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Drying Your Bumper Crop Basil #pinterestchallenge

Our Pinterest Challenge was to upcycle things this month and I decided I wanted to upcycle my fresh basil to oven-dried basil!  We had a bumper crop of it come along and I knew we would not use it all before it went bad. In fact, it had just started to flower, so I needed to get it done.

Leaves of fresh basil on a cooking sheet ready to go into the oven

How to Oven-Dry Basil

-drying basil is super simple and such a great way to preserve your fresh herb.  To get started you want to pre-heat your oven on the lowest temp possible.  For me, my oven was 170 degrees.

Then I went outside with my kitchen shears and cut all the basil I wanted to dry.  I took it to the sink and did a quick rinse and then patted it dry on a layer of paper towels.  I like to get as much moisture off as possible so that it dries more quickly in the oven.  

Next, I remove the leaves from the stems and lay them on a single layer on my cookie sheet. I used my cooling rack to lift them from the cookie sheet which means I don't have to turn them and the drying time is shorter.  I place the sheets of fresh basil in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes.  

After the 45 minutes are up, I check the leaves to see if they are crunchy.  If they are bendable, they are not ready!  If they need more time, I usually do it in 10-minute intervals. Once the leaves are fully dried, I let them cool. I place them in an air-tight container, without crushing the leaves.  Why?  Because uncrushed leaves retain more of the essential oils and that is what flavors your food. I crunch them before I use them.

What I Use Oven-Dried Basil For

  • Pizza Sauce:  Add a bit of dried basil to jarred sauce for a more homemade flavor
  • Infused Olive Oil-to a 10oz bottle of olive oil, add 1 T dried basil leaves. 
  • Focaccia-Make your bread using the infused olive oil above. 
  • Herbal Tea-Infuse hot water with a teaspoon of dried basil, add in honey and lemon for additional flavor.  Good for headaches, tooth pain and boost immunities.
  • Grilled Veggies-Sprinkle on grilled veggies brushed with olive oil.
This is quite easy to do and takes a little time and makes a small quantity, but the results are worth it!

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is the perfect recipe for me. My garden has a bumper crop of basil.

  2. How cool. I cannot grow anything, so I am always fascinated by what people grow.

  3. This post is really informative, I can’t wait to give this a try.

  4. This is such a great idea! I never thought of drying it myself and I Have so much basil in our garden this year.

  5. Chef Dennis12:42 AM

    Oven dried basil sounds really good to use with some of my recipes. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Richelle Escat1:43 AM

    I'll definitely try this. It sounds so good with pizzas.

  7. Scarlett Brooklyn3:08 AM

    This would be perfect to put in any tomato dishes. Can't wait to try.

    1. That’s right! Anything with a tomato basil should love the basil!

  8. I dry a lot of our own herbs and spices and am learning to grown and process more. Basil is a new favorite!

  9. It's definitely a good to have basil all year round. I love to froze it.

  10. I love the smell of basil. It's nice that I can dry the leaves right inside the house.

  11. We've only dried (and powdered) garlic, haven't tried drying basil. Thank you for the tips!

  12. I didn't know there's an ongoing dry basil pinterest challenge, this is a good idea!

  13. I've never done this before. Sounds pretty simple too. I'll have to try it out.

  14. I'm so please you shared this. My basil often goes to waste.

  15. What a great way to save basil. I find that a lot of herbs go to waste and it is nice to have a method for drying it.

  16. I like this I have basil plant I need to try this it is really saving for the winter.

  17. Mmmmm! I have wanted to grow basil but have never gotten past the seedling stage. I need some tips. Congrats on your bumper crop and on this beautifully dried basil.


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