How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave

1 servings
10 min

Herbs like basil and mint can be dried easily and quickly in the microwave. As summer turns to fall it’s time to preserve the fruits and veggies you worked hard to grow all summer. Herbs from your garden are no different. Drying your herbs in the microwave is not only faster than drying them in the oven or food dehydrator, but the microwave preserves the color and flavor better, providing you with a fresh supply of herbs all winter long.

Best Herbs to Dry in the Microwave

Here is a list of herbs that dry well in the microwave and how long you should cook them:

  • 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
  • Mint– 45 seconds
  • Lemon Balm– 45 seconds

How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave

Place herbs on an a microwave safe dish, then microwave them on high power. Most herbs will take around 1 minute initially, followed by a few 20 second bursts until completely dry. Delicate herbs will take 40 seconds followed by a few 20 second bursts until completely dry.

I started by microwaving each herb variety for one minute and then added 30 second increments until they were dry and crispy.

You will know the herbs are ready when they are crunchy to the touch and easily crumble between your fingers.

Use either a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder to crush the herbs to powder. If you want it extra-fine, you can tap it through a fine mesh strainer.

Regardless of how fine your crush the herbs, they should be stored in a tightly sealing airtight container in a cool pantry away from light. Stored this way they’ll last for several months while maintaining flavor and color.

How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave
Recipe details
  • 1  servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 10 min
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  • 1 cup mint
  • 1 cup sage
  • 1 cup lavender
  • 1 cup thyme

Working with one herb at a time, lay them out on a microwave safe plate. If possible, remove the leaves from the stems.
Microwave on full power for 1-2 minutes, depending on your herbs and your particular microwave.
Check the herbs and if they feel crisp they are done, but if they feel soft, microwave them for a few more seconds. I do 20 seconds at a time and check them frequently. Don’t over-do it or they will turn brown and burn.
Let the dried herbs cool down and then crush them a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
Store in glass jars and place in a cool, dry place.
Adrienne Carrie Hubbard | Crafty Little Gnome
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