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How to Store Cilantro

This is a cluster of fresh cilantro on a wooden table.

Cilantro is an amazing cooking herb that is healthy and matches well with a lot of dishes, so it’s good to know how you can store cilantro to make sure you’ll always have a supply for tasty cooking escapades. There are better ways of storing cilantro than just popping it directly in the fridge (you can, but that doesn’t make it last very long). Here are 7 simple ways on how to Store Cilantro to last you a week or more.

Related: All types of food storage | Types of Cilantro | Parsley vs. Cilantro | Parsley Substitutes | Herbs to Grow on Your Windowsill

Storing Cilantro Method 1: Store in the Fridge

First up is the simplest way to store cilantro and is also the most basic way of keeping it fresh for kitchen use. Make no mistake, this is not a plop it and go situation. Here’s how to properly store cilantro in your refrigerator:

  1. Put freshly cut cilantro stems in a container filled with water.
  2. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag.
  3. Store in the fridge. Set it, but don’t forget it entirely. You don’t have to watch your stored cilantro like a hawk, but every so often, keep an eye on the leaves and cut them off as they wilt. Also, check the water if the color starts to change and replace it.

Storing Cilantro Method 2: Use an Airtight Container

Cilantro inside a plastic zip lock bag.

To go with this cilantro storage method is to go the hydrophobic route. Keep your bunch away from water and DO NOT wash the cilantro! The goal is to try and remove the excess moisture.

  1. Using some paper towels, pat to dry off the cilantro.
  2. After gently patting the bunch, wrap the cilantro with new paper towels.
  3. Store the wrapped cilantro inside an airtight container. Every time you use this type of stored cilantro, try to check for wilted leaves and take those out. Watch out! You should only wash cilantro if you’ll be using it straight away because it wilts easy.

Storing Cilantro Method 3: Blanch and Freeze

This method of storing cilantro embraces the use of water more than the previous one because it involves a blanching method.

  1. To blanch, boil some hot water in a pot.
  2. Add in the cilantro until wilted (should be a few seconds).
  3. When done, take out the boiled cilantro and plunge it into a bowl of ice water for a maximum of 30 seconds.
  4. Take out the blanched cilantro bunch and give it a little shake or slight squeeze to remove excess water.
  5. Get some paper towels ready and pat the cilantro dry.
  6. Remove the stems of the cilantro and store the leaves inside a Ziplock bag for freezing. Try to remove excess air from the bag to keep it flat for storage.

Storing Cilantro Method 4: Store as Cubes

Chopped pieces of cilantro placed in ice cube trays.

Think of this method as cryonics, but a little less morbid with cilantro leaves and water.

  1. Wash the cilantro.
  2. After that, take it aside and allow water to drip off it to dry.
  3. Get some paper towels and pat to remove more moisture.
  4. Coarsely chop the cilantro and transfer that directly to an ice tray. When you split the chopped cilantro for the sections of the ice tray, you may choose to “listen to your ancestors” and go by feeling, or you could take a more measured approach by setting a specific amount for each section so you know how much you are using when you cook with it.
  5. Fill the tray with water and freeze.

Chopped cilantro frozen inside ice cubes.

Storing Cilantro Method 5: Liquify to Cubify (More Freezing)

Consider this storing technique if you’re not particular about preserving the original shape of the cilantro herb, yet want to keep the taste. With this storing method, you can choose to wash or blanch your cilantro before proceeding with the steps below.

  1. Coarsely chop the cilantro.
  2. Place the chopped cilantro inside a food processor or blender and add some olive oil.
  3. Puree the mixture.
  4. Get an ice tray and transfer the liquified cilantro to it for freezing. Again, you can go by feeling or measure a specific amount for each cube.

Storing Cilantro Method 6: Make it Butter

Make it better with butter! You can choose to preserve and enhance the taste of cilantro by storing it like butter. Cilantro butter might sound weird, but boy is it flavorful and really easy to do. All you need are 2-3 cups of finely chopped cilantro leaves for every stick of butter.

  1. First, you have to soften the butter stick by leaving it out at room temperature.
  2. While that’s happening, go on ahead and finely chop the cilantro leaves (add lemon zest for a little zing).
  3. When everything is ready, put all ingredients in a bowl and mash them all together (add in some salt if preferred).
  4. Scoop the mashed butter into the baking paper.
  5. Shape the cilantro butter into a regular butter stick or cylinder and wrap it with the baking paper.
  6. Refrigerate the butter and use sit how you would regular butter.

Storing Cilantro Method 7: Dehydrated Cilantro

A close look at a bunch of dehydrated cilantro.

Dry your cilantro for storage by use of a convection oven or a microwave. Consider this storing technique if you want the longest shelf life possible for your stored cilantro (up to a year!). Although it keeps the original shape of the cilantro, you might have to sacrifice losing a bit of the taste.

  1. To start, preheat your convection oven to 250-300 °F.
  2. Make sure you have clean cilantro by washing it and letting it drip to dry.
  3. For good measure, get some paper towels and pat the cilantro bunch dry.
  4. You’ll only be using the leaves so you have to strip or cut them off from the stem using a kitchen knife of scissors.
  5. Get microwave-safe paper towels or regular baking sheets on a tray and lay out the leaves on top as you would when baking cookies.
  6. Place the sheet in a convection oven for 25 minutes or so, keeping an eye on the color. Careful to not let them turn brown.

*If you are using a microwave oven, place the sheet inside and microwave for about 2 minutes. If you aren’t happy with the color, continue to microwave in increments if 10-20 seconds.

  1. Take out the tray or sheet and allow the leaves to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Carefully transfer the dried cilantro leaves into a jar using your preferred utensil. You can store them as dried cilantro leaves or crushed cilantro.