10 Uses for Cilantro: Easy Ways to Use Cilantro in Cooking

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Cilantro is simple to grow, inexpensive to buy, and a hardy plant that is great to have around! But what is cilantro good for? Below, you will find 10 Uses for Cilantro that will make you want a plant or two of your own.

Cilantro is simple to grow, inexpensive to buy, and a hardy plant that is great to have around! These 10 Uses for Cilantro are sure to make you want a plant or two of your own. #cilantro #usesforcilantro #herbs

10 Uses for Cilantro

If you are unfamiliar with cilantro, you may think isn’t good for much more than salsa or guacamole recipes. (And to some, it just tastes like soap!) But the truth is, cilantro is a very practical herb that is also perfect for many other uses.

You can find cilantro at your local gardening center, home improvement store, or even your local farmer’s market for just a few dollars per plant. Take a look below at how easy cilantro is to use in a variety of other ways that are fun and frugal.

What is Cilantro Good For

Cilantro is reportedly good for brain health, lowering anxiety levels, controlling your blood sugar, and helping to prevent foodborne illnesses like salmonella. (Source) It adds lots of flavor to dishes without adding much for calories.

Cilantro contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, and the leaves also have folate, potassium, and manganese although you’d have to eat large amounts of cilantro to benefit from these vitamins and minerals, and cilantro is typically used as a garnish.

Fresh Cilantro also contains Beta-carotene and lutein, which are antioxidants.

Cilantro growing in a terra cotta pot on a wooden table.
Fresh cilantro, also known as coriander, in a pot.

Ways to Use Cilantro

Cilantro can be used to spice up your beans, curries, Mediterranean food, Mexican food, and so much more! In addition to all of the health benefits of cilantro, here are some specific ways to use cilantro in your cooking.

1. Spice up your sour cream.

Chopped cilantro can be stirred in with sour cream and then used to top chili, soups, and stews. For a healthier alternative, you can also stir it in with low-fat plain yogurt and use it the same way.

2. Rev up your rice.

You can chop cilantro and toss it into your rice dishes for some extra pep! Or sprinkle some on top before serving. Mix chopped cilantro with lime to create a refreshing dressing for your rice dishes as well.

3. Give salad dressing a kick.

Add chopped cilantro to your salad dressings for an extra little kick. It pairs especially well with vinaigrettes and citrus-flavored dressings. Add the cilantro and allow the dressing to sit in a refrigerator for about an hour before use.

Tip: Try adding cilantro to one of these Easy Salad Dressing Recipes

4. Create a quick coleslaw.

Mix vegetables, a little oil, salt, and pepper, along with fresh chopped cilantro to create a unique and refreshing coleslaw. This is the perfect recipe for a quick and inexpensive side dish!


5. Add flavor to your stir-fry.

Throw a little bit of chopped cilantro into your next stir-fry to give it an added kick of flavor. Add it towards the end of cooking to give your stir-fry a very fresh flavor.

6. Give your bagels a boost.

Cilantro mixed with cream cheese is a perfect addition to a bagel. Serve it at your next brunch for some rave reviews.

7. Spice up pasta salads.

A sprinkling of chopped cilantro goes a long way. Add it to your pasta salads, rice salads, or fresh green salads for some truly unique flavor you won’t be able to get enough of.

8. Flavor your oils.

Place cilantro stems in oil bottles and let them sit to infuse the oil with that great cilantro flavor. Use the oil on your meat dishes, pasta dishes, or salads for extra flavor.

9. Create a cool chutney.

There are literally hundreds of chutney recipes out there, and all of them will taste better when you add a little fresh chopped cilantro! Put your own spin on any chutney recipe by tossing in this tasty and fresh ingredient.

10. Make your own green sauce.

Green sauce is perfect for baking and marinating meat dishes. It is colorful, fresh, and so fun and frugal to make. Not sure how to make your own green sauce? Take a look below at a simple green sauce recipe you can try today!

5 from 2 votes

Cilantro Infused Green Sauce

How to make a simple cilantro infused green sauce to take advantage of cilantro's healthy properties!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Cilantro Green Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 131 kcal
Creator Merissa


  • 2 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 jalapeño pepper More can be added if you desire.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Toss all of your ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Add salt to taste. Additional garlic or pepper can also be added to get to the desired flavor you want.
Nutrition Facts
Cilantro Infused Green Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 39mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 0.2g0%
Protein 0.3g1%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This recipe is so easy and only takes a few minutes to make. Finding ways to use it in your kitchen will add delicious flavor to your dishes and save time and money.

Growing cilantro plants in dirt.

Growing Cilantro

Cilantro is a very easy herb to grow! Like all herbs, the germination time is fairly long, but once it’s growing, it will just keep going.

You can grow cilantro inside in an herb box or outside in your garden. I like to grow cilantro in my hydroponics system (both in the greenhouse and inside) because herbs tend to like a lot of water.

Make sure to leave a few cilantro plants alone so that they can go to seed. The seeds are known as coriander seeds and also can be used in cooking.

Both Coriander and Cilantro act as a diuretic, which can help flush extra sodium from your system and lower blood pressure. Early research also suggests that coriander can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, reducing your risk of coronary heart disease. (Source)

In other words, even though not everyone might like how cilantro tastes, it can help your heart health and should be considered as an essential part of your diet!

Storing Cilantro

You can store cut cilantro from the store or from your garden in a glass of water in the fridge.

Fill the glass with about an inch or two of water and place the cilantro in it, just like you were putting flowers in a vase. Cilantro will last much longer when stored in water than if the cut stems are simply left uncovered in the fridge.

Is it Ok to Eat Cilantro Raw?

Yes! Raw cilantro contains the highest amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidents and is the best way to eat it.

Who Should Not Eat Cilantro?

Since Cilantro lowers blood sugar, those with lower blood sugar levels (such as those with diabetes) should use caution when eating cilantro. Small amounts should be fine for most people.

As you can see, there are so many uses for cilantro besides just tossing it in your salsa. If you do like salsa, check out this Homemade Salsa Recipe for Canning! It would also be good for this 7 Layer Taco Dip Recipe.

Cilantro is a truly versatile herb with many uses in everyday recipes. Try some of these uses and see how easy it is to incorporate cilantro into your daily cooking routine.

Chive flowers

More Uses for Herbs

Uses for Chives
Uses for Mint

If you’re ready to grow cilantro, check out this post on How to Grow an Herb Garden.

What are your favorite uses for cilantro? Do you have a favorite recipe to use it in?

Me and KadyMerissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.


This post on 10 Uses for Cilantro was originally published on Little House Living in August 2013. It has been updated as of June 2023.

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  1. I had only had cilantro once prior to meeting my husband 12 years ago. You see, he’s Puerto Rican and uses it A LOT in cooking. So over the years I’ve learned to make many Spanish dishes with cilantro. If you’ve never tried it in beans or sauces you’ll be surprised at the flavor it gives. (I had never eaten rice and beans prior to meeting my husband!)

  2. I never used to like cilantro, but I am learning to. I tried growing some this spring, but it died off completely – I don’t think it liked the cool nights.

  3. I did make cilantro ice cream. It was alright but I don’t know if I would actually recommend it.
    Do various salsa recipes count as different uses? I could probably list 10 salsa varieties!

  4. Yummy ideas! I’ve only used cilantro in burritos before, since I don’t know much about cooking. But I think even I could try some of these! 🙂

  5. Awesome. Love this. I have some cilantro growing in my garden and needed these ideas. That green sauce looks amazing. Thanks and now following!!

  6. I love cilantro. Great suggestions for using it. I’ve seen some other ideas that sound great too. A cucumber and cilantro salad and cilantro simple syrup to spice up drinks. I also add cilantro to garnish just about any meal…it’s great on curries, stir fries, and anything Mexican.

  7. I’ve always loved the taste of cilantro. Now I have 10 more ways to enjoy it! Thank you for linking at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you again next week.

  8. I love cilantro and the peppery bite it adds to a dish! What great ways to use this awesome herb! Thanks so much for linking up to Wine’d Down Wednesday! 🙂

  9. I love cilantro and I am always looking for ways to use before the fresh bunch starts to go bad! I really like the idea of mixing it in with cream cheese! Stopping by from The Weekend Retreat Link Party!

  10. I love cilantro and my family does too. We cook with it a lot! Great ideas here…I found some new things to try!

  11. I so could have used this a couple months ago when I had way too much cilantro! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday

  12. Your green sauce recipe sounds so delicious! I am looking forward to giving it a try. I always seem to have leftover cilantro that goes bad before I use it up, and my climate is just too hot to grow it successfully throughout the summer. This is a great tip for me. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I just LOVE cilantro! I wanted to let you know that I will be featuring this post on Tuesdays with a Twist link party, stop by for a peek. 🙂

  14. Hi Merissa – Thanks so much for sharing with the Let’s Get Real party. I’m pinning this to our group board. I have the hardest time growing cilantro. I can’t imagine what the problem is, because I’ve always heard it’s easy to grow.

  15. This amazing post has been featured twice on 2 different blogs as part of the Tuesdays with a Twist blog hop!! By Debra from Ms Moozy’s Open House & by me!
    Thanks so much!

  16. I love cilantro, thanks for the extra ideas besides just Mexican dishes for cilantro. I have used it in Cauliflower “rice” and it really does add a great dimension of flavor. I would never have thought to use it in Cole Slaw, I would bet that would be a really good flavor.

  17. The first time I ate cilantro it was on a sandwich laid along with the lettuce! I was hooked with my first bite😍
    I’ve used it in salads & salsa ever since. Love these new ideas👏

  18. The first time I had cilantro, I was not a fan. However, it grows on you. Now I can’t get enough of it. So, for those who say they don’t like it, try it again, In small doses, I can almost guarantee you’ll fall in love too!!! Thanks for the recipes! Can’t wait to get some of these!!!

  19. Try making my signature cilantro feta garlic soup: put a bunch or two of cilantro in a super blender. Add a clove or two of garlic, a few cubic inches of feta, some olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a cup and a half or so of water. Very ingredients to get the taste and texture you like and run the blender till it’s hot.

    1. 5 stars
      Larry, that sounds AMAZING!!! I’m absolutely borrowing that! I imagine using chicken stock instead of water would be good, also – YUM!!! Thank you for posting a new recipe inspiration!!

  20. Hi Merissa:
    My hubby is Asian and it was he that introduced me to cilantro. Just some other suggestions – it makes a tasty topping on soups. For us that is on won ton and congee which is a rice porridge. In Vietnam where my hubby is from a favourite soup is a beef rice noodle soup called pho (pronounced fo or fa) You sprinkle chopped cilantro and chopped green onion on top of the soup. If you let cilantro go to seed it becomes coriander which is another spice/seasoning for recipes. Coriander can be used whole or crushed up and used in a lot of Asian/East Indian dishes. And for pet owners, cilantro is a tasty treat for bunnies.

  21. I love cilantro. My daughter says it takes like soap. Many others experience this taste also. It is a genetic make up in some bodies chemistry. SAD! I can eat a cilantro salad.

  22. 5 stars
    When I was in Guatemala, I was served an omelet filled with a smear of sour cream and chopped cilantro. I’ve done it ever since – my husband says it’s just about his favorite way to have an omelet!

    But harvest regularly, and keep in mind temperatures outdoors – it goes from being lush to a bolted, woody mess in a very short time!!! Enjoy!!

    1. Yes you can freeze it. It won’t be able to still be used in many fresh applications because the texture will be off but it will work fine for soups and things like that.