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How To Dehydrate Basil

How To Dehydrate Basil

Dehydrate Basil

Basil, oregano, thyme are among the Italian seasoning flavors my family loves. If you think about it, you can find it in spaghetti, pesto, pizza, rigatoni, and many more dishes with the Italian flare. My ultimate favorite Italian dish is lasagna. All that yummy gooey cheesy goodness. Wonderfully flavored tomato sauce with all those scrumptious herbs. In my house, it makes for a family get-together on a Sunday Summer afternoon. Today I’m going to dehydrate basil.


A few Facts on Basil

Basil originated in tropical areas in Central Africa and SouthWest Asia. Used worldwide. Also known as Great Basil or St. Joseph’s Wort.

Basil is a member of the mint family. It has a strong pungent sweet smell. The leaves have a flavor resembling anise. The flowers are edible.

Tomatoes are a companion plant to basil. The herb is mostly green but there are some varieties that are purplish in color. Also known as Purple Delight. Basil is sensitive to the cold. It grows best in hot, dry climates. Unfortunately, once the herb flowers, the foliage stops growing.


Basil should be added during the last few minutes of cooking. Cooking it too long will ruin the flavor. Basil can be refrigerated or frozen after blanching. Basil is better if used fresh. After drying it starts to lose its flavor.

It is the main ingredient in pesto sauce. Your pesto turning brown is a known problem. Blanching the basil before using or drying keeps it from turning your pesto brown.

Time to Dehydrate Basil

dehydrate basil - I bought a small bunch from the store.I bought a small bunch of fresh basil at the store.

dehydrate basil - rinsed and allow to drain excess water outRemove the leaves from the stems. The smaller terminal bunch of leaves can remain.  Rinse in water and allow to drain excess water out.

I am not blanching my basil. Since I am dehydrating it, it is already going to be a greenish-brown color when dry.

dehydrate basil - placed leaves on drying tray.Lay the leaves out on the tray. Making sure to leave plenty of vents for the air to flow through.

I know! I know! The stems are showing in the picture above. It was my first time drying basil. A lot of dehydrating is trial and error. I learned the hard way that if you keep the stems that it takes longer to dry.

Dehydrator dehydrate basilI dehydrate at 110 degrees for 16-18 hours.

My dehydrator is a NESCO Snack Master Express Food Dehydrator.

dehydrate basil - dried leaves should be brittle and easily crumble in your handThe basil is dry when the leaves become brittle and can be easily crumbled in your hand.

When was the last time you made pesto?

dehydrate basil - vacuum sealLastly, I store the bulk portion of the herb in a mason jar for long-term storage. I only fill my spice jars with what I think I will use in the short term.

I use a vacuum sealer with the Food Saver vacuum lids regular and wide mouth accessory.


Print Directions

How To Dehydrate Basil.

How to Dehydrate Basil
Prep Time 5 mins
Dehydrate 100F/43C 17 hrs
Total Time 17 hrs 5 mins
Course Food Storage
Cuisine Dehydrate


  • Dehydrator
  • Mesh Screen


  • 1 Bundle Basil


  • Add mesh screen to dehydrator tray
  • Remove leaves from stem
  • Rinse in cool water and pat dry
  • Lay leaves out on trays making sure to leave room for airflow
  • Dehydrate at 190-110F/43C degrees
  • When dry the leaves are brittle and will crumble in your hand
  • If using in the near future, crumble and place in a spice jar. If not leave in chunks and crumble as you need them. Store in a mason jar and vacuum seal.


Removing as much of the stems as possible helps lessen the drying time. The stems hold a lot of moisture and if left a good portion of the drying time is to dry the stems and not the leaves.
Keyword Basil, Dehydrate

dehydrate basil How to dry basil Pin

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How to Dehydrate Oregano

*Update 2021

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