Last updated on September 13th, 2021
Got a bevy of beautiful parsley in your garden? You might like to dry it for winter culinary use. Dried low and slow, this culinary staple usually retains much of its peppery/grassy aroma. The following oven-dehydrating technique has proven successful for me:
Oh. Want to freeze your herbs instead of drying them? Be sure to read my detailed post: How I Freeze A Year’s Supply of Herbs.
Oven-Dried Parsley: Video Directions
Be sure to watch the video above, because it covers everything I know about drying parsley in a conventional oven. Included in the video are my thoughts on microwave-drying.
Parsley Drying: Photographic Step-By-Step
To start, preheat the oven to 350°F. We will reduce the oven temperature to 170°F when the parsley goes in.
Snip, trim, and rinse the parsley. Most herb-drying enthusiasts pick off every leaf at this point, but that is a job I can’t be bothered to do. I simply remove and discard the tough part of the stem that has no leaves attached to it.
Spread the wet herb onto an impeccably clean terrycloth towel…
And then roll up and gently squeeze the towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
Here’s where my drying-technique is somewhat unique: I use a food processor to mince the leaves and stems. This way, the leaves and stems will be uniform in size, and their drying time will be…well, uniform!
To further hasten drying time, dump the minced goods onto a double thickness of paper towels…
And then fold up the towel and gently press it, with your hands, to absorb moisture.
Spread the parsley as evenly as possible (don’t go nuts here) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Pop the works into the preheated oven, immediately reduce the oven temperature to 170°F, and set the timer for 20 minutes.
Give the parsley a toss after 20 minutes, and then spread it out as before. Also, press some of the leaves between your fingers to determine if they are nearly dry, partially dry, or barely dry. Depending on the amount of moisture that remains, the leaves will require at least one, or possibly two or three, additional 20-minute sessions in the oven. Always toss and check the herb after 20 minutes of oven time. Timing can vary, of course. You might want to check your herb after 10 or 15 minutes of oven time.
When the parsley crumbles into a fine powder when pressed between fingers, it is sufficiently dry for storage. Use the parchment paper to transfer the herb to a clean, dry jar that is equipped with a lid. I use a common canning jar for my dried parsley.
And as extra insurance against moisture, drop into the jar a packet of food-grade silica gel. Silica gel absorbs moisture. Click here to order Food Grade Silica Gel packets.
More parsley-drying thoughts:
Drying parsley is not an exact science. Moisture content — not the clock — will determine drying time. Temperature will affect quality. If the oven is too hot (above 170°F), color and aroma will be compromised.
Start small, and learn as you go. Try drying a small batch of parsley in the oven. If all goes well, then carry on with larger quantities (I have two trays of parsley in the oven as I write this). If the method does not meet your expectations, then you have lost only a handful of parsley — not an entire crop of it!
For how long will dried parsley keep? When properly dried and stored, parsley will remain viable for up to one full year.
What’s the best way to store dried parsley? Dried herbs should be kept in a cool dark pantry or cabinet. Never store parsley or any other dried herb in a cabinet over the stove — it’s too hot up there!
What kind of parsley is best for drying? I use flat-leaved (“Italian”) parsley because it seems to have more flavor than the curly-leaved kind. But both types are suitable for drying.
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Got any parsley-drying tips or tricks you’d like to share? Please speak your mind in the comments section below! xKevin