Drying parsley to preserve it is a great skill if you wind up with too much of the herb. Dried parsley is great for adding a touch of green to everything from potato salad to tomato soup. Here are some of the best ways to dry parsley:
In the oven
Your oven is one of the most reliable tools for drying herbs like parsley. To oven-dry your parsley, start by washing the herb and patting the leaves dry with a paper towel.
Once the leaves are completely dry, spread the parsley sprigs out on a cookie sheet. Make sure that none of the leaves overlap and that they are all flat on the pan’s surface. Heat your oven to its lowest temperature setting, which is usually around 200 degrees. Place the cookie sheet in it for about an hour and then turn the oven off but leave the parsley in. After another hour, check the dryness of the parsley. It should be brittle and crumbly.
In the microwave
The microwave offers you a way to dry your parsley in less time than other methods. Wash your parsley and then ensure that the leaves are moisture-free before you try to microwave them. Place your parsley sprigs on a paper plate, a sheet of parchment paper, or simply lay them out on your microwave’s turntable. Ensure that none of the leaves overlap and that all are laying flat.
Dry the parsley leaves by running your microwave in short bursts. Start with one 60-second burst and then run it in 30-second bursts after that. After the 3rd 30-second burst, start checking the parsley for dryness.
Arguably the easiest way to dry parsley, air-drying is exactly what it sounds like: drying with air. As with the other methods, start by washing the leaves and patting them dry. Tie the stems together to make small bundles. Four or five stems per bundle should be sufficient. Hang the bundles in the part of your home that has the best air circulation and the highest temperatures.
Some people opt to dry parsley and other herbs in the attic as this is the warmest, driest room in many houses. Your parsley should be ready to use in two to three weeks. Test the dryness by trying to crumble the leaves. Fully dried parsley leaves will crumble easily.
In a food dehydrator
The food dehydrator offers a compromise between the methods above as it involves heat and circulating air. It is a more efficient appliance for drying parsley leaves since it is designed specifically for drying vegetables and other food items.
Place parsley springs on the trays of your food dehydrator and use the settings for drying herbs. A food dehydrator eliminates some risks that come with the oven-drying and microwave methods since it is less likely that your parsley will burn.
An alternative to air-drying parsley in your home can be to dry it outdoors. This maximizes air circulation and uses the heat of the sun. You will need to do this on a hot and sunny day and be ready to move your parsley indoors at the first sign of rain. Start with washed parsley with no moisture on the leaves. Spread it in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place it in a sunny spot. It may take multiple days to get it completely dry.