Preserving Fresh Herbs: How to Dry Parsley

Dried parsley in wooden spoon
There are several ways to dehydrate parsley at home. You can use an oven, a food dehydrator, or air-dry parsley. Drying parsley in a dehydrator takes 8-14 hours while drying parsley in an oven takes 2-4 hours. Air-drying parsley takes 1-2 weeks in a warm, well-ventilated room.

What are the Different Ways of Drying Parsley?

There are several ways to dry parsley leaves at home. You can dry it using an oven or food dehydrator, or preserve it by air-drying. These three methods for drying fresh parsley will help you preserve your harvest safely and effectively.

Dried parsley in a jar surrounded by fresh parsley
Dried parsley

How to Naturally Dry Parsley

Air drying parsley is one of the best ways to dry and preserve parsley because this natural method does not use heat. The air drying method dries herbs at low temperatures, which helps preserve the essential oils and vitamins.

Make air-dried parsley easily using twine and a brown paper bag:

  1. Poke some holes in the paper bag for proper ventilation.
  2. Place bunches of fresh parsley in the bag upside down. Small bundles of parsley will dry faster than large ones.
  3. Use kitchen twine or a rubber band to bind the parsley with the bag and hang the bag in a warm, well-ventilated area.
  4. Air-drying parsley takes one to three weeks, depending on the temperature, airflow, and humidity. If the leaves don’t crumble on contact, continue to air dry them.
Air-drying herbs in front of a window
Air-drying herbs

How to Dry Parsley in a Food Dehydrator

Using a food dehydrator is a quick and easy way to dry parsley at home. A food dehydrator dries herbs thoroughly without the risk of burning them and produces high-quality dehydrated parsley.

To dry parsley in a dehydrator, follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash your parsley with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Remove the tough parsley stems from the leaves.
  3. Chop the parsley leaves into ¼-inch pieces.
  4. Arrange the chopped parsley leaves on the dehydrator trays in a single layer.
  5. Dry parsley leaves at 95–100°F for 8–14 hours or until the leaves are completely dried. Check on the parsley regularly throughout the dehydration process.
  6. Let the dried herbs cool to room temperature, and then store them in an airtight container or glass jar. You may also grind the dried parsley into small pieces for use as a seasoning and store it in a spice jar.
Bowl of dried parsley
Dehydrated parsley

How to Dry Parsley in an Oven

Drying parsley in an oven is the fastest way of drying parsley but carries a risk of browning or burning the leaves. Most ovens have a temperature that is not suitable for dehydrating herbs.

Follow this guide to dry parsley leaves in the oven:

  1. Wash fresh parsley with cold water to remove dirt and debris.
  2. Remove any brown stems or leaves from the fresh parsley.
  3. Dry parsley leaves with paper towels to remove any excess water, or use a salad spinner.
  4. Spread the parsley on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer.
  5. Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. Prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon to promote airflow.
  6. Oven-dry parsley for 30 minutes to an hour. The total time taken to dry parsley in an oven will vary depending on the humidity and the temperature of the oven.
  7. Check on the drying parsley every 15 minutes until the parsley leaves are completely dry.
  8. Use your hands or a mortar and pestle to crush the dried parsley if desired or store the leaves whole.
  9. For long-term storage, place the parsley in glass jars or airtight containers and keep them in a dark, dry place away from direct sunlight.

What are the Benefits of Drying Parsley?

Enjoy the following benefits when you dry parsley at home:

  • Easy: Dried parsley is easy to make and use.
  • Nutritional quality: Dried parsley retains most of the nutrients in fresh parsley.
  • Save Money: Making dried parsley at home is less expensive than purchasing it.
  • Shelf Life: Drying parsley extends its shelf life up to a year.
  • Versatile: Dried parsley is an herb that can enhance dishes and garnish soups.

Should Parsley Be Washed Before Drying?

Yes, you should wash parsley before drying it to remove dirt, insects, and pesticides. Wash and rinse well before patting it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Woman washing parsley at a sink
Washing herbs

What are the Health Benefits of Dried Parsley?

Dried parsley is nutritious and contains antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. Here are some amazing health benefits of dried parsley:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Dehydrated parsley contains powerful antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage due to free radicals.
  • Boosts digestion: Dried parsley is rich in fiber, which improves digestive health.
  • Cancer-fighting ability: Studies suggest that dried parsley leaves may help combat cancerous tumors by destroying cancer cells.
  • Lower risks of heart disease: The lutein in dried parsley could help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Low in calories: Dried parsley is a versatile herb that can enhance the flavor of any dish without adding unnecessary calories.

How Long Does It Take to Dry Parsley?

The amount of time it takes to dry parsley depends on the method and moisture content of the parsley.

If you air-dry parsley, it could take 1–3 weeks. If you use an oven at the lowest setting, it takes 1 to 3 hours to dry. In a food dehydrator, the drying time takes 8 to 14 hours.

Is it Okay to Use Parsley as a Substitute for Another Herb?

Yes – you can use parsley as a substitute for many other herbs in a wide range of dishes, either as a garnish or an ingredient. These include dry oregano, arugula, basil, chervil, cilantro, curly cress, carrot greens, and dried tarragon.

Herb labels with fresh herbs
Common garden herbs

What is the Best Way to Store Dried Parsley?

The best way to store dried parsley is to use airtight containers, such as mason jars or glass jars with airtight lids. Store the dried parsley in a dark, dry place.

It’s important that parsley is completely dry before storing it. If you aren’t sure that the parsley is fully dry, you can store it in a glass jar for up to 7 days and condition the herb by shaking the jars once to twice a day. If the herbs clump together or condensation forms inside the jar, the herbs aren’t fully dry.

How Long Does Dried Parsley Last?

Fresh parsley from the herb garden or a local grocery store lasts 7–10 days, whereas dried parsley can last for 2–3 years. However, it’s best to use your dried parsley within 6 to 12 months for the highest quality. Dried herbs tend to lose their color, flavor, and aroma over time.

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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