How to Dry Fresh Oregano in the Microwave Quickly

A staple in so many dishes, oregano is a very versatile herb. So, you should never let some leftovers or a bountiful garden harvest go to waste!  Today, I’ll show you how to dry oregano in the microwave for an extremely easy, fast drying method.

That way, whether you’re reaching for some oregano for your Italian sauces and other dishes, or you’ve got a Mexican variety that’s going in your salsa, tacos, or burrito fillings, you’ll always have some on hand!

I think it’s an especially good choice for a variety of flavors of croutons made in the air fryer at home.

how to dry oregano in the microwave dinners done quick

How Do You Dry Oregano Quickly?

The two fastest methods for drying oregano quickly are in the microwave or the air fryer. Both methods take just a few minutes to completely dehydrate your fresh oregano.

Drying in the oven or a dehydrator both take several hours, and air drying takes several days to finish.

Make sure to learn more about dehydrating oregano in the air fryer for the other time-saving method!

How to Dry Fresh Oregano in the Microwave

  1. Start with clean, dry fresh oregano leaves on the stem
start with clean and fresh oregano on the stem
  1. Place a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate
  2. Lay the fresh oregano stems on top of the paper towel in a single layer, avoiding overlap as much as possible
spread fresh oregano leaves on top of a paper towel
  1. Cover the oregano with another paper towel (I recommend tucking corners under the plate so they stay in place)
cover oregano with a second paper towel
  1. Microwave your oregano on high for 1 minute, then check it
  2. Add any additional cook time needed in 30-second increments to prevent overcooking
oregano is dried in the microwave when it crumbles to the touch
  1. Oregano is completely dried when it appears crispy and leaves crumble easily when touched
remove dried oregano leaves from the stem by holding at the base and moving your hand up
  1. Remove leaves from stem by holding the base of the stem in one hand, and running the other hand gently along the stem, over a plate or bowl
microwave dried oregano leaves separated from their stems
  1. Crush leaves finer if desired using a mortar and pestle (though oregano leaves are pretty small to begin with, so this is optional)
  2. Store in an airtight container, ziploc bag, or spice jar
store fresh dried oregano in an airtight jar

On average, it takes me approximately 2 minutes in a 1000W microwave to fully dry fresh oregano. However, if you have a different wattage, your dehydration may take more or less time.

Use your freshly dried oregano to add some color and flavor, topping up some microwave bagel bites!

Do You Wash Oregano Before Drying?

It is recommended to wash oregano before drying. This will remove dirt and debris from harvest, as well as dislodge any dead, loose leaves.

This way, you ensure you’re only getting the leaves you’d actually want to eat!

Just give your oregano a good rinse and allow it to dry for at least a few hours or up to overnight to ensure all excess moisture is removed.

It’s the same process you should follow when preparing to dry most fresh herbs, just like drying rosemary in the microwave.

Is It Safe to Dry Oregano in the Microwave?

Yes, it is completely safe to dry oregano in the microwave.

Nearly all the stems of fresh oregano are fine enough that you don’t even need to trim them before placing them in to dry, same as with drying thyme in the microwave.

fresh dried oregano leaves from the microwave

Is It Better to Dry Oregano in the Oven or the Microwave?

When it comes to the better method to dry oregano, I vote microwave over the oven.

Why? Well, the microwave drying process takes only a fraction of the time. While you may need to do a few more batches, it’s still incredibly quick.

Using the microwave doesn’t heat up your house like a traditional oven does as well, so you can feel good about processing fresh herbs even in the summer.

Lastly, the microwave drying method produces potent, perfectly dried herbs that still maintain their green color. They look and taste great, so you’re not sacrificing anything for convenience!

That’s why I feel it’s better to dry fresh oregano in the microwave versus the oven.

Final Thoughts

Since it takes just a few minutes to dry oregano in the microwave you’ll be able to dehydrate your fresh herbs for later use without a lot of fuss.

This safe, easy method is one of the quickest ways to dry fresh oregano! When it’s past growing season, you’ll have some saved up to make this delicious veggie stuffed acorn squash over in our best acorn squash microwave recipes.

how to dry oregano in the microwave dinners done quick featured image

Dry Fresh Oregano in the Microwave

Dry your fresh oregano in the microwave for a quick and easy dehydration method.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Garnish
Cuisine Herb
Servings 1
Calories 8 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 8-9 stems Oregano washed and dried if needed

Instructions
 

  • Start with clean, dry fresh oregano leaves on the stem
    8-9 stems Oregano
  • Place a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate
  • Lay the fresh oregano stems on top of the paper towel in a single layer, avoiding overlap as much as possible
  • Cover the oregano with another paper towel (I recommend tucking corners under the plate so they stay in place)
  • Microwave your oregano on high for 1 minute, then check it
  • Add any additional cook time needed in 30-second increments and check frequently to prevent overcooking
  • Oregano is completely dried when it appears crispy and leaves crumble easily when touched
  • Remove leaves from stem by holding the base of the stem in one hand, and running the other hand gently along the stem, over a plate or bowl
  • Crush leaves finer if desired using a mortar and pestle (though oregano leaves are often small, so this step is optional)
  • Store in an airtight container, ziploc bag, or spice jar

Notes

  • Average drying time is about 2 minutes in a 1000W microwave
  • Dry in batches if necessary. If you overlap the oregano stems and leaves too much, you’ll get wet pockets
  • Tucking the ends of the paper towel under your plate keeps it from flying off and knocking your herbs around in the microwave
  • This amount of fresh oregano should give you between 2 tsp – 1 Tbsp dried depending on the size of your bunches and leaves
  • Be gentle with the motion to remove leaves. If you squeeze or try to quickly and aggressively take the leaves off, the brittle stems will break
  • If preferred, you can remove the leaves from the stems before dehydrating, but I feel it’s easier to lay them out nicely while still intact
  • Dried oregano keeps well for 1-2 years, though it is most potent in the first 6 months. After that, while still safe to consume, it continually loses potency and flavor over time

Nutrition

Serving: 3gCalories: 8kcalCarbohydrates: 2.1gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.1gSodium: 0.8mgPotassium: 37.8mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 51IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 47.9mgIron: 1.1mg
Keyword dried oregano, dry oregano in microwave, drying herbs, drying herbs in the microwave, how to dry oregano in the microwave, how to dry oregano leaves in microwave, how to dry oregano quickly, oregano
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Katie Vine