In this post: Dried orange slices are a beautiful and versatile Christmas decoration that adds a touch of holiday cheer. Learn how to make them — plus eight ideas for how to use them here.


Dried orange slices are a pretty, natural, and nostalgic way to decorate for Christmas. Plus they’re really simple to make. Here’s how – plus 8 ways to use them in your home.

how to make dried orange slices text on pink background with dried orange slices photo below

Why dry oranges?

Dried orange slices are both nostalgic and festive because they are a throwback to when people simply decorated their homes for Christmas and winter using what they had on hand.

Paired with cinnamon sticks, sprigs of evergreens, and other holiday decor, dehydrated orange slices are versatile, simple and so pretty.

dried orange slices on a black plate

3 Ways to DIY Dry Orange Slices

You can make your own dehydrated orange slices in one of three ways.

You could also combine these methods. For example, you could begin by drying your orange slices in the oven and let them finish by air-drying them.

Air Drying

To air-dry orange slices or other citrus fruits, wash your fruit well. Pat dry and then slice with a sharp knife into 1/4 inch slices. Lay on cooling racks placed on the counter for several days until they’re fully dry. Then use as you’d like.

In the Dehydrator

For orange slices dried in a dehydrator, wash and slice into 1/4 inch slices and then follow your dehydrator’s instructions for dried fruit.

In the Oven

Of course, you can also use your kitchen oven to dry fruit slices.

To do this, wash your citrus, and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Lay your orange slices on cooling racks that have been placed on baking sheets. This will allow the air to circulate on all sides of the fruit. Then bake on low heat for several hours.

How to Make Dried Orange Slices in the Oven

There are no hard and fast rules for making your own holiday orange slices. Simply slice and bake until dry. Oven drying times will vary based on your oven. Keep and eye your slices as you dry them to prevent burning.

Supplies

  • 2-4 oranges (or more, depending on use and space)
  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • cooling racks
  • baking sheets

Instructions for DIY Dried Citrus Slices

Preheat the oven

Turn your oven on to low. About 170 degrees F works well for most ovens.

Wash and slice the oranges

Wash your oranges, especially if you’re going to be using them as a garnish or for snacks.

orange slices on wood cutting board with sliver knife

Arrange orange slices on baking sheets

Place the cooling racks on your baking (or cookie) sheets. Then lay the citrus slices in a single layer on the cooling racks, being careful not to let the fruit overlap.

orange slices ready to dry on cooling racks and baking sheet

Bake

Bake in the oven for several hours – it could take 6 hours or so.

Tip: Turn the heat down if your oven regularly runs hot or if you find the citrus is browning too much too fast in some spots.

Flip orange slices hourly (or more frequently)

Carefully remove your baking sheets from the oven every hour or so and gently flip the orange slices. As they get drier, check on them more frequently to be sure they don’t burn.

Let Cool

Once the orange slices are dry (or mostly dry) remove the baking sheets from the oven and let them cool completely before using them as a garland, ornaments, or garnish. (See more ideas for using your orange slices below.)

How to Store Dried Orange Slices

Dried orange slices can be stored in any air-tight container in a cool dry place. A mason jar or Ziploc works well.

Here Are a Few of Our Favorite Ways to Use Dried Orange Slices

01 | Orange Garland

An orange garland is the quintessential holiday decor. String your orange slices with jute twine and hang them across the mantel or a bookshelf.

02 | Potpourri Accent

Dried orange slices also make great potpourri with other things like cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves.

03 | Simmer Pot Ingredient

You can also rehydrate dried orange slices in a simmer pot for any season and they will smell delicious!

Homemade Simmering Potpourri

Related: 16 Simmer Pot Recipes for All Seasons

04 | Dried Citrus Cocktail Garnish

You could also add your dried orange slices to a holiday cocktail for a little extra flavor and color.

05 | Dried Orange Ornaments

Easily hang dried orange slices on your Christmas tree as ornaments with an ornament hanger.

06 | Add them to Christmas presents

Dried orange slices can be tied to presents with ribbon and gift tags and maybe even a little sprig of Christmas greenery.

dried orange slices with holiday decor

07 | Place Setting Accent

A holiday table setting would look lovely with a single dried orange slice tied to each napkin. Or place dried orange slices with holiday greenery as a centerpiece.

08 | Make a Dried Orange Wreath

Of course, you could also string your dried orange slices together to make a dried orange wreath. Hang and enjoy!

FAQs About Dried Orange Slices

If you’ve dehydrated your orange slices thoroughly, they can last up to two years in an air-tight container. But if you didn’t remove all the moisture during the drying process they may mold when stored.

Yes! Just about any citrus fruit you’d like may be sliced and dried:

  • navel oranges
  • grapefruit
  • lemons
  • limes
  • blood oranges

Yes! Wash your oranges well before slicing and drying and they are edible – peel and all!

Dried oranges are mildly fragrant. Rehydrating them (in a simmer pot for example) will bring out more of their scent.

Your dried oranges are sticky if you haven’t dried them all the way. You can either dry them longer using your method of choice or simply leave them out in the open for a while and they will finish drying.

Yield: 20-40 slices

How To Make Dried Orange Slices

dehydrated orange slices on a black plate

Dried orange slices are a beautiful and versatile Christmas decoration that adds a touch of holiday cheer. Learn how to make them — plus eight ideas for how to use them here.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $10 or less

Materials

  • 2-4 oranges (or more, depending on use and space)

Tools

  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • cooling racks
  • baking sheets

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven
  2. Turn your oven on to low. About 170 degrees F works well for most ovens.  
  3. Wash and slice the oranges into 1/4 inch slices.
  4. Place the cooling racks on your baking (or cookie) sheets. Then lay the citrus slices in a single layer on the cooling racks, being careful not to let the fruit overlap. 
  5. Bake in the oven for several hours - it could take 6 hours or so.
  6. Carefully remove your baking sheets from the oven every hour or so and gently flip the orange slices. As they get drier, check on them more frequently to be sure they don't burn. 
  7. Once the orange slices are dry (or mostly dry) remove the baking sheets from the oven and let them cool completely before using them as a garland, ornaments, or garnish. (See more ideas for using your orange slices below.) 

Notes

Turn the heat down if your oven regularly runs hot or if you find the citrus is browning too much too fast in some spots. 

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Have you ever tried making dried orange slices?

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