How to dry Cilantro

I sometimes have fresh cilantro left over from cooking a Mexican dish.  I don’t like to let it go to waste after lingering in the refrigerator for a few days.  Cilantro dries very nice and stays green afterward.  Some herbs that are green can turn brown or black when dried but cilantro stays green. I used be able to find dried cilantro in the Mexican spices that can in the little bags but I haven’t seen any locally in a long time at the store that I shop.  So if you do have a hard time finding them already dried this is a good solution to dry them yourself.

The process is very easy and is done in the oven.  I have convection oven that makes it even go faster.  I set the oven at the lowest temperature that it will go.  In my case that is 170 degrees.  I also turn on the convection so the air circulates but you can do this in a oven without convection.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum.  The leaves with stick to the pan and it is easier to get all of the leaves off if you parchment or nonstick foil.  It makes for easy clean up too.  If the leaves are real dry it won’t stick as much.  I like to wash the cilantro before I take the leaves off.  I remove the leaves from the stem before I dry them.



You only need to lay them evenly on the tray. Put them in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.  They won’t be dry at 30 minutes but you should shake the tray so the leaves rearrange. This helps them to dry faster.  You can also tell how close to being dried by the way they look.  If it looks like they are almost dry I just set the timer for 15 minutes but if there are lots that are still wet then I set it longer.  You will know when it is dry because it will feel dry.  I just gently scoop them in a pile to cool.  The leaves that are stuck to the parchment paper or non stick foil with come loose after the tray cools.  I usually just scrape them up with my fingers. When the flakes are cool just put them in an airtight jar.  I make chili often so it is nice to have the cilantro flakes on hand to use.  Their flavor isn’t as strong as the fresh so you need to keep that in mind as you use them. I usually use them up in a few months but the rule of thumb for the self life of herbs is one year. You might want to date your jar . I didn’t crush them because I wanted you to see what they look like from drying.  You can crush them up to make smaller pieces.





9 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post, you’d said you were going to do cilantro and you did.
    My sister at last week’s birthday family lunch made enchiladas which called for dried cilantro and she had just bought two “boutique” shop bottles of herbs. Because we are old, in a hurry and don’t PEER at the labels, she relied on the look of the bottle and instantaneously put basil in the dish. Wasn’t all that bad but OOOOppppps. Cilantro does stay green when dried….then again so does basil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Actually sweet basil, the one you use in Italian foods turns black for me when I dry it. So I freeze it instead and it smells really good when you open the baggie to use some.

      My boutique bottles are Ball jelly jars, Paula Dean had a line of candles in them. And a store that was moving had the candles marked down to fifty cents. I bought 24 candles that day because that was cheaper then buying 2 dozen jars for making jelly in. I keep my spices in those jars.

      Thanks for the comment.


  2. quilt32 says:

    I love cilantro and always have some left over. This will be a perfect way to get more use out of my purchase.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      You end up having to buy a big bunch and then it seems like most of it ends up after a week or so wasted. I do this with celery leaves also, the same way. When you do find celery flakes in the grocery they are expensive. Organic groceries sale the whole stalk without cutting off the leafy top. People like to put the whole rib with leaves in their juicer for healthy drinks. I spend the extra to get the leaves to dry. Usually it will last me a year before I have to go on the hunt for very leafy celery.

      Thanks for your comment.


  3. Just threw out half of a leftover bunch a few days ago. I dry all sorts of other herbs, just never thought about cilantro! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      It turned out to be one of the easy herbs to do. It usually takes less then a hour in the oven.

      In the last 5 years I have learned so much from other everyday people off the internet. I think to myself. “Why didn’t I think if that?”

      Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    I was at the grocery earlier this morning and one of the items I need for a spice blend is dried parsley. As I grabbed the bottle, I noticed the jars of dried cilantro and remembered this post. I put the jar back on the shelf, bought 2 bunches of organic parsley, and I’ve just pulled them out of the oven. I now have plenty of FRESH dried organic parsley. Thank you for this post. It could not have come at a better time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I did watch a youtube video the other day where you can dry basil in the microwave and it will not turn black. The leaves are put between paper towels and it just takes a few seconds. It is done in very small batches. I may try that with sweet basil.

      Thanks for your comment. I hope your cookbook has sold well.


  5. What an excellent idea! Thank you.. c


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