How to Dehydrate Vegetables in Your Oven

Don't own a dehydrator? No problem. Here's how to dry vegetables in your oven.

Dehydrated vegetables are useful for soups, stews, dips, purees and sauces. They have the advantage of being compact, lightweight, and keeping indefinitely at room temperature (no worries if the power goes out, unlike with frozen food).

  • 01 of 06
    Use fully ripe tomatoes for the most flavorful results. Leda Meredith

    Dried tomatoes don't have to be "sundried" to be delicious. Where I live, the summers are too humid to dry foods in the sun (they just mold). That's why I opt for drying them in either a dehydrator or the oven. The result is just as intensely flavorful and colorful as the ones that were dried in less humid climates in the sun (and a whole lot less expensive).

  • 02 of 06
    Turnips
    Anthony Rosenberg / Getty Images

    This method of drying turnips preserves the light color, flavor, and nutrients of the vegetable. Dried turnips are terrific in soups (including homemade soup stocks) and stews. They also take up very little space and weigh almost nothing, which makes them very easy to store.

  • 03 of 06
    Kale Chips
    antonios mitsopoulos / Getty Images

    These savory, crunchy kale chips are a healthy alternative to potato chips. They are so tasty that I've yet to meet anyone who didn't gobble them up, and that includes kids as well as adults who didn't think they liked kale.

  • 04 of 06
    Butternut squash cut in half
    Zsuzsanna Békefi / Getty Images

    Baked butternut squash chips are a crunchy, delicious snack that is both savory and naturally sweet. They don't take long to make in your oven, and are much healthier than conventional chips - you get to skip the expense and grease of deep-fried versions.

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  • 05 of 06
    Cut celery sticks and leaves on wooden table
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    Celery is essential to soup stocks, and to the mirepoix blend of celery, carrot, and onion that is the backbone of so many savory dishes. When you only need a stalk or two and don't have any fresh celery on hand, dried celery will usually work fine.

  • 06 of 06
    Dried oyster and maitake mushrooms. Leda Meredith

    Okay, so mushrooms aren't technically vegetables. But they go together in so many savory dishes. Mushrooms dry beautifully using the oven method. When rehydrated in hot water, their texture is almost identical to fresh mushrooms.

    This is a great way to preserve an abundance of foraged mushrooms, or simply to make sure that the store-bought mushrooms in your refrigerator don't spoil before you get around to eating them.