How To Dry Basil Leaves? 5 Best Ways

Basil is one of the mint family and also has many varieties. Basil’s are one of the popular seasonings, and the aromatic herb is used in teas and other supplements providing, a range of health benefits. Basil is nothing but a flavorful, leafy herb.

Let us check some of the varieties of basil and find out how to dry basil leaves.

  • The sweet basil: It is a well-known variety of basil and is known for its usage in Italian dishes. It is sold dried in the markets and has a flavor of licorice clove.
  • The Greek basil: It is a compact of small leaves having a strong aroma, but the flavor is mild. Therefore can be substituted for sweet basil.
  • The cinnamon basil: As the name suggests, it has a flavor of cinnamon, and it is native to Mexico.
  • The lettuce basil: It is large and wrinkled soft leaves and has a flavor like licorice. It goes best with salads.
  • The Thai basil: Like its name, this basil is commonly used in Thai dishes, having an anise licorice taste.

Now talking about dried basil, let us know some benefits of dried basil. As dried basil may not be available all the time, that’s when dried basil comes into the picture. It has more flavor than fresh basil. It has a more concentrated flavor, so while using the dried basil, take about one-third of it. Do not use in the same measure as fresh basil.

How To Dry Basil Leaves

How to dry basil leaves at home?

  • Firstly, wash the basil leaves and separate the rotten leaves.
  • Place it on a mat or cloth piece, allowing it to dry under the sun. Let it completely dry, and this process may take around three to four weeks.
  • Once dried, make sure to store the dried basil in an airtight container. Be careful while storing. Do not crush them, as crushing will release all the volatile oils reducing the flavor and aroma. Before using the leaves in any recipe, crush them.

Do you wash basil before drying?

Yes, washing the basil leaves are mandatory before drying. And it is the first step to the process of drying basil leaves.

There are many more questions like this regarding drying the basil leaves but what about those who want to purchase it from the store. Here are the quick tips to know before purchasing dried basil leaves

  • Always check for the manufacturing and expiry date.
  • The pack must be well sealed.
  • Organic dried basil leaves are the best to go with. Some of the others may be irradiated leading to a significant decrease in vitamin C.

Now, as we have checked out the tips for purchasing, it’s time to dig into some of the most asked questions

How to dry basil in the oven?

This method is for those, who are impatient and also have limited space for drying basil naturally.

  • As always, washing the basil leaves is a priority, and dry them completely.
  • Now, preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
  • Spread your leaves on a baling sheet, the leaves should not overlap. If you have more leaves you might need more baking sheets.
  • Bake the basil leaves for 45 mins to an hour or till the time your leaves are completely dried and can be crumbled.
  • Take the basil from the oven and crumble it. Remember it should completely crumble.
  • Use an airtight jar for storing the dried basil leaves.

How to preserve basil leaves?

There are many ways in which one can preserve basil leaves. Come, let us check out some

  • Freezing of basil leaves: The easiest way to preserve basil is to freeze them. You can either freeze the whole basil leaves or chop the leaves and then store them in a container or bag.
  • Blanching the leaves: Pluck the leaves from the stem and put them in a pot with hot boiling water for three to five seconds. Remove the leaves and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Lastly, dry the leaves completely and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  • Basil cubes: First chop the basil leaves in any food processor and add enough olive oil to form a paste. Now transfer the mixture to an ice cube tray and freeze it. You can use these flavorful cubes for your soups.
  • Drying basil leaves: Dried basil leaves are used a lot in kitchens and the easiest way to dry them is in the oven. a) extract basil leaves from its stem, wash and pat dry. b) oven must be set to the lowest temperature and place the leaves on a baking sheet. c) bake the leaves until they are dried and crumbly. d) crumble the leaves and store them in an airtight jar or container.

One can also dry the basil leaves with the classic method of drying them under sunlight. It might take two to three weeks for the leaves to dry.

How to dry basil in microwave?

  • Washing is the mandatory part before drying the leaves.
  • After washing the leaves thoroughly dry them well. Use a paper towel and pat dry.
  • Place the basil leaves in the microwave for 30seconds. Please note all microwaves are different and you do not wish to burn your leaves. Use the setting that works for your microwave.
  • Now, take the herbs out of the microwave and let them cool for another 30seconds. Check for the dry leaves and for the ones that are not place them again in the microwave for the next 30seconds. Follow this process until all leaves are dry
  • Once all are dry, keep them aside to cool down and then store them in an airtight container. Crush them before using the leaves in recipes.

How do you dry basil?

You can always opt for the easy way where you can dry the basil leaves in the oven. Adjusting the temperature is the key to perfectly dried basil leaves. There’s also another way that’s the classic way to dry the basil leaves, and I opt for the classic sunlight method of drying the leaves. It is natural and is safe from burning the leaves although it takes a few weeks the results are worth waiting for.

How to dry fresh basil?

  • Take a plate and place a paper towel on it
  • Place the leaves in a single layer on the paper towel
  • Now place another towel on top of it
  • Microwave for 30 seconds and check if dried and if not then repeat the process
  • Once dried, transfer them to a container and later crumble them when in use.

How to dehydrate basil?

You may use any method to dehydrate your basil leaves. One of the methods to dehydrate your leaves are as follows

  • Cleaning the leaves before any dehydration is necessary. Wash and soak them dry. This will remove all the dirt and the little bugs which you would like to skip
  • Discard all the leaves which are rotten or unworthy.
  • Now make bunches of basil leaves and sort them
  • Securely tie the end of the bunched basil leaves. Make sure the knots are tight and the bunches remain still and not fall apart.
  • Now hang the basil leaves up and let them dry. Choose a high spot and hang them.
  • Do not hang them above your toaster or stove, it might ruin the leaves
  • This needs patience as the leaves will take about 4 weeks to dry.

How to dry basil in a dehydrator?

This works great when you have a lot of basil leaves to dry. With small bunches, you may dry them in the oven, or hang them or even dry them with the help of sunlight.

Use any of the methods that you but do remember the following things while drying basil.

  • Handle the leaves gently in every step
  • Remove all the moisture from leaves or else it will lead to brown spots
  • Leaves contain oil content which leads to consumption of time to dry
  • The leaves turn rusty once dried.

Now as you are aware above things to remember about basil leaves, let’s get into the dehydrator.

It helps in speeding up the drying process. Here’s how you can dehydrate your basil leaves

  • Wash your leaves and be ready to watch the dirt running away with water
  • Dry them up and remove the surface water. Pat gently and let them lay for an hour.
  • Removes leaves gently and places them on a tray leaving space between for air to circulate.
  • Place the trays in the dehydrator and set the temperature to 35 degrees Celsius. Check the humidity outside and inside the house and if it is low, do check at 6hours. It may also take twelve to twenty-four hours to dry.
  • After the process, take the tray and place all the leaves in a jar. Do not crumble as you will get wholesome flavor when the leaves are in shape. Only crumble when in use.

How long does dried basil last?

The dried basil leaves last for two to three years. Taking into consideration the storage.

How to dry and store basil?

There are various methods to dry the basil leaves. One can dry the leaves in the oven, microwave, dehydrator, air-dry method, and the method of drying it in sunlight. After the basil leaves are dried, one must store them in an airtight container.

How to dry basil for storage?

With the methods for drying basil like using an oven, microwave, or even dehydrator, one can dry the basil storage.

Is it better to dry or freeze basil?

It is up to you whether you want to dry or freeze your basil leaves. But freezing the basil leaves always helps it to retain the fresh taste better than drying.

What temperature do you dry basil in the oven?

The oven is preheated at 170 degrees for drying the basil. You can maintain a temperature between 170-180 degrees. Also, look into the leaves and check with the oven, and set the temperature accordingly.

How do you dry basil in the sun

How do you dry basil in the sun?

  1. Before putting them to dry always wash your leaves and pat them dry
  2. Place a paper towel to make them dry and be gentle with the leaves
  3. Spread the leaves on the mat and place them under the sun. Make sure to place weights on the mat so that it does not fly with the wind
  4. Ensure the wind is calm or else your leaves might blow away.
  5. Move the mats during the interval so that every leaf gets the maximum sunlight.

It may not be the easiest way but is energy efficient and only uses natural solar energy.

How do I dry my fresh basil?

Some methods for drying your basil are below

  • Air drying
  • Microwave drying
  • Sun drying
  • Usage of oven
  • Usage of dehydrator

What can I use instead of dried basil?

No herbs have the same flavor. Below are the herbs which are similar to dried basil

  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried cilantro
  • Tarragon
  • Savory
  • Rosemary

How do you dry basil without an oven?

Washing and pat drying are the common steps before drying basil leaves. You can dry basil leaves in the following manner.

  • Spreading only the leaves of basil on a mat, and place it under the sun. This is called the sun drying method.
  • Place the leaves on a dehydrating tray and leave the tray in the dehydrator for drying the basil leaves.
  • Air drying the basil leaves by hanging the bunches of leaves on a high spot.
  • Placing the leaves in a microwave until they dry.

We have seen above about the basil leaves and the techniques used for drying the basil leaves. With all these techniques for drying, you may still wonder how long does dried basil last? To which we have answered above. But let me tell you, it will last depending on the storage provided. And also remember with passing time the dried basil tends to lose its flavor. So make sure you make batches as peruse and also provide storage to them.

Dried basil tastes good with pizza and can also be used as a seasoning in your favorite recipes. We have found modern techniques to dry basil leaves which is easy and convenient. But be careful with the leaves, do not burn them.

Do not mix the burnt leaves with the others it may spoil the whole batch.

Also, check out the post on freezing Cilantro if you want to know-how.

Kelly Anne

Kelly Anne

Hey there, I am Kelly Anne. Thank you for being here. Hope you like the website and it was helpful. I am a working mother of 2. I love to cook and feed people. My hobbies include cooking (obviously), reading, and rock climbing.

With so many machines and accessories in the market to help you cook it become quite overwhelming to choose from. I own a lot of these kitchen equipments and tried out the others. I want the best for my kitchen and I am helping you find the best for yours.

All Posts