What to Make with Cilantro

Ever wonder what to make with cilantro?

When it comes to cilantro people either love it or hate it.  There’s absolutely NO middle ground.  I’ve never met a person who said they “sort of” like cilantro.

Most people who don’t like cilantro often say that it tastes like soap.  As a lover of cilantro I can’t understand how anyone can think it tastes like soap.

Or maybe I’m just strange and in a weird way I like the taste of soap?

I don’t think so though, because I just can’t see how cilantro tastes like soap.  It just doesn’t in my opinion. But I personally think it tastes amazing.

My daughter, however, is one of those people who can’t stand it.  Though, she doesn’t think it tastes like soap.

You know, in case you were wondering.

Anyways, if you are in the “love cilantro” camp, you might be like me and would like to know absolutely anything and everything you can put it on.  Because, it’s that amazing.

If you have a bunch of the stuff at home you probably agree that it goes a long way.  Or maybe you want to grow your own.

When I started my very first garden just three years ago, cilantro was one of the first things I grew.  Fresh cilantro sounded heavenly to me.

Let me tell you, being able to go to your garden and just pick some fresh cilantro for dinner makes for a perfect night.  But since we are talking about cilantro, we need to talk about coriander too.


For the longest time I was really confused about whether cilantro and coriander were the same thing or not. Cilantro and coriander are the same plant, but are different parts of the plant.  Cilantro is the leafy part of the plant, and coriander are the seeds that develop once the plant flowers.

Coriander and cilantro have really different tastes.  Personally I don’t like coriander at all (and there are very few things I don’t like) but as I declared up above, I adore cilantro.

Coriander tends to have more of a spicy, warm flavor, while cilantro is more light, refreshing, and leafy tasting (if that makes sense.)

and since we’re on the topic of difference of herbs, let’s talk about parsley and cilantro.


So, I can’t be the only one who has gone to the grocery store only to find the parsley and cilantro in the herb section and suddenly you can’t tell the difference between which one is which.  I mean, can I just ask why the parsley and the cilantro always seem to end up right next to each other in the grocery store??  It doesn’t help distinguishing between the two.

If you are wondering how to tell the difference between cilantro and parsley there are a few ways.  First, look closely at the leaves.  The tips of parsley leaves are pointy while the tips of cilantro leaves are curvy.  (This helps when you grow cilantro and parsley in your garden and you forgot to label them.  Not that I’ve ever done that….)

The second way is to just smell them.  Cilantro smells a lot stronger.  You’ll be more familiar with the smell if you’ve used cilantro before.  I’ve been known to pick a bunch up in the grocery store and smell it to make sure I got the right one.

And the third way in the grocery store is to look for a label.  Sometimes our herbs aren’t labelled with the name in our grocery store so this doesn’t always work, but often there is a tiny label tied around the bunch of herbs so take a peak and see if you can see an herb name.


Wondering if you can use cilantro and parsley interchangeably?  Well, it depends.  If you use parsley instead of cilantro or cilantro instead of parsley it will definitely change the taste of the dish.  However, I’ve interchanged them in things like salsa and salad with success.  If you are going to do this though you’ll want to expect that the taste of the dish will be quite different.  Still delicious though!

If you are looking for some ideas on what to make with cilantro, look no further!


Salsa or Pico de Gallo

A good salsa or pico de gallo is the top of my list for ways to use cilantro.  I feel like the first time I ever had fresh cilantro in salsa was at a Lonestar restaurant and my life was changed.  I know that sounds dramatic, but Lonestar salsa is amazing.

Try making this fresh pico de gallo at home and grab a bag of tortilla chips to enjoy with it.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good curry.  Coconut milk, curry seasoning, maybe some peanuts, and cilantro and it’s a matchmade in heaven.  Try this curry chicken with cilantro lime sauce for your next curry dish.

Black bean salad

Many of us don’t eat enough beans and yet they are so good for us.  I’m not a huge bean fan, but I’ve learned to like a few kinds and black beans are top of the list for me.  Plus, pair anything with avocado and I’m all over it.   Try this black bean salad that uses cilantro to add an amazing flavor to the lime dressing.  Yes, you may see a reoccurring theme here.  Cilantro goes really well with ANYTHING lime. 

Chicken dishes

Cilantro goes really well with chicken, and not just in a curry dish. This cilantro lime chicken dish is one you want to add to your rotation.  It’s also very affordable to make.

Cilantro lime rice 

I adore rice as a side dish and adding some cilantro and lime to it takes it to another level.  If you are a fan of Chipotle’s you should try this copycat recipe.


Maybe you’ve looked at all the above dishes and the problem is you are not a fan of lime.  Don’t worry, you can use cilantro in dishes without lime, like this lemon cilantro pasta for example.  I mean, let’s be fair – this dish has parmesan in it and what DOESN’T go with cheese?


Next time you are wondering, “what can I use fresh cilantro for?” you can just refer to this list and make some really delicious dinner dishes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *