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How to Make Dried Orange Slices

Dried orange slices can be eaten as a snack, used as DIY home decor, added to potpourri, and so much more! This post will explain how to dry orange slices and what to do with them. 

photo of dried orange slices on a cutting board

Drying Orange Slices

If you think dried orange slices are only good for making Christmas garlands or potpourri, think again! They’re actually very versatile — try using them as a cocktail garnish, as wreath decor, eating them dipped in chocolate, and more. 

And did I mention how much cheaper it is to make your own dried orange slices than it is to buy them pre-made at the craft store? SO much cheaper! 

Plus, any variety of orange can be dried — even mandarins and tangerines! 

In this post, I’m sharing my favorite methods for drying orange slices as well as their many uses.  

photo of fresh oranges in a basket

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Tools Needed to Dry Orange Slices  

You won’t need everything on this list to make dry sliced oranges. It all depends on what you plan on doing with them! 

  • Baking tray — use one that has sides since the oranges will release juice as they bake.
  • Parchment paper — so the oranges don’t stick to the baking tray.
  • Chef’s knife — should be super sharp to make slicing the oranges easier. 
  • Cutting board — if you plan on eating the dried orange slices, make sure the cutting board hasn’t been cross contaminated with onion or garlic, both of which will infuse into the orange slices. 
  • Dehydrator — Not necessary if you plan on drying the orange slices in the oven. But if you already have a dehydrator, go ahead and use it! (I’ve linked the one we have)

Ingredients to Make Dried Orange Slices

The ingredient slice to make slices of dehydrated oranges couldn’t be simpler! You’ll need:

  • Fresh Oranges
  • Granulated sugar — optional, only use if you plan on eating the orange slices (and even then they’ll be naturally sweet so sugar is unnecessary!).

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

What Kind of Oranges Should I Use?

You can use any variety of oranges you like! However, it is important that you look for look for firm oranges to use when making these dehydrated oranges. Firm oranges will slice easier and will hold their shape better.

Try a variety of oranges for a variety of colors!

  • blood oranges – a dark red interior
  • cara cara oranges – a pinkish orange interior
  • navel oranges – classic orange interior

How to Make Dried Orange Slices 

There are two main ways to dry out orange slices: by baking them low and slow in the oven, or drying them in a dehydrator. 

When I’m making large batches of dried orange slices, I prefer to dry them in the oven. However, making oven dried orange slices requires constant babysitting. You’ll need to check them every hour to ensure that they’re not burning. 

A dehydrator will also work well with minimal babysitting, but it’s a large and expensive piece of equipment that not everyone is lucky enough to own! 

photo of orange slices on a baking rack to make dried orange slices

1. Drying Orange Slices in the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºF. 
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. 
  3. Thinly slice the oranges. You want them to be about ¼ inch thick. Note that the thicker they’re sliced, the longer they’ll take to dry (and the higher the chance the peels will burn before the interior is fully dry!). 
  4. Lay the orange slices on the parchment paper-lined baking tray in an even layer. 
  5. Bake for up to 3 hours, checking the oranges every hour to check their progress. You’ll need to flip over the orange slices about halfway through the baking time. 
  6. Once the slices are dried to your liking, let them cool on your countertop before eating or using as desired. 

Tip: If you have a cooling rack, you can place it on top of the lined baking tray and then line the orange slices atop the rack. This will help circulate hot air around the orange slices and make them dry out faster! 

2. Drying Orange Slices in a Dehydrator 

  1. Thinly slice the oranges. You want them to be about ¼ inch thick. Note that the thicker they’re sliced, the longer they’ll take to dry. 
  2. Arrange the orange slices on the trays of your dehydrator. You want them to be in a single layer. 
  3. Fill as many trays as necessary, then stack them on the dehydrator base and pop the lid on. 
  4. Turn on the dehydrator. If yours has a fruit / vegetable setting, use that.  
  5. Let the dehydrator run for up to 12 hours, rotating the trays every 3 to 4 hours to ensure that no tray is left at the very top of the dehydrator the entire time. 
  6. Once the orange slices have finished drying, transfer to an airtight container. 

Recommended dehydrator: Gourmia GFD1650 Premium Electric Food Dehydrator Machine. We purchased in 2016 and it still works great!

Tip: Depending on the make and model of your dehydrator, it could take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours to dehydrate orange slices. It also depends on how thickly you sliced them. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on how your machine works. 

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

photo of a hand holding a dried orange slice

Can You Air Dry Orange Slices? 

Yes, but you’d need a week or more to dry them completely. Plus, if you plan on eating them, you’d need to cover them somehow to prevent flies from landing on them. 

While air drying orange slices is possible, it’s much quicker and easier to use your oven. 

Can You Dry Orange Slices in a Microwave? 

Technically yes, but you can only dry a few slices at a time and this method requires many pieces of paper towels.

Unless you plan on making dried orange slices from just one orange, I don’t recommend using your microwave to do this job. Again, it’s actually easier to just use your oven despite it taking more time! 

Tips for Making Dried Orange Slices 

  • Place a cookie cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. This allows the air to circulate and you don’t risk oranges dripping all over your oven (vs. putting them directly on the oven shelves).
  • Do NOT place orange slices directly onto your oven racks. They’ll stick to them, and make a huge mess on the bottom of your oven. 
  • Slicing the oranges is a Goldilocks predicament. Slice them too thinly and they’ll tear, and slice them too thickly and they’ll take much longer to dry out. Aim for ⅛ to ¼ inch thickness. 
  • You’ll know the oranges are ready when they’ve shrunk in size and are no longer wet to the touch. 
  • If you pull the oranges out of the oven too soon, pop them back in or simply lay them out on a wire rack (or leave them on the baking tray). It may take up to 24 more hours at room temperature for them to finish drying out. 
photo of dried orange slices on a wooden table with greenery surrounding them

FAQs About Dried Orange Slices 

How thick should you slice oranges for drying? 

⅛ to ¼ inch thickness is perfect. If you have a mandoline slicer, now’s the time to bust it out! It will make preparing your own orange slices a breeze and you’ll be able to make precise, thin slices.

What’s the best way to slice oranges for drying? 

A mandoline is the easiest and fastest method, but a sharp chef’s knife and a cutting board also works. Make sure your cutting board is free of any garlic or onion smells before slicing the oranges. 

Can you eat dried orange slices? 

Yes! The peels may be slightly chewy, but they’re safe to eat. They’re especially great dipped in chocolate! 

Can you rehydrate dried orange slices? 

Yes, but they’ll never again be the juicy orange slices they began as. However, they’re great when steeped in hot water and enjoyed like herbal tea! 

Will dried orange slices attract bugs? 

Not if they’ve been fully dried, no! I’ve strung up dried orange slices as Christmas decor in the past, and they didn’t attract any bugs. 

Can dried orange slices go bad? 

Yes, if they’re exposed to intense heat or moisture. You’ll know they’ve gone bad if they develop mold, smell funny, or are slimy. 

How long do dried orange slices last? 

If you plan on eating them, they’ll last up to two years. If used as potpourri or decor, they’ll last pretty much forever. So long as they’re not moldy or exhibit other signs of decay, you’re fine to keep decorating with them. 

Can you dry other citrus fruits? 

Yes! Lemons, limes, grapefruit, different varieties of oranges — you can dry any citrus fruit using the method I’ve shared in this post. 

photo of using dried orange slices in gift wrapping decor

Ways to Use Dried Oranges

Not sure what to do with dried oranges? There are SO many ways to use the dried orange slices you just made! 

Using Dried Orange Slices in Christmas Decor

These dehydrated oranges are perfect if you want to incorporate natural elements into your Christmas decorations! Here’s a few ideas:

  • Make a dried orange garland — You can make a gorgeous garland for your Christmas tree using a large sewing needle, thick thread or twine, and dried orange slices. Or, incorporate your dry orange slices into a popcorn garland! 
  • Add to evergreen wreaths — Customize a store-bought wreath with festive orange slices. They can also be used on dried eucalyptus wreaths! 
  • Use as part of a Christmas table centerpiece — Pair them with cinnamon sticks, pine cones, and other seasonal decor.  
  • Turn into ornaments for decorating your tree — Use twine for a more rustic look, or red ribbon for something more polished. 
  • Use as gift wrap decor — Just run your gift wrap ribbon through the orange slice to affix it to the gift tag on Christmas presents for a special touch.

Delicious Recipes Using Dehydrated Orange Slices

There are so many fun ways to use these dehydrated orange slices in recipes! Here are some of my favorite uses:

  • Dip in chocolate for a snack — I also like to add a sprinkle of sea salt. This healthy snack feels like a fun indulgence!
  • Include in mulling spice mix — I especially love this recipe for pomegranate apple mulled wine.
  • Add to hot sangria — The hot wine will rehydrate the orange slices and release some of their citrus flavor! 
  • Steep in hot water or black tea — It’s like

How to Garnish with these Dried Oranges

They also make beautiful garnishes for a variety of recipes and dishes:

  • Use to decorate cakes — You can twist the slices into specific shapes or slice them as needed to decorate cakes. 
  • Use as charcuterie platter garnish — Scatter dried orange slices around your meats and cheeses to elevate the snacking experience. 
  • Use as a cocktail garnish — A dried orange slice would pair beautifully with a cranberry shrub cocktail

Incorporating Beautiful Citrus Slices in Homemade Gifts

These dried orange slices are an easy project during the holiday season that you can incorporate into homemade holiday gifts.

  • Incorporate into dried potpourri — Dried oranges pair well with cinnamon sticks and other spices. Homemade potpourri makes a wonderful DIY gift!
  • Scent your home using a simmer pot — Simply add a few dried orange slices, a cinnamon stick, and a sprig of fresh rosemary to a pot of simmering water. Your kitchen will smell incredible within minutes. Simmer pot sachets make great gifts!
photo of a jar of dried orange slices

How to Store Dried Orange Slices 

Keep dry sliced oranges in an airtight container or bag for 2+ years. Keep in a cool, dry place to preserve their shelf life.  A glass jar or ziploc bag works well for a storage container.

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How to Make Dried Orange Slices

How to Make Dried Orange Slices

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Dried orange slices can be eaten as a snack, used as DIY home decor, added to potpourri, and so much more!

Ingredients

  • 6 Oranges (any kind)
  • Granulated sugar (optional, if eating)

Instructions

Drying Orange Slices in the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºF. 
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. 
  3. Thinly slice the oranges. You want them to be about ¼ inch thick. Note that the thicker they’re sliced, the longer they’ll take to dry (and the higher the chance the peels will burn before the interior is fully dry!). 
  4. Lay the orange slices on the parchment paper-lined baking tray in an even layer. 
  5. Bake for up to 3 hours, checking the oranges every hour to check their progress. You’ll need to flip over the orange slices about halfway through the baking time. 
  6. Once the slices are dried to your liking, let them cool on your countertop before eating or using as desired. 

Tip: If you have a cooling rack, you can place it on top of the lined baking tray and then line the orange slices atop the rack. This will help circulate hot air around the orange slices and make them dry out faster! 

2. Drying Orange Slices in a Dehydrator 

  1. Thinly slice the oranges. You want them to be about ¼ inch thick. Note that the thicker they’re sliced, the longer they’ll take to dry. 
  2. Arrange the orange slices on the trays of your dehydrator. You want them to be in a single layer. 
  3. Fill as many trays as necessary, then stack them on the dehydrator base and pop the lid on. 
  4. Turn on the dehydrator. If yours has a fruit / vegetable setting, use that.  
  5. Let the dehydrator run for up to 12 hours, rotating the trays every 3 to 4 hours to ensure that no tray is left at the very top of the dehydrator the entire time. 
  6. Once the orange slices have finished drying, transfer to an airtight container. 

Tip: Depending on the make and model of your dehydrator, it could take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours to dehydrate orange slices. It also depends on how thickly you sliced them. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on how your machine works. 

Notes

How to Store Dried Orange Slices 

Keep dry sliced oranges in an airtight container or bag for 2+ years. Keep in a cool, dry place to preserve their shelf life.  

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 69Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 3gSugar 12gProtein 1g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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