How to Oven Dry Parsley

How to Oven Dry Parsley

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Parsley is one of my favorite herbs to grow, because it is so easy. When I first started gardening, it was one of the first herbs I planted. It grows very fast, and it’s very forgiving (unlike basil…). The yield of parsley was so high, that after growing just one plant, I had enough dried parsley for well over a year, and I was able to give some away to family. And, I’m not sure if you’ve ever compared store-bought dried herbs to your own dried fresh herbs, but the color difference is striking. Whereas homemade dried herbs are vibrant in color, the store-bought ones are dull and yucky looking.

Harvesting and drying parsley is very easy too. In this post, I will teach you the proper way to harvest parsley and how to oven dry parsley. So get your gardening shears, and let’s hop to it!

Can you dry fresh parsley in the oven?

Yes! First you preheat your oven to 350F. Then once you are ready to dry the parsley, you drop it down to 170F and dry for 20 minutes. You know the leaves are completely dry when they crumble easily between your fingers. You only want to dry the leaves because the stems are bitter.

How to harvest parsley?


When the stem has three leaves on it and they are fairly large, then it is ready to be harvested. Harvesting should be done late morning if possible. To harvest, you want to cut from the outer part of the plant about an inch above the soil using either sharp scissors or gardening shears (this is what I use). This leaves the inner part of the plant intact so that it can mature. Click here to learn more information on caring for parsley from the Farmer’s Almanac.

A close-up of cutting the outer part of a parsley plant at the base.

How do you dry parsley for later use?


There are three main ways to dry parsley for later use: hanging it to dry in a cool and dry spot, dehydrating it, and drying it in the oven. I find that drying them in the oven is the most fool-proof and fastest method. That is the method that is discussed in this post.

What is the difference between flat-leaf parsley and curly-leaf parsley?


The main difference is that flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavor and is used more in recipes, whereas curly-leaf parsley is generally used more as a garnish. They are easy to distinguish visually, because the flat-leaf parsley has flat leaves whereas the curly-leaf parsley has curly leaves.

How to Oven Dry Parsley: Step-by-Step

Step-by-step instructions in a video format are available on my YouTube channel and above the recipe card below.

Step 1. Make sure your oven rack is in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. After harvesting fresh parsley from your garden (or gathering any store-bought fresh parsley), use your scissors or gardening shears to cut off the leaves and put them in a salad spinner. Take the inner strainer part out, and give the leaves a good rinse. I like to use my free hand to kind of swish it around under the running water. Place the strainer back into the salad spinner, and spin dry the leaves. The leftover stems from trimming can be discarded.

Using garden shears to snip off a parsley leaf.

Step 2. Lay the leaves on the parchment-lined baking sheet. The parchment paper prevents the parsley from burning. Try to space out the parsley leaves as best you can, to allow for good airflow. If they are too crowded, the leaves might not dry all of the way.

Parsley leaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet before going into the oven.

Step 3. Turn your oven down to the lowest setting (mine was at 170F). Place baking sheet with the parsley in the oven. Dry it for 20 minutes (or shorter, if your lowest temperature setting is higher than mine).

Dried parsley leaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet after coming out of the oven.

Step 4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Check the leaves to make sure they are dry because any residual moisture is a breeding ground for mold. By dry, I mean that they shouldn’t feel wet and they should crumble easily. If there are some that are still wet, set the dry leaves aside and put the wet ones back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Continue this cycle until all of the leaves are dry. Once the leaves cool down, gently crush the leaves with your fingers. After crushing them, I like to put the sheet back in the oven for another 5 minutes at 170F to make sure there is no moisture left. Then fold the parchment paper into a funnel and pour the dried parsley into an air-tight storage container (I like to use glass jars). The dried parsley will retain its flavor for up to one year.

A finely crushed pile of dried parsley on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

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A finely crushed overflowing pile of dried parsley sits on a wooden spoon. In the lower right-hand corner are some fresh parsley leaves and in the upper left-hand corner is a red and white checkered tea towel.
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How to Oven Dry Parsley

A quick and easy way to dry fresh parsley.
Keyword food preservation, herb drying
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Make sure your oven rack is in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Use your scissors or gardening shears to cut off the leaves and put them in a salad spinner. Take the inner strainer part out, and give the leaves a good rinse. Place the strainer back into the salad spinner, and spin dry the leaves.
  • Lay the leaves on the parchment-lined baking sheet. For good airflow, space out the parsley leaves. If they are too crowded, the leaves might not dry all of the way.
  • Turn your oven down to the lowest setting (mine was at 170F). Place baking sheet with the parsley in the oven. Dry it for 20 minutes (or shorter, if your lowest temperature setting is higher than mine).
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Check the leaves to make sure they are dry because any residual moisture is a breeding ground for mold. By dry, I mean that they shouldn't feel wet and they should crumble easily. If there are some that are still wet, set the dry leaves aside and put the wet ones back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Continue this cycle until all of the leaves are dry.
  • Once the leaves cool down, gently crush the leaves with your fingers. After crushing them, I like to put the sheet back in the oven for another 5 minutes at 170F to make sure there is no moisture left.
  • Fold the parchment paper into a funnel and pour the dried parsley into an air-tight storage container (I like to use glass jars). The dried parsley will retain its flavor for up to one year.

Video

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