Do you have a large quantity of coriander leaves (cilantro) or coriander seeds and wondering if you can freeze them? If so, for how long? How to do it properly? Will the taste change? Do you need to defrost after that? Let’s find out!
Are Coriander and Cilantro the Same?
Both names are referring to the same plant (Coriandrum sativum), but to different parts of it. Usually, while we are referring to the US, cilantro refers to the leaves and stalks of the plant while coriander is referring to the dried seeds of the plant.
In Europe, the leaves and stalks are called coriander and the dried seeds of it are called coriander seeds.
So, when you will see that the recipe is referring to coriander, pay attention to what region is that website and to what part of the plant the recipe is referring to.
Can You Freeze Coriander Leaves?
Yes, you can store the coriander in air-tight containers or Ziploc bags in the fridge for up to 6 months. It is important to clean it well and to divide it into servings before you will freeze the coriander leaves.
How Do You Freeze It?
- Wash well and clean the coriander stems.
- Place the coriander leaves in a freezer bag, remove air excesses and seal well.
- Label with frozen and expiration date and put it into the freezer.
Is Frozen Coriander Any Good?
As the coriander is used as an aromatic herb, then it freezes well as it keeps its taste after freezing. If for you is also important the coriander texture, then I will recommend keeping it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How Do You Cut Coriander for Freezing?
The size of the cut depends on how you plan to use it later after defrosting. The only thing that needs to be pointed out there is to divide it from the beginning into servings. So, when you will need to use coriander leaves in your recipes, you will defrost exactly as you need, not the entire container.
Pro Tip: Use small Ziploc bags or small air-tight containers to put in them the exact amount of coriander leaves that you will use in your recipes.
Is It Better to Freeze or Dry the Coriander Leaves?
It is recommended to freeze the coriander instead of drying it. After drying the coriander will lose its signature flavor and it will not be so strong. As a result, to get the same flavor of cilantro in your dishes, you will need to increase the amount of dried cilantro in comparison with fresh cilantro.
How Long Can You Freeze It?
If you want to get the best taste from your frozen coriander leaves, I would recommend keeping them for up to six months in the freezer. Preferably even less.
If you need to keep the coriander leaves for even longer, you can chop them and store the coriander using the ice cube method. That means after you chop the coriander leaves, you will put them into your ice cube form and pour over the chopped coriander melted butter, olive oil, or plain water. Cover them with plastic wrap film and put them into the freezer.
Then you can take these coriander cubes and use them directly in your dishes.
How Do You Defrost It?
It is not needed to defrost the coriander leaves. You can use them in your recipes directly from frozen. When you put the frozen coriander into your dishes, in a minute or so, they will thaw completely.
Can You Freeze Cilantro in Olive Oil or Butter?
- Chop the stems and leaves of the coriander.
- Put the chopped coriander in the ice tube form at about 2/3 of its size.
- Pour over the chopped cilantro the melted butter, olive oil, or just plain water. Wrap with plastic cling.
- Freeze the chopped coriander to make it solid.
- After the coriander has become solid, you can remove it from the ice tube form and divide it into multiple Ziploc bags.
How to Store for Longer the Fresh Coriander Leaves (Cilantro)?
I would recommend keeping the fresh coriander leaves in the fridge at a constant temperature of 40-45ºF (4-7ºC).
By keeping it in the fridge, you will extend its shelf life to 2-3 weeks instead of a few days on the table.
Usually, I wash the coriander leaves, then I put them in a glass without water and I cover them with a plastic bag or with loosely wrapped film. As a result, the cilantro will remain fresh for up to one-two weeks.
Can You Freeze Coriander Seeds?
If you have bought in bulk a large number of coriander seeds and you need to freeze them for longer then you can consider freezing them as an option to prevent the loss of taste and smell of the coriander spices.
As with other spices that you plan to freeze, you should put the coriander seeds in air-tight containers to avoid entering air and humidity into the container with the coriander seeds.
Attention! Don’t keep dry spices in the fridge as there is higher humidity and you will ruin your spices. They will become soft and mushy.
For How Long Can You Keep Coriander Seeds in the Freezer?
If the coriander seeds are properly sealed, you can keep the grounded coriander seeds for up to one year in the freezer and the whole coriander seeds for up to 3-5 years.
Pro Tip: If you have a large quantity of coriander seeds, I highly recommend keeping them in a few jars or air-tight containers. Don’t keep them all in one container. You need to minimize the air contact with the dry spices.
For How Long Can You Store Coriander Seeds Without Freezing?
If you want to make sure that your coriander seeds will sit for up to one year (whole) and for a few months grounded, without freezing them, then make sure that you keep the coriander seeds in a dry, dark, and cool enough place.
For the longest shelf life of coriander seeds, it is recommended to keep them at a temperature of 68ºF (20ºC) or even lower.
Quick Note: It is also very important to keep them in air-tight containers because the coriander seeds in contact with air will affect the volatile oils and the coriander will lose its flavor and aroma.
Pro Tip: If you have a large number of coriander seeds, I would recommend keeping the coriander seeds in two or more containers and using them as refill containers. In that way, you will minimize the contact of air with the coriander seeds.
How to Tell if It Has Gone Bad?
Pay attention to their appearance and smell. Did you notice any differences? If it looks as usual and you don’t notice any repulsive odors, make a simple sniff taste. Does it have a strong smell? or did the pronounced smell disappear? Also, you can try to taste it and see if it still has any taste as in the beginning. If you see that the smell and taste are weak, maybe it’s time to buy a new package of coriander seeds.
Coriander leaves are easier to identify when they go bad. The cilantro leaves will lose their appearance and will wither. If the coriander leaves were stored at high humidity, they may look still fresh, but you may notice that they may have moldy parts. I would recommend throwing away these leaves and going after a fresh portion of coriander stems.
Answering Your Questions:
Can You Use Frozen Cilantro in Salsa?
Yes. As coriander will not change drastically after you freeze it, you can easily use frozen cilantro in your salsa recipe.
Can You Freeze Coriander Stalks?
As the coriander stalks have a lot of flavors, I would also recommend freezing them. Usually, I freeze the coriander stalks, near with other vegetable leftovers and when I have enough, I prepare a delicious homemade vegetable or chicken broth.
How to Keep the Coriander for Longer?
It is recommended to purchase the coriander seeds as a whole, not grounded. Because of that, you will crush the coriander seeds exactly at the moment when you will need them in your dishes. In that way, you get a more intense taste. Once you crush the coriander, it will lose its flavor quickly. If you don’t use it too often in your dishes, you will lose its flavor if you buy it already ground.
Can You Refreeze Coriander?
It is not recommended to refreeze coriander multiple times as it will lose its texture and taste. Because of that, separate it from the beginning into small pieces that you need to use at once while you will need them in your recipes.