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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

How to Dry Basil in the Oven | Quick and Easy Method

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This easy step by step tutorial shows you how to dry basil in the oven in three simple steps. Using this simple method you’ll have basil to use in your recipes throughout the year! It only takes about an hour!

how to dry basil in the oven - dried basil in a mason jar

Do you find yourself with an abundance of basil and don’t know what do with it? I have frequently found myself with more basil than I can eat as it flourishes in my herb garden. After making tons of fresh pesto, caprese salads, and adding to my homemade pizzas, and pastas, I dry the rest to use a simple herb in my Italian recipes throughout the year!

Latest Recipe Video!

Drying basil allows you to keep all of the gorgeous fresh flavor from going to waste! It’s a simple process. Use your dried basil in your favorite lasagna recipes, homemade pasta sauces, and so much more! You’ll find yourself coming back to this herb again and again throughout the year, and it will likely bring a smile to your face knowing it came from your garden!

There are 5 different methods to drying basil at home. Each of these ways has pros and cons, and there really is no one best way to dry basil!

All of these methods will work, it’s just a matter of what equipment you have and how much time you want to spend. First I’ll walk through how to dry basil in the oven, and later in the post I’ll provide directions on drying basil using the air fryer, food dehydrator, microwave (the fastest & easiest way!), and air drying.

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Make dried basil to use all year long
  • Stores well in spice container
  • Simple Process
  • Only One Ingredient Needed
  • Faster Than Air-Drying Basil
  • Takes about 1 hour

🌿 How to Dry Basil in the Oven

Ingredients

Basil Leaves: For drying basil leaves, all you need is fresh basil. Before preparing to dry the basil, wash and dry the leaves. Use fresh basil from your garden, or purchase a basil from the store. I recommend using organic basil leaves if possible.

how to dry basil - ingredients

Equipment

  • Paper towel for air drying basil prior to oven drying
  • Baking Sheet or cookie sheet to line the basil on
  • Spice jars or any glass jar for storing

How Do You Dry Fresh Basil Leaves?

Wash and Dry Basil Overnight: Wash the entire basil plant well by running under cool water. Pat dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel. Lie flat on dry paper towel, or on clean kitchen towels, and allow to dry completely overnight.

basil leaves pinched between fingers

Preheat Oven: Preheat oven to the lowest possible temperature (usually 170-180 degrees F).

Arrange Basil Leaves: Remove individual leaves from the stem. Place in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Don’t overlap. If you have a lot of basil you may need a couple of baking sheets.

basil leaves on a baking sheet

Bake: Bake for 1 hour or longer (up to 4 hours) – until the basil is crispy and dry. They should crumble easily when you pick them up.

dry basil leaves on a baking sheet

Note: It typically takes 45 minutes to 1 hour, but could take longer depending on your oven’s calibration, and how dry the basil leaves are to begin with. You’ll have to check on them frequently (every 10 minutes) after the hour mark to make sure they don’t burn.

Crumble: Remove the dried basil leaves from the oven. Transfer to a bowl. Crumble with your fingers or use a mortar and pestle. Let cool before storing.

crumbled dried basil on a baking sheet

🧊 How to Store

Let the crumbled basil leaves cool completely. Transfer the crumbled leaves into a spice jar. Seal with lid. Keep in a cool dry place, at room temperature is fine. When stored properly the dried basil will keep for a year or longer!

how to dry basil in the oven - dried basil in a mason jar

❓Recipe FAQs

What do you do with a lot of basil?

When you have more basil than you know what to do with, the best option is to dry it so that you can use it later. Dried basil is simple to make, and tastes delicious in a variety of recipes!

Do you need to wash basil before drying?

Yes! Wash basil before drying. Since you are washing the basil you are adding water to the leaves. This means that it is important to pat the basil dry, and allow it to air dry for a few hours or overnight before adding it to the oven.

How do you dry fresh basil leaves?

There are a variety of methods you can use to dry fresh basil. Those include air drying, oven drying, using the air fryer, dehydrator, or even the microwave.

What temperature do you dry basil in the oven?

Set your oven to the lowest temperature possible. The lowest temperature depends on the type of oven you have. If you can dry at 170 degrees F. Although some ovens only go as low as 175-180 degrees F. If that’s the case, it’s fine to dry at the lowest setting your oven allows.

Can you air dry fresh basil?

Yes! You can air dry fresh basil. However, it takes a lot more time than using an oven. You’ll need at least 4 weeks to air dry basil. This means you’ll need a designated area to hang and dry your basil for quite some time before it is ready to crumble and add to a spice container.

how to dry basil in the oven - dried basil in a mason jar

📖 Variations

Other than the oven method, here are 4 other ways you can dry basil at home!

Air Fryer Method

  • Wash basil under cool water.
  • Pat dry with a paper towel or use a salad spinner to remove the extra water.
  • Remove the leaves from the stem.
  • Place the leaves in the air fryer basket.
  • Cover the leaves with a rack to keep the leaves from blowing around the air fryer.
  • Set the air fryer to 350 F.
  • Set the timer for 3 minutes. Shake the basket after each minute.
  • Add additional minutes as needed if not quite dry.
  • Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  • After it’s cooled use your hands or a mortar and pestle to crumble the dry basil leaves.
  • Transfer to a spice container.

Using A Food Dehydrator

  • Remove leaves from the stem that are bruised, have brown spots, or are discolored.
  • Wash the leaves under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Pat them dry with tissue or paper towels. Wet basil leaves are prone to molds.
  • Place the leaves in the dehydrator at 95 degrees or the herb setting.
  • It will take 12-24 hours for the leaves to dry and become brittle. This depends on how much excess moisture is in the leaves. Check the leaves every 4 hours to be sure they do not become overly dry.

How to Dry Basil in the Microwave

  • Wash basil under cool water. Remove leaves from the stem
  • Pat dry with a paper towel. Place on a kitchen towel to dry overnight.
  • Place basil leaves between two pieces of paper towel.
  • Put this in the microwave oven for 30 seconds
  • Remove from microwave and allow to cool.
  • Check if they are dry enough. If not place in the microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Repeat until leaves are dry and brittle.
  • Allow to cool completely. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Crumble the leaves with your fingers or using a mortar and pestle until a fine texture is reached.
  • Transfer to a spice jar and store in a cool dry place.

Air Drying Basil

  • Wash basil under cool water. Remove any bruised or blemished leaves, but keep the leaves on the stem.
  • Gently pat dry, and lay on a towel to dry overnight.
  • Tie 4-5 stems of basil together with kitchen string. Don’t gather more than that, as overcrowding will not allow enough air to reach each leaf.
  • Hang in a spot that will not be disturbed and is warm, dark, and dry.
  • It will take about 2 weeks for basil to dry in the summer, and may take up to 4 weeks if the weather is cooler.
  • Remove the leaves from the stems. Crumble and crush the leaves with your hands. Transfer to spice container.
spoonful of dried basil

👪 How to Use Dried Basil

There are so many ways to use and enjoy dried basil. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Soups and Stews
  • Lasagna Recipes
  • Homemade Tomato Sauce
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Salads and Salad Dressings
  • Basil Butter
  • Basil Oil
  • Homemade Vinegars
  • Marinades
  • Add to herbal teas

💭 Expert Tips

  • Thoroughly wash the basil before drying
  • Remove any excess water my gently patting dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel.
  • Allow the basil to dry overnight. This will reduce the time needed to dry in the oven.
  • Have an empty spice jar or airtight container ready for storage.
  • Store in a cool dry place to lengthen the time it will keep!
  • Dry extra basil at the end of the summer so that none of it goes to waste.
  • Use in your favorite Italian recipes!
  • Handle basil with care. It can easily bruise and turn dark.
  • Another option is to keep the leaves as big as possible, and crush them before using in a recipe for the best flavor.
  • The best time to harvest basil is in the morning after the sun has dried the dew from the leaves.
  • Wash basil leaves in a bowl of water with a teaspoon of white vinegar for ten minutes. This will kill any small bugs or bacteria that is on the surface of the leaves.
how to dry basil in the oven - dried basil in a mason jar

🥗 More Basil Recipes!

If you have tried this dried basil recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

📋 Recipe Card

how to dry basil in the oven - dried basil in a mason jar
Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

How to Dry Basil in the Oven

This easy step by step tutorial shows you how to dry basil in the oven in three simple steps. Using this simple method you'll have basil to use in your recipes throughout the year! It only takes about an hour!
Prep Time1 d 5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Cooling Time1 hr
Total Time1 d 2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Servings: 1 jar of herbs
Calories: 1kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Wash the entire basil plant well by running under cool water. Pat dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel. Lie flat on towel, and allow to dry completely overnight.
  • Preheat oven to the lowest setting (usually 170-180 degrees F).
  • Remove basil leaves from the stem. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Don't overlap. If you have a lot of basil you may need a couple of baking sheets.
  • Bake for 1 hour or longer (up to 4 hours) – until the basil is crispy and dry. They should crumble easily when you pick them up.
  • Remove the leaves from the oven. Transfer to a bowl. Crumble with your fingers or use a mortar and pestle.
  • Let the basil cool, then transfer the crumbled leaves into a spice jar. Seal with lid. Keep in a cool dry place. When stored properly the dried basil will keep for a year or longer!

Video

Notes

  • Dry as much or as little basil as you like using this simple method.
  • Allow the basil to dry overnight. This will reduce the time needed to dry in the oven.
  • It typically takes 45 minutes to 1 hour, but could take longer depending on your oven’s calibration, and how dry the basil leaves are to begin with. If you dry them overnight, it should only take an hour. You’ll have to check on them frequently (every 10 minutes) after the hour mark to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Store in spice jar in a cool dry place to lengthen the time it will keep!
  • Use in your favorite Italian recipes!
  • Store in a cool dry place 
  • Wash basil leaves in a bowl of water with a teaspoon of white vinegar for ten minutes. This will kill any small bugs or bacteria that is on the surface of the leaves.
  • Will keep for 1-2 years!

Nutrition

Serving: 1tsp | Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Posted In…

Italian Recipes ·

These recipes are sure to be a hit! Make a healthier pizza or a guilt-free pasta and enjoy the fresh flavors of Italy.

Many people think carbs and cheese when they think Italian, but there is so much more to appreciate: aromatic herbs, fresh ingredients, and bright flavors shine. Many of my Italian-inspired recipes are suitable for special diets, such as vegan ratatouille or gluten-free lasagna.

Also posted in Recipes · Gluten-Free · Vegan · Vegetarian
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