How To Dry Parsley – 5 Methods To Dry Parsley At Home

Closeup dried parsley background

Although fresh parsley is more potent than dried parsley, drying parsley extends its shelf life. Dried parsley can last up to one year while fresh parsley lasts for only two weeks with refrigeration. Also, if you have a surplus supply, drying the parsley helps to preserve it for future use. In this article, we will tackle on steps on how to dry parsley at home and prolong its shelflife.

Just like fresh parsley, dried parsley offers numerous health benefits. For instance, it has antibacterial properties, helps to control blood sugar, has anti-inflammatory effects, and is rich in flavonoids. It is also rich in a variety of micronutrients, including calcium, thiamin, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, niacin, and phosphorous.

Read on to learn the various ways you can dry parsley at home, how to store dried parsley, and what type of recipes you can use it in.

How to Prepare Parsley for Drying

Whether you have a fresh bunch of parsley that you just bought from your grocery store, or harvested from your garden, there are steps you need to follow to prepare it for drying. The specific preparation methods vary according to the method of drying.

For instance, when oven drying, you need to separate the stems from the tender leaves. You also need to blanch the leaves to preserve the parsley flavor. On the other hand, if hanging to dry, you need to retain the stems as they allow you to tie up the parsley together.

Whichever method you opt to use to dry your parsley, it is important to clean it thoroughly to get rid of any residual pesticides, dust, or soil particles.

How To Dry Parsley: 5 Methods For Drying Parsley At Home

How to dry parsley at home
Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

Drying parsley at home is easy and does not require sophisticated equipment. You can dry parsley outside in the sun, in the open air, in a microwave, oven, or dehydrator. Below are step-by-step instructions for drying parsley at home using various methods.

How to Air Dry Parsley

You can air dry parsley indoors at any time of the year. The only challenge with this drying method is that it makes the parsley susceptible to mold, especially during the humid and cold seasons. Therefore, you need to choose an air-drying location that has good air movement. If there is limited air movement, you could use a fan to move the air around.

What You Need

  • Twine or rubber bands
  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • Fan (optional)
  • Cool, dry, well-ventilated space

Instructions

  1. Bundle up several parsley stems and tie them together with a twine or rubber band.
  2. Identify a location that is cool and dry with adequate air movement like the garage or shed.
  3. Hang the bundled-up parsley upside down from a nail or a rack and leave it for 5-10 days.
  4. Keep checking on the parsley. If the dried parsley leaves begin to fall off, place the leaf ends in a brown paper bag.
  5. Allow the parsley enough time to dry up completely. It should easily crumble into your fingers.
  6. Strip the dried leaves for storage and discard the stems.

How to Sun Dry Parsley

Sun drying is a common method of drying parsley and other herbs, but it is only efficient in the warm, sunny seasons. Check the weather forecast in your area to ensure that there will be no rain for the next 3-7 days and the weather is not going to be humid.

What You Need

  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • Drying rack or tray
  • Baking sheet

Instructions

  1. Carefully wash the parsley
  2. Lay baking sheets over the drying rack or tray.
  3. Lay the parsley on the baking sheet in thin layers.
  4. Place it in an open space under direct sun.
  5. Every day, turn over the parsley to ensure all parts are getting even exposure to air and the sun.
  6. Check if the parsley is fully dry. Depending on the intensity of the sun and the moisture content in the herbs, the parsley may take a few hours or up to several days to dry.
  7. Once dry, strip the leaves from the stems for storage.

How to Dry Parsley in the Oven

Using the oven is an efficient method of drying parsley, but if you set the temperatures too high or leave the parsley in for too long, it might burn.

What You Need

  • Oven
  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking tray

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 3500 F.
  2. Wash the parsley.
  3. Separate the leaves from the stems. If the leaves are too large, you may chop them into ¼-inch pieces.
  4. Blanch the parsley by dipping it in boiling water for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Lay a parchment paper over the baking tray.
  6. Then, spread the blanched parsley on the parchment paper, ensuring that it is evenly spread out.
  7. Reduce the oven temperatures to 700 F.
  8. Place the baking tray on the middle rack in the oven and set the time for 2 hours. You may need to add more time (up to 4 hours) to allow the parsley to dry completely
  9. Once dried, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Remove any stalks and store it.

How to Dry Parsley in the Microwave

Drying parsley using the microwave

A microwave is the fastest method of drying parsley. However, it may easily burn the parsley.

What You Need

  • Microwave
  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • Paper tray

Instruction

  1. Clean your parsley and separate the leaves from the stems.
  2. Lay the parsley leaves on the paper tray evenly and put it in the microwave.
  3. Set the microwave at low or medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Keep a close eye on the parsley. If you notice it darkening or smoking, turn off the microwave immediately and take it out.
  5. Allow it to cool and then store.

How to Dry Parsley in a Dehydrator

Dehydrators operate on low heat. Most have an “herb setting”, which offers better drying control compared to ovens and microwaves. This helps to preserve nutrients and the flavor of the parsley, but they take longer to completely dry the herbs.

What you Need

  • Bunch of fresh parsley
  • Dehydrator
  • Rack or salad spinner

Instructions

  1. Prepare your parsley for drying. Trim healthy parsley leaf stems leaving only a small part of the stem.
  2. Carefully wash the parsley and check for any bugs.
  3. Lay the clean parsley in a rack to get rid of off excess water and to air dry. You can use a salad spinner to accelerate the process.
  4. Now, lay the parsley in the dehydrator trays in thin layers, avoid overcrowding the trays or piling up too much parsley.
  5. If your dehydrator has an herb setting, set it to this option. Otherwise, set it at 950 F or the lowest temperature setting. Do not set at higher temperatures as the dehydrator will cook the parsley, and you only want it to remove moisture.
  6. Allow ample time for the parsley to dry. The more sophisticated models take 8-12 hours while cheaper models can take up to 48 hours. The specific drying times depend on the moisture content in the herbs, dehydrator wattage, and humidity of the surrounding environment.
  7. After the first 8 hours, regularly check on the parsley to see if it is dry. Take one or two stems of parsley from each tray, leave it on the counter for a few minutes to cool, and then check if it crumbles easily between your fingers.
  8. Once the parsley has dried up, allow it to cool down completely. Then, run your fingers down each stem to strip off the leaves from the stems. Gather up the leaves for storage.

Conclusion

Drying parsley will ensure you have a consistent supply of the herb throughout the year. Low heat methods such as using a dehydrator, air drying, and sun-drying preserve the nutrient and flavor better. However, using a microwave or oven is equally effective as long as you use the recommended temperature settings.

Prepare Parsley for Drying

Dried Parsley FAQs

How Do You Store Dried Parsley?

The key to properly storing dried parsley and other herbs is keeping air and moisture off the herb. Ensure the herbs are well dried before packaging them for storage. Otherwise, they may decay or lose their flavor.

Use an airtight container, preferably made of glass. Mason jars are an excellent option as long as they close tightly. Keep the storage jars in a cool, dry place e.g. in the pantry.

Can You Substitute Fresh Parsley with Dried Parsley in Recipes?

Most culinary experts discourage substituting fresh parsley with dried parsley. If a recipe calls for fresh parsley, it is best to use fresh parsley and vice versa. This is because fresh parsley has a stronger flavor than dried parsley.

However, if you must substitute, keep in mind that the appropriate amount of fresh parsley to use varies compared to dried parsley. The recommended conversion rate for fresh to dried parsley is 2:1. For instance, if a recipe calls for one tablespoon of fresh parsley use half a tablespoon of dried parsley.

What Recipes Require Dried Parsley?

Dried parsley can be used in a wide range of recipes including grilled vegetables, roast potatoes, meat recipes, salads, stews, pasta, soups, grain dishes, smoothies, and sauces.

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I'm Jad, a biologist, blogger, and experienced indoor gardener. I am knowledgeable in plant biology, particularly in plant cultivation and propagation. I founded HerbsWithin.com in 2019 to share my knowledge in indoor gardening with passionate home growers.

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