Can you freeze cilantro?

Answered by Tom Adger

You can freeze cilantro! Freezing cilantro is a great way to preserve it for future use, especially if you have an abundance of fresh cilantro that you can’t use up before it starts to wilt. Freezing cilantro allows you to have it on hand whenever you need it, without worrying about it spoiling.

To freeze cilantro, start by washing the cilantro thoroughly under cool running water. Make sure to remove any dirt or debris from the leaves and stems. After washing, gently pat the cilantro dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. It’s important to dry the cilantro well before freezing to prevent ice crystals from forming, which can affect the texture and flavor of the herb.

Once the cilantro is dry, you can choose to freeze it in a few different ways. One method is to chop the cilantro into small pieces and place them in an ice cube tray. Fill each compartment of the ice cube tray with the chopped cilantro, then pour a small amount of water or olive oil over the top to cover the herbs. This helps to prevent freezer burn and keeps the cilantro fresh.

Another method is to place the cilantro leaves or chopped cilantro in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag or a zip-top freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. This helps to minimize freezer burn and keeps the cilantro fresh for a longer period of time.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to label and date the container or bag before placing it in the freezer. This way, you can easily identify the cilantro and keep track of how long it has been frozen.

When it comes time to use the frozen cilantro, you have a few options. If you used the ice cube tray method, you can simply pop out the cilantro cubes and add them directly to your recipes. The cubes will thaw quickly and the cilantro will be ready to use.

If you used the vacuum-sealed bag or freezer bag method, you can defrost the cilantro in the refrigerator overnight or place the bag in a bowl of cool water for a quicker thaw. Once thawed, the cilantro can be used in your favorite recipes just like fresh cilantro.

It’s worth noting that frozen cilantro may not retain its vibrant green color and fresh appearance after thawing. However, the flavor and aroma should still be intact, making it a great option for adding a pop of freshness to your dishes.

In terms of storage, frozen cilantro can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. After that, it may start to lose some of its flavor and quality. It’s best to use frozen cilantro within this timeframe for the best results.

I hope this detailed answer helps you understand how to freeze cilantro effectively and enjoy its flavor even when it’s not in season or readily available.