Cilantro, with its fresh and zesty flavor, is a herb that adds a delightful touch to a variety of dishes. Freezing cilantro is a simple and convenient method to preserve its vibrant taste and aroma for future culinary endeavors. With just a few easy steps, you can ensure a steady supply of this herb, ready to enhance your recipes even when it’s not in season. Join us as we unlock the secrets of freezing cilantro, allowing you to extend its shelf life while maintaining its distinct qualities.

How To Freeze Cilantro

Freezing cilantro is a simple and convenient method to preserve its vibrant taste and aroma for future culinary endeavors.
Course: Ingredient
Author: Molly Watson


Preparing Cilantro for Freezing

  • No matter which method you choose, it is important to start with perfectly clean cilantro.
  • Give it a swish in cool water to get rid of any dirt, grit, or dust clinging to its leaves.
  • Then, because excess water will create damaging ice crystals, be sure to dry it thoroughly. One way to do this is to spin it in a salad spinner and then lay on layers of paper towel. Roll up the paper towels starting at one end, encasing the cilantro, to soak up any bits of excess moisture.

Method 1: Freeze Cilantro Leaves in a Bag*

  • This method is the easier choice since you are simply placing the leaves in a bag and freezing. Once the cilantro is defrosted, the leaves won't look great, so it is best to use the herb as an ingredient stirred into recipes rather than as a garnish with this method.
  • Place one freezer bag into another to create a "double bag."
  • Remove the leaves from the stems and add the cilantro leaves to the inner bag.
  • Push out as much air from the bags as possible and seal tightly.
  • Stick the bag in the freezer and simply pop off the leaves as you want to use them.

Method 2: Freeze Cilantro In Cubes**

  • This freezing method creates small cubes, ideal for popping into soups or stews to add a burst of cilantro's unique, fresh flavor. For this method, before the cilantro can be put into the ice cube tray, it needs to be pureed with a liquid.
  • Whirl the cilantro in a blender or food processor with enough water or olive oil to make a thick puree.
  • Pour into a clean ice cube tray or small covered containers and place in the freezer.
  • Once frozen through, transfer the cilantro cubes to a resealable plastic bag for long-term storage—they will last in the freezer up to six months.


Cilantro frozen this way works best in dishes where it is cooked, such as black beans, or in recipes where the leaves are really mixed in, such as guacamole.
Cilantro makes a lovely pesto that freezes nicely in cubes and adds bright flavor to pasta, salads, and more. The oil also acts as a barrier between the freezer and the delicate cilantro leaves. Simply make pesto as usual, adding more oil if needed, and pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze completely, pop out the squares, and store in a zip-top freezer bag or container for up to six months.
These instructions are courtesy of Molly Watson at The Spruce Eats.

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