How to dry parsley in the microwave

How to Dry Parsley in the Microwave

How to dry parsley in the microwave

It's very easy to dry herbs using the microwave; it's almost magical.  Carefully lay out the leaves, slide them into the microwave, nuke, beeeep, beeeep, beeeep... VOILA! Dried herbs.

Microwave-dried herbs retain excellent color and potency.  Start by laying the herb foliage in a single layer on a paper towel, either on the oven rack or on the glass insert.  Cover the leaves with another paper towel and microwave on high for 1 minute.  Then check the herbs, and if they are still soft, keep testing at 20- to 30-second intervals.  Microwave ovens differ in power output, so you'll have to experiment.  Keep track of your results with each kind of herb.

Microwave drying is a bit easier on plant tissue than oven drying, because the water in the herb leaves absorbs more of the energy than the plant tissue does.  The water in the leaves gets hot and evaporates - that's why the paper towels get damp during the drying process- leaving drying plant tissue behind.  The plant tissue heats up a little because of the contact with the water, but the water absorbs most of the heat.  In a conventional oven, all the plant material gets hot, not just the water.

For my 900-watt microwave, it took 45 to 60-seconds to dry parsley.  I laid the larger, thicker leaves around the outer edge, which is the hottest part of the microwave.  After the dried herbs have cooled, store them in air-tight containers away from heat and light.  Keeps well for several months.

READ MORE on herbs

  • microwaveguru

    Re Drying Parsley – This has to be done VERY CAREFULLY because it can cause a fire in the microwave. This is something we tested in my lab many years ago during a project concerning microwaving paper towels. I suggest that the heating be in 30 second intervals, checking for dryness after each 30 seconds, and not leaving the oven until dryness is achieved, It is extremely important that the herbs not be overdried, because the liklihood of a fire is much greater.

    • Thank you microwaveguru. You are absolutely right.

      In the article, How to Dry Fresh Herbs in a Microwave, I showed how easily it is to burn a tea towel when drying herbs.

      In future, I wouldn’t hesitate making a damp tea towel that has been well rung, to insure that I don’t set fire to the fabric.

  • Let me say one more thing about the safety factor here. Drying a 2 to 3 plates of herbs at 30 to 50 second intervals is not a hazard.

    It’s when the same fabric has been microwaved for several minutes through 4 to 5 platefuls of dried herbs. Even my tea towels become brittle after several minutes on microwaving. I really wouldn’t want to use dry paper towels.

  • microwaveguru

    The problem is that there are so many different microwave ovens – it may work well in many, but there will always be some in which there is a likelihood of fire. That’s why heating times should be short and then repeated.

  • How interesting…never knew you can dry cilantro using the microwave. I use cilantro often in my soups and Vietnamese sandwiches. Great tip you offered!

  • It worked well in my microwave. 1000 W, set at 80% for 1 minute. Papertowels as suggested, nothing catches fire – the towels barely get warm. Bonus: instead of saying “I don’t have time, I am washing my hair right now” I just say: “I am busy drying herbs”

  • Judy

    I just did parsley in the microwave and it worked perfectly. Thanks everyone.

  • James Tunnell

    I just tried this on full power 900W for 1 min and in the centre of my paper (and the parsley around it) there were dark brown burn marks. Limit it to 30 second blasts!

  • Sue

    Just dried basil, parsley, & cilantro in our 1000-watt microwave & followed your directions–went extremely well! Nothing burned including the paper towels! The house even smells great! Thank you for such an easy method of preserving fresh herbs!