Tasty & Practical: 13 Essential Dehydrated Foods for Your Pantry

By Eric Mitchell •  Updated: Jan 14, 2024 •  8 min read

Is your pantry lacking excitement and variety? It’s time to discover the magic of essential dehydrated foods!

In this article, we’ll reveal the top 10 essentials that will revolutionize your pantry and open up a new world of culinary possibilities. Say goodbye to bland meals and hello to a flavorful, nutrient-rich kitchen.

Dehydrated Foods in Jars in Pantry

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Without further ado, let’s dive into the list and explore these dehydrated delights! (in no particular order):

1. Frozen Veggies for the Win

First up is frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are a great option for dehydration because they’re already cut, blanched, and ready to be dehydrated, making it easy to have a variety of veggies available all year round.

You can find a variety of vegetables in your grocery store’s freezer section like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, to dehydrate and keep them on your shelf year-round.

Frozen Veggies

For example, you can dehydrate corn to make alternative cornmeal or even cornbread, but we’re talking about all frozen vegetables. Just throw them on your dehydrator trays and store them in your pantry afterward.

2. Vegetable Powder

If you find that you don’t like the taste of certain dehydrated vegetables or have an excess, you can always turn them into vegetable powder to add nutrients to your dishes.

Recently, I cleaned out my dehydrating pantry and made vegetable powder out of everything that I won’t use up soon, had too much of, or didn’t like.

The vegetable powder contained carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, strawberry tops, peas, green beans, and some other vegetables that I can’t remember. This vegetable powder adds nutrients to everything I cook, including pancakes and rice.

I add it to every dish that I can sneak it into. Everyone in my family knows that I put it in there, so it’s not like I’m trying to trick them.

3. Greens: Nutrient Powerhouses

Stocking up on different types of greens, like spinach, kale, collard greens, and turnip greens, is a fantastic way to maintain a nutrient-rich pantry. You can dry these greens and store them as whole leaves, crumbled pieces, or in a powdered form.

Green Leaf

Greens add a nutrient boost to any meal, from soups to even brownies! Scour clearance sections at grocery stores for discounted greens, and dry them at home for year-round use.

4. Herb Heaven

Don’t forget about herbs! Whatever herbs you use for cooking or medicinal purposes, you can dry them and store them on your shelf all year round. Drying your own herbs ensures that they’re fresh and flavorful, making them perfect for cooking.

If you have store-bought herbs in little canisters that you’re not using, let them dry and save them for the next time you need them. It’s easy to do with even the herbs you get at the grocery store.

Fresh Dill

You can even dry store-bought herbs to make them last longer. Dill and parsley are just a few examples of essential herbs to have in your pantry.

5. Dehydrated Onions

Next on our list, we have dehydrated onions. Every pantry should have dehydrated onions on its shelves. Yes, they can be stinky, but you can try doing them outside (check your dehydrator manual to see if it’s safe to use outside) or in your garage to minimize the smell.

Alternatively, you can use frozen onions which you can find at your local store and they are often fresher than grocery store onions and have less of a smell when dehydrating. Plus, frozen onions are already prepped, you can simply open the bags, throw them on your trays, and dry them, making the whole process a breeze.

I usually stock up on frozen onions in March when they’re on sale at our local store. You can also try caramelized onions, green onions, or scallions for added variety.

6. Garlic Goodness

Next we have dehydrated garlic. Garlic is an indispensable ingredient in many cuisines. To enjoy its taste all year round, consider drying garlic and turning it into garlic powder.  It’s perfect for using it in your cooking for that unmistakable garlic flavor.

Although dehydrated garlic may not brown like fresh garlic, it still imparts a delightful flavor to various dishes. If you don’t have the time or desire to grow and prepare your own garlic for drying, you can find pre-made, frozen, or jarred alternatives that are just as convenient.

7. Strawberry Sensation

Strawberries are another essential dehydrated food. We use the whole strawberry, including the fruit and the green. You can dry the green to make teas or add it to your green powder or vegetable powder for added nutrients.

Strawberries don’t last very long in the refrigerator so dehydrated strawberries are perfect for snacking, baking. Except for smoothies, I find that they work better when frozen for smoothies.

8. Apples: Snack and Bake with Ease

Apples are a wonderful fruit to keep in your pantry. Dried apples can be diced for oatmeal, baked goods, or simply enjoyed as a snack.

Dried Apple Slice

They can satisfy most cravings and are an excellent essential to have on hand.

9. Citrus Delight

Citrus fruits of every kind like oranges, lemons, and limes are great for dehydrating. You can use them in teas or even as a zesty addition to your cooking. You can also make candied citrus slices for a tasty snack or use as garnish.

10. Versatile Zucchini

Zucchini is another fantastic option for dehydration. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, and dehydrating it allows you to enjoy it all year long.

You can shred it, dice it, or even use it as a flour substitute in baking. It’s perfect for adding nutrients to soups, casseroles and useful in so many ways and then some more.

11. Perfect Peppers

The next essential is peppers, whether you’re doing sweet peppers like bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, chili peppers, cayenne peppers, or all the different kinds of peppers there are.

Dehydrating peppers is a great way to preserve their flavor and spice and for this peppers are another must-have in your dehydrated pantry. Sweet, spicy, or somewhere in between, they’re perfect for adding flavor to any dish.

You can use them in recipes that call for fresh peppers, or grind them into powder for a spicy seasoning. The cayenne pepper, chili powder, and all those kinds of things you can buy are just dried peppers that are just grown, dried, and then powdered for your enjoyment.

12. Terrific Tomatoes

The next essential is tomatoes. Dehydrated tomatoes are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, such as pasta sauces, soups, and stews. You can make sauces, use it in cooking, or even dehydrate tomato slices and dice.

Dehydrated Tomatoes on Food Dehydrator Tray

The possibilities are endless! You can cut the small cherries in half and make sun-dried tomatoes. You can also make tomato powder which is a fantastic addition to your pantry because it can be used to thicken sauces or add flavor to various meals. 

13. Mushroom Magic

Mushrooms are next on our list. To avoid the spongy texture of rehydrated mushrooms, try chopping them into tiny bits using a vegetable chopper or food processor. These small dices of mushrooms can be easily rehydrated and added to stews, eggs, or any dish without being too chunky.

I store the mushroom bits in a half-gallon jar, and we go through a lot of them in our house. Additionally, I make mushroom powder, which I keep in a quart jar next to my stove. That meaty flavor is called Umami and I use it to add a rich flavor and you can add it to any dish and boosts its intensity.

I also use the powder to make Umami seasoning, which is a blend of thyme, mushroom, salt, onion powder, and other ingredients and additionally, you can make it.

Bonus Items:

Potatoes: A Versatile Ingredient

Potatoes are a great addition to any pantry. While I don’t dehydrate them personally anymore, I just buy them already dehydrated, less hassle like this. Still I believe it’s important to know how to do so.

This can be helpful if you ever find yourself with a surplus of potatoes or discover an irresistible sale at your local store. Dehydrated potatoes can take various forms, such as diced, sliced, mashed, or shredded for hash browns. I prefer purchasing mine from reputable suppliers, but the choice is yours!

Dried Rice: A Staple with a Twist

Some may wonder why one would dehydrate rice when instant rice is readily available. By drying your own rice, you have the flexibility to choose your preferred rice variety, and it can be an economical choice.

Rice Powder in Wooden Spoon

You can also apply this method to other grains, like barley, quinoa, or pasta.


We hope this guide to essential dehydrated foods has inspired you to transform your pantry and elevate your cooking game.

Stock up on these essentials, and experience the convenience, flavor, and nutrition that they bring to your meals. Happy dehydrating, and enjoy your kitchen adventures!

Eric Mitchell

Eric is the owner, author, content director and founder of dehydratorlab.com. He is the lead architect and the main man in matters concerning dehydrators, their accessories, guides, reviews and all the accompaniments.Whenever he is not figuring out simple solutions (hacks) involving cookery and their eventual storage, you will find him testing out the different types of dehydrators, to bring us the juicy details regarding these devices.He is a foodie enthusiast, pasionate about making jerky has a knack for healthy and tasty food and won't hesitate to share out any ideas that might be of value around this subject.

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