How to Dehydrate Fruits and Vegetables

You can dehydrate your favorite produce using an oven or air fryer.

570289099

570289099

Photo by: antonios mitsopoulos/Getty Images

antonios mitsopoulos/Getty Images

Recipes developed by Susan Vu for Food Network Kitchen

Dehydrating produce in your oven or air fryer is extremely simple and helps to extend the shelf life of many of your favorite fruits and vegetables. While it's easier to dehydrate larger quantities in an oven, the air fryer works a little quicker thanks to its controlled and circulating heat. If your oven has hot spots, make sure to rotate your baking sheets every couple of hours to ensure even baking.

Photo by: Susan Vu

Susan Vu

Strawberries

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Hull 1 quart small strawberries and slice berries 1/4 inch thick. Lay slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake, flipping the strawberries once after 2 hours, until completely dried out, about 6 hours. Yield: about 1 cup

Air Fryer Method: Hull 2 cups (about 8 ounces) small strawberries and slice berries 1/4 inch thick. Lay slices in a single layer inside the basket of a 6-quart air fryer. Put the basket into the air fryer. Turn on the dehydrator setting and set the temperature to 175 degrees F. Air fry for 4 hours. Yield: about 1/2 cup

Suggested Uses: Sprinkle dehydrated strawberries on top of cereal or granola, fold into a muffin batter or stir into trail mix.

Photo by: Susan Vu

Susan Vu

Grape Tomatoes

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Slice 1 pint (10 to 12 ounces) multi-colored grape tomatoes in half. Lay cut-side up in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until completely dried out, about 6 hours. Yield: about 2/3 cup

Air Fryer Method: Slice 1 cup (about 6 ounces) multi-colored grape tomatoes in half. Lay in a single layer inside the basket of a 6-quart air fryer. Put the basket into the air fryer. Turn on the dehydrator setting and set the temperature to 175 degrees F. Air fry for 4 hours. Yield: about 1/2 cup

Suggested Uses: Stir dehydrated grape tomatoes into homemade marinara sauce or soups to add concentrated tomato flavor, sprinkle over salads or marinate with herbs and olive oil and spoon over grilled chicken or fish.

Photo by: Susan Vu

Susan Vu

Zucchini or Yellow Squash

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Slice 2 medium zucchini or yellow squash (about 14 ounces) into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, about 3 cups. Lay in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake, flipping the zucchini or squash once after 4 hours, until completely dried out, about 8 hours. Yield: about 1/2 cup

Air Fryer Method: Slice 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash (about 7 ounces) into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, about 1 1/2 cups. Arrange in a single layer inside the basket of a 6-quart air fryer. Put the basket into the air fryer. Turn on the dehydrator setting and set the temperature to 175 degrees F. Air fry for 4 hours. Yield: about 1/3 cup

Suggested Uses: Add dehydrated zucchini or yellow squash to boiling water when you add dried pasta (it will rehydrate and soften), stir into soups (do this when you add the stock so the zucchini or squash has time to rehydrate and soften) or rehydrate in boiling water or stock, then fold into roasted vegetables.

Photo by: Susan Vu

Susan Vu

Carrots

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Peel 2 large carrots (about 10 ounces), then slice into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (halve any large pieces so the carrot slices are all similar in size), about 2 cups. Cook the carrots in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, then immediately drain well and rinse with very cold water. Dry well, then lay in a single layer on a cooling rack set inside a large baking sheet. Bake until completely dried out, about 5 hours. Yield: about 1/3 cup

Air Fryer Method: Peel 1 large carrot (about 5 ounces), then slice into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (halve any large pieces so the carrot slices are all similar in size), about 1 cup. Cook the carrot pieces in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, then immediately drain well and rinse with very cold water. Dry well, then arrange in a single layer inside the basket of a 6-quart air fryer. Put the basket into the air fryer. Turn on the dehydrator setting and set the temperature to 175 degrees F. Air fry for 3 hours. Yield: about 1/4 cup

Suggested Uses: Add dehydrated carrots to boiling water when you add dried pasta (they will rehydrate and soften), stir into soups (do this when you add the stock so the carrot pieces have time to rehydrate and soften) or rehydrate in boiling water or stock, then fold into roasted vegetables.

Photo by: Susan Vu

Susan Vu

Curly Kale

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Wash and dry 1 large bunch of curly kale (about 7 ounces). Remove the stems and hand-tear the leaves into 1- to 2-inch pieces, about 10 cups (lightly packed). Divide the kale between 2 cooling racks set inside 2 large baking sheets. Bake until completely dried out, about 2 hours. Yield: about 8 cups

Air Fryer Method: Wash and dry 2 large stalks of curly kale (about 3 ounces). Remove the stems and hand-tear the leaves into 1- to 2-inch pieces, about 4 cups (lightly packed). Arrange inside the basket of a 6-quart air fryer. Put the basket into the air fryer. Turn on the dehydrator setting and set the temperature to 175 degrees F. Air fry for 1 hour. Yield: about 4 cups

Suggested Uses: Grind dehydrated kale into a fine powder and use in smoothies or baked goods, lightly crush up and sprinkle on top of salads or any dishes that need some crunch or stir into popcorn or a snack mix.

Photo by: Susan Vu

Susan Vu

Tuscan Kale

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Wash and dry 1 large bunch of Tuscan kale (about 7 ounces). Remove the stems and cut or tear the leaves into 1- to 2-inch pieces, about 7 cups (lightly packed). Lay the kale in a single layer on a cooling rack set inside a large baking sheet. Bake until completely dried out, about 2 hours. Yield: about 4 cups

Air Fryer Method: Wash and dry 4 large stalks of Tuscan kale (about 3 1/2 ounces). Remove the stems and cut or tear the leaves into 1- to 2-inch pieces, about 3 1/2 cups (lightly packed). Arrange inside the basket of a 6-quart air fryer. Put the basket into the air fryer. Turn on the dehydrator setting and set the temperature to 175 degrees F. Air fry for 1 hour. Yield: about 2 cups

Suggested Uses: Grind dehydrated kale into a fine powder and use in smoothies or baked goods, lightly crush up and sprinkle on top of salads or any dishes that need some crunch or stir into popcorn or a snack mix.

Photo by: Susan Vu

Susan Vu

Bananas

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Peel 2 small bananas (about 10 ounces), then slice diagonally 1/8 inch thick, about 1 cup. Brush both sides with fresh lemon juice. Lay in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake, flipping the banana pieces once after 2 hours, until completely dried out, about 4 hours. Yield: about 2/3 cup

Air Fryer Method: Peel 1 small banana (about 5 ounces), then slice diagonally 1/8 inch thick, about 1/2 cup. Brush both sides with fresh lemon juice. Arrange in a single layer inside the basket of a 6-quart air fryer. Put the basket into the air fryer. Turn on the dehydrator setting and set the temperature to 175 degrees F. Air fry for 3 hours. Yield: about 1/3 cup.

Suggested Uses: Sprinkle dehydrated bananas on top of cereal or granola, fold into a muffin batter or stir into trail mix.

Photo by: Susan Vu

Susan Vu

Apples

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Slice 2 large apples (about 1 pound) crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Use a cutter to remove the core (or you can just cut it out). Soak the apples in 1/4 cup lemon juice mixed with 2 cups water for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and dry well, then lay in a single layer on a cooling rack set inside a large baking sheet. Bake until completely dried out, 5 to 6 hours. Yield: about 2 cups

Air Fryer Method: Slice 1 large apple (about 8 ounces) crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Use a cutter to remove the core (or you can just cut it out). Soak the apples in 2 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with 1 cup water for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and dry well. Arrange inside the basket of a 6-quart air fryer (the apples can overlap). Put the basket into the air fryer. Turn on the dehydrator setting and set the temperature to 175 degrees F. Air fry for 3 hours. Yield: about 1 cup

Suggested Uses: Roughly chop and fold dehydrated apples into cake or muffin batter, add to hot oatmeal (stir in with the hot water so the apples have time to rehydrate and soften) or roughly chop and add to stuffing or a sweet or savory bread pudding.

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