Oven Drying Herbs: How to Dry Parsley in an Oven

dried parsley in a jar surrounded by fresh parsley
To oven-dry parsley, rinse fresh parsley in cold water and blanch it. Cut the leaves and soft parsley stems into 1/4-inch pieces and spread them in an even layer on a cookie sheet. Dry the herb at the lowest setting for 1-4 hours or until crumbly.

What is the Best Way to Dry Parsley?

Drying parsley in an oven is the best method for fast drying. Oven-drying parsley takes 1-2 hours, while a food dehydrator takes several hours, and air drying takes 1-3 weeks.

How to Dry Fresh Parsley in an Oven

The step-by-step instructions below will help you dry fresh parsley in an oven:

  1. Select the best fresh parsley. Use your own parsley from your herb garden or buy some at a grocery store. You can choose curly, Japanese, or flat-leaf parsley, depending on your preference.
  2. Preheat your oven to the lowest setting, preferably 170°F, but not higher than 200°F. If your oven has a fan, put the fan setting on.
  3. Rinse the fresh herbs in cold water and remove any yellow leaves or hard, woody stems.
  4. Chop the parsley into uniform 1/4-inch pieces.
  5. Blanch the chopped parsley in boiling water for 20-30 seconds and immediately submerge it into ice water to stop the cooking process.
  6. Use paper towels or a salad spinner to remove the excess water droplets from the parsley.
  7. Spread the tender leaves in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. A slight overlap is okay. The parchment paper helps reduce stickiness and the risk of burning.
  8. Place the loaded cookie sheet or baking tray in the middle of the oven for even heat circulation.
  9. Dehydrate the parsley for 1-2 hours until it gets crumbly. For conventional ovens, leave the door slightly ajar to allow proper moisture removal and air circulation. Check on the parsley every 20-30 minutes to prevent accidental burning.
  10. After the first hour, remove a few pieces and cool them to room temperature. Continue dehydrating if they don’t crumble easily.
  11. Once the parsley is fully dried, remove it from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  12. Put uncrushed dried parsley in airtight containers like mason jars and condition it for seven days. Check for signs of stickiness or moisture, and re-dehydrate if any moisture is noted.
  13. Proceed with long-term storage if the parsley is dry. It’s best to keep the dried parsley whole as it will last longer. Use a mortar and pestle to crush dried parsley right before using it.
  14. Store the parsley in a cool, dark, dry place at room temperature.
Large bowl of dried parsley leaves
Oven-dried parsley

Is It Better to Dry or Freeze Parsley?

Drying parsley is much better than freezing it. Dried parsley has a longer shelf life than frozen parsley. Unless you freeze the herbs into pesto cubes with water or olive oil, the shelf life is 7-10 days in the freezer. Pesto cubes can last up to 12 months in the freezer.

The one advantage of freezing is that it preserves more flavor and aroma than drying. You can freeze parsley leaves and stalks into stock, soups, and stews.

Freezing parsley in ice cube trays
Freezing parsley

What Temperature is Needed to Oven Dry Parsley?

Set your oven to the lowest temperature setting to dry parsley. The lowest setting on most ovens is between 125°F and 250°F. For the best results, try dehydrating the herb at 170°F-200°F and no more than 250°F.

Tips for Oven Drying Parsley

To avoid burning parsley, follow these tips:

  • Avoid increasing the oven temperature to hasten the drying process.
  • Use an oven thermometer to monitor the oven’s temperature.
  • Use the fan setting or open the oven door for aeration and moisture removal.
  • If the lowest setting for your oven is above 250°F, preheat the oven, turn it off, and then use the residual heat from the oven to dry the herbs.

How Long Does it Take to Dry Parsley in an Oven?

It takes 1-4 hours to dry parsley in an oven. The total time depends on relative humidity, hydration levels of the parsley, oven wattage, the drying temperature, and whether or not the parsley has stems. De-stemmed or stalk-free parsley leaves dry faster than parsley dried as stems and leaves. Whole parsley also takes longer to dry than chopped.

Man cutting the leaves away from parsley stems
Separating parsley leaves and stems

What are the Benefits of Drying Parsley?

If you have a lot of parsley on hand, drying it has many benefits:

  • Dried parsley is a tasty garnish for fish, rice, meat, and vegetable dishes.
  • Extends the shelf life from 10 days to 3 years.
  • Make Italian seasoning by mixing dried parsley, oregano, and thyme.
  • Use dried parsley in recipes such as stews, falafel, soups, and meatballs.

How Do You Dry Parsley in the Microwave?

Drying herbs in the microwave is not recommended. The risk of burning the herbs or starting a microwave fire is high. Plus, this method will only dehydrate parsley superficially, and it is not suitable for long-term storage. If you still would like to dry parsley in a microwave, follow these steps:

  1. Prep the herbs by rinsing the parsley and separating the leaves from the stems.
  2. Use paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  3. Spread the parsley leaves in a single layer on a microwave-safe paper plate.
  4. Dehydrate the leaves on high power for one minute and in increments of 30 seconds afterward until they get crumbly.
  5. Take care not to darken the leaves. Stop drying if they darken or you see smoke.
  6. Crush the leaves into fine parsley flakes and store them in glass jars for use within two days.

What is the Best Container to Store Dried Parsley?

Airtight glass containers like glass jars and Mason jars are the best containers for storing dried parsley. Place filled containers in a cool, dry, dark place away from sources of humidity and direct sunlight.

Storing dried herbs in glass canisters with airtight seals
Storing dried herbs in glass jars

How Long Does Dried Parsley Last?

Dried parsley lasts 1-3 years at room temperature when stored in airtight containers. Using vacuum-sealed containers helps prolong the shelf life to up to three years. Use dehydrated parsley within 6-12 months for the best flavor and aroma.

Alex Maina

Preserving food has become a meeting point for Alex's passions—gardening, cooking, and writing. Having grown up on a farm with cows, goats, chickens, and fresh fruits and vegetables, Alex knows the importance of preserving food for leaner times. He spends his time drying and canning foods, trying new recipes, and writing for Dehydrated Cookbook.

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