7 Delicious Ways To Use Leftover Cilantro

Every time I want to make salsa, I buy a bunch of cilantro.

But a big batch of salsa only requires about 1/4 of a bunch of cilantro, and the rest inevitably wilts and dies in my fridge, filling me with food-waste guilt.

Besides desperately wishing grocery stores would sell cilantro in smaller bunches, what’s a cook to do? The easy answer is: use it!

Keep reading to discover more easy ways to put fresh cilantro to use in your kitchen, along with a simple trick for extending its shelf life in the fridge.

1. Put It In A Cocktail

How to Use Leftover Cilantro

Image Credit: penmachine via Flickr

If, like me, you’re sad to see summer leaving for another year, adding chopped cilantro to a cocktail or mocktail is the perfect way to hang on to the fresh, seasonal flavors we love. Check out this easy Cilantro Mojito from Glue and Glitter, the vegan cooking blog created by Care2′s own Becky Striepe!

2. Add It To Breakfast

How to Use Leftover CilantroImage Credit: nanpalmero via Flickr

A handful of fresh, chopped cilantro is a great way to add some herbaceous flavor and a pop of green to breakfast scrambles and skillet meals.

3. Make A Chutney

How to use Leftover CilantroImage Credit: andrea_nguyen via Flickr 

Chutney is a condiment that’s very similar to pesto and a great way to preserve the flavors of a fresh herb for future use. It can be tossed in with roasted vegetables or spread on grilled meats. Check out this Care2 recipe for Cilantro Mint Chutney.

4. Mix It Into Coleslaw

How to Use Leftover CilantroImage Credit: veganfeast via Flickr

Cabbage is the star of most coleslaw recipes, but the entire dish gets a fresh, Asian-style twist with the addition of some fresh cilantro leaves. Check out this recipe for Crunchy Peanut Slaw from The Kitchn.

5. Let It Hang Out With Other Greens

How to use Leftover CilantroImage Credit: meaduva via Flickr

Making a salad? Toss fresh cilantro leaves together with other leafy greens for a refreshing crunch with an elevated flavor! Top it all off with one of these 12 Healthy, Easy Recipes For Salad Dressing.

6. Brew A Cup Of Tea

How to Use Leftover CilantroImage Credit: Charles Kremenak via Flickr

“Cilantro tea has been traditionally used as both a digestive aid and a toxin-clearing agent,” writes Care2′s Shubhra Krishan. “The tea can be made with two teaspoons of cilantro leaves steeped in one cup of hot water. For flavor, you could add honey, orange peel or lemon slices.”

7. Gussy Up Your Guac

How to Use Leftover CilantroImage Credit: tavallai via Flickr

People are very protective of their guacamole recipes, but if you’re open to a little experimentation, try adding a few finely chopped cilantro leaves to your next batch. You might be surprised how much you like the bright, citrusy flavor!


Wondering how to keep your cilantro fresh and crispy until you can use it up in one of these recipes? Rather than just tossing it in the crisper, put it in a mason jar full of water before refrigeration. This will keep the cilantro alive and well for up to a week while you decide how you’d like to enjoy it!



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