Can You Freeze Cilantro? How?

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Quick Answer: Can You Freeze Cilantro?

Yes, you can freeze cilantro. It is the best way to store cilantro for a long time with all its flavor intact. You can freeze it in an air-tight container or freeze it with olive oil or butter. Once frozen, you can directly use it without defrosting, and it can last well up to a month.

Cilantro is an essential herb in several cuisines, but if you have ever bought cilantro or harvested it in bulk, you know how tough it can be to keep it fresh and long-lasting, which is why freezing cilantro is your best bet.

Check out the following methods to freeze cilantro or cilantro roots with ease.

Prep to do Before Freezing Cilantro

Before you can start freezing, you need to get the following prep done. You start by cleaning the cilantro and removing any yellowy-wilting leaves.

You can separate the leaves from the stalk if you prefer. But the stalk is also packed with flavor and freezes just as well. Optionally, after cleaning the cilantro, you could also blanch it.

Blanching helps the cilantro to keep its vibrant color even after freezing.

To blanch the cilantro, put the cleaned cilantro in a pot of boiling water for 15 – 30 seconds maximum. Then transfer the leaves into a bowl filled with ice and cold water and let it chill for 2 minutes.

Then you can place it on a paper towel to dry. Once you are done with the initial prep, you can follow through with any three following methods.

Can You  Freeze Cilantro in Olive Oil?

Can You Freeze Cilantro in Olive Oil?

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Freezing cilantro with olive oil in an ice tray is the best option if you would like to store it in single-use portions. Not only do they last longer, but they are nifty to use.

Materials

  • Clean, fresh cilantro (1 cup)
  • Olive oil (⅓ cup)
  • Ziploc bag
  • Ice tray

Tools

  • Food Processor

Instructions

    1. Chop Coarsely - Take the cleaned cilantro and chop it up coarsely into about an inch or so pieces.

      You can use or leave the stems out as per your preference.
    2. Add to a Food Processor - Now add the chopped cilantro and olive oil into a food processor or blender.

      You need to add 1/3 rd.—a cup of olive oil to 1 cup of chopped cilantro.
    3. Blend - Now, turn the food processor on and pulse it a few times.

      Make sure to not blend it for too long, as you don't want it to turn into a paste.

      You should still be able to see the bits of herbs in the end.
    4. Transfer to tray - Spoon the mixture into an ice tray and level it out.
    5. Flash freeze - Set the tray in the freezer and let it sit there for a few hours or overnight.
    6. Ziploc bag - Transfer the frozen cubes into a Ziploc bag and seal them.
    7. Freeze - Now, you can freeze the Ziploc bag and take out the cubes as and when needed.

      As an alternative, you could repeat the same steps with water instead of olive oil.

Freezing Cilantro in a Ziploc Bag

Time Taken: 5 – 10 minutes

What You Need:

  • Cleaned fresh cilantro
  • A Ziploc bag

The simplest and quickest way to freeze cilantro is freezing it in an air-tight Ziploc bag.

It takes minimal prep, and you can store it this way for a month or so.

Pat Dry

After cleaning the cilantro and deciding whether to keep the stalk or not, pat dry everything with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Toss it in Olive Oil

Toss the Cilantro with some olive oil in a bowl.

The oil protects the fragile leaves from the cold.

Ziploc Bag It

Put the Cilantro into a re-sealable Ziploc bag and lay the leaves out as thinly as you can, without crowding them.

Try to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.

Freeze It

Now, you can pop the bagged cilantro into the freezer and lay it down flat.

You can mark the date on the bag as well to help you keep track.

Freezing Cilantro in Butter

Time Taken: 15 – 20 minutes

What You Need:

  • One stick softened butter
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of minced cilantro optionally
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tablespoon of lime juice
  • One clove of garlic minced
  • Parchment paper

Freezing cilantro in butter method is similar to that of freezing cilantro in olive oil method.

But the resulting flavor would be different, which allows you to infuse flavors of other elements.

Cilantro in butter is also a great way to use cilantro on toasts or roasts.

Chop the Cilantro

For one stick of butter, add about 2-3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro into a bowl.

Add the Butter

Now add room temperature or softened butter into the bowl.

You could also choose to add any of the optional ingredients mentioned above to enhance the flavor.

Mash Everything Together

Now, using a spoon or spatula, mash everything together quickly, taking care not to melt the butter.

Roll it Up

Dump the evenly mixed butter onto the center of the parchment paper and then roll it up.

Twist the ends of the paper to keep the butter sealed.

Freeze

You can now pop the rolled-up butter into the freezer till you need it.

Check out this video by “Andrew OHara” on YouTube for a clearer picture –

How to Freeze Cilantro Roots?

Time Taken: 5 – 10 minutes

What You Need:

  • Cilantro roots
  • Ziploc bags

We have got you covered if you are looking to freeze cilantro roots to use in Thai or other Southeast Asian recipes.

Freezing is a great way to store the cilantro roots while keeping its flavor intact for six months.

Cut the Roots

Cut off the roots of the cilantro along with some of the thicker stalks.

Wash and Clean

Wash the roots in a bowl of cold water, getting rid of all the dirt.

Remove the water and repeat this step till it’s fully cleaned.

Pat Dry

Lay the roots out on a paper towel and pat it dry to remove excess moisture.

Bag and Freeze

Put the dried roots into a Ziploc bag and seal it after removing as much air from the bag as you can.

Then put it in the freezer to store.

Freezing Cilantro Pesto

Another great way to preserve herbs is freezing cilantro in its pesto form.

It will only take you about 15 minutes but will save you a week’s worth of trouble.

Once you have made the pesto, you can flash freeze them in an ice cube tray, as we did with the cilantro in olive oil, and then put the cubes in a Ziploc bag and store it for around six months.

For a great recipe on cilantro pesto that you can freeze, check out this YouTube video by Live Sonima –

How Long Can You Freeze Cilantro?

You can freeze cilantro for a month or three months, depending on the method you’ve chosen to freeze it.

The cilantro roots can be frozen for six months.

Simple freezing in a Ziploc bag or freezing in butter, the cilantro would last for a month or so.

Once the cilantro is frozen in butter thaws, you need to use it up within a week.

When frozen in olive oil, it can last up to 3 months.

How to Store Frozen Cilantro?

You can store frozen cilantro in an air-tight Ziploc bag or any other air-tight container.

You can store the cilantro in butter in a parchment paper roll or a foil paper roll.

You can store the cilantro roots in Ziploc bags.

How to Defrost Frozen Cilantro?

You can defrost the frozen cilantro by letting it thaw to room temperature.

But this would make the cilantro soggy. So, instead, you could directly use the frozen cilantro while cooking.

But in the case of Cilantro butter, allow it to come to room temperature before using it.

This should take about 15 – 20 minutes.

Can You Refreeze Cilantro?

You can refreeze cilantro but at the risk of losing its flavor.

When you let the frozen cilantro thaw, it becomes soggy and loses its initial punch.

Does Cilantro Freeze Well?

Yes, cilantro freezes well, and it is a great way to store it for a longer time.

But keep in mind that the frozen cilantro would not work well as garnishes or in salsa, so it can only be used for cooking.

FAQs

Do you need to cook frozen cilantro?

Yes, it is better to cook the frozen cilantro. You will not get the freshness you desire to use it as a garnish or in a salad, as it gets soggy once it thaws. So, it’s better to use it in cooked dishes.

Can we use vegetable oil instead of olive oil when freezing cilantro?

Yes, you can use vegetable oil as an alternative. While the taste may vary, you can use vegetable oil or avocado oil to freeze the cilantro.

Bottom Line

We hope this article helped you figure out what to do with all the extra cilantro lying around.

If you know of any other great way to freeze cilantro, do let us know.

Feel free to share this with all your cilantro-loving buddies.

References

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About Pooja Jain

Pooja is a foodie who likes experimenting with different cuisines every day. Cooking for Pooja is not just about following recipes, but also adding something of herself into it making each dish unique as well as delicious!

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