recipes can help you enjoy celery at its best and cut down on waste!


With proper storage in the refrigerator, cut celery will usually last around 5-7 days before it starts to go bad. Keeping the celery loosely wrapped, chilled, and away from high humidity areas like the door can help maximize its freshness. Checking for any mushy or slimy textures, brown spots, dryness, or off smells before eating will let you know if the celery has spoiled. Using up celery in juices, salads, soups, and other dishes lets you enjoy it at its peak and helps cut down on food waste.

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