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How to Freeze Dry Cilantro

Cilantro is terrific (unless you think it tastes like soap), but has a reputation of being finicky to preserve! But freeze-drying cilantro is the best way to preserve it for long-term storage! And it’s so easy to do!

Fresh parsley in a jar on a white table.

How to Freeze Dry Cilantro

Freeze-drying coriander is an easy process that is very hands-off. Expect about a day of it being in the freeze-dryer to process it. And yes – coriander (international) is the same thing as cilantro (US)

A series of photos showing how to dry parsley in jars.

Instructions:

  1. Wash
  2. Destem if you don’t have use for the excess stems.
  3. Load onto your freeze dryer trays. I use a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.
  4. Run your machine according to your manufacturer’s directions. Follow the prompts.
    I run a regular freezing cycle at 95°F / 35°C, and an extra 18 hours of dry time. (This is similar to dehydrating)
  5. Check for crisp, breakable leaves and stems to know if all moisture has been removed.
  6. Vacuum seal in an airtight container.

Yield, Storage, and Usage

  • 1 Tablespoon of freeze dried cilantro = 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro.
  • Expect the shelf life of freeze-dried cilantro to last about five years in a cool, dark, dry storage in vacuum-sealed containers (or mylar bags with oxygen absorbers). Your mileage may vary and you’ll get much longer.
  • Cilantro can be used instead of fresh in many recipes you already love: salsas, meals, soups, stews, etc. And yes! It can be used in fresh guacamole, too!

Darcy’s Tips

  • There’s no need to pre-freeze cilantro before freeze-drying.
  • We remove much of the excess stems because, whether freeze-dried or dehydrated, they don’t have a great texture/flavor unless we plan on powdering it all. It goes into our compost.
  • Feel free to pile the trays a little higher than the recommended height of the tray rim. They will shrink some while drying to settle into the trays. Just don’t pile more than will easily slide into the machine.
  • Freeze-dried herbs really need to stay in an airtight container, or they can get soft. Be sure to reseal your container after using it. I love this handheld vacuum sealer by Kitool (VP06+) because it is readily accessible and vacuum sealers in about 40 seconds.

Which is better? Freeze-dried or Dehydrated Cilantro

Freeze-dried contains more flavor and color than dried cilantro and will last longer on the shelf.

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However, this will always be a personal opinion. One of my sons prefers the dried because it has more of the grassy flavor of cilantro.

Did I answer your questions?

If you have thoughts or questions about how to freeze dry cilantro, please drop a comment or question in the comment section below! I’d love to help you get started!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does freeze-dried cilantro taste like soap?

Yes, the genetic marker that causes cilantro to taste like soap isn’t affected by the freeze-drying process. However, we felt like the freeze-dried cilantro taste a little saltier than dehydrated cilantro.

Is freeze-dried cilantro better than fresh?

Every preserving method loses a little of the bright, fresh, biting flavor of fresh cilantro. But freeze-dried herbs taste a little more fresh than dehydrated. But as with all herbs, dried is never quite as good as fresh.

How long does freeze-dried cilantro last?

It can last years in proper storage. I do recommend using within 3-4 years.

Does dried cilantro go bad?

Over time, dehydrated cilantro loses what flavor it returns. Freeze-dried cilantro will also lose flavor, but will last years before it does so.

Fresh cilantro in a jar on a white table.

Freeze Drying Cilantro

How to freeze dry cilantro for long-term food storage.
Print PIN THIS! Rate
Course: Preserved Food
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Drying Time: 18 hours
Total Time: 18 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 1kcal

Equipment

  • Jars Mylar bags or vacuum seal bags are an option
  • Vacuum sealer Oxygen absorbers would be an option for sealing in bag.

Ingredients

  • Cilantro

Instructions

  • Wash
  • Destem if you don’t have use for the excess stems.
  • Load onto your freeze dryer trays. I use a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.
  • Run your machine according to your manufacturer’s directions. Follow the prompts.
  • I run a regular freezing cycle at 95°F / 35°C, and an extra 18 hours of dry time. (This is similar to dehydrating)
  • Check for crisp, breakable leaves and stems to know if all moisture has been removed.
  • Vacuum seal in an airtight container.

Darcy’s Tips

  • There’s no need to pre-freeze cilantro before freeze-drying.
  • We remove much of the excess stems because, whether freeze-dried or dehydrated, they don’t have a great texture/flavor unless we plan on powdering it all. It goes into our compost.
  • Feel free to pile the trays a little higher than the recommended height of the tray rim. They will shrink some while drying to settle into the trays. Just don’t pile more than will easily slide into the machine.
  • Freeze-dried herbs really need to stay in an airtight container, or they can get soft. Be sure to reseal your container after using it. I love this handheld vacuum sealer because it is readily accessible and vacuum sealers in about 40 seconds.

Yield, Storage, and Usage

  • 1 Tablespoon of freeze dried cilantro = 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro.
  • Expect the shelf life of freeze-dried cilantro to last about five years in a cool, dark, dry storage in vacuum-sealed containers (or mylar bags with oxygen absorbers). Your mileage may vary and you’ll get much longer.
  • Cilantro can be used instead of fresh in many recipes you already love: salsas, meals, soups, stews, etc. And yes! It can be used in fresh guacamole, too!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.03g

Nutritional information is an estimation only. Nutrient information for dehydrated foods is based on fresh. Use 1/4 of the servicing size for the same nutrient information. Thus 1 Cup of fresh fruit has the same sugars as 1/4 dried.

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