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Once you learn how to dry Parsley, it will be easy to store jars of dried herbs for using later.
Herbs are so easy to grow and they are super easy to preserve over the Winter. Many people grow herbs in pots inside their homes, or you can dedicate part of your flower garden to grow herbs outside.
We grow Rosemary in a pot, because our winters are far too cold for it to survive outdoors. Every summer, we move the Rosemary to our outdoor porch and every Fall, we bring it back inside.
But Parsley is easy to grow outdoors (or indoors!) – it also self seeds quite easily, which is a bonus I always like. The beautiful green color and subtle herb-y aroma is also welcome to have around the house.
The only downfall with dried herbs is they never seem to taste as good as fresh herbs. That’s all right by us – we would still rather harvest and dry our own herbs and settle for the flavor, just because we know that they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals.
How to Harvest Parsley
So every year, we grow some Parsley plants and just keep trimming the Parsley. Not only do we use it fresh, but we are also trying to keep it from trying to go to flower and set seed. If the plant survives our winter, it will act as a perennial and come back up in the Spring.
However, I always let a couple of Parsley plants go to seed. Why? So that in the Spring, if we get lucky, some of those seeds sprout and give us new Parsley plants. This way, I have my bases covered and I know I will never need to buy more seed.
When I want to dry Parsley, I cut a large amount of stems off the mother plants. Air-drying or making dehydrated parsley is a great way to increase longevity.
How to Air Dry Parsley
I usually cut the stems fairly low on the plant, especially if that plant has a lot of growth. I like to cut and place my herbs right into a large shallow open weave basket.
The basket allows air to circulate better through the herbs – which is definitely what you want for drying!
Cleaning and Trimming Parsley
When I bring the full basket inside, I first snip off all the tips and discard the Parsley stems. These are some really handy herb scissors that make quick work of trimming! There isn’t any point in drying the stems of the plant.
It’s important to wash your parsley to be sure it’s clean of dirt, bugs, and other natural contaminants that are best to get rid of. Dry your parsley by patting with a paper towel, or you could put it through a salad spinner.
If you want to avoid damaging the parsley at all, another way to dry it is to hang upside down over a paper towel or some parchment paper and allow it to drip-dry. But parsley is fairly resilient, so patting it dry shouldn’t do any real damage.
I leave all the tips sitting in a shallow bowl. I’ll give them a good stir with my fingers every few days or so and let it dry before storing in mason jars. In the photo, I am drying the herb Lovage which we also use a lot of. Read more about growing Lovage!
We like to use a lot of Parsley in our cooking. If we do ever run out, I know I can easily get more at the grocery store, but we usually do harvest and dry enough to keep in storage until the next Spring.
By then, our new plants are ready to have a bit of a trim and we use that fresh.
Another method to air-dry parsley involves tying the parsley into small bundles using rubber bands or twine and storing the parsley bundles in brown paper bags.
Poke holes in the bags to encourage air flow and store in a cool place away from moisture.
How to Dry Parsley in the Oven
If you’re looking for a quicker method to dry your parsley, the instructions are simple. Spread the leaves out in a single layer on a baking sheet and popping them in the oven.
You can do this with multiple baking trays at a time. Bake at 170 degrees F for about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on the parsley to make sure it doesn’t burn or crumble.
You can also use a food dehydrator, which is specifically designed to dry foods. Follow a similar method, spreading parsley leaves onto dehydrator trays and set to about 95 degrees.
It can take up to 18 hours to complete this process, but the low and slow method may help preserve the freshness of the flavor.
Drying parsley by using appliances like the microwave won’t work; the trick is low heat for a more extended period of time.
Ways to Use Dried Parsley
Dried parsley leaves are great to use in all kinds of cooking, including as a garnish to add color and flavor to all of your favorite dishes. Throw some parsley in homemade soups or stews, mix it into casseroles, include it in pesto, sprinkle on top of pasta or even mix into salads.
If you want even finer parsley flakes, you can crush your dried parsley using a mortar and pestle or by using a wooden spoon and a sturdy bowl.
More articles on Drying and Using Herbs can be found here:
- How to Grow Herbs Indoors and Outdoors – everything you need to know!
- How to Dry Herbs – in depth info and great herbal tips.
- Grow Valerian Herb – a pretty flower with an incredible scent!
- How to Grow Lovage – also known as the “Maggi” plant.
- More info on drying herbs
Originally published 2012, updated June 2022.