Make Cilantro Oil

It never fails that I get cilantro for something I’m planning to make, and I end up with a big soggy batch of it wilted no matter how good my intentions are. I got sick of either skipping the purchase of a bunch of cilantro or tossing the mucky remnants of one I purchased. I have experimented with lots of different techniques for preserving it, and this is by far my favorite.


  • 1 bunch cilantro (or whatever you have left of yours) including stems
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional Ingredients/Add-ins

  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic


  1. Place washed cilantro, leaves and stems into a blender (or bowl and use a stick blender), or small food processor with water. Puree.
  2. Place the puree into a small saucepan and heat on very low heat until it begins to bubble.
  3. Add salt (and if you are adding lime or lemon juice and/or garlic add it now).
  4. Stir rapidly for about one minute.
  5. Add oil and bring it back up to a slight simmer, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in salt to taste. The salt should brighten up the flavor but not take over, as this oil is meant to be an ingredient, not a finished product. Too much salt could impact your final product.
  7. Turn off heat. Allow the mixture to cool for at least two hours for flavors to fuse into the oil.
  8. To freeze for later use in sauces, dressings, salsas, dips, and dishes: pour into ice cube tray and freeze, then move to a labeled container. About one ice cube is about one ounce, and is the equivalent of a tablespoon or so of cilantro plus the oil and salt, should you need to adjust for a recipe.
  9. To refrigerate for use within 3-4 days, transfer to an airtight container and use according to ratios mentioned in step 7.

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