18 Recipes for Cilantro Lovers

Palak "Paneer" with Pressed Ricotta
Photo: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Kathleen Cook Varner

Supposedly, you either love cilantro or hate it — so if you're firmly on Team Cilantro like we are, here are plenty of recipes that celebrate the bright, fresh herb. It's perfect in a flavorful chutney served with roast chicken and adds some zip to your stuffed peppers. Cilantro also works perfectly in cocktails, like this Spicy Margarita Punch. Read on for some of our favorite cilantro recipes.

01 of 18

Grilled Chicken with Thai Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Thai Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Dipping Sauce
© Karen Mordechai

Cilantro stems get in the act for this recipe; they're pureed with the leaves, jalapeños, garlic, fish sauce, and sesame oil to make a flavorful coating for grilled chicken. The dipping sauce, which also contains cilantro, is a classic Thai sweet-and-sour sauce.

02 of 18

Queso Flameado

Queso Flameado
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

In this irresistible snack, charred poblano pepper and pureed cilantro and serrano chiles serve as a built-in salsa, layering spicy, garlicky flavors into the rich, melted cheese. Flaming it with tequila makes the whole thing a little extra. 

03 of 18

Chicken Pozole Verde

Mexican Chicken Pozole Verde
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

There are many variations on pozole, a traditional hominy-based Mexican stew closely associated with the Pacific coast state of Guerrero. This green version derives much of its flavor from tangy ingredients like tomatillos, cilantro, and green chiles.

04 of 18

Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro

Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro
© Stephanie Foley

Garlicky, spicy, and bright with lime, this noodle dish is both warming and energizing, according to Thai tradition. Just don't skimp on the lime wedges or cilantro: "The sour juice protects the respiratory system in the early spring," cookbook author Su-Mei Yu says, "and cilantro helps when you're congested."

05 of 18

Meat-Stuffed Poblanos with Cilantro-Lime Sauce

Meat-Stuffed Poblanos with Cilantro-Lime Sauce

© Todd Porter & Diane Cu

A tangy cilantro-lime sauce brings brightness to rich stuffed peppers.

06 of 18

Roast Chicken with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Roast Chicken with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
Jen Causey

Roast chicken, whole or separated into pieces, benefits brilliantly from chutney-based marinades. You make the chutney and reserve half as your dipping sauce, while the other half gets folded into creamy, tangy yogurt to make a flavorful marinade for the chicken.

07 of 18

Zucchini Soup with Crème Fraîche and Cilantro

Zucchini Soup with Crème Fraîche and Cilantro
© John Kernick

“This soup marries French cooking, with the leek and crème fraîche, and Texan flavors, with the poblano and cilantro,” says food writer Danika Boyle. The creamy green soup is delicious served hot or cold. 

08 of 18

Palak "Paneer" with Pressed Fresh Ricotta

Palak "Paneer" with Pressed Ricotta
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Kathleen Cook Varner

A little extra hands-off pressing time firms up fresh ricotta into a block that can be cut into paneer-like cheese. Fried in ghee, the crispy, cheesy cubes transform into cheese croutons and are a perfect match for the warm puree of chile and ginger-spiked spinach and cilantro.

09 of 18

Sea Bass Crudo with Mango and Cilantro

Sea Bass Crudo
Anna Stockwell

This platter of seasoned raw fish, from chef Yoshi Okai of Austin's renowned sushi omakase restaurant Otoko, pairs firm, sushi-grade sea bass with vibrant flavorings. In addition to a tangy soy sauce, Okai adds fresh mango and tomato, along with minced garlic and cilantro. A final finish of olive oil and flaky sea salt brings all the flavors together.

10 of 18

Crispy Potatoes with Avocado Salsa

Crispy Potatoes with Avocado Salsa Recipe
Victor Protasio

Papas are traditionally deep-fried, but roasting smashed potatoes at a high temperature (with plenty of olive oil) yields a similar result with a fraction of the mess. Make the avocado salsa while the potatoes are roasting; it’s the perfect creamy, cooling complement to the salty, crispy potatoes and bright, spicy jalapeños.

11 of 18

Spicy Margarita Punch

Spicy Margarita Punch
© Con Poulos

F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple loves making a big bowl of punch with his spicy and fresh margaritas. Cilantro gets muddled with cucumbers, jalapeño, and mint, then is mixed with tequila, agave, and citrus juices for the ultimate refresher,

12 of 18

Chicken Soup with Ginger and Cilantro

Chicken Soup with Ginger and Cilantro
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

This seasonal twist on a classic is loaded with summer market finds like tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers. Quick-cooking boneless chicken pieces are gently simmered in a ginger and cilantro-infused broth with a dash of soy sauce.

13 of 18

Charred Corn Salad with Mint, Parsley, and Cilantro

Charred Corn Salad with Mint, Parsley and Cilantro
© Antonis Achilleos

Chef Yotam Ottolenghi enjoys mixing unorthodox ingredients, like lime juice, jalapeño, and maple syrup, into his Middle Eastern food.

14 of 18

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Scampi

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Scampi
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Here, the use of tequila, cilantro, and fresh lime juice offers a bold twist on classic shrimp scampi. Tender cilantro stems mellow slightly after a quick sauté, accenting the fresh cilantro leaves used to finish this dish. Serve it with a torn baguette to sop up the juices.

15 of 18

Ají Verde (Peruvian-Style Green Sauce)

Peruvian Style Green Sauce Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

Ají verde, the iconic Peruvian green sauce, gets its robust, luscious flavor from ají amarillo paste, lime, scallions, and plenty of cilantro. The fresh mint here isn't at all traditional, but it is delicious. Ají verde is terrific served alongside rotisserie chicken, grilled meats, and roasted or grilled fish. Any leftovers make an excellent dip for crudité or topping for roasted vegetables like potatoes.

16 of 18

Charred Avocado Salad with Cilantro Mayo

Charred Avocado Salad with Cilantro Mayo
Victor Protasio

This smoky salad from chef-owner Christopher Kostow of The Charter Oak in St. Helena is pure California magic. Searing the firm-ripe avocado transforms it into a creamy treat with a hint of char.

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Cold Roasted Leg of Lamb with Cilantro-Jalapeño Yogurt

Cold Roasted Leg of Lamb with Cilantro Jalapeno Yogurt
Greg DuPree

Cold slices of lamb are a fail-safe dinner party main. A tangy yogurt sauce laced with lime and cilantro takes it to the next level.

18 of 18

Warm Flank Steak Salad with Mint and Cilantro

Warm Flank Steak Salad with Mint and Cilantro
© Cedric Angeles

Chef Andy Ricker tosses pieces of soy-marinated flank steak with fresh mint, cilantro, and roasted rice powder. The powder (a thickener in Thai curries) adds a fun crunch and is optional.

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