Making Dehydrated Cilantro in a Food Dehydrator

fresh and dried cilantro
To dehydrate cilantro in a food dehydrator, rinse the leaves and remove them from the stems. Lay the cilantro leaves in a single layer on food dehydrator trays. Dry the herbs for 1-3 hours at 110°F until crumbly.

What are the Ways of Dehydrating Cilantro?

There are three methods for dehydrating cilantro. Dehydrating in a food dehydrator is the best method for long-term storage, but takes 1-3 hours to dry. The best way to preserve the flavor and color is air-drying, but this method takes 1-2 weeks. Dehydrating in an oven is the fastest method, taking less than an hour, but it is easy to burn or overcook the leaves.

How to Dehydrate Cilantro in a Food Dehydrator

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dehydrate cilantro in a food dehydrator:

  1. Preheat the dehydrator on the “dehydrating herbs” setting or 110 degrees F as you prepare the cilantro for drying.
  2. Wash the cilantro under cool, running water to remove dirt and debris. Pat the fresh herbs dry using a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel, or use a salad spinner to eliminate as much moisture as possible.
  3. Remove the stems and discard them. The stems of coriander take a longer time to dehydrate compared with the leaves.
  4. Place the cilantro leaves on dehydrator trays in an even layer. Allow some space between the leaves to promote air circulation. Cover the leaves with a fine mesh screen to anchor the herbs into place.
  5. Dry the herbs for 1-3 hours. The duration of drying varies depending on factors such as water content and the thickness of the leaves.
  6. Cilantro dries faster than other herbs, so you need to check regularly for doneness. The cilantro leaves should be dry, brittle, and crumble easily when touched.
  7. Once the cilantro is fully dehydrated, remove the trays from the dehydrator and allow the leaves to cool completely.
  8. Store the dried cilantro leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dark place away from light and moisture.
Spoon of dried cilantro
Dried cilantro

Air-drying Cilantro Method

This technique takes the most time but requires the least amount of effort.

  1. To preserve cilantro naturally, dry it with the stems on.
  2. Simply tie several cilantro stems together in small batches with twine or a rubber band.
  3. Place the bunch of cilantro into a muslin bag or a paper bag that has several holes poked through to promote aeration.
  4. Hang the cilantro upside down in a warm, dry place away from direct sunlight, in a well-ventilated area.
  5. Air dry cilantro for 1-2 weeks or until the leaves are completely dry and crumbly.
air dried herb bundles hanging upside down in bunches
Air-drying herbs

Oven-Drying Cilantro Method

Oven-drying cilantro is the fastest way to dry it, but it’s important to watch it closely to ensure the leaves don’t burn.

  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature setting.
  2. Rinse bunches of fresh cilantro and pat them dry. Remove the leaves from the stems.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and then spread fresh cilantro leaves in a single layer on top.
  4. Put the baking sheet in the oven, leaving the door slightly open to let moisture escape.
  5. Check the cilantro regularly and remove it when it becomes dry and crumbly, approximately in 1 to 2 hours.

Should Cilantro Be Washed Before Drying?

Yes, cilantro should be thoroughly washed before drying. Washing the leaves helps remove any dirt or pesticides that may be present. You can use cool running water to rinse them or soak them in a bowl of water for a few minutes to allow any dirt or debris to settle at the bottom.

Man rinsing cilantro in sink
Washing cilantro

What Temperature is Needed to Dry Cilantro?

To preserve the flavor and essential oils of cilantro, dry it at a low temperature. In a food dehydrator, the ideal temperature range for drying cilantro is 95°F to 115°F. Follow the instructions for your particular dehydrator model.

When you’re using an oven, set the temperature to 140°F or slightly higher. Allow moisture to escape by leaving the oven door slightly ajar. This keeps the temperature lower and closer to the ideal range for drying cilantro.

Is Dehydrated Cilantro Good to Eat?

Dehydrated cilantro is safe to eat and tastes amazing. The flavor of dehydrated cilantro is stronger than fresh cilantro and may not appeal to everyone because the drying process alters the herb’s properties. Regular consumption of this herb can help you reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Ideas for Using Dehydrated Cilantro

Dehydrated cilantro is a versatile ingredient. Here are some creative ideas for using dehydrated cilantro:

  • Add dried cilantro to soups such as Mexican tortilla soup for a vibrant flavor
  • Crush or grind dry cilantro leaves into a powder and use in homemade spice blends
  • Elevate the taste of rice pilaf, fried rice, tacos, or stuffed bell peppers
  • Garnish food by sprinkling dried cilantro over dishes just before serving
  • Make flavored olive oil by adding dried cilantro to the bottle and letting it sit for a few weeks
  • Use it to flavor sauces and marinades
Cilantro oil bottle between fresh cilantro leaves and dried coriander seeds
Cilantro oil

How to Store Dehydrated Cilantro

Store dehydrated cilantro in labeled, airtight containers such as Mason jars to improve its shelf life and flavor. Store containers away from moisture and direct light in a cool, dark place.

How Long Does Dried Cilantro Last?

Properly dried cilantro lasts up to three years when stored in a cool, dry place. For the best taste and quality, use dried cilantro within 12 months.

Patrick Anampiu

Patrick has a farming background and is a full-time food writer and recipe creator. His goal is to help you discover how fantastic it is to dehydrate and preserve food by sharing his knowledge. Outside of the kitchen, Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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