I’ll show you exactly how to dry herbs in the microwave, it’s quick, easy and a lot of fun! — The microwave preserves color and flavor like no other method, and in minutes you can have months’ worth of herbs ready to go.
I’m a huge believer in the power of fresh herbs, they make a big difference in the flavor of so many foods. And because of that I’m forever buying them and, sadly, letting many of them got to waste. I love this trick for preserving them, and while I usually go for fresh whenever I can, there are times, especially in fall and winter cooking, when dried herbs are called for and do a great job.
Once you know how to dry herbs in the microwave you’re going to want to try it with every variety you can find. This is a really fun project, and easy, too, so think about getting your kids involved. You don’t need a fancy dehydrator, all you need are clean, dry, fresh herbs, some paper, and a microwave. Lay out the herbs in a single layer on a piece of paper and microwave at full power for anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half, depending on the herb. Some herbs are mostly water, like cilantro and parsley, and will dry quicker than those that contain more essential oils, like oregano and sage. Your herbs might be larger or smaller than the ones I tested, so just use my guide as a general starting point.
- Cilantro ~ 30 seconds
- Sage ~ 75 seconds
- Thyme ~ 45 seconds
- Marjoram ~ 60 seconds
- Basil ~ 40-50 seconds
- Parsley ~ 60 seconds
- Tarragon ~ 60-70 seconds
- Oregano ~ 60 seconds
- Rosemary ~ 60 seconds
My microwave is a standard 1000 watts.
Once your herbs are dried you can crumble them and store in little jars, or plastic bags. If they don’t crumble easily then you haven’t haven’t dried them long enough. They should shatter instantly when you rub them between your fingers. You can crush them as fine or as coarsely as you like. Don’t worry about getting bits of stem in the mix.
The beauty of drying your own herbs is that you know what you’re getting, and you’re getting a 100% fresh, pure product. Commercially packaged herbs can be stale, contaminated, and sometimes not even what is stated on the label. Since dried herbs lose their potency after about 6 months, it makes sense to dry your own in small batches.
TIP: Never buy dried herbs and spices in bulk — buy them in the smallest amounts you can and replace them often.
I love all my microwave ‘miracles’, they’re some of my favorite recipes —
- Microwave Potato Chips
- Microwave Citrus Curd
- Microwave Mac & Cheese
- Microwave Peanut Brittle
- No Sugar Microwave Jam,
- plain paper or parchment paper
- Make sure your herbs are clean and completely DRY.
- Working with one herb at a time, lay them out in a single layer on a piece of paper that will fit in your microwave. If possible, remove the leaves from the stems.
- Microwave on full power for anywhere from 30 - 90 seconds, depending on your herbs and your particular microwave. (see chart above)
- Check the herbs and if they feel crisp they are done, but if they feel soft, microwave them for a few more seconds. Don't over-do it or they will turn brown and burn.
- Let the dried herbs cool down and then crush them with clean hands, and package them in small jars or plastic bags.
- Store in a cool dark place and use within 6 months.
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PS I’ve got a killer recipe for homemade Boursin Cheese coming up soon, so stay tuned, it uses these microwave dried herbs and it’s even better than the store bought cheese! Speaking of staying tuned, why not sign up on my email list, HERE, so you won’t miss it!