How to Store Cilantro: Herb Preservation Techniques

how to preserve cilantro
image source: Brooklyn farm girl

Cilantro is a fragrant herb that adds a vibrant zest to countless dishes. It is a staple in many kitchens. Its delicate nature poses a challenge when it comes to storage.

This culinary gem tends to wilt quickly, losing its vibrant color and flavor if not properly preserved.

Fear not, cilantro enthusiasts! With a few simple techniques, you can master the art of cilantro storage and ensure that this culinary treasure remains fresh and flavorful for days, even weeks.

How to Store Cilantro

The Water Method:

This classic method involves placing the cilantro stems in a glass of water, much like a bouquet of flowers.

Change the water every day or two to prevent bacterial growth and keep the cilantro crisp.

Damp Paper Towel Technique:

Wrap the cilantro loosely in a damp paper towel, ensuring the leaves are well-covered.

Place the wrapped cilantro in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container to maintain humidity.

Frozen Cilantro for Future Use:

 If you have an abundance of cilantro, consider freezing it for future use. Wash and dry the cilantro thoroughly, then chop it finely.

Place the chopped cilantro in ice cube trays or small freezer-safe containers, cover with water or a flavorful liquid like broth, and freeze.

How to Store/Preserve Whole Cilantro

There are a few things you can do to store whole cilantro:

Trim the very ends of the cilantro stems, then place the bunch, stem-side down, into a can or mason jar with an inch or two of cold water (just like flowers).

Then cover it loosely with a plastic bag and store in the fridge.

 This is best method to store cilantro. You can cut off the leaves as needed. The cilantro should last for up to 1 week.

Wrap the unwashed cilantro bunch in a clean paper towel and place in a plastic storage bag. The cilantro will keep for up to 1 week.

Wash and dry the cilantro thoroughly. Then chop it finely. Place the chopped cilantro in ice cube trays or small freezer-safe containers, cover with water or a flavorful liquid like broth, and freeze. Frozen cilantro can last for up to 3 months.

How to store dried cilantro

Storing dried cilantro is a great way to extend its shelf life and have it on hand for when you need it. Here are a few tips on how to store dried cilantro:

1. Choose an airtight container: Once the cilantro is fully dry, store it in an airtight container to prevent moisture from entering and ruining the dried herbs. Glass jars, airtight plastic containers, or even resealable plastic bags can work well.

2. Store in a cool, dark place: Keep the dried cilantro in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. This will help preserve the flavor and aroma of the herbs for longer.

3. Label the container: Label the container with the date you dried the cilantro so you can keep track of its freshness. Dried cilantro can typically last for up to three years when stored properly.

FAQs on How to Preserve Cilantro

How long does cilantro last in the refrigerator?

Properly stored cilantro can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. However, it’s best to use it within a week for optimal freshness and flavor.

Can I freeze whole cilantro sprigs?

While freezing whole cilantro sprigs is possible, it’s not recommended. Freezing can alter the texture and flavor of the cilantro, making it less desirable for culinary use.

What are some tips for preventing cilantro from wilting?

Store cilantro in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase.
Avoid washing cilantro until you’re ready to use it. Excess moisture can hasten wilting.
Store cilantro away from ethylene-emitting fruits and vegetables, such as apples and bananas, as these can accelerate the ripening process.


Cilantro, with its unique aroma and zesty flavor, has the power to elevate countless dishes.

By mastering the art of cilantro storage, you can ensure that this culinary gem remains fresh and flavorful, ready to enhance your culinary creations.

Whether you choose the water method, the damp paper towel technique, or freezing for future use, these simple techniques will keep your cilantro vibrant and ready to add a touch of magic to your meals.



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