Dried Sliced Oranges are one of my favorite things to make for the holidays. They're beautiful on their own and great for decorations (like garlands, filling jars for a cocktail station, or even decorating wrapped gifts). They're also wonderful garnishes for cocktails and mocktails! Dried Sliced Oranges are also a great hostess gift and they ship well. An all-around win.
All you'll need are a few oranges and the time to let them dry (various methods listed below). That's it! You can make a batch at the beginning of the holiday season and then use them all winter long.
Why you'll love this recipe
- These Dried Sliced Oranges are very versatile: use them for decoration (garlands, wreaths, tabletop), for gift wrapping, in jars at a cocktail station, or to garnish your favorite cocktail!
- They are easy to make and a good project to take on during the holidays!
- You can dry the oranges in the oven or in a dehydrator.
- They store for a long time (up to a year) so you can make a batch at the beginning of the holidays and use them all season!
- Dried Sliced Oranges are also a great gift item and ship well.
Really, the only thing you'll need for this recipe are the oranges!
That said, it does make a difference what kind of orange you use.
- Consider your drying space: These oranges will be thinly sliced and spread on baking sheets (for oven drying) or racks (for dehydrator drying). Either way, you'll only have a certain amount of space that you can use. I recommend using smaller oranges like Blood Oranges, Cara Cara oranges, or Tangelos as they're a great size for drying.
- Consider your color: Do you want the oranges to be orange? Red? Other? Blood oranges are great, but if you're going for that classic orange color, pick a small orange like a Tangelo or Cara Cara orange. You can also make this recipe with other citrus fruits like lemons and limes!
See full recipe below for detailed directions.
Substitutions & Variations
This is a very adaptable recipe and below are a few easy substitutions and variations you can try.
- Use a different type of orange: Try Blood Oranges, Cara Cara oranges or Tangelos for a different variety. Any small orange will work well here!
- Use other citrus fruits: Throw in some other citrus! Dried lime or lemon slices are also beautiful and can be used in a very similar way to dried oranges.
- Dip them in chocolate: These Dried Sliced Oranges are edible! If you want to make them more decadent, try dipping them in dark chocolate.
I have not tested this recipe with other variations, but if you do, let us know how it turns out in the comments! I always love to hear how you're adapting these recipes and use those as ideas for future recipes as well!
How to Make Dried Sliced Oranges
There are just a few key steps and you'll have Dried Sliced Oranges in no time!
Thoroughly wash your oranges. You're keeping the peel (and it is edible), so you want to make sure they're clean!
Use a mandoline (or a very sharp knife) to slice the oranges to approximately 4-5mm. Thicker slices will take longer to dry. Blot the slices with a paper towel to remove excess liquid.
For oven drying: Spread the slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Slices may be touching, but should not overlap.
For dehydrator drying: Evenly spread the slices on the drying racks. They should not overlap.
For oven drying: Bake for 2-4 hours, turning every 30 minutes until thoroughly dried and crisp.
For dehydrator drying: Set the dehydrator to 135 degrees (F) and dry for 3-6 hours. Start checking after 2 hours to see if they've thoroughly dried.
Expert Baking Tips
- Use a mandoline to cut the oranges. This will help you achieve thinner slices that are all uniform and will dry at the same time.
- The time needed for drying will depend on the thickness of your orange slices and your drying method (oven vs. dehydrator). Flip and check the slices often to see if they're thoroughly dried.
- Make these at the beginning of the holiday season and then store in an airtight container! That way you can use them at any time during the coming months.
A tip for slicing the oranges
If your oranges feel a bit soft (sometimes very ripe oranges have softer peels, and aren't as tight), you can put them in the freezer for 30-60 minutes to help them firm. They won't be fully frozen, but they'll be a little more firm, which will help with slicing.
If the oranges are turning to mush when you slice them, try the freezing mentioned above, or you can also increase the thickness of the slice. Just keep in mind that thicker slices will take longer to dry.
What to do with Dried Sliced Oranges
Dried Sliced Oranges are very versatile and can be used in many ways.
- Give as a gift: Dried Sliced Oranges are a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer. They also ship well, if you need to ship a gift!
- Use as a decoration: These are great for decoration, whether that is on the tabletop at the holidays, or to decorate a gift-wrapped package.
- Make a holiday garland or wreath: Dried Sliced Oranges are easy to string together to create a garland, or to add as a wreath decoration.
- Use as a cocktail garnish: These are great to use as cocktail garnishes and instantly elevate any kind of cocktail. Try this Blood Orange Old Fashioned and top with a Dried Sliced Orange!
- Eat for dessert: These are edible and great to dip in chocolate. They are also beautiful on a holiday charcuterie board or in a cookie box!
I highly recommend using a mandoline slicer to slice the oranges for this recipe. They'll be thinner and more consistent than if you slice the oranges by hand. Consistency is important so the oranges all dry at the same time.
If you're drying with a dehydrator, then you'll need a dehydrator!
Room Temperature Storage: Once the oranges are dried, you can keep them for up to a year! Store Dried Sliced Oranges in an airtight container or bag, and pull them out whenever you need. If you're making these for decorations (like a garland), you'll likely be able to keep that garland and use it again next year!
The only issue with storing Dried Sliced Oranges is if they're not completely dried. If there is still any moisture in the slices, they will mold. Make sure they are thoroughly dried before storing.
The key here is to use smaller oranges (or other citrus fruits). If you use large oranges, it will still work, but you will quickly run out of space on your baking sheets for drying. I recommend Blood Oranges, Cara Cara oranges, or Tangelos.
If you're slicing your oranges too thin, they will start to fall apart while slicing. Increase the size of your slice. You can also pop them in the freezer for 30-60 minutes to help the orange firm up (without completely freezing) before slicing.
They're great as a hostess gift, to garnish a cocktail, to make a garland, or to decorate a tabletop. They're completely edible as well, so enjoy them as a treat!
Drying time will vary based on the thickness of your orange slices and the drying method that you use. Also, make sure to blot the sliced oranges with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before beginning the drying process.
Yes, the orange slices will shrink as they dry, so they'll be a bit smaller than they are when sliced.
When finished, the slices will be completely dry and hard. They should not feel wet or sticky at all.
Dried Sliced Oranges
- 4 small oranges such as Blood Orange, Cara Cara oranges, or Tangelos, sliced to 4-5mm
- Thoroughly wash the oranges. Use a mandoline or sharp knife to cut the oranges in approximately 4-5mm slices. Consistency is key here so they oranges will dry evenly. Carefully blot the sliced oranges with a paper towel to remove excess liquid.
For Oven Drying:
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the slices on the lined baking sheets. The oranges may be touching, but should not be overlapping.
- Bake for 2-4 hours, turning every 30 minutes, until completely dried and crisp to the touch. Drying time will depend on the thickness of your slices. Let cool, then store in an airtight container.
For Dehydrator Drying:
- Set the dehydrator to 135℉. Spread the sliced oranges on the drying racks. The oranges may be touching, but should not be overlapping.
- Dry for 3-6 hours, checking the dryness occassionally after about 2 hours. Drying time will depend on the thickness of your slices. Continue drying until the slices are completely dried and crisp to the touch. Let cool, then store in an airtight container.