Jul 31, 2022

Drying Basil and Other Delicate Herbs in the Microwave

I've grown herbs for a number of years now. They make your meals so much more flavorful, don't they?  Have you priced them lately?  That in itself makes it worth your while growing them.  They only take a small spot to grow a sunny window or patio is all you'll need. They smell wonderful too! Today's post is about drying delicate herbs in the microwave.
I had some basil hanging which only needed a short time longer to be completely dry. The leaves were dropping like crazy.  I almost scooped them up and trashed them while cleaning up. Luckily I caught myself in time to save them.

I ran across some information on Food Network and thought Oh yeah! A fast way to get rid of this mess and save the herbs.

While drying I thought go get some more fresh as well. I also cut a little parsley. I couldn't wait to see how well this method would work.

I never even thought about drying herbs in the microwave until I read this. I was glad to have found it.  It is especially good in the heat of the summer since it won't heat up the house.

Stems and trash found in this batch that was hanging

I did have to clean lots of stems from the hanging basil but the fresh was much easier and cleaner to dry!

Steps to Drying Basil in the Microwave

  • Lay the herbs down on a paper towel-lined plate. I used a paper plate for this
  • Spread the herbs out on the plate as much as possible
  • Cover the herbs with another paper towel
  • Heat on High for 30 seconds, check for dryness, and heat for another 30 seconds if needed, doing this in 30-second intervals until herbs are dry and crumbly
I was then able to crumble the pre-hung basil with my fingers remove any stems and place them into a spice jar very quickly.

The fresh green basil leaves took 90 seconds to dry.  Each batch went into the microwave three times.  

Depending on the wattage of your microwave the time may and probably will vary. My microwave is 1000 watts it took 90 seconds to dry the prehung bunch and the fresh bunch.  *It was strange that it took the same amount of time for each, but it did.

Another surprising thing was the freshly pulled green basil leaves dried up so well and crushed so much more easily with no stems or trash to remove.  I had just pulled the leaves from the plant and it was a dream to dry and crush.

I can't tell you how they will taste but hoping they'll be delicious in the off-season cooking. I do love the smell of Basil it is like a perfume to me.  Of course, nothing replaces the fresh basil taste in cooking but for those times when fresh isn't available, it is good to use dried.

Recycled one of my old spice bottles
Label maker in hand all you need to repurpose this!
Do you own a label maker?  I use mine constantly.

Oh and I do intend to get a dehydrator one day!
I had on in my old oven and never used it dang-it
kicking myself now 😃

Pushed for time?
Dry some herbs up in the microwave!
Fun helpful things to know.
Until next time!


  1. I have never made or grown any spices. But I sure like this idea. I am going to pass it to my daughter Karen . I know she will love it. Hope you are enjoying some nice summer days. Ours have been the hottest I can recall. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

    1. They're actually pretty easy to grow but I dont grow as much as I used to myself. They are delicious though fresh grown. I think you'll like them. It sure has been a very hot summer! I've been enjoying it in spurts here too hot to do for very long at a time. Blessings to you too.

  2. Love those microwave shortcuts, and basil is one of my favorites. Spaghetti sauce, tomato pie, capese salad -- really anything with tomatoes is better with some basil I think. Enjoy the new month!

    1. Hey Eileen!  
      I do too, never tried that before but sure helps.  Now you are making me hungry.  You know in this household those things are loved too!
      Hope you enjoy August can you believe it already?