Parsley is such a versatile herb, adding flavor and color to dishes. You can use it in all sorts of recipes, from soups to salads, or even as a garnish for meats and fish. Unfortunately, even if you grow it yourself, there’s never enough on hand when you need it.
So, what’s the solution?
Instead of purchasing expensive dried parsley at your local grocery store, why not make your own? It’s easy, fast, and will save you money. Lucky for you, we’ve scoured the internet and found one simple trick to drying parsley leaves – using your microwave.
Here’s how to Dry Parsley Leaves in Microwave.
Place fresh parsley leaves on a microwave-safe dish lined with paper towels. Cover with another layer of paper towels and place in your microwave. Nuke for 30 seconds, then remove to check progress. If not dry, return to microwave for an additional 15 seconds at a time until they reach the desired level of crispness.
In today’s article, we’ll take you through each step of drying parsley leaves in a microwave. We’ll also share some tips and tricks to help you get it right every time. Finally, we’ll answer some common questions about drying parsley leaves and herbs in general.
Let’s dive in.
Can You Dry Parsley Leaves in a Microwave?
While it’s true that parsley leaves can be dried by air-drying or dehydrating, there’s another quick and easy option: drying them in a microwave. The method is simple and doesn’t require any special equipment—just some paper towels and a microwave.
There are several reasons why you might want to dry your own parsley leaves at home. Perhaps you have them in abundance from your garden and are stumped about what to do with them. Or maybe you’re looking for an inexpensive way to preserve them so you can use them all year.
In either case, the method you use is critical; if not done correctly, your parsley will turn brown and lose its flavor. The good news is that drying them in a microwave solves both of these issues: it’s quick and easy and preserves color and flavor better than other methods.
However, microwaves face one major drawback: they tend to heat unevenly. As a result, if you don’t take the proper precautions, some of your parsley may become scorched or soggy. There are other helpful tips to also know on how to microwave kimchi.
The key to drying parsley leaves in a microwave is simple: paper towels and heating in short bursts. The paper towels absorb excess moisture and keep your parsley from becoming soggy. On the other hand, the short bursts of microwave energy evenly dry out your leaves, preventing them from scorching or turning brown.
How Long Does It Take To Dry Parsley Leaves in a Microwave
It will take between 30-90 seconds for your parsley leaves to dry completely using a microwave. The amount of time it takes depends on your microwave wattage and the number of leaves you are drying at one time.
For instance, if you have 1/2 cup of parsley leaves that you want to dry, it will take less time than if you had 2 cups. Similarly, a powerful microwave will dry your leaves faster than a weaker one.
The best way to dry parsley leaves in the microwave is to use short bursts of power. Start with 30 seconds, and then assess their progress. If they aren’t bone dry, zap them at 15-second intervals until they reach your desired level of crispness.
Tips for Drying Parsley Leaves in a Microwave
For best results, you’ll want to understand all the nuances of drying parsley leaves in a microwave. Here are some helpful tips.
1. Make use of fresh parsley. If your leaves aren’t fresh, they won’t dry properly and may even mold or rot. Fresh parsley has bright green, crisp, and firm stems. Avoid limp or yellowing leaves at all costs.
2. Once you have selected your parsley, rinse it thoroughly to remove all dirt and debris from its surface. Pat it dry with a paper towel as moisture is a leading cause of spongy dried herbs. You can also use a salad spinner if you have one on hand.
3. Cut off any damaged or discolored leaves before you begin drying. The healthier and more intact your parsley, the better it will dry. Furthermore, you don’t want moldy parts of your herb contaminating the healthy leaves.
4. Chop any large parsley leaves into smaller pieces. This will help them dry faster and more evenly. It’s best to use your fingers for chopping rather than a knife or scissors, as you don’t want to crush or bruise your herb. You can also tear it apart by hand if you prefer.
5. Make sure to use paper towels when drying parsley leaves in a microwave. Paper towels allow air to circulate around your herb and absorb excess moisture, preventing mold from forming. Besides, they are inexpensive and disposable.
6. Spread your chopped parsley evenly over a plate or tray lined with paper towels. Allow plenty of space between each leaf so that air can circulate freely around them.
Step-by-Step Process of How to Dry Parsley Leaves in Microwave
The easiest way to dry parsley leaves is using a microwave. Just follow these steps:
Select only fresh, green leaves without any signs of browning or wilting. Rinse them thoroughly to remove all traces of dirt and debris from the surfaces. Before proceeding to the next step, shake off excess water and pat dry with paper towels.
Cut off any elongated stems and discard them. This makes it easier to fit all of your leaves into a single microwave-safe bowl or plate.
Line your microwave-safe bowl or plate with paper towels and place your leaves on top. Spread them out evenly so that they don’t overlap. If they can’t fit in a single bowl, microwave them in batches.
Cover your leaves with another layer of paper towels and place them in your microwave.
Set your microwave on high power and nuke for 30 seconds, then check on their progress. If they’re not dry, return them to the microwave for 15 seconds at a time until they’re crisp.
Remove your parsley from the microwave and gently rub the stems between your fingers over a bowl or plate until the leaves fall off.
Transfer your dried parsley leaves to an airtight container and store them in a cool, dark place.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you microwave herbs to dry them?
You certainly can. Microwaving is a quick and easy way to dry herbs, especially if you don’t have access to an oven or dehydrator. However, you risk over-drying your herbs, resulting in flavor and nutrient loss. As a result, it’s best to microwave in short bursts and check on them frequently.
2. Is it better to dry herbs in the oven or microwave?
Microwaving is an excellent way to dry herbs since it’s fast and convenient. It also doesn’t require additional kitchen equipment and will retain more of your herb’s flavor. Oven drying, on the other hand, allows you to air-dry larger batches at once.
Your best bet is to experiment with both methods before deciding which one works best for you.
3. How do you dehydrate in a microwave?
Dehydration is one of the best ways to preserve herbs, and parsley leaves are no exception. To dehydrate your herbs, place them on top of a paper towel on your microwave-safe plate. Then, cover with another paper towel and nuke on high for 30 seconds.
Remove from the microwave, toss, and continue to microwave in 15-second increments until dry.
4. Can Basil be dried in the microwave?
Yes, Basil can be dried in a microwave. The process is very similar to drying parsley leaves. Make sure to line your microwave-safe plate with paper towels to absorb excess moisture and prevent splatters. Then, nuke in short bursts to ensure that your herbs do not burn and dry evenly.
5. Should you wash your Parsley leaves before drying?
If you find dirt or debris on your parsley leaves, it’s only fair to give them a quick rinse. However, dry them thoroughly before placing them in a microwave drying. The last thing you want is a soggy dried herb.
6. How do you preserve fresh parsley?
Simply wrap your bunch of fresh parsley leaves in a damp paper towel, store it in an airtight container, and refrigerate. This will ensure your herbs stay fresh for 3-5 days. If you’re looking for a way to extend their life even further, try drying them out.
7. How long does dried parsley last?
Dried parsley can last for about 2-3 years when stored properly. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maximize freshness. During this period, your dried parsley will remain safe, but its flavor and texture may suffer.
If you have an abundance of fresh parsley and no way to dry them using conventional methods, a microwave is your best bet. It’s quick, easy, and requires no special equipment. However, it does have its limitations.
Because microwaves heat food unevenly, your parsley may not be as crisp as you prefer. Also, leaving them unmonitored can result in scorching or burning. The good news is that all of these issues are easily avoidable if you follow a few simple rules.
Covering your parsley with paper towels and microwaving in short bursts will give you perfectly dried parsley every time. When properly dried, they should feel crisp and break when bent but not crumble into dust.