The Best Ways To Keep Cilantro Fresh

For those who don't find cilantro to taste like soap, the leafy green herb can bring not only a splash of color but a bright pop of flavor to a lot of dishes. It's often used to garnish dishes like taco soup, cold vegetable salads, and even salsa with plenty of the flavorful herb chopped up inside. While cilantro is not as delicate to store as other herbs like basil, it does need a little attention to make a bunch keep fresh for as long as possible. And with the right care, you can keep cilantro fresh for months in your fridge.

Depending on how you plan to use your cilantro and how long you need it to stay fresh, you can use the fridge or the freezer to store it. According to Simply Recipes, cilantro is happier when kept at cooler temperatures, so either technique will keep the herb fresh for long periods of time. The key is deciding whether you want the whole, fresh leaves or the fresh taste of chopped cilantro.

Container with water and a bag

Those who want to use the whole leaves to garnish dishes or to tear them into larger pieces should opt to store a bunch of the herb in a container with water inside the fridge. Using this method, cilantro can stay good for a month according to Food Network. However, you will need to keep an eye on the leaves and stems to ensure they stay as fresh as possible for that length of time.

To store cilantro in the fridge this way, use the bouquet method. So, start by trimming the stems and removing any low-hanging leaves (via Simply Recipes). Then place the bunch in a jar or vase with fresh water covering the bottom inch or so of the stems. To protect the leaves from getting too cold, place a bag loosely over the top of the cilantro and cover the jar. You will need to change the water every so often though. That means you'll need to lift the bag to check to see if the water needs changing if you don't use cilantro very often.

Frozen with a liquid

If you plan to cook with cilantro or have time to allow cubes of the chopped herb to thaw, you can store it in the freezer. This method is great for long-term storage and can keep cilantro fresh for months to come. While you won't have much upkeep for this method, it does require a little more work upfront.

According to the Food Network, start by washing and thoroughly drying your cilantro leaves. Next, chop up the herb and place small spoonfuls into a clean, empty ice tray. You can then top the herbs with a neutral-flavored oil or just water to freeze them. Once frozen, place the cubes in a resealable container and store them in the freezer. Keep in mind that topping the herbs with oil will be better for cooking while water is good for using the herbs in raw or room temperature dishes.