Cilantro is a popular herb in many Asian and Mexican dishes and is one of the easiest to grow in the garden. However, an abundant harvest means that it’s time to think of some creative ways to store those fresh herbs. We’ll show you how to preserve cilantro using several techniques to extend its shelf life and retain its signature flavor.
There is nothing better than chopping fresh cilantro leaves and adding them to salsa, guacamole, or pesto. These aromatic herbs add depth and seasoning incomparable to any other, and its unique qualities are either loved or hated in the kitchen.
If you’re trying to find ways to store this herb, you’re undoubtedly a cilantro-lover. While the best way to keep cilantro fresh is to leave it in the garden and clip it as needed, it’s sometimes necessary to harvest a bunch of cilantro all at once to prevent it from turning to coriander seed.
Ways to Preserve Cilantro
Cilantro is a very easy herb to grow but it only lasts so long after it’s clipped and quickly loses its bright green color and fresh texture. Unlike herbs to plant in fall months, cilantro and coriander (the other edible part of the plant) do best in spring and early summer.
There are several ways to preserve this herb, depending on how you plan on using it and when.
How Long is Cilantro Good for During Storage?
Cilantro is fragrant and tasty right after clipping it, but before long, it loses its zest and appearance and is no longer worthy of eating. Knowing how long is cilantro good for all depends on how you store it.
Cilantro Storage Life
It’s not a good idea to store cilantro on the kitchen counter since these herbs only last two to four hours at room temperature.
Placing them in the refrigerator keeps them fresh for up to ten days, and storing cilantro in the freezer prolongs its shelf life up to six months. Cilantro stored in olive oil lasts up to one month in the refrigerator.
Avoid storing cilantro on the countertop or in a sealed container in the fridge to prevent the leaves from wilting and getting soggy.
Preserving Cilantro in the Refrigerator
Preserving cilantro in the fridge is the simplest way to keep the herbs fresh, and it takes only minutes. The combination of cool temperature and water prevents the leaves from getting soft and discolored too soon.
To store cilantro in the fridge, fill a jar or cup with a couple of inches of water and set it aside. Spread the cilantro on a clean surface, pat the leaves dry with paper towels, and clip off about one inch of the bottom stems.
Place the herbs, stem side down, into the jar of water and cover the leaves loosely with a plastic bag. Secure the plastic to the jar with a rubber band and set it in the fridge. Check the water every other day and change it when the water becomes discolored.
How to Preserve Cilantro in the Freezer
The freezer is our friend when it comes to food preservation, and it’s also a great way to store herbs. One of the easiest ways to preserve cilantro in the freezer is to freeze the leaves whole.
Before you preserve fresh cilantro, wash the sprigs thoroughly under cool water and pat them dry with paper towels. Cut the herb leaves away from the stems and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Flash freeze the herbs by setting them in the freezer for about half an hour. Transfer the frozen leaves into a freezer bag, write the name and date on the top, and store it on the freezer shelf.
Preserving Cilantro in Olive Oil
Olive oil is useful for keeping cilantro fresh longer in the fridge. The two ingredients come together perfectly, and a spoonful of the savory herb oil adds the right amount of kick to your favorite recipe.
Hold the sprigs of cilantro under cool, running water to wash away dirt, and then pat the leaves dry with a paper towel.
Slice the cilantro into small bits with a knife or put it in a blender or food processor to coarsely chop it, but do not puree it. Combine the chopped herbs with olive oil in a storage container and store it for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
How to Freeze Chopped Cilantro
If you prefer chopped cilantro over leaves, consider making herb ice cubes. This freezing method is quick and simple, and the cubes are convenient for tossing into stews and soups.
The best way to freeze cilantro starts by washing the herb under running water and remove the leaves from the stems. Chop the leaves into small bits and set them into each compartment of an ice cube tray. Pour water into the tray and freeze it until the cubes are solid.
To make a frozen puree, place the cilantro leaves into a blender or food processor, add enough water to form a paste, and blend the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency. Spoon the puree into an ice tray and freeze them until solid.
Pop the cubes out of the tray and place them into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Write the date and name on the top, store it in the freezer, and use the cubes as needed.
Cilantro tastes best fresh and enhances everything from salsa to soup, but this herb is quick to wilt, especially if you store it improperly.
Fortunately, it’s easy to preserve cilantro in the fridge and freezer to retain its freshness, whether you harvest it from your garden or pick up a bunch at the grocery store.
Now that you’ve learned how to preserve cilantro to enjoy its unique flavor well after harvest, why not share our cilantro storage tips with your friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook?