Learn How to Dry Basil so you have access to this flavorful and fragrant herb all year long! There are four simple methods to dry fresh basil leaves out once you harvest it. These easy DIY methods include the microwave, oven, air fryer, and even naturally on the countertop!
4 Easy Ways to Dry Basil Leaves
If you’re like me, you’re DROWNING in basil when it’s in season.
So, I learned how to dry basil. I never knew how easy it really was. And the best part—you have basil ready to use in your favorite recipes all year long!
Depending on how much time you have, you can choose any of these four simple methods that naturally preserve basil’s amazing fresh flavors. Whether you want to use the microwave, air fryer, oven, or air drying on the counter, I’ve got your back.
You won’t need a fancy food dehydrator, either! The best method is simply what works for you.
Don’t throw away any more basil leaves this year! Dry them out so you don’t have to buy this herb from the local grocery store again.
The simple ingredients you need to make this dried basil recipe are:
- Basil. That’s it! And these methods work with any variety, though the most common types you’ll find are sweet basil and Thai basil.
How to Dry Basil
These are the simple steps to follow to make naturally dried basil at home in 4 different ways:
Prep the Basil
No matter which of the drying methods you’re using, you first need to get the basil ready.
Rinse the leaves under cool, running water that is on low. Or, you can gently submerge them in a bowl of water.
Set them on paper towels or clean kitchen towels to dry. You can also use a salad spinner to remove any extra water.
Then, cut or pull the stems away from the leafy part.
How to Dry Basil in the Oven?
The oven method is probably the most traditional way to dry things out. The key is low and slow.
Preheat the oven to 200℉, or the lowest possible temperature it will reach.
Spread the whole leaves out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. You can use parchment paper if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary.
Cook the leaves in the preheated oven for 1 to 3 hours. Make sure you flip them every 45 minutes so they dry evenly. If it is too hot, you can crack the oven door to promote good air circulation.
How to Dry Basil in the Air Fryer?
There really isn’t anything you can’t do in the air fryer! And this method is great for smaller batches.
Preheat the air fryer to 270℉.
Line up the basil leaves in a single layer across the bottom of the air fryer basket.
Cook the basil for 8 to 12 minutes. You need to watch the leaves, as they can burn more easily with this method.
How to Dry Basil in the Microwave?
If you want a quick and easy method to make dried basil, the microwave is the best option.
Place leaves on a paper towel-lined plate that is safe for the microwave.
Loosely cover the leaves with another paper towel. Microwave the basil in 30-second increments, moving the leaves around after each heating.
Depending on your microwave and the size of the leaves, it should take 1½-3 minutes to fully dry them out.
How to Dry Basil Naturally?
If you’re not in a rush, you can always dry out basil on the countertop. Air-drying basil is probably the easiest way, but you do need a bit of open space and a couple of weeks.
Spread the basil leaves out on the counter in a single layer. Let them dry for 2 to 4 weeks. Check for a thoroughly dry leaf.
How to Store Dried Basil?
Once the basil is dried, keep it in a small jar for up to 1 to 2 years. Store the leaves whole or crunch between your fingers to store it crushed. However, it will begin to lose its potency after 6 months. You need an airtight container, and leftover spice jars are perfect. For the best results, keep the jar in a cool dark place.
How much fresh basil to dried?
A good rule of thumb is to use twice as much fresh basil as dried. As with any recipe, you can increase or decrease the amount based on your preference.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Herb garden dreams. It’s surprisingly easy to grow your own fresh basil plants in the ground or pots.
- Change it up. Try different varieties of this flavorful herb and check out the flavors.
- Watch close. The heating methods can potentially burn the leaves.
- Use them up. While they will last a year, these dried leaves will lose potency after 6 months.
- Nice and tight. Store dried basil in a glass jar with a lid that screws on.
What to Make with Dried Basil
Once you have dried basil on hand, you can whip up any of these dishes.
More Basil Recipes
Fresh and dried basil add so much flavor to a variety of dishes. Try any of these recipes next.
Learn how to Chiffonade Basil (and other herbs).
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How to Dry Fresh Basil
- 1-4 bunches basil
- Rinse and dry the basil and then remove the leaves from the stem.
- Place leaves on a paper towel-lined plate. Cover the leaves with another paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.
- Move the leaves around in a single layer, and microwave at 30 second-intervals until they are completely dried out. (Depending on your microwave this should take between 1 ½ – 3 minutes.)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, or the lowest temperature it will go.
- Place the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for a 1-3 hours, flipping them every 45 minutes to ensure even drying.
- Place the leaves in a single layer in the bottom of the air fryer basket.
- Cook the basil leaves at 270 degrees for 8-12 minutes, checking on them halfway through to ensure they do not burn.
- Place the leaves in a single layer on the counter and let air dry for 2-4 weeks.
- Store the leaves whole or crunch between your fingers to store it crushed. Dried basil will last in an airtight glass jar or container for up to 1-2 years. It will begin to lose its potency after 6 months.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.