How to Dry Fresh Basil Leaves

Step-by-step instructions for drying basil leaves (especially when you have a bumper harvest!) using the microwave and/or the oven methods.

Jump to Recipe

Pin Recipe
Summertime is when basil is in season, and possibly you have way more basil than you can eat fresh. First, it ‘s a bang-up problem to have ! There are many ways to preserve basil so you can use them through the year. In this post, I wanted to partake two ways to dry basil leaves !
Close up of dried basil on a plate with mortar and pestle in the background
The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make surely you ‘re successful in your beginning try. But if you ‘re in a rush, please use the yoke above to jump to the recipe card at the end !

This post might contain affiliate links. If you click on those and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no excess cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases .
jump to :

  • 💭 Why dry basil?
  • 📋 Ingredients and notes
  • 📖 Drying basil leaves in an oven
  • 📖 Drying basil in a microwave
  • 👩🏽‍🍳Top tips and FAQs
  • 👩🏽‍🍳Which method is the best?
  • 🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
  • 📖 Recipe

💭 Why dry basil?

It prolongs the life of this beautiful summer herb. There ‘s a lot of confusion around how and when to use the bracing shape vs. the dry form. typically, the dry version is more concentrate in it ‘s flavor, but it ‘s not precisely the same flavor as the fresh form .
so if you ‘re trying to preserve the flavor near to the fresh form, drying basil is not the way to go. rather, I recommend these three options :

  • Make and freeze pesto. Through the year, I love having basil pesto in the freezer – either as a traditional pesto alla Genovese, or more untraditional varieties, like broccoli pesto.
  • Freeze fresh basil leaves. It’s actually super simple to freeze fresh basil leaves, and then you maintain them in the freshest form.
  • Freeze basil as herb bombs. This requires a bit more thinking in terms of how you chop the basil, but it’s an amazing way to prevent food waste and store the basil in a way that’s more convenient to use!

That said, you ‘re credibly here because you ‘re trying to dry basil so you have a handy stock at bridge player. Make certain to read through to the end to pick up tips on how to maximize spirit because, the homemade version is still wayyyyy better than storebought !

📋 Ingredients and notes

You ‘ll need a bunch of basil leaves and a microwave oven, a regular oven, or a dehydrator oven. I ‘ll cover the microwave and oven methods in this position .

Tips for picking basil

  • Pick the basil right before you’re about to dry them. This makes sure that the leaves stay fresh and don’t shrivel up on themselves.
  • Remove the stems from the basil leaves – I just pinch the leaf off.
  • Rinse the basil with cool water, but make sure to remove excess water. I typically just pat them dry with a clean towel. Any moisture leftover will cook your basil, instead of drying it. Not what we’re going for!

📖 Drying basil leaves in an oven

  • Preheat the oven to the lowest setting possible (in my oven it’s 175°F but try to keep it under 180°F) – if your lowest oven setting is higher, leave the oven door slightly open to keep the temperature down.
  • Spread the basil leaves in a single, even layer on your baking sheet, making sure that they don’t overlap. This restricts air flow, so you want to make sure it’s all in a single layer.
  • I had to dry my basil at 175°F for about 2.5 hours for it to be fully dry and crumbly. This totally depends on the strength of your oven though. I recommend starting to check at an hour, and 15 minutes thereafter to make sure it doesn’t burn.

When it ‘s done, it should sound crunchy ( like Fall leaves ). The color will change from a vibrant green to a night, cactus or olive green .
With both these methods, once the leaves are dry, I recommend storing them as wholly leaves. then, you can use a food processor, or a mortar and pestle, to grind them up into the crumbly powder. Make certain the legal document you ‘re using it wholly dry so you do n’t add moisture !
Two panel collage showing before and after drying basil leaves in oven

📖 Drying basil in a microwave

You ‘ll want to dry the basil using short, quick bursts .

  1. Place a towel on a microwave-plate, then places the leaves on the towel single file, and then another towel on top.
  2. Microwave in 3×30 second bursts. The basil leaves should shrivel. It’ll continue to dry out even at room temperature thereafter.

No two microwaves are the lapp, so check after every 30 second outburst, and if it ‘s not in full dry at the end of 90 seconds, you can do a couple of 10 second bursts until it ‘s dry .
Note : Though this is an easy method, I found that the spirit of the basil is much lesser than if you dry using an oven or air-dry the basil. It ‘s the fastest though, so there ‘s decidedly some tradeoffs here !
Dried basil in small jar, mortar and pestle in the background

👩🏽‍🍳Top tips and FAQs

How can you maximize the flavor? storehouse them as unharmed dry basil leaves ! When you crush the leaves, they release some of the aromatic oils. thus, the closer you can crush the leaves to when you ‘re actually using it, the better. Make sure to store in an airtight container ! How to substitute dry basil for fresh basil? I typically use ¼th to ⅓rd of what a recipe calls when using dried herb rather of fresh herb ( since the flavor is a batch more saturated ). On modal, one tablespoon of newly herb is one teaspoon of dried herb. so for example, if a recipe calls for a cup of fresh basil, use 2 – 3 teaspoons of dried basil at most. How long does it last? Dried basil leaves will last at least a year when stored in an airtight container, in a cool and dark invest ( like your pantry ). Can I dry basil without an oven or microwave? Yes, you can air-dry basil ! The best way to do this is to wash the basil leaves, dry them with a towel, and then tie them up using their stems. then, hang them in a cool, dry place ( ideally high in your kitchen ). It ‘ll take 4 to 5 weeks to amply air-dry though ! How can you dry basil using a dehydrator? Trim, lave, and dry your basil leaves and arrange them on the dehydrator trays in individual layer. Place the tray in the dehydrator and use the “ herb ” set ( typically around 100F ). Depending on how dry your location is, this can take somewhere between 8 to 24 hours. You ‘ll know they ‘re done when they ‘re chip and crumbly ! Can you air dry basil? Air-drying basil is superintendent easy but you need to be patient. It takes about 4 weeks for basil to dry by rights and the stead needs to be relatively dry so you do n’t end up getting mold. Hang them from a gamey ceiling in a cool, dry place in the kitchen and let them dry !

👩🏽‍🍳Which method is the best?

While microwave dry is the fastest, it tends to zap the basil of more season than the other methods. And while drying using a dehydrator or tune drying both maintain the best flavor, they take forever ! so, I ‘ve found that the best, happy medium is to oven dry basil. Best season retentiveness in just a couple of hours. But here ‘s a immediate infographic in casing helpful .
Infographic showing key pros and cons for drying basil using an oven, microwave, dehydrator and air drying.

🍴 Serving and storage suggestions

I typically store most of my dried basil as whole leaves, in a clear pronounce container with the date on it. I besides keep a smaller container of beat basil handy and tend to refill that every couple of weeks. This ensures that you get the maximum flavor from the basil !
If you like basil, don’t forget to try out my other basil recipes:
If you try this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and a star rating. Don’t forget to tag #urbanfarmie on Instagram or @urbanfarmie on Pinterest!

📖 Recipe

Close up shot of dried basil
Print Recipe

5

from 1 vote

How to Dry Fresh Basil Leaves

Step-by-step instructions for drying basil leaves (especially when you have a bumper harvest!) using the microwave and/or the oven methods.

Prep Time

3

hrs

Total Time

3

hrs

Servings:

1

serving

Calories:

6

kcal

author :Shruthi Baskaran

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

Instructions

Drying Fresh Basil Using Oven

  • Preheat the oven to the lowest setting possible (in my oven it’s 175°F but try to keep it under 180°F). If the lowest oven setting is higher, leave the oven door slightly open to keep the temperature down.

  • Spread the basil leaves in a single, even layer on your baking sheet, making sure that they don’t overlap. This restricts air flow, so you want to make sure it’s all in a single layer.

  • Let them dry for about an hour, and then start checking 15 minutes thereafter to make sure it doesn’t burn. My oven took about 2.5 hours at 175°F for reference.

Drying Fresh Basil in Microwave

  • place a towel on a microwave-plate, then places the leaves on the towel single file, and then another towel on acme. Microwave in 3×30 second bursts. The basil leaves should shrivel. It ‘ll continue to dry out even at room temperature thereafter. Note: Though I ‘ve included the method here, I actually do n’t recommend doing this if you have access to an oven. The basil flavor tends to get zapped out pretty bad, but it works in a pinch if you do n’t have an oven ( and still tastes better than storebought dry basil ! )

Notes

  • While microwave drying is the fastest, it tends to zap the basil of more flavor than the other methods. Drying using a dehydrator or air drying both maintain the best flavor, they take forever! So, I’ve found that the best, happy medium is to oven dry basil. Best flavor retention in just a couple of hours. 

Nutrition

Calories:

6

kcal

|

Carbohydrates:

1

g

|

Protein:

1

g

|

Fat:

1

g

|

Saturated Fat:

1

g

|

Polyunsaturated Fat:

1

g

|

Monounsaturated Fat:

1

g

|

Sodium:

1

mg

|

Potassium:

71

mg

|

Fiber:

1

g

|

Sugar:

1

g

|

Vitamin A:

1266

IU

|

Vitamin C:

4

mg

|

Calcium:

42

mg

|

Iron:

1

mg

Tried this recipe ? Tag @ urbanfarmie or # urbanfarmie to let me know – I would LOVE to see your creations !