Broccoli is known as a superfood because they are full of antioxidants. In addition, they are a great addition to put in salads and great for cooking. Therefore, some people will buy them in bulk quality for use throughout the week. By having a lot on hand, most people will wonder how long does broccoli last.
So, how long does broccoli last? Fresh broccoli can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Chopped broccoli will last a couple of days in the fridge. Cooked broccoli will last about 9 days in the fridge.
Brocolli Shelf Life
|Fresh Broccoli||3-4 Hours||2 Weeks||1 Year|
|Cut Broccoli||2-3 Hours||3-4 Days||1 Year|
|Cooked Broccoli||1 Hour||2-3 Days||n/a|
How Long Does Broccoli Last?
How long broccoli lasts will depend on many different factors such as if it’s cooked or uncooked, whole or chopped, and where it’s being stored. Brocolli is a vegetable that’s made up of 90% water content. Therefore, it will need to be stored at a cooler temperature to retain its freshness. At room temperature, it can go bad quickly so you’ll want to put them in the fridge as soon as possible.
Fresh Whole Brocolli
Fresh whole broccoli will usually last up to a week in the fridge. However, it can last up to 2 weeks if it’s of good quality. The reason for this is there’s no label with an expiration date on the broccoli. It’s hard to determine when it was harvested and brought to the grocery store.
If the broccoli was recently put on the grocery store shelves, broccoli will have a good chance of staying fresh for up to 2 weeks. If it’s been sitting on the grocery store’s shelf for a week already, you’ll probably have a couple of days left with fresh broccoli, even if it’s stored in the fridge.
Cut Raw Brocolli
For chopped raw broccoli, you’ll be looking at it a couple of days before it goes bad by storing them in the fridge. Therefore, if you’re planning to use broccoli to prepare a meal, it’s best to chop them a day beforehand.
If you’re keeping them outside at room temperature, they’ll last for a few hours before they go bad. However, if the room temperature is hot, you can expect chopped raw broccoli to last no longer than an hour.
For cooked broccoli, it will usually be good for between 7 to 9 days in the fridge. At room temperature, cooked broccoli will last for a few hours.
When broccoli is cooked, its quality will degrade quickly, whether you’re keeping them in the fridge or at room temperature.
If you’re storing cooked broccoli at room temperature, you’ll want to consume it with an hour or so. Any leftover should be stored in an airtight container and put in the fridge right away.
How To Store Broccoli
At the grocery store, fresh broccoli is usually stored in the refrigerated area. Therefore, fresh broccoli should be stored in the fridge right away when you get home. However, if you’re planning to use broccoli within a couple of hours, leaving them on the countertop is fine. Otherwise, store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
For cooked broccoli, it should be stored in the fridge as well. Before putting them in the fridge, once it has cooled down, put them in an airtight container or a resealable bag. This way, it’ll stay fresh and not catch any odors from other food.
As for frozen broccoli, it should always be stored in the freezer. If you’re planning to use them for cooking, take out only the amount you need. Frozen broccoli will degrade in quality if it’s frozen multiple times.
Can You Freeze Broccoli?
Yes, freezing broccoli is possible and the process isn’t difficult at all. By freezing broccoli, you can preserve the nutrients-packed and fiber-rich vegetables for the winter months when fresh broccoli is not available.
Below are simple steps on how you can freeze broccoli at home:
How To Freeze Broccoli
- Wash the broccoli thoroughly with water
- Remove the leaves and stems from the broccoli
- Split the broccoli into florets and stalks. Then split them again into smaller pieces
- Heat a pot of water until it starts to boil
- Once it boils, drop all the pieces of broccoli into the pot. For larger pieces, boil it for 5 minutes. Smaller pieces, boil it for about 3 minutes.
- While the broccoli is boiling, get another pot or container and prepare an ice bath. You can use ice cubes from the freezer and place them in the container
- Remove the broccoli from the pot and transfer it to the ice bath for about 1-2 minutes
- Drain the broccoli and use a towel to pat them dry. Make sure to pat them completely dry.
- Transfer the broccoli into an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Label it with the date so you’ll know how long the broccoli will be good for
- Place it into the freezer
Besides fresh broccoli, you can also freeze cooked broccoli. Since the vegetable is already cooked, you don’t need to blanch them first.
How To Tell Broccoli is Bad?
When broccoli goes bad, the first thing you’ll notice is the color. Good broccoli will be dark green, but bad broccoli will be bright green and yellow. Yellow broccoli isn’t spoiled, but it has a bland taste when it’s cooked. Therefore, you’ll want to throw them out once the florets are yellow.
Another thing to check is the smell of broccoli. Fresh broccoli will not have any smell to it. Brocolli that is bad will have a really bad odor to it. If it smells a bit off, it’s best to throw them out.
The last thing to check is the texture of the broccoli. When it goes bad, the stalks will be limp and soft. It’s best to throw broccoli away since the internal texture is also bad.
How To Keep Broccoli Fresh Longer
Keeping broccoli fresh longer will be determined when and where you bought them from. For most people, it will be at the local grocery stores. Unfortunately, broccoli sold at grocery stores will not have an expiration date on them. Without that, it can be hard to determine how long the broccoli will be good for once you buy them.
If the broccoli has been sitting on the store’s shelf for a couple of days, you have a good chance it can last for up to 2 weeks. On the other hand, if the broccoli has been on the store’s shelf for a week, you may only have a couple of days left before it goes bad. Most grocery stores, especially large chain grocery stores, will just let the broccoli sit on the shelf until they go bad before throwing them out.
To make sure you have the best chance of keeping broccoli fresh as long as possible, buy only quality broccoli. This means choosing the freshest one on the shelf. Examine the broccoli for any signs that they are bad. The head of the broccoli should be tight and firm. Also, if the broccoli is any other color than dark green, it’s best to not pick it.
Since broccoli is made up of more than 90% water, once you get home, it will need to be stored in a cool place right away. The best place to keep broccoli fresh for a long time is in the fridge. It’s best to keep them in the crisp drawer of the fridge so they can stay fresh longer.
Can you still eat broccoli when it turns yellow?
Broccoli that is turning yellow or already yellow is safe to consume. The yellowing of the broccoli is not rotting, but simply wilting and deteriorating.
Can you eat expired broccoli?
Once the broccoli has reached past its prime time, eating the broccoli will not make y0u sick. However, the taste quality of the broccoli will not be good.