Basil adds so much flavor to so many dishes. You can use it in savory or sweet dishes. You will find basil in just about every garden and lots of people even grow it in their kitchen window.
If you have ever grown basil before you know that it can start to grow out of control in no time. So what do you do with all of it before it goes bad?
I am going to go over how to dry basil so it doesn’t go to waste and you will always have it on hand.
How to dry basil? Drying basil is easy and can be done in the microwave or oven.
Place the leaves flat on a ridge baking sheet so that they are not touching and leave in the oven at the lowest setting for 2-4 hours.
Best ways to dry basil leaves
If you are a basil lover and you have a plant that is out of control you can easily dry out your basil leaves and have a stash of dried basil at your fingertips for any recipe.
Drying basil is easy and can be done in the microwave or the oven. I am going to go over the steps of each method.
How to dry basil in the microwave
This is the fastest way to dry out basil if you don’t have a dehydrator. It is really simple and quick so it tends to be one of the most popular ways.
Remove the stems and wash your basil leaves under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel or a dishcloth.
Spread the out
Place a paper towel on a microwavable plate and then lay all of your basil leaves out flat and so that they are not touching. Put another paper towel over the leaves.
Place the plate of basil leaves into the microwave. On high cook for 45 seconds. Remove the plate from the microwave and check the leaves. Make sure they are flat and spread out.
Put them back into the microwave for another 30 seconds. Check them and then cook them for another 30 seconds.
Cool and crumble
Allow the basil leaves to cool. They will continue to dry out a little more when they are cooling. Once they are cooled you can crumble them up.
Store your dried basil leaves in an air tight container such as an old spice container.
How to dry basil leaves in the oven
Using the oven to dry basil leaves is simple but takes a little more time than a microwave. If you have a lot of leaves you want to dry out then this method is great because you can do more at a time.
Remove the stems and rinse your basil leaves under cold water to make sure they don’t have bugs are dirt from the garden. Pat them all dry with a paper towel or dishtowel.
Arrange on a baking sheet
The best baking sheet to use for drying basil is a ridged pan. This allows for air to be able to move around each leaf.
If you do not have a ridged pan you can use a baking rack or even just parchment paper on a flat cookie sheet. Whichever pan you have on hand will work just fine.
Lay the leaves out so that they are flat. You can place them between two baking sheets and press them down to help flatten them. This will reduce the risk of the outer edges of the leaves burning.
Once they are flat you can arrange them on a baking sheet so that they are not touching.
Preheat the oven to the lowest setting. Typically is 170°F -180°F. Low and slow is best when drying basil leaves in the oven.
Place the baking sheets into the oven and allow for them to cook for 1.5-2 hours. Pull them out and check them. Put them back into the oven for another hour or two checking them every 15 minutes.
Cool and crumble
When they look like they are dried and going to crumble, pull them out and let them cool completely.
Using your hands you can crumble the dried basil leaves breaking them up into tiny pieces. Store them in an air-tight container.