How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave

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How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave quickly and easily ~

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.

Microwave Dried Herbs --- who knew it was so quick and easy to preserve fresh herbs? ~

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.

packets of homemade Microwave Dried Herbs ~ a great way to preserve summer's bounty! ~

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.

Fresh basil dried in the microwave ~

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.

How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave ~ fresh sage ~

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.

How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave ~

I love all my microwave ‘miracles’, they’re some of my favorite recipes —

Microwave Dried Herbs
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Microwave Dried Herbs


    Fresh herbs
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • tarragon
  • oregano
  • basil
  • plain paper or parchment paper


  1. Make sure your herbs are clean and completely DRY.
  2. 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.
  3. Microwave on full power for anywhere from 30 - 90 seconds, depending on your herbs and your particular microwave. (see chart above)
  4. 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.
  5. Let the dried herbs cool down and then crush them with clean hands, and package them in small jars or plastic bags.
  6. Store in a cool dark place and use within 6 months.


Don’t forget to pin this tutorial on how to dry herbs!

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. #freshherbs #growingherbs #driedherbs #parsley #sage #basil #mint #tarragon #thyme #cilantro


PS I’ve got a killer recipe for HOMEMADE BOURSIN CHEESE that’s perfect for all your new 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!

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  • Reply
    September 20, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I don’t see chives on the list. Can this herb be dried successfully in the microwave?

    • Reply
      September 20, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Chives would work but they are so delicate they don’t take long!

  • Reply
    Deborah Kepler
    September 20, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I have been drying my parsley, Italian oregano and basil in the microwave, for 3 years now. After I dry them, I mix them together and store them in a plastic container and freeze them to use all year long. I use my “Italian seasoning” in most of my cooking and won’t buy the brands unless I am desperate…and then they taste moldy to me.

    • Reply
      September 20, 2018 at 11:31 am

      “That’s a fantastic idea Deborah, I have a ton of oregano in my garden, I think I’ll try this.

  • Reply
    Cathy Graff
    August 22, 2018 at 10:53 am

    What kind of paper can you use? Everytging ive read says to avoid Paper towels…even my wrapper…thanks

    • Reply
      August 22, 2018 at 10:55 am

      I’ve read that paper towels are safe in the microwave. You can use parchment paper, too.

  • Reply
    Trisha hartge
    August 7, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    I have been drying my herbs for several years with good results, but this year for some unknown reason the paper towels have been catching fire. My microwave was old so i bought a new one, but it happened again. so i have tried using a different brand of paper towels (same result), then tried parchment paper–caught fire again. S now i’m wondering if it is the herbs–i cut them and arrange on the paper towels and cover with another paper towel and follow the drying time suggested–no change.
    i’m frustrated since i have a lot of herbs and have been planning to use as gifts
    could it be the herbs?

    • Reply
      August 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      That’s strange Trisha, especially since you’ve changed microwaves and everything. I wonder if it is the type of paper towel you’re using? Try a different brand, all white.

    • Reply
      September 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      I have read that paper towels that have a percentage of recycled content sometimes have tiny bits of metal in them that catch fire in microwaves (the same as if you put a twist tie in the microwave).

      • Reply
        September 15, 2018 at 2:40 pm

        That’s good to know, Norma, thanks!

  • Reply
    8 Choses Surprenantes Que Peut Faire Votre Four À Micro-Ondes Et Que Vous Ignorez
    April 11, 2018 at 10:37 am

    […] Petites notes : certaines herbes sont principalement composées d’eau, comme la coriandre et le persil, et se dessèchent plus rapidement que celles qui contiennent plus d’huiles essentielles, comme l’origan et la sauge. Si elles ne se cassent pas facilement, vous ne les avez pas faits séchées assez longtemps. Elles devraient se briser instantanément lorsque vous les frottez entre vos doigts. image : theviewfromgreatisland […]

  • Reply
    Jackie B
    September 7, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Just so you know .. I was curious if this could be done with dill. It worked perfectly. It took 45 seconds in my microwave. Just removed the tips from the heavy stems. Love ?? this method!! Thank you !!

    • Reply
      September 7, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Oh I’m so glad you came back to let us know Jackie. I don’t know why I didn’t include dill in the original post. Dried dill is one of my favorites, I think it keeps its flavor really well.

    • Reply
      Kevin Schanie
      October 1, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks, thanks Sue. I have a surplus of basil kale parsley and Maior from my garden I was dreading a tedious task of hanging everything upside down all over the kitchen so I’m glad to Have the simple method thank you

      • Reply
        October 1, 2017 at 2:13 pm

        I envy you all those fresh herbs!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Hello I just used your drying method for my basil and parsley. Great. So easy and a good way to preserve those herbs for this winter.Thanks

    • Reply
      August 30, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      I’m so glad, Marilyn. it’s funny, but I would never ever buy dried parsley, but the stuff I made is so good, I’ve been using it a lot!

  • Reply
    Neale Dunn
    August 29, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Here is my favorite way to use those sweet perfect summer tomatoes in a salad. 2-3 chopped tomatoes, 4-5 leaves from the heart of romaine, a cuke from the garden, and a few chopped scallions or 1/2 of a red onion ( thinly sliced crescents) whole parsley and small basil leaves. cube a large chunk of rustic italian or other artisan bread. 1 clove pressed garlic. Salt, pepper, olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. you can switch the vinegar to a good wine vinegar if you prefer. Toss and enjoy.

  • Reply
    Katie | Katie's Time Travelling Kitchen
    August 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    This is so useful and such a good idea! :) Do you think it would work in an oven as well?

    • Reply
      August 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks Katie, and while you can dry herbs in an oven it’s not as good a method, because the slower drying time strips flavor and color from the herbs.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Hi sue,
    I need to ask that can we dry mint leaves by this method?

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    August 25, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I love this tip, what a great way to preserve summer!

  • Reply
    Katherine | Omnivore's Cookbook
    August 25, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Big thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I would have never thought of this! The microwave is waaay underused in my house! I adore herbs (and spend way too much $$$ on fresh ones) so I’m definitely going to keep this in mind :)

    • Reply
      August 25, 2016 at 9:34 am

      It works so well, Natasha, now we just have to find more recipes that call for dried herbs to use them all in :)

      • Reply
        August 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

        Thanks Sue. The tip worked great!!!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2016 at 11:52 am

    This is such a genius idea, I always struggle with wasted herbs!

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