Learn how to dry fresh parsley at home!
There’s nothing quite like eating fresh parsley, and if you wish to take that parsley and dry it so that it will last much longer, just know that the process is easier than you think. That being said, there are still rules you need to follow if you want the parsley to come out just right, and it all starts with preparation and remembering how to dry fresh parsley the right way.
How To Dry Fresh Parsley At Home
If you grow herbs yourself, you’ll know for sure the parsley is fresh. Regardless of where you get your fresh parsley from, you have to start by making sure you clean it well; then, you’ll have to remove all of the stems from the leaves and discard the woody bits of stems.
Once that’s done, chop the parsley into 1/4-inch pieces.
When this step is complete, boil some water and blanch the parsley, which you’ll do by placing it into the boiling water for 20–30 seconds. Afterward, remove the parsley and place it gently on top of some paper that has been placed on top of a baking sheet.
Here is a video on how to blanc parsley (or any other green herb).
How To Dry Fresh Parsley in a Dehydrator
Using a dehydrator is the best method for drying anything, including parsley. It is by far the safest and easiest of all drying methods.
- Drying parsley in a dehydrator is easy because most dehydrators have an herb setting you can use, which means over-cooking the parsley isn’t likely to happen.
- Go ahead and clean the parsley using the method used above, then place the parsley on the dehydrating trays.
- The good thing about using a dehydrator is it will tell you exactly what temperature the machine needs to be and how long the parsley needs to remain in there before it’s done. Usually, it takes about 8 – 14 hours to dehydrate fresh parsley with a dehydrator. It’s important to pay attention to these things because each dehydrating machine is a little different.
An advantage of using a dehydrating machine to dry your parsley is that these are very efficient ways of drying out all types of herbs, not just parsley. Unlike a microwave which is sometimes inconsistent when cooking, a dehydrator cooks evenly every time. Just make sure you read your user manual to make sure you don’t overcook or burn the parsley.
Drying Fresh Parsley in the Oven
For parsley, it’s a good idea to use brown paper if you can, and once the parsley is laid out on that paper, make sure it is evenly spread out and has no huge clumps anywhere on the baking sheet. The parsley should look neat and even when you’re looking at it as it sits on the baking tray.
- When you turn the oven on, make sure the temperature is at the lowest setting. If you set it too high, it can burn the parsley instead of drying it.
- You’ll want to keep the parsley in the oven for 2–4 hours, checking it after two hours. Keep in mind that parsley can dry fast, so you should check your oven frequently to avoid a disaster.
If you can lightly squeeze the parsley between your fingers and it crumbles, it is dry enough to remove from the oven. Once the tray of parsley is out of the oven, check it again to make sure no stems were left behind on the tray. Use either your hands and fingers or a mortar and pestle set to crush up all of the parsley.
Drying Fresh Parsley in a Microwave
It isn’t usually recommended that you use a microwave to dry out your fresh parsley. This is because microwave ovens often cook inconsistently or in a “spotty” way.
But if this is all you have, go ahead and place the parsley on a microwavable plate and cook it in 1- to 2-minute increments. You have to also keep a close eye on the parsley, and if it starts to smoke or gets dark, remove it from the microwave immediately.
Air-Drying Your Parsley
In addition to these three methods, you can also air-dry your parsley if you like. Just clean the parsley as you normally would but do not chop it up. Instead, gather up the parsley into loose bundles, then tie them at the stem end with twine or a rubber band. Place the bundles in paper bags with holes punched in them to allow more air to circulate through them. Next, hang the bags so the parsley bundles are upside down, and hang them in a cool, dry place that also gets a good bit of circulating air.
For great results, consider stacking the bags either on an old clothes rack or a drying rack. In other words, you can either hang the bags or place them on some type of rack, but make sure they’re kept in a place that is cool and dark and never damp or humid. Let the bags remain where they are for two weeks, then check them to make sure they’re dry enough. If they aren’t, they’ll need to be put back in that same location and checked regularly until you know the parsley is done.
Do You Have to Store the Parsley a Certain Way?
As you can imagine, dried parsley has to be stored a certain way. This means an airtight container that you’ll store in a cool, dry place afterward. You can use an airtight plastic bag, a glass jar with a tight lid, or even an airtight plastic container used to store leftover foods.
While it may seem that dried parsley will last forever, it’s best if you use it within just a few months if you want the best results. This way, you’ll get the most flavor from this very popular herb.
Having parsley in the house that you dried yourself is a good feeling. It’s even better when you know the fresh parsley came from your own herb garden. Learning how to dry parsley isn’t difficult, and if you follow a few basic rules, you’ll be an old pro at it in no time. Parsley has an attractive appearance and a very pleasant aroma, and it can add some oomph to any dish, from meats to veggies and everything in between. It is a very versatile herb, and once you learn how to dry it properly, you’ll start to enjoy it even more.
FAQ About Drying Fresh Parsley at Home
What is the best way to preserve fresh parsley?
One of the best ways to preserve fresh parsley is to freeze it. You can also preserve parsley by drying it, as described in this post. Dried parsley will keep for several months if stored in a cool, dark place.
Is it better to freeze parsley or dry it?
It depends on how you plan to use the parsley. If you plan to use it in cooked dishes, such as soups, stews, and casseroles, freezing is the better option because it preserves the flavor and texture of the parsley better than drying. However, if you plan to use the parsley as a garnish or in dry rubs and seasoning blends, drying is the better option because it produces a more concentrated flavor and is easier to grind or crumble into a fine powder.
Why is my dried parsley turning brown?
There are a few reasons why dried parsley may turn brown. One possible reason is that the parsley was not dried properly and still contains moisture, which can cause it to spoil and turn brown. Another possible reason is that the parsley was exposed to light or heat during storage, which can cause it to lose its color and turn brown. Additionally, parsley naturally turns brown over time as it oxidizes, so if the parsley has been stored for a long time, it may have simply reached the end of its shelf life. To prevent your dried parsley from turning brown, make sure to dry it thoroughly before storing it, store it in a cool, dark place, and use it within a few months of drying.
Does dried parsley have any flavor?
Dried parsley does have flavor, but it is much more concentrated than fresh parsley, so you will need to use less of it in your dishes. The flavor of dried parsley is also slightly different from fresh parsley, as the drying process causes some of the essential oils that give parsley its flavor to evaporate. As a result, dried parsley has a more pungent, earthy flavor than fresh parsley, which is milder and slightly sweet. Additionally, dried parsley may lose some of its flavor over time, so it’s best to use it within a few months of drying for the best taste.
What is dried parsley good for?
Dried parsley is a versatile herb that can be used in many different dishes. It is commonly used as a garnish to add color and flavor to dishes, but it can also be used to add flavor to soups, stews, casseroles, and other cooked dishes. Some people also use dried parsley to make parsley tea, which is believed to have various health benefits.