How to Keep Cilantro Fresh The Ultimate Guide

How to Keep Cilantro Fresh by learning our favorite ” how to store cilantro ” technique.

Cilantro is one of the best garnishings for a variety of savory Mexican, Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes — but its biggest drawback is that it can become mushy and black in less than a week, maybe just two or three days, if you don’t store it right.

Even though cilantro is easy to find and is quite inexpensive, letting food go to waste can be dismaying. That’s why we have experimented with various ways on how to keep cilantro fresh for more than a week.

How to Keep Cilantro Fresh FAQs

How to store cilantro the easy way

Storing Cilantro In Fresh Water in the Fridge

Materials Needed

  • Fresh cilantro
  • A plastic or mason jar
  • Water
  • Kitchen knife
  • Rubber brand
  • Plastic bag

Step # 1: Remove the Yellowing Leaves

How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

Take a look at your fresh cilantro and remove any yellow or brown leaves form the green ones. Yellow and brown leaves are dying leaves and they will start to rot first. The moisture from the rot will cause the green leaves to decay as well.

Step # 2: Wash the Cilantro


Rinse out the cilantro with cool water. Never use hot water to wash your herbs as the temperature can cause the leaves to wilt. Make sure all the dirt and grime from the cilantro are removed completely.

Step # 3: Dry the Cilantro


The cilantro needs to be perfectly dry if you want to store it for a long time. You can dry out your cilantro by gently patting it with a paper towel or allowing it to air dry by naturally spreading it out on the counter.

When drying the cilantro, do not rub at the leaves as they will break.

Step # 4: Preparing the Water

Dip the cilantro stalks in the water to keep it fresh

Fill a cup or a jar with about two to three inches of cool water. You do not need to dip the leaves in the water but just let the ends of its stalks rest to keep it fresh.

Step # 5: Cut off the Stem Tips from the cilantro

Chop about 1 inch of cilantro stems at the bottom

Take a sharp knife and cut off about 1 inch of the stem from the bottom of the cilantro bunch. This gets rid of the bottom, which may be brown, and uncover the fresh stalks that can take in water. The freshly-cut stems may begin drying immediately so prevent that from happening.

Step # 6: Immerse The Cilantro in the Glass

Placing cilantro stems down in a glass of fresh water

Gather all the cilantro in a bunch and place its stems down in a glass of fresh water. Make sure you do this immediately after chopping off the stems. Do not try to force the cilantro tightly into a small jar. Get a jar with a wide mouth so that they can rest loosely inside like flowers in a vase.

Step # 7: Cover the Cilantro

Cover the cilantro with a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out. how to store cilantro

Cover the cilantro with a plastic bag. Make sure the cover is loose and that it covers all the cilantro as well as the top of the container. This ensures that the air won’t dry out the cilantro. Secure the plastic bag on the jar with a rubber band.

Step # 8: Place the Cilantro in Fridge

Cold and moist environment keeps cilantro fresh. how to store cilantro

Cilantro needs a cool and moist place to flourish. That’s why you need to put it in the fridge to make sure it remains fresh for a long time. Put it in the corner of the fridge where it won’t be knocked over.

Step # 9: To Keep Cilantro Fresh Change the Water

Cilantro requires fresh water to thrive

Your cilantro requires freshwater to stay fresh. Therefore, you need to change the water every two or three days. Gently pull off the cover and take out the cilantro from the jar. Dump the discolored water and wash out the jar. Then, pour more cool water into the container and place the cilantro in it, just like before. Place the jar in the fridge again.

How do you make cilantro last longer?

Cilantro has high water content and if you leave it out on the counter, it will go bad quickly. If you do not want that to happen, follow the procedure above on how to store cilantro and keep it fresh longer. Make sure you pick out brown and yellow leaves from the green ones and get the cilantro perfectly dry before you place it in a jar. Another interesting topic you might find helpful is how to keep lettuce fresh.

How How to Keep Cilantro Fresh in the fridge?

By using the above technique on how to store cilantro, your cilantro can remain fresh in the fridge for about two to three weeks. You should also ensure that the cilantro is kept cold constantly and the water in the jar is replaced once it starts to discolor to prevent the herb from going bad.

Can I freeze Cilantro?

You sure can, well depending on how and when are you going to use it, then the answer is, Yes and No. You can freeze cilantro if you plan to use them as ingredients in cooking your next recipe. If you plan to use cilantro as a garnish, I would not recommend it because they will turn black and wet and it’s the last thing you want as a garnish.

How long will cilantro last in the fridge?  If you freeze cilantro in cubes, they will last up to six months in the freezer. Just follow these 3 easy steps.

This cilantro freezing method creates small cubes, ideal for using them in soups so you can easily add that cilantro’s unique flavor without running to the grocery store.

  1. Place the cilantro in a blender or food processor with enough water or some olive oil to make a thick puree.
  2. Pour into a clean ice cube tray or small covered containers and place in the freezer.
  3. Once frozen through, transfer the cilantro cubes to a resealable plastic bag for long-term storage—they will last in the freezer for up to six months.

What to do with cilantro before it goes bad?

If you see signs that your cilantro is about to go bad soon, there are plenty of dishes you can use it in. My personal favorite is the Cilantro potato salad recipe. It’s quick and easy to make and is super delicious.


  • A bunch of cilantro
  • Two pounds of red potatoes chopped into two-inch squares
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 large shallots
  • 1 ½ tbsp. whole cumin
  • ½ lemon
  • Black pepper to taste


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and mix in the salt until it dissolves. Add the potato dice and let them boil for about 10 minutes until they become soft but have not yet turned to mush.
  • Place the potatoes in a bowl and sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro on top of it.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat and add the whole cumin seeds. Fry the seeds until the cumin seeds darken slightly and a delicious toasty smell arises from the skillet.
  • Pour the oil and cumin into the potatoes and mix.
  • Squeeze in the lemon, sprinkle in the black pepper for some seasoning.

Serve piping hot, warm, room temperature, or cold. It will taste great at any temperature!

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