Stop Throwing Out Leftover Cilantro Stems ASAP

For many of us, cooking is a treasured activity that ignites one's creative side, while also resulting in a much-needed meal. Unfortunately, like most other modern ways of feeding ourselves, cooking often results in quite a bit of waste. With landfills full of trashed plastic packaging and tossed vegetable scraps alike, the garbage accumulated while cooking can have a negative impact on the environment, which is why it's important to find ways to minimize waste in the kitchen. One way to do that is to try and use as much of a piece of produce as you can, rather than throwing away a bunch of completely edible scraps. For example, the next time you have to cut up a few bundles of cilantro, you shouldn't overlook the crunchy and delicious stems.


As long as you're not someone who hates cilantro, you know the bright, unique, and zingy taste it can bring to practically anything it's added to. While most chefs opt to only use the tender leaves of cilantro, the entire herb can be used to elevate a meal. An easy way to integrate cilantro stems into a recipe is to chop them up with the rest of the herb and use them as a garnish. The stems will bring a bit more texture compared to the leaves, along with a potent, effervescent cilantro taste.

More ways to cook with cilantro stems

Aside from garnishing dishes, cilantro stems can also be utilized in many other exciting ways. Cilantro stems actually have a very strong taste, so they're a smart option when you're infusing things like butter and oil. To make cilantro butter, all you have to do is combine chopped cilantro (stems and all) with room-temperature butter, then wrap the compound butter in plastic wrap or foil before storing it in the fridge. The butter can then be used anytime your food needs a little extra flavor. Making cilantro-infused oil is even easier: Just put chopped cilantro and olive oil into an ice cube tray, freeze everything, then grab an oil cube for quick, flavorful frying.


You can even make cilantro stems the star of the show by adding a ½ cup of them to a blender with a ¼ cup of lemon juice, a ½ cup of olive oil, and some spices. Whirl everything together and you'll have a tangy green sauce that will be perfect for drizzling over homemade grilled shrimp tacos.

As long as you don't mind the slightly firmer texture, cilantro stems can be incorporated into anything you would add cilantro leaves to. Along with adding a new sensation to a dish, utilizing cilantro stems can also help save you a bit of money. After all, a cilantro sprig is comprised mostly of its stem, so you may as well use as much of this one-of-a-kind herb as you can.