Can You Use Cilantro In Spaghetti Sauce? 5 Savory Twists to Try

Can You Use Cilantro In Spaghetti Sauce? 5 Savory Twists to Try

While cilantro is a popular herb often used in Mexican and Asian cuisine, it’s not a traditional ingredient in Italian spaghetti sauce. The bright, citrusy flavor of cilantro might clash with the rich flavors typically found in tomato-based pasta sauces. If you want to add a fresh twist to your spaghetti sauce, you might consider using parsley or basil instead, as they’re more commonly used in Italian cooking.

As a pasta aficionado, I’ve always been fascinated by the endless possibilities that come with experimenting with new flavors.

And yet, when it comes to spaghetti sauce, many of us tend to stick to what we know and love – until now.

Today, I’m shaking things up by asking a question that might just make your taste buds do a double take: Can you use cilantro in spaghetti sauce?

The answer may surprise you.

Some folks swear by the herbal flavor it adds, while others find it overpowering or even soapy-tasting (yes, really!).

As someone who’s always up for trying new twists on classic dishes, I’m diving into the debate and sharing five bold and savory ways to incorporate cilantro into your spaghetti sauce – from a zesty olive oil infusion to Mediterranean-inspired meatballs.

Join me on this flavorful journey as we push the boundaries of what’s possible with this polarizing herb.

The Case Against Cilantro in Spaghetti Sauce

I know what you’re thinking – “Cilantro is a game-changer!

It adds that extra oomph to my spaghetti sauce!” And I’m here to tell you, some people might agree.

But let’s be real, others might find the flavor just too overwhelming or, worse yet, soapy-tasting.

Now, before we dive into the nitty-gritty of why cilantro might not be the best choice for your spaghetti sauce, it’s essential to acknowledge that traditional Italian recipes often exclude cilantro from their sauces.

That’s right – in Italy, where pasta is a staple, cilantro isn’t a common ingredient.


Well, it’s all about balance and harmony.

When you add cilantro to your spaghetti sauce, its strong flavor can quickly overpower the other ingredients.

It’s like trying to have a conversation with someone who’s shouting at the top of their lungs – it’s hard to hear what they’re saying!

And let’s not forget that cilantro is a polarizing herb – people tend to love it or hate it.

So, if you’re cooking for a group, you might end up alienating half your guests.

But don’t just take my word for it.

Let’s look at some stats: according to a survey by the National Gardening Association, 14% of Americans find cilantro soapy-tasting – that’s one in seven people!

And if we’re talking about cooking, that percentage might be even higher.

I mean, who wants to risk offending their dinner guests with a flavor they just can’t stand?

So, what are the alternatives?

Here are five savory twists you can try instead:

  • Basil: Ah, the classic Italian herb. Basil is a natural fit for spaghetti sauce and adds a bright, cheerful flavor.
  • Oregano: This earthy herb pairs beautifully with tomato-based sauces and has a slightly bitter, complex taste that balances out the sweetness of the pasta.
  • Thyme: A little goes a long way with thyme – it’s like the quiet, reserved friend who adds depth to your sauce without overpowering it.
  • Parsley: This curly green herb might not be as bold as cilantro, but it has a fresh, clean taste that complements spaghetti sauce nicely.
  • Garlic and onion powder: Sometimes, less is more. Adding a pinch of garlic and onion powder can add a rich, savory flavor to your sauce without overpowering the other ingredients.

So there you have it – five alternatives to cilantro that’ll keep your spaghetti sauce harmonious and delicious.

And remember, when in doubt, always trust the Italians – they’ve been perfecting their pasta dishes for centuries!

5 Savory Twists to Try: Can You Use Cilantro In Spaghetti Sauce?

When it comes to Italian cooking, there’s one herb that often gets overlooked in favor of more traditional options like basil and parsley.

That herb is cilantro!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Cilantro in spaghetti sauce?

Has the world gone mad?” But hear me out.

Cilantro can add a unique and exciting twist to this classic dish.

In fact, once you try these 5 savory twists, you might just find yourself reaching for that bottle of olive oil and adding a sprinkle of cilantro to your next spaghetti sauce recipe.

Twist #1: Cilantro-Infused Olive Oil

The beauty of using cilantro-infused olive oil is that it’s a subtle game-changer.

By mixing chopped cilantro into your olive oil, you’re creating a flavorful and aromatic base for your spaghetti sauce without overpowering the dish.

It’s like a little wink to your taste buds saying, “Hey, I know what I’m doing here.” Try using this twist in combination with some sautéed garlic and onions for added depth of flavor.

Twist #2: Spicy Shrimp with Cilantro

If you’re looking to add some serious heat to your spaghetti sauce, look no further than spicy shrimp with cilantro.

Cook up some succulent shrimp and toss them into your sauce along with some diced onions, garlic, and jalapeños.

Finish it all off with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper for a bold and spicy flavor profile that will leave you wanting more.

Twist #3: Cilantro-Lime Pasta

Sometimes, the simplest twists are the most effective.

Take this cilantro-lime pasta recipe, for example.

Cook up some spaghetti according to package instructions, then toss it with olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro.

Add some toasted almonds or breadcrumbs for added crunch and texture, and you’ve got a light and refreshing take on traditional spaghetti.

Twist #4: Mediterranean Meatballs

If you’re looking to add some serious protein to your spaghetti sauce, look no further than these Mediterranean meatballs.

Mix up some ground beef with chopped cilantro, parsley, garlic, and a pinch of cumin.

Form into meatballs and bake until cooked through, then serve them in your spaghetti sauce with some crusty bread on the side.

Twist #5: Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce

Finally, let’s talk about roasting vegetables.

It’s one of my favorite ways to add depth and complexity to any dish, including spaghetti sauce.

Simply toss a medley of vegetables (such as zucchini, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes) with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven until they’re tender and caramelized.

Then, blend those roasted veggies into your spaghetti sauce along with some chopped cilantro, garlic, and lemon juice for a vibrant and flavorful sauce that’s sure to become a new favorite.

So there you have it – 5 savory twists to try when using cilantro in spaghetti sauce.

Whether you’re looking to add some heat, some crunch, or just some extra flavor, these twists are sure to help you take your pasta game to the next level.

And remember: don’t be afraid to experiment and make these recipes your own.

After all, that’s what cooking is all about!

Final Thoughts

As I wrapped up experimenting with these five savory twists, I have to admit that my initial skepticism towards using cilantro in spaghetti sauce has given way to newfound appreciation.

The key, I’ve discovered, lies in balancing its bold flavor with other ingredients that complement rather than overpower it.

Whether you’re a traditionalist who sticks to classic recipes or an adventurous cook looking to shake things up, there’s no denying the versatility and excitement that cilantro can bring to your pasta dishes.

So go ahead, take the leap, and see where this flavorful herb takes you!

Peter Kirsch

Peter is an avid gardener and herbalist. He loves learning about the healing and medicinal properties of herbs and enjoys writing about them. He’s been passionate about herbs since he was a child and has learned a lot about them over the years. He’s written several articles for various publications, all about herbs and their uses. He’s also spoken at several conferences and workshops about the topic.

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