What to Cook Cilantro With? 10 Fresh and Delicious Ideas

What to Cook Cilantro With? 10 Fresh and Delicious Ideas

Cilantro is a versatile herb that can be paired with a variety of dishes. One popular combination is cilantro lime chicken, where you marinate chicken breasts in a mixture of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and cilantro, then grill or bake until cooked through. You can also add it to salsas, salads, and soups for an extra burst of flavor. Additionally, cilantro pairs well with Indian and Mexican cuisine, so try adding it to dishes like chana masala or chicken fajitas.

As I gaze into my kitchen, I’m reminded of the countless possibilities that await when I reach for that vibrant green herb – cilantro.

To me, it’s more than just a flavorful addition to dishes; it’s a key that unlocks a world of culinary excitement.

In this blog post, we’ll embark on a journey to explore the diverse and delicious ways you can cook with cilantro.

From its classic pairing with creamy soups and hearty stews, to its unexpected union with fresh fruits and grilled meats, I’ll share my top 10 ideas for incorporating this incredible herb into your cooking routine.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting to explore the world of flavors, get ready to be inspired by the versatility and aroma of cilantro.

Cilantro Pairings for Soups and Stews: Elevate Your Comfort Food Game!

When it comes to soups and stews, cilantro is often an afterthought – but trust me, it’s a game-changer.

This underrated herb adds a depth of flavor that’ll leave your taste buds singing.

So, what are the best pairings for cilantro in these comforting dishes?

Let’s dive in!

Creamy Soups: Cilantro’s Perfect Match

Cilantro and creamy soups – a match made in heaven!

Take tomato soup, for instance.

Add some chopped cilantro towards the end of cooking, and you’ll get a burst of freshness that complements the richness of the soup.

Butternut squash soup is another winner with cilantro.

The sweetness of the squash pairs beautifully with the herb’s citrusy notes.

Hearty Stews: Cilantro’s Savory Twist

Hearty stews are where cilantro really shines.

Beef and vegetable stew, lentil soup – you name it!

A sprinkle of chopped cilantro adds a bright, zesty flavor that cuts through the richness of the dish.

It’s like a breath of fresh air on a cold winter day.

Recipe Example: Creamy Tomato Soup with Cilantro Swirl

Want to try this magic for yourself?

Here’s a simple recipe:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1 can of crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until softened.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable broth, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat and let cook for 20-25 minutes or until the soup has thickened slightly.
  4. Stir in heavy cream or half-and-half.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with chopped cilantro and a swirl of cream (optional).

There you have it – 10 fresh and delicious ideas for what to cook with cilantro!

Whether you’re a soup aficionado or a stew enthusiast, this underrated herb is sure to elevate your comfort food game.

Cilantro in Mexican-Insired Dishes: Elevate Your Flavors with These Fresh and Delicious Ideas!

Hey there, fellow foodies!

Today, we’re going to explore the incredible world of cilantro in Mexican-inspired dishes.

If you’ve ever cooked up a storm of tacos, chiles rellenos, or quesadillas, then you know that cilantro is more than just a garnish – it’s a flavor bomb waiting to be unleashed!

In Mexican cuisine, cilantro is a staple herb that adds brightness and depth to salsas, guacamoles, and everything in between.

But don’t limit yourself to the basics!

Cilantro can elevate your dishes from mere mortal meals to culinary masterpieces.

Chiles Rellenos: Stuffing the Flavor

Chiles rellenos are a staple of Mexican cuisine – roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, meat, or veggies.

And what’s the perfect addition to this flavor fiesta?

A sprinkle of cilantro, of course!

Simply chop up some fresh cilantro and toss it onto your stuffed peppers before baking.

The result is a symphony of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

Taco Tuesday, Anyone?

Tacos are a no-brainer when it comes to adding cilantro to the mix.

Whether you’re using ground beef, chicken, or veggies, a sprinkle of chopped cilantro adds a burst of freshness and zest.

And don’t even get me started on salsa – cilantro is the perfect addition to give your homemade salsas an extra boost!

Quesadillas: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Quesadillas are the ultimate comfort food, right?

Stuff some cheese (and maybe some beans or chicken) inside a tortilla, cook it up, and you’re in for a treat.

And what’s the perfect topping for these gooey, cheesy wonders?

A sprinkle of cilantro, naturally!

The bright, citrusy flavor cuts through the richness of the cheese perfectly.

Recipe: Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

Want to take your taco game to the next level?

Try this recipe for Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos!


  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa (optional)


  1. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish and brush with the cilantro-lime mixture.
  4. Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  5. Slice the chicken into thin strips.
  6. Warm tortillas according to package instructions.
  7. Assemble tacos by placing chicken onto tortillas, topping with cheese, sour cream, and salsa (if using).

And that’s it!

With these 10 fresh and delicious ideas for using cilantro in Mexican-inspired dishes, you’ll be cooking up a storm of flavor and flair in no time.

So go ahead, get creative, and remember: cilantro is the unsung hero of your kitchen arsenal!

Cilantro and Fresh Fruits: A Match Made in Heaven

I’m a big fan of cilantro, but let’s be real – it can be a bit tricky to work with.

Too much of it, and your dish tastes like soap (trust me, I’ve been there).

But when used correctly, cilantro adds this incredible depth of flavor that just takes things to the next level.

And you know what pairs perfectly with that pungent goodness?

Fresh fruits!

Cilantro and Fruit Salads: A Game-Changer

Think about it – a sweet and tangy fruit salad gets an instant upgrade when you add some chopped cilantro.

The freshness of the herbs balances out the natural sugars in the fruit, creating this beautiful harmony of flavors.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat a bowl of strawberries with a sprinkle of cilantro on top?

It’s like a party in your mouth!

Recipe: Cilantro-Infused Strawberry Salad

  • 2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
  • Salt to taste

Combine the strawberries, cilantro, and balsamic glaze in a bowl.

Toss gently to combine, then season with salt to taste.


A sweet and savory salad that’s perfect for a light lunch or as a snack.

Cilantro and Fruit Smoothies: A Boost of Flavor

Fruit smoothies are all the rage these days, and for good reason – they’re quick, easy, and packed with nutrients.

But let’s be real, sometimes they can get a bit…


That’s where cilantro comes in!

A few sprigs of fresh cilantro can add this incredible zing to your smoothie that’ll keep you coming back for more.

Recipe: Mango Madness Smoothie

  • 2 ripe mangos
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Ice cubes (as needed)

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth, then add ice if you want a thicker consistency.

This smoothie is perfect for hot summer days when you need a refreshing pick-me-up.

Cilantro and Fruit Desserts: The Perfect Garnish

Now, I know what you’re thinking – cilantro in dessert?

Has this guy gone crazy?!

But hear me out!

A sprig of fresh cilantro can add this beautiful burst of flavor to your fruit-based desserts that’ll take them to the next level.

Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Recipe: Cilantro Lime Sorbet

  • 2 cups mixed berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the berries, sugar, and lime juice in a blender.

Blend until smooth, then stir in the chopped cilantro.

Freeze the mixture until set, then scoop into bowls and serve.

This sorbet is perfect for warm weather when you need a light and refreshing dessert.

There you have it – 10 fresh and delicious ideas on what to cook with cilantro!

Whether you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your fruit salads or create a unique dessert, cilantro is the herb for you.

So go ahead, get creative, and give one of these recipes a try!

Cilantro and Grilled Meats: A Match Made in Heaven

Hey there, fellow foodies!

Today we’re talking about one of my favorite flavor combinations: cilantro and grilled meats.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – “cilantro isn’t just for salsas and salads, is it?” And the answer is, absolutely not!

This bright green herb is a game-changer when paired with the smoky richness of grilled meats.

So why do cilantro and grilled meats go so well together?

For starters, cilantro’s fresh, citrusy flavor helps cut through the bold, savory taste of the meat.

It’s like a match made in heaven – or should I say, on the grill!

But what really sets this combination apart is the way the heat from the grill brings out the best in both flavors.

Using Cilantro as a Marinade

One of my favorite ways to use cilantro with grilled meats is by incorporating it into a marinade.

Simply blend some chopped cilantro with lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and your choice of spices (like cumin or coriander), then toss in your chicken breasts or shrimp.

Let them sit for at least 30 minutes before firing up the grill, and you’ll be rewarded with meat that’s not only juicy and flavorful but also infused with that unmistakable cilantro zing.

Here’s a simple recipe to get you started: Cilantro Lime Marinated Chicken Breasts

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish, pour the marinade over them, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Grill the chicken over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Cilantro as a Topping

Of course, you don’t have to stop at just using cilantro in a marinade.

It’s also an amazing topping for grilled meats!

Simply chop some fresh cilantro and sprinkle it over your steak, chicken, or shrimp after they’ve come off the grill.

The bright green color and tangy flavor will add a burst of freshness to your meal.

Some other great pairings to try:

  • Cilantro and grilled shrimp: Toss chopped cilantro with lime juice and olive oil for a quick and easy sauce.
  • Cilantro and grilled chicken breast: Top cooked chicken with a sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco, some diced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of cilantro.
  • Cilantro and grilled steak: Add some heat to your meal by sprinkling chopped cilantro over sliced grilled steak, then drizzling with a spicy chipotle sauce.

And there you have it – 10 fresh and delicious ideas for what to cook cilantro with.

Whether you’re in the mood for something classic and comforting or bold and adventurous, this versatile herb is sure to be a hit.

So go ahead, get creative, and start cooking up some cilantro magic!

Final Thoughts

As I wrap up this post on what to cook with cilantro, I’m reminded of the countless ways this humble herb can elevate our dishes.

From soups and stews to Mexican-inspired feasts, fresh fruits, and grilled meats – cilantro’s versatility is truly remarkable.

For me, it’s not just about the flavors or textures that cilantro brings; it’s also about the memories I’ve made while cooking with it.

The smell of cilantro wafting from my kitchen reminds me of family gatherings, late-night cooking sessions with friends, and countless experiments in the pursuit of culinary innovation.

So go ahead, get creative with cilantro!

Add it to your favorite soups and stews, or try it in a Mexican-inspired dish for a burst of freshness.

Experiment with pairing it with fruits, or use it as a marinade for grilled meats.

Trust me, your taste buds (and your memories) will thank 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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