How to Store Cilantro in the Refrigerator

Keep it fresh for taco night and beyond.

April 16, 2020
cilantro

cilantro

Fresh homegrown cilantro herbs, plant based food, local produce, close up, top view. Organic green leaf vegetables, healthy vegan eating, harvest time (Fresh homegrown cilantro herbs, plant based food, local produce, close up, top view. Organic green

Photo by: istetiana / Getty Images

istetiana / Getty Images

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By Katherine Lok for Food Network Kitchen

Like other leafy herbs, cilantro can quickly wilt and decay once you bring it home from store, so that by the time your avocados are at peak ripeness for a homemade batch of guacamole, your cilantro is past its prime and headed straight for the compost pile. Armed with these simple tips, though, you'll be able to keep fresh cilantro longer in the fridge or freezer to have on hand for taco nights and herb-topped meals to come.

The primer to better storage for cilantro (and all herbs) is to make sure you buy the best-looking bunch at the market. Cilantro should have bright green, perky leaves without any discoloration or bruises. Once you bring your cilantro home, remove the rubber band holding the bunch together — leaving it on the stems will cause them to break down and decay faster. Then, place them upright in a clean glass or jar filled with an inch of water, as you would a bouquet of flowers. Loosely cover the leaves with an upside-down plastic bag and pop it in the fridge. Storing cilantro this way will keep it fresh for as long as a month — just make sure to occasionally refresh the water in the jar. You can also use this same method for other leafy herbs like parsley and mint.

For an even more low-maintenance way to store cilantro, give your leaves a wash and thorough dry, then chop them up to freeze in ice cube trays with a little water or oil. Once frozen solid, transfer them to freezer bags and add to sauces, soups and marinades as needed. You'll never end up with cilantro mush if you follow these easy methods for storing.

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