How To Preserve Cilantro (in 3 Quick Steps)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to preserve cilantro?”, and discuss the different methods of preserving cilantro and the potential implications of preserving cilantro.

How To Preserve Cilantro?

You can preserve cilantro in zip-top bags, or store it as cubes, popped into a glass of water, or dried and powdered before storing. Since cilantro, also known as coriander, Chinese parsley, or Pak Chee is an exceedingly popular herb widely used in various cuisines for its smell and flavor. Regrettably, cilantro seems to wilt off and look moldy in a short period. So, thus preserving cilantro becomes much needed to keep its freshness, color, and flavor intact. 

There are 3 simple ways to preserve cilantro.

Freezing cilantro in zip-top bags 

Freezing cilantro in the zip-top bag is an easy method that involves a few steps. Considering the steps followed correctly, we can preserve cilantro in its green color and lock its flavor. Defrosting the cilantro can make it look feeble. Thus, such stored cilantro can be stirred in the dish and not used in garnishes. 

Steps involved in freezing cilantro in zip-top bags.

  • Wash the cilantro thoroughly in chilled water to get rid of the dirt instilled in the bunch.
  • Dry the cilantro by keeping it on the paper towels and slowly pressing the cilantro with another to soak up the extra water.
  • Separate the stems and the leaves of cilantro. 
  •  Place one bag inside the other to form a double bag. 
  • Put the separated leaves into the double bag.
  • Push out as much air as possible to make the bag airtight.
  • Store the zip-top bag in the refrigerator for later use. 

Freezing cilantro into cubes

Freezing cilantro into cubes can help give cilantro a longer shelf life. These cubes can be used in incorporating cilantro directly into the dish. The addition of cilantro cubes into the dish gives the dish an uplifted flavor that everyone relishes.

Steps involved in making ice cubes out of cilantro.

  • Wash the cilantro adequately in chilled water.
  • Pet the cilantro dry using a paper towel or a clean cloth. 
  • Put the stem along with the leaves of the cilantro into the blender and give a nice spin.
  •  Add a dash of oil into the blender while blending (helps enhance flavor and increase the shelf life).
  • Add a pinch of salt, garlic, or nuts to make a pesto if needed for enhancing the taste if needed (store as it is in an air-tight container). 
  • Pour down the cilantro paste so formed into the ice trays and keep it to set.
  • Check for the ice cubes after 2-3 hours.
  • Dislodge the formed ice cubes of cilantro and place them in a zip-lock bag for further use.

Freezing the cilantro into ice cubes can have a shelf life of about 6 months.

Freezing cilantro in a glass of water 

 Cilantro leaves can be preserved intact with stems and roots dipped into the water inside the refrigerator. It can help keep the leaves fresh and healthier looking for a long time. 

This can be done by following some basic simple steps.

  •  Do not wash the cilantro until ready to use (it can degrade swiftly or wilt off soon).
  •   Keep a washed cup filled with water. 
  • Pop the leaves along with the stems intact into the filled cup of water. 
  • Put the cup into the refrigerator for storage.
  • Take out the cup, keep it defrosted for about 2-5 mins., wash the leaves and use it directly in the dish.

 Such leaves can be used for garnishing the dishes made and can add a hint of green to the dish prepared. 

Can Cilantro Be Preserved By Any Other Method?

 Yes, Cilantro can be preserved with other methods too. This can be done following a few steps. These steps should be carried in the right order to get the proper results.

How to preserve cilantro by dehydration method?

  • The cilantro leaves should be washed with clean water.
  • The so cleaned leaves are to be sundried for a week or two to get the leaves to dehydrate and lose all their water content (dehydration increases the shelf life of the food product).
  • Once the leaves are well dried, they are thrown into the blender and dry ground to make a powder. 
  • This powdered cilantro can be used as herbs for various dishes and also sprinkled on the dish as seasonings.

How to preserve cilantro by a blanching method?

  • Clean a bunch of cilantro adequately under running water. 
  • Dip the bunch into the boiling water for a minute or two.
  • Take the blanched leaves out of the boiling water and dip the bunch instantly in the ice-cold water.
  • Take out the bunch and pet it dry.
  • Strip the cilantro leaves off the stem and place them in the zip-lock bag.
  • Store it in the refrigerator for later use.
  • Take it out, defrost and use as per the requirement of the dish.

Blanching of cilantro stops the enzyme action which can lead to loss of flavor. Therefore, balancing can also be said to be a very useful way to preserve cilantro.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to preserve cilantro?”, and discussed the different methods of preserving cilantro and the potential implications of preserving cilantro.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.