How to Freeze Fresh Cilantro

by Melynda Sorrels

A fresh bunch of cilantro on a wooden cutting board.

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Since 3000 B.C., humans have been incorporating cilantro into foods for its strong, citrusy flavor, reports Washington State University's Clark County Extension. A difficult and temperamental herb to grow, cilantro is actually a member of the carrot family. The dried seeds for this pungent plant are known as coriander, which boasts a much milder taste than the leaves. Commonly used to lend flavor to salsas and salads, fresh cilantro doesn’t keep for very long without proper storage. Freezing fresh cilantro helps to preserve it until you need it.

Wash the cilantro under running water to rinse away dirt and debris.

Pat the cilantro dry with paper towels to absorb as much moisture as possible.

Set the cilantro aside on dry paper towels to allow it to finish air drying.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and place the dry cilantro sprigs onto it; do not set them too close together so that they can solidify without sticking together.

Leave the cilantro in the freezer for one to two hours.

Remove the tray from the freezer and wrap several sprigs of cilantro tightly in freezer paper.

Place the wrapped cilantro into freezer bags for an added layer of protection.

Set the cilantro in an area of the freezer where it isn’t likely to have things set upon it, such as the door or in separated compartments.


  • Use or discard the frozen cilantro within six months. To use the cilantro, break off as much as you need and set it aside in a cool, dry place for a few minutes before incorporating it into the dish. As cilantro begins to thaw, it will appear wilted, making it best to use within foods and not as a garnish.

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