12 tasty dishes with cilantro

Cilantro is an essential seasoning in cuisines from Southeast Asian to South America. Enjoy it in these recipes celebrating the diverse flavors of the West

Cooking with cilantro

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Elaine Johnson

Cooking with cilantro

Cilantro is a love-it or hate-it herb, adored by many for its fresh, pungent flavor or reviled by others as "soapy." If you fall into the first camp, you know it's an essential seasoning in cuisines from Southeast Asian to South America, and enjoyed in dishes from Mexican salsa to Indian chutney.

Chicken Escabeche with Cilantro Black Beans

Photo by Alex Farnum

Chicken Escabeche with Cilantro Black Beans

This low-cal, tangy dish is based on a recipe in Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless.

Recipe: Chicken Escabeche with Cilantro Black Beans

Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Pickled Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Pickled Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Look no further for this season’s go-to grilled chicken dish from chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill in Santa Monica and Las Vegas and Ciudad in Los Angeles. They marinate chicken very simply, then spoon an addictive Indian-style pickled salsa on top.

Recipe: Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Pickled Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Garlicky Shrimp-Cilantro Tacos (Tacos de Camarones al Mojo de Ajo)

James Carrier

Garlicky Shrimp-Cilantro Tacos (Tacos de Camarones al Mojo de Ajo)

Sweet onions and shrimp meet the gentle heat of garlic and chiles in this easy recipe. Be careful, it's addictive.

Recipe: Garlicky Shrimp-Cilantro Tacos (Tacos de Camarones al Mojo de Ajo)

Gaucho Steak with Four-Herb Chimichurri

Photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Gaucho Steak with Four-Herb Chimichurri

The flavor in this dish just doesn’t stop. The sharp, slightly herby marinade tenderizes and flavors the meat and makes a great bridge to the chimichurri.

Recipe:  Gaucho Steak with Four-Herb Chimichurri

Mini Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Photo by Yunhee Kim, food styling by Karen Shinto, prop styling by Emma Star Jensen

Mini Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

This Indian-spiced meat mixture makes great burgers too—try them on folded naan with the chutney and a slice of tomato.

Recipe: Mini Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Grilled Cilantro and Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Grilled Cilantro and Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Skewers

While we love traditional basil pesto, this inventive take on the summery sauce is a super-tasty marinade for grilled shrimp. Parlay kebabs into tacos by serving with warm tortillas and slaw.

Recipe: Grilled Cilantro and Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Grilled Mussels with Cilantro Bath

Photo by Iain Bagwell

Grilled Mussels with Cilantro Bath

Chef Christian Graves, from Jsix Restaurant in San Diego, loves how well the grilled flavor of the mussels pairs with the coolness of the cucumber and the spicy hit of the chiles. He prefers ‘Corno di Toro’ chiles for his recipe, but you can also use Fresnos.

Recipe: Grilled Mussels with Cilantro Bath

Lamb Stew with Green Chiles, Cilantro, and Peas

Photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Lamb Stew with Green Chiles, Cilantro, and Peas 

This is a California-style version of an old Parsi favorite, green peas ma gos ("in meat"). The California touches are to use leeks instead of regular onions and to cook the peas for far less time than is traditional.

Recipe: Lamb Stew with Green Chiles, Cilantro, and Peas

 

Tortilla Soup

Photo by David Prince

Tortilla Soup

Spicy and loaded with all our favorite toppings, tortilla strips, avocado, Monterey jack cheese, cilantro, and sour cream--this chicken soup is a crowd pleaser.

Recipe: Tortilla Soup

Chipotle Coleslaw

Photo by Leo Gong

Chipotle Coleslaw

This may look like your grandma's coleslaw, but it sure doesn't taste like it.

Recipe:  Chipotle Coleslaw

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Queso Fresco Butter

Photo by Alex Farnum; written by Elaine Johnson

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Queso Fresco Butter

From Colorado chef Mark Fischer, here’s a combo that’s especially good with Latin- or Southwestern-flavored grilled meat. Offer any leftover butter to spread on warm bread.

Recipe: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Queso Fresco Butter

Cranberry, Jicama, and Cilantro Salsa

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Cranberry, Jicama, and Cilantro Salsa

This salsa is best when freshly made.

Recipe: Cranberry, Jicama, and Cilantro Salsa

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