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How to Preserve Tarragon

How to dehydrate and preserve tarragon – whether you grow it in your backyard herb garden or buy it fresh from the produce section, tarragon is easy to preserve, and makes a tasty addition to your food storage!

Fresh Taragon

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Tarragon is one of those herbs people don’t pay much attention to when starting an herb garden, but miss out on a wonderful flavor! Tarragon is incredibly easy to grow, and preserves really well! We’ll walk through how to use different preservation methods to keep Tarragon in your stock all year long!

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As you all know, I’m always on the hunt for a great bargain, and when I ran into a clearance on packaged fresh tarragon, I was happy!! Because we weren’t able to expand our garden this year, my herb beds were functionary (basil, thyme, oregano), and I was running out of many of the dried herbs I keep on hand. So I stocked up!

While I prefer to use fresh herbs as much as possible, dried herbs bring more intense flavors for long-cooking dishes, and store better for long-term.

A Tip: The rule of thumb is to always use 3 x the amount of fresh herbs when a recipe calls for dried. You can use dried herbs in the middle of the cooking process, but fresh herbs should be used towards the end for a more flavorful dish, if possible.


There are various ways you can preserve Tarragon and other fresh herbs.

Before you begin any process of preservation, be sure to

  1. Inspect your leaves and stems and remove any that are not optimum for saving;
  2. Wash your tarragon in water to remove any chemicals, sprays or dirt from leaves and stems. While I often use a heavy vinegar soak on vegetables and non-protected fruits, I do a general rinse for herbs.
  3. Lay leaves and stems out to dry.


►Quick Instructions: Dehydrate at 95F | 35C for 3-8 hrs. See the following instructions for more tips and tricks.

1. Wash Tarragon stems

2. Lay out the stems:

Lay out your stems on your dehydrator trays. They can touch as they do shrink a bit, but don’t mound them up.

Before and after of tarragon leaves being dehydrated in an Excalibur dehydrator

3. Temp & Time:

Dry at 95F for 4-6 hours, depending on your humidity level.

You can grab a handy dehydrating magnet that gives you reference to dry anything!

4. Check for Doneness

If they are brittle, they are done. I recommend pulling a stem out and allowing it to cool down, then testing for doneness. If you get a great crackle when you crush leaves between your fingers, you are good to go. If not, dry more!

Learn more: How to Dehydrate Herbs without a Dehydrator

5. Remove Leaves From Stems

Once done, remove the leaves from the stems. Chop dried leaves into smaller pieces to use to make herb blends or to store for use on its own. You can simply rub between your palms, or you can use a knife, it’s up to you.

Side-by-side comparison of fresh tarragon leaves on one cutting board and dried tarragon leaves on another cutting board.

Oven Directions:

You can follow the direction on how to prepare tarragon sprigs for drying above, then:

  • Place tarragon leaves or sprigs on a baking sheet. I prefer to use a cooling rack on top to keep the heat from the baking sheet from scorching leaves
  • Dry overnight with oven light on or a gas oven kept off.
  • Or choose to prop the door open and dry at the lowest possible temperature your oven goes. Propping the door helps let moisture and heat out if you’re not able to set your oven to 125F. We don’t want to bake the tarragon, just dry it.

How to Store Dried Tarragon

Store in an airtight container and in a cool, dry, dark place if possible. I do happen to store my daily use herbs in magnetic canisters on the side of my fridge, but I store the bulk dried herbs in my pantry where it’s dark.

Dried tarragon leaves on a wooden cutting board being stored in an herb container.

I put my excess dried herbs into a small vacuum-sealed bag to help keep it fresh for the coming year.

How to use Dried Tarragon

Other than adding to any dish as you normally would, here is a nice herb blend that I love:

Fines Herbes Blend

  • 1 TB tarragon
  • 1 TB chervil
  • 1 TB chives
  • 1 TB parsley

This herb blend is wonderful on chicken, in alfredo pasta, in salads and more. You can multiply it out as much as you need, and adjust flavors a bit if you’d like. You can purchase it already made here if sourcing chervil is a problem.

How to Freeze Tarragon

1. Always wash your herbs

Wash in water to remove any debris. Layout out flat on a tea towel to dry.

2. Strip the leaves

3. Prepare

Place 2 tablespoons of fresh tarragon leaves in each compartment and cover completely with olive oil or water.

4. Store

Store your cubes in airtight containers or in baggies with all of the air removed to prolong freezer-life.

5. To Use

Toss your tarragon nuggets into stews and soups, and they will thaw and flavor your food.

Ice cube tray filled with tarragon leaves next to several herb-infused frozen rectangle blocks on a wooden surface.

►► TIP>> Budget-friendly Dehydrator Tools

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Only a pesto chicken salad can rival this chicken salad for me. I love ones that let the chicken flavor stand out – not the mayo flavor of so many. You can skip the sour cream and add a little more yogurt plus some lemon juice if you prefer.

  • 2 cans canned chicken  (or use freshly roasted chicken chunks). I really like Kirkland’s canned chicken that I keep stocked in my pantry, but you can also use freeze-dried chicken as well.
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (make from powdered milk)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 2 TB fresh tarragon, chopped – less if you are using dried
  • 1 TB fresh mint leaves (less if you are using dried)
  • 1 finely chopped apple
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Directions – Mix all ingredients and store in refrigerator – serve with crackers, on homemade bread, etc.

Whether you buy it from the store or grow it in your herb garden, tarragon is a great herb to preserve for use throughout the year, in many different ways. These step-by-step instructions make it easy for you to do so. And be sure to apply these preservation methods to other herbs.

How To Dry Herbs Master List

If you have a favorite way to preserve tarragon that I didn’t mention – let me know! I’d love to try it out, too!

Fresh Taragon on top of an image of frozen tarragon and dehydrated taragon

How to Dehydrate and Freeze Tarragon

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  • Wash tarragon stems well
  • 2.Place stems on trays (or if you airdry, tie in bundles and place in protected area to dry)
  • Dry at 95F for 4-6 hours (or the absolute lowest your machine will go.
  • Tarragon s done when it is dry and brittle and crumbles to the touch when cooled.
  • Strip leaves from stem.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to a year.


  • Wash stems well
  • Strip leaves from stems
  • Chop if you want
  • Place 2 TB in an ice cube tray
  • Fill with water or oil
  • Freeze
  • Store in freeze-friendly packaging.
  • Toss a cube into a soup or stew!

Nutritional information is an estimation only. Nutrient information for dehydrated foods is based on fresh. Use 1/4 of the servicing size for the same nutrient information. Thus 1 Cup of fresh fruit has the same sugars as 1/4 dried.

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  1. Avatar for Debbie Reynolds Debbie Reynolds says:

    I tried drying tarragon but it went black why was that ?

    1. It could be a variety of reasons – too hot, too long, the variety, etc. If you find it is a problem, hang it instead.

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