How to Dry Basil Leaves? Easy Hack for Flavour and Storage

Drying basil is a simple and effective way to preserve this aromatic herb for future use. Dried basil retains its flavor and can be used in various culinary dishes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dry basil leaves properly.

Materials Needed

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Paper towels or a clean kitchen towel
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven or dehydrator (optional)
  • Airtight container for storage

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Harvesting the Basil

  • Pick basil leaves in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun is at its peak. This ensures the leaves are at their most flavorful.
  • Choose healthy, vibrant leaves free from blemishes or pests.

2. Washing the Leaves

  • Rinse the basil leaves gently under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Pat the leaves dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Ensure the leaves are completely dry before proceeding to avoid mold growth.

3. Air Drying Method

  • Preparation: Spread the basil leaves in a single layer on a clean, dry surface like a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.
  • Drying: Place the leaves in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Turn the leaves occasionally to ensure even drying.
  • Duration: This method can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on humidity levels.

4. Oven Drying Method

  • Preparation: Preheat your oven to its lowest setting (usually around 170°F or 75°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the basil leaves in a single layer.
  • Drying: Place the baking sheet in the oven. Leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape.
  • Monitoring: Check the leaves every 15-20 minutes to ensure they don’t burn. The leaves should be dry and crumbly within 1 to 2 hours.

5. Dehydrator Method

  • Preparation: Arrange the basil leaves in a single layer on the dehydrator trays.
  • Drying: Set the dehydrator to 95°F (35°C) and let it run for 12-24 hours, checking periodically.
  • Completion: The leaves are ready when they crumble easily.

Storing Dried Basil

  • Crushing: Once the basil leaves are completely dry, you can leave them whole or crush them into smaller pieces.
  • Container: Store the dried basil in an airtight container, such as a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, to maintain its flavor.
  • Location: Keep the container in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and moisture.

Tips for Best Results

  • Ensure basil leaves are completely dry before storing to prevent mold.
  • Label the container with the date of drying to keep track of freshness.
  • Use dried basil within a year for the best flavor.


Drying basil leaves is an excellent way to preserve their fresh, aromatic flavor for long-term use. By following these simple methods, you can enjoy the taste of basil in your cooking all year round.