How to Dry Fresh Basil in the Air Fryer – Quick Dehydration

I always feel like my basil produces way more leaves than should be possible. However, now that I know how to dry basil in the air fryer it takes just a few minutes to dehydrate it for later.  I use basil from my garden year round, thanks to this quick and easy drying method.

Of course, basil isn’t the only herb your air fryer is great at drying. Learn how to dehydrate parsley in the air fryer for another classic italian herb.

how to dry fresh basil in the air fryer dinners done quick

Can You Dry Basil in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can dry basil in an air fryer.

In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to dry fresh basil for later use. It’s pretty foolproof and only takes a few minutes, which makes it a win in my book!

However, you can always dry basil in the microwave as well if preferred.

How Long to Dehydrate Basil in the Air Fryer

Generally, it takes between 2-5 minutes to dehydrate basil in the air fryer at 360°F.

This variance accounts for how much basil you are drying, as well as varying sizes and wattages of air fryers.

My Ninja Foodi Dual Zone dries basil in about 2 minutes per batch. If I overlap the leaves too much, 3 minutes is common.

Use it to season up a tasty beef roast over in the best Ninja Foodi Dual Zone air fryer recipes!

basil is dried when leaves are crispy to touch

How to Dry Fresh Basil in the Air Fryer

  1. Start with clean, dry, fresh basil
clean fresh basil on a plate
  1. Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees F, following manufacturer guidelines
  2. Remove the leaves from the stems (small leaves connected by thin stems are fine)
  3. Spread out your fresh basil leaves in a single layer in the preheated air fryer basket (if you have a lot, you may need to do this in batches)
spread fresh basil leaves in bottom of air fryer basket
  1. Place a rack, shelf, or trivet on top of the leaves to secure them
place air fryer rack on top basil leaves to prevent them blowing around
  1. Air fry at 360 for 2 minutes, then check for doneness
  2. If additional time is needed, give leaves a shake and then air fry in 1-minute increments until done 
  3. Basil is completely dehydrated when leaves are dry and crispy to the touch (but not blackened – that is overdone)
dehydrated full basil leaves on a plate surrounded by fresh basil
  1. Crumble dehydrated basil leaves if desired, using your hands or a mortar and pestle
  2. Store dried basil in an airtight container or spice jar
store air fryer dehydrated basil in spice jar

Ensure you preheat your air fryer as indicated, or you’ll need to add 2-3 extra minutes to cook time while it gets up to temp. Learn more about how to preheat a Ninja air fryer for more assistance. 

Crumbling the basil is optional, but definitely makes storage easier versus whole leaves. However, crushed leaves do lose potency faster than whole, so it’s your choice.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to dry basil in the air fryer, you’ll never feel guilty about your fresh herbs going bad. Just dehydrate that basil and save it for later!

Basil is a great herb for breads, soups and stews, pasta sauces, roasted vegetables, and so much more!

You could even use it to season up some chicken thighs, seen over in our best Cuisinart air fryer recipes list!

Or if you deserve a special drink after a hard day of cooking, try making my refreshing Strawberry Basil Mojito!

how to dry fresh basil in the air fryer dinners done quick featured image

How to Dry Basil in the Air Fryer – Easy Method!

Dry your basil in the air fryer quickly and easily, to dehydrate it for later use.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Garnish
Cuisine Herb
Servings 1
Calories 1.6 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 35-40 leaves Basil, washed and dried if needed (about 6-8 stems)

Instructions
 

  • Start with clean, dry, fresh basil
    35-40 leaves Basil, washed and dried if needed
  • Preheat your air fryer to 360°F, following manufacturer guidelines
  • Remove the leaves from the stems (small leaves connected by thin stems are fine)
  • Spread out your fresh basil leaves in a single layer in the preheated air fryer basket (if you have a lot, you may need to do this in batches)
  • Place a rack, shelf, screen, or trivet on top of the leaves to secure them
  • Air fry at 360 for 2 minutes, then check for doneness
  • If additional time is needed, give leaves a shake and then air fry in 1-minute increments until done
  • Basil is completely dehydrated when leaves are dry and crispy to the touch (but not blackened – that is overdone)
  • Crumble dehydrated basil leaves if desired
  • Store dried basil in an airtight container or spice jar

Notes

  • When dealing with a lot of basil leaves, make sure to dry in batches. Stacking up beyond a single layer won’t heat evenly (some overlap is alright)
  • This recipe should net you around 1 tsp dried crushed basil, depending on the size of your leaves
  • There’s no need to add oil or anything when drying in the air fryer
  • You’ll need to set something on the leaves to secure them from blowing around. I just use the included tray from my Ninja air fryer. However, any heat safe rack, mesh, tray, etc that fits in your basket will work
  • Should your basil leaves start to turn dark brown or blackened, you have overcooked them (some light brown is normal though)
  • To crush the leaves, I honestly just use my hands to scrunch them around a bit. Alternatively, a mortar and pestle works well, or put them in a ziploc style bag and crinkle them around a bit. Also remove any wayward stems that made it in!
  • Dried basil has a shelf life of 2-3 years if kept in an airtight container, after that it tends to lose flavor

Nutrition

Serving: 0.7gCalories: 1.6kcalCarbohydrates: 0.3gProtein: 0.2gSodium: 0.5mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 0.3gVitamin A: 86.7IUCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.6mg
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Katie Vine