Can You Freeze Cilantro? Yes! Here’s How to Do It Like a Pro

Cilantro is an herb that is widely used in cuisines around the world, from Mexican to Thai to Indian. Its bright, fresh flavor adds a burst of zing to any dish. However, one of the downsides of cilantro is that it tends to spoil quickly, often within just a few days.

This can be frustrating if you only need a small amount of cilantro for a recipe and don’t want to waste the rest. But fear not – there is a solution. In this article, we’ll explore whether you can freeze cilantro and how to do it properly.

How to Prepare Cilantro for Freezing

Before you freeze cilantro, it’s important to prep it properly to ensure that it freezes well and retains its flavor. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Wash the cilantro. Rinse the cilantro thoroughly in cool water to remove any dirt or debris. You may need to do this several times to ensure that the cilantro is clean.
  2. Dry the cilantro. Use a salad spinner or pat the cilantro dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. If the cilantro is too wet, it can cause freezer burn and bacterial growth.
  3. Remove the stems. Pick off the cilantro leaves from the stems. The stems can be bitter and tough, so it’s best to discard them.
  4. Chop the leaves. Finely chop the cilantro leaves into small pieces. This will make it easier to use later and will prevent the leaves from clumping together in the freezer.

Freezing Cilantro in Ice Cube Trays

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to freeze cilantro is in ice cube trays. This method allows you to freeze small portions of cilantro, so you can easily use just the amount you need without having to thaw a whole bag. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prepare the cilantro. Wash, dry, and chop the cilantro as described above.
  2. Fill the ice cube tray. Fill each compartment of the ice cube tray with the chopped cilantro, making sure not to overfill.
  3. Add water. Pour a small amount of water into each compartment to cover the cilantro. This will help to keep it fresh and prevent freezer burn.
  4. Freeze the tray. Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and freeze until the cilantro cubes are solid.
  5. Transfer to a freezer bag. Once the cilantro cubes are frozen, remove them from the ice cube tray and transfer them to a freezer bag. Be sure to label the bag with the date and contents.

Freezing Cilantro in Freezer Bags

If you prefer to freeze larger amounts of cilantro, you can use freezer bags instead of ice cube trays. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare the cilantro. Wash, dry, and chop the cilantro as described above.
  2. Fill the bag. Place the chopped cilantro in a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. You can either freeze the cilantro in one large bag or divide it into smaller portions for convenience.
  3. Label the bag. Write the date and contents on the bag with a permanent marker. This will help you keep track of how long the cilantro has been in the freezer.
  4. Freeze the bag. Lay the bag flat in the freezer, making sure that the cilantro is spread out in a thin layer. This will help it freeze more quickly and evenly.

Thawing and Using Frozen Cilantro

When you’re ready to use the frozen cilantro, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Thaw it properly. The best way to thaw frozen cilantro is to transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can also thaw it more quickly by placing it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
  • Use it quickly. Frozen cilantro is best used within a few weeks of freezing. After that, it may start to lose its flavor and texture. To avoid waste, try to use it up as quickly as possible.
  • Use it in recipes. Frozen cilantro can be used in the same way as fresh cilantro, although it may not be quite as flavorful. Use it in soups, stews, marinades, sauces, or any other recipe that calls for cilantro.

How Long Does Frozen Cilantro Last?

Frozen cilantro can last for several months if stored properly, but its quality will start to deteriorate over time. To get the most out of your frozen cilantro, it’s best to use it within a few weeks of freezing. Here are a few factors that can affect how long your frozen cilantro will last:

  • Temperature. The colder your freezer, the longer your cilantro will last. Make sure your freezer is set to at least 0°F (-18°C).
  • Packaging. If your cilantro is packaged well, it will last longer. Use airtight freezer bags or containers to prevent freezer burn and moisture loss.
  • Frequency of thawing. The more you thaw and refreeze your cilantro, the faster it will deteriorate. Try to use it up in one go if possible, or divide it into small portions that you can use up quickly.


Freezing cilantro is a great way to preserve this flavorful herb for future use. Whether you choose to freeze it in ice cube trays or freezer bags, the key is to prep it properly and store it well. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy the taste of fresh cilantro in your cooking all year round!

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