Parsley grows, fast! So you might end up with a ton of it throughout the season. You only use a little bit on each dish, so what the heck can you do with all of your leftover parsley??
Drying herbs is a super simple way to use up the extra parsley that you might not need when it’s ready to harvest.
4 Ways to Dry Parsley
There are a few ways to dry parsley. The one you choose will depend on how much time you have, and your patience level 🙂
1. Dehydrating Parsley
- How Long it Takes: 4-6 hours
- How Well it Holds Flavor: 4 out of 5
- What You Need: Food Dehydrator
If you’ve ever used a dehydrator before, then you know it’s easy to use and works like a charm.
Dehydrating fresh herbs is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to preserve and keep them fresh. If you’ve been thinking about picking up a dehydrator, don’t wait any longer – it’s worth it. Here is my favorite one so far!
How to Dehydrate Parsley
You want to make sure you’re using a dehydrator that will allow you to turn the temperature way down. For herbs, a temperature around 95 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Always remember: low and slow!
Step 1: Wash Your Parsley
I like to soak my parsley in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes before brushing off any dirt, bugs or debris that may have come from the garden.
Place washed and dried parsley leaves on a paper towel or two, then use another to pat dry any excess moisture. You can also use a salad spinner for this!
Step 2: Place parsley on dehydrating racks
You want to give the leaves enough space on your racks, but not too much. If you overcrowd them it will take longer to dry out fully.
Step 3: Set the dehydrator to 95 F for 4 hours (but set a timer on your phone for about 2 hours)
A few hours is probably not enough time to completely dry your herbs, but it’s a good time to start checking for it to see how it’s progressing.
When drying fresh herbs, it can take up to six hours to fully dry out depending on the humidity of the room and other factors. But it can be ready a lot sooner so be careful not to let the parsley stay in there too long, as it will start cooking and turn black.
Step 4: Once your leaves are crispy and crunch when you touch them, they’re ready!
Once the leaves are crispy and no wet leaves are found, it is ready to go into a storage container.
Mason jars and spice jars are great ways to store your dried herbs for later.
2. Drying Parsley in the Oven
- How Long it Takes: 30-60 minutes
- How Well it Holds Flavor: 3 out of 5
- What You Need: Oven
If you don’t have a dehydrator (buy one!) and dry your parsley in the oven for the time being.
How to Dry Parsley in the Oven
Most ovens aren’t able to get the temperature down to quite as low as a dehydrator will let you, so this method will dry out faster but in my opinion it won’t taste as fresh.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature setting, which is typically around 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Add parchment paper to a baking sheet or cookie sheet.
Parchment or wax paper will help you avoid a big mess later (trust me!) and keep the parsley leaves from sticking directly to the baking tray. This also means you won’t lose as many leaves as I may have when I first did this.
Step 3: Place your washed parsley on the baking sheet only one layer thick.
Try to make sure your parsley is evenly spaced. If you start putting many layers on top of one another, it’s going to take a longer time to dry because you’ll be getting unevenly dried parsley leaves.
Step 4: Check the parsley after 30 minutes
30 minutes likely won’t be enough time, but it’s a good place to start checking your parsley leaves to make sure they are drying evenly.
Step 5: Check on it every 15 minutes until they are done
We’re getting close now, make sure you are starting to check on these herbs every 15-20 minutes because they will be done soon.
3. Drying Parsley in the Microwave
- How Long it Takes: 60-120 seconds
- How Well it Holds Flavor: 2 out of 5
- What You Need: Microwave
How to Dry Parsley in the Microwave
This is definitely the fastest method, but it also comes out the least flavorful in my opinion. But, parsley isn’t really a flavorful herb, so that might not be the worst thing in this case.
Drying parsley in the microwave is super simple.
Step 1: Get a microwave-safe dish and place a paper towel on top
Step 2: Lay your fresh parsley on the paper towel, trying not to overlap too much
Step 3: Microwave for 1 minute, and then check on your parsley leaves.
Depending on your microwave and settings, this might be enough time – but usually, it takes a little bit more.
Step 4: Put them back in for 15-30 second increments.
Continue this process until your leaves are dry and crunch when you touch them.
Remember, these go from being not dry to dry FAST, so keep a close eye on them.
Step 5: Remove the stems if you haven’t already.
You can keep the stems on if you like, but I like removing stems because they don’t add much flavor and it saves space.
Step 6: Place the leaves in a container of your choice.
I like using mason jars or other airtight glass containers.
Leaving the leaves whole will keep the flavor longer, but it also takes up more space, so you can decide if you want to crunch them up or not.
4. Air Drying Parsley
- How Long it Takes: 1-2 weeks
- How Well it Holds Flavor: 4 out of 5
- What You Need: Jute or twine
How to Air Dry Parsley
This method will take the most amount of time by far, but a lot of people still prefer this method.
Step 1: Wash Your Parsley
Step 2: Tie Sprigs of Parsley Together (around 10 to a bunch)
You can use jute AKA gardener’s twine for this as it’s durable and natural.
Step 3: Hang in a Place With Good Air Flow
You want to make sure this is a place you can leave them for about 2 weeks without constantly having to move them.
Common options are in the basement, hanging them up against a fence, or on a clothesline.
To dry the parsley I would avoid hanging it in the garage as the space is often too damp and doesn’t have great airflow.
Step 4: When the leaves are crunchy and flaky, they are done!
This can take 1-2 weeks depending on your location and how much parsley you’re drying.
What to Do With Dried Parsley
So you’ve dried your parsley, now what do you do with it?
I like to use a mortar and pestle to grind it up so it fits into a mason jar or spice jar. You can use a blender on the pulse setting, or gently crush them up with your hands.
You can store dried parsley flakes for around 6-10 months in an airtight container. And since the drying process doesn’t really take that long, this seems like a win-win to me!
Don’t Forget to Label Your Jars
Speaking from experience here where you can’t remember which jar was from what date or what the spice even is!
Is Dried Parsley as Good as the Fresh Herbs?
I’ll always prefer it fresh, but parsley doesn’t have a powerful flavor in any form, so this is one of the easier decisions for me to make. JUST DRY IT!
Drying your own spices is a great way to save money and prevent food waste, and gives you dried herbs all year long!