How to Make Chewy Dried Bananas — You Won’t Stop at One

These chewy dried bananas are a great healthy snack and dehydrating bananas couldn’t be easier. Here’s how to dry bananas, transforming brown bananas into a sweet treat for your pantry or even your emergency supplies.

Try making dehydrated strawberries or apples, too! Dehydrated fruit makes for a delicious snack right out of hand or added to trail mixes.

dried banana slices in a white bowl.

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Dehydrating Bananas: Not Your Usual Banana Chips

Years ago, our landlady used to bring us dehydrated bananas when she had an abundance. Personally, I am a “fresh banana or no banana at all, thanks” girl, but my guys loved them.

They were not the crunchy banana chips that are commonly sold in stores. These were chewy like Trader Joe’s banana chips. It took them no time to snarf down those healthy snacks.

Drying bananas at home — especially with sale-priced bananas — is much less expensive than buying the tiny packs for snacking. Plus, it’s a great way to extend the short shelf life of bananas and prevent food waste. 

These days, we harvest 40-50 pounds of our own bananas at a time. There’s no way we can eat that many fresh bananas before they go bad, so dehydrating bananas makes sense.

If you don’t have a banana crop like we do, keep your eyes open for overripe bananas on sale and use those to make these chewy dried bananas.

pile of ripe bananas still on the stalk

Ingredients

Ripe Bananas — Rich in potassium, these are often very affordable at the store if you can’t harvest your own. Watch for bananas that are fully ripened but still easily sliced (not mushy). Save the really overripe bananas for this sourdough banana bread, these easy pumpkin banana muffins, or this gluten free banana bread that gets raves.

Lemon Juice — This can help prevent browning, but is also a great flavor enhancer and cuts the sweetness a bit. This is optional. You can absolutely make dried bananas without it.

Preparing the Bananas

Slice the bananas in your preferred manner. After a lot of experimenting we’ve landed on using a mandoline to slice ripe but firm bananas, laying them flat to cut them into thin slices lengthwise. We use cutting gloves to prevent us from slicing off a fingertip; the blade is really sharp!

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A knife is also a perfectly acceptable method to cut bananas for the drying process. You can cut the banana pieces however you like. Slices or rounds, either is fine. 

Transfer slices of banana to a shallow dish and pour on lemon juice if you’re using it. When you’ve sliced enough to fill the dish, transfer to a tray to begin the drying process. I’ve listed three different methods; choose the one that works best for you. 

sliced bananas in a dehydrator

Making Dried Bananas in a Food Dehydrator

A food dehydrator is a specialized appliance specifically made for drying fruits, veggies, and meat. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all include a number of trays that allow warm air to freely circulate.

This is my preferred method of drying fruit. My 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator holds the largest amount of fruit out of all three of the methods listed here, making the most of the energy used to dry them.

Place banana slices in a single layer, fitting as many as you can without overlapping, on the dehydrator trays and dry at 135ºF for 8-10 hours.

Oven Dried Bananas

Drying bananas in the oven utilizes equipment most people already have on hand. It’s not the most energy-efficient method, but it does the trick in a pinch.

Set the oven to a low temperature. 135ºF is the ideal, but not all ovens offer that precise low heat. If you have an oven with a bread proofing setting you can try that. Older ovens that only go as low as 200ºF can be used, but you’ll need to prop the oven door open. 

Place sliced bananas on a wire rack on a baking sheet. This allows the air to flow around the slices. Alternatively, you can line each baking tray with parchment paper. 

Dehydrating Bananas in an Air Fryer

If you have an air fryer, that can do the trick if it has a dehydrate function.

The air fryer doesn’t hold as much as my large dehydrator, so you can only make one small batch at a time. It wouldn’t be a great solution if you needed to dry a lot of fruit at once. Use it if you have one, certainly, but my money’s still on a dehydrator for best use of energy and time.

Dry for 8-10 hours at 135ºF.

No matter which method you use, the drying time will vary depending on the humidity of the air and the moisture content of the fruit. My family likes the bananas best when they are still a little bit chewy. If you like crispy banana chips, by all means let them process for longer. 

Conditioning the Fruit

Due to inconsistent thickness, some pieces of fruit may retain a bit more moisture than others. As a result, moisture levels can vary within a single slice of fruit.

Conditioning the dried fruit will help redistribute the moisture evenly. Cool fruit thoroughly and place loosely packed pieces in a sealed container. Seal the jar and let stand for a week, shaking it daily to break up the fruit.

The excess moisture in some pieces will be reabsorbed by drier pieces. If any condensation appears on the inside of the jar itself, there’s still too much moisture in the fruit. Return it to the dehydrator to remove more moisture.

Storage

For long term storage, place conditioned dried fruit in an airtight container at room temperature. I’m a fan of Mason jars coupled with the reusable leak-proof Ball lids. They are more air tight than both the metal lids or the white plastic lids.

FAQs

How can I slice my bananas?

However you like! The mandoline makes it easy to slice lengthwise. You can do this with a knife, too, but if you’re using a knife, the fastest way is probably to cut them into rounds. Whatever you choose, just ensure they are all about the same thickness so they dry evenly. 

Can I prevent browning?

I coat the sliced bananas with fresh lemon juice. This can help prevent browning, but the lemon imparts a nice tangy flavor to the bananas. When I’ve skipped this step, there have been complaints. Your mileage may vary.

If you’ve got an abundance of dried bananas in the pantry, chop some into this healthy waffle recipe!

dried bananas in a white bowl from above.

★ Did you make these chewy dehydrated bananas? Don’t forget to give them a star rating below!

dried banana slices in a white bowl.

Chewy Dehydrated Bananas

Yield: 2 half-gallon containers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

These chewy dehydrated bananas are a great healthy snack and they're easy to make. Transform brown bananas into chewy dried bananas for your pantry or emergency supplies.

Ingredients

  • 20-25 pounds ripe bananas
  • 2 cups lemon juice

Instructions

  1. NOTE: the listed ingredients are enough to fill a 9-tray dehydrator. Adjust the amount to suit your needs.
  2. Before you start, make sure you have a container in which to put the peels. I use a 5-gallon bucket to tote the peels out to the compost when I'm done.
  3. Peel the bananas, collecting the peeled fruit into a large bowl. It will be fastest if you can peel them all at once.
  4. Slice the bananas 1/4" thick. Believe it or not, a mandoline works great for this. Place sliced bananas into a bowl or tray with lemon juice. Toss the sliced bananas in the juice.
  5. When you have about four cups of sliced bananas, spread them out on a dehydrator tray, then repeat. I like to fit as many as I can on each tray without letting them overlap. (Touching slightly is not a problem.)
  6. Once your dehydrator is full, or you've sliced all the bananas you'll be drying, turn it on to 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 hours. This of course depends on your climate and humidity and dehydrator. Plan to be around to check them during those last couple of hours.

Notes

It helps to have a lovely assistant. If you can wrangle someone into peeling the bananas while you slice, it will go much more quickly.

Timing is important. For chewy dried bananas, plan to turn the dehydrator on in the morning so the bananas can be put away that evening, or start them in the evening so they can dry overnight. You can let them go longer, absolutely, but they might be a bit more on the crispy side.

I have a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator. It takes about 20-25 pounds of bananas to fill it. Dehydrated, those bananas will fill a gallon jar or thereabouts.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 64 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 5gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g

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Dried bananas stacked in a green bowl on a reddish striped tablecloth. Fresh bananas in the background

Dehydrated bananas stacked in a green bowl on a reddish striped tablecloth. Fresh bananas in the background

Originally published February, 2019; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

58 comments… add one
  • Immy Immac Jul 26, 2022 @ 20:42

    I would like to make flour from ripe bananas for cake mix. My question is, can you dehydrate them to a point where they can be ground? If you’ve done this, how did it turn out?

    • AttainableSustainable Jul 29, 2022 @ 13:13

      I’m sorry I’ve never done that, good luck!

  • Lynn Oct 22, 2021 @ 21:58

    May I know what’s the shelf life of home-made banana crisp? I am eager to try it out but worried about the shelf-life. Thank you very much

    • AttainableSustainable Oct 26, 2021 @ 10:05

      They should last about 6 months to a year, but it’s likely they’ll get eaten up before then!

  • Jane Peranteau Aug 29, 2021 @ 10:24

    Dried them at 135 for eight hours, and I love them. I never liked the hard, crispy kind, so this is perfect. I also love your site and recipes, mainly because of the way you write as if you’re talking to us. That feels comfortable and does make things seem attainable. Thanks.

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 12, 2021 @ 8:42

      Happy to have you join us! (Glad the bananas turned out well, too.)

  • Gwendolyn Bailey Aug 17, 2021 @ 14:03

    I was wondering does anyone have a problem with them sticking together when storing? Could it be that I am not drying them enough? Thank you

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 18, 2021 @ 16:40

      They do stick together slightly. But nothing that causes an undoable clump. If they’re really stuck, I’d try to dry longer.

  • Kathy Oct 25, 2020 @ 11:26

    My 1st batch wasnt right But my 2nd batch is yummie chewy ( 10 hrs 135°) I perfer Apples ❤

  • Eve Himmelheber Aug 17, 2020 @ 8:18

    I use a light coat of coconut oil. Delicious!

  • Rado May 28, 2020 @ 21:16

    I just bought dehydrator cos we have so many bananas and is difficult to eat them all. I normally freeze and make ice cream in the blender, but it takes space. I did it 2 times. 1st, slice thickness is 0.5cm, second 1cm – just cut the banana in half. Both were done 16hrs at 70C – 158F, but the second are still softer, which I like better. I want to leave them in a container outside and hope to last me at least 6months. What is your experience?

    • Kris Bordessa May 29, 2020 @ 13:58

      As long as they’re stored in an airtight container, they should last for months.

  • Lee May 14, 2020 @ 2:39

    Hi Kris, I’m looking into dehydrating food but the dehydrator you have is over budget for me. Do you or anybody else have any recommendations for a cheaper model?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Kris Bordessa May 14, 2020 @ 17:39

      This is the one I use, and I can’t (personally) recommend another. Here’s a budget tip, though: If it’s hot outside, consider parking your car in the sun and drying them in that. Weird, but possible!

      • Cheryl A Pierson Aug 28, 2021 @ 12:43

        Funny you should mention drying/dehydrating in the car. Here in Arizona I fo it all the time when it’s hot outside. Yes, sometimes it takes longer they’re just chewier! WHICH WE LUV

        • Kris Bordessa Sep 12, 2021 @ 8:43

          Love it!

    • Janet Casmaer May 21, 2020 @ 9:54

      Hi Lee. I have a Nesco dehydrator. It is round and has stackable plastic trays with the heating unit on the top. You can buy additional trays (perforated or solid for fruit leathers). It is plastic, which doesn’t thrill me, but my budget won’t stretch to the Excalibur. Bottom line, it works well, you can find it anywhere, and it’s inexpensive.

    • Sandra Sep 16, 2020 @ 14:40

      I bought a dehydrator that looks and works like an excalibur much cheaper on Amazon. It’s great!

      • Martha Aug 15, 2022 @ 7:58

        Mine is from Amazon also – Aroma brand. I have an Excalabur also I found at a thrift store. The only difference I see between the two is that the Aroma trays are a bit more rectangular. Both dry the same as I use them both at the same time and they use the same time to dry, with the same results.

    • Wanda Morgan Apr 28, 2022 @ 8:29

      I just made my first batch. I live in very humid area in south; so I had to dehydrate mine for 12 hr. I did turn them over after 8 hr. I also lightly sprinkled some Cinnamon on them prior to placing in the dehydrator, (YUM). I used some shelf non-slip rubber liner, made some tiny pouches, filled with instant rice (because it will absorbe any moisture in jar better than plain rice) and used a plastic coated paper clip to close the only open end. Now I can change out the rice to use over & over when needed.

      • AttainableSustainable May 3, 2022 @ 7:10

        Great idea!

  • diane Apr 28, 2020 @ 5:05

    hi kris I have just bought my first dehydrator and trying your chewy banana will let you know how it goes also doing orange peel to make orange powder

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 28, 2020 @ 6:54

      I hope you love them like my guys do!

  • Tad Dec 16, 2019 @ 12:23

    Is there any way to keep dehydrated bananas from tasting so strong?
    Thanks!

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 17, 2019 @ 9:08

      Dehydrating fruit usually concentrates the sugar/flavor, so probably not.

    • Cheryl A Pierson Aug 28, 2021 @ 12:45

      I would think if you soaked them in cold water for a few minutes it would work to make them “not so strong”

  • Elizabeth Sep 4, 2019 @ 2:21

    Incredibly, this article really helped me, and this article is very easy to follow and not complicated. So can’t wait to try. I look forward to other recipes.❤❤❤

  • wataba isaac Apr 3, 2019 @ 21:27

    thanks it was helpful but my question is what is the angle of ripples for dehydrated bananas

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 4, 2019 @ 14:03

      You can cut them in any direction you like. Is that what you mean?

  • Contessa P Jan 5, 2019 @ 16:42

    I am currently making dehydrated bananas right now. The book that came with my dehydrator suggest using a honey/water mix so I used that. I want to make sure I dehydrate them enough without them going bad. It’s my first time. Should I go by the cooking time or look? I don’t know how they should look. I will let y’all know how they turned out with the honey/water mix.

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 5, 2019 @ 16:44

      Dehydrating times are so variable, and dependent upon things like the humidity. I’d use both. They should feel dry to the touch, but still pliable.

  • Duane Dec 28, 2018 @ 12:57

    How long do you leave them in lemon juice before placing on trays?

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 5, 2019 @ 16:42

      Just while I’m slicing. Not long at all.

  • Jay Dec 2, 2018 @ 19:00

    Hi,

    Thanks for your nice article. Just wondering lemon juice acts like a preservative or serves some other function.

    Will dipping it in honey serve the same purpose?

    Do all types of banana give similar results or are smaller ones I’ve better than the normal larger ones.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 4, 2018 @ 14:20

      It’s not necessary for preserving the bananas. It helps (a bit) with discoloration and gives it the flavor we like. I’ve never tried dipping them in honey, but that sounds like it could turn into a sticky mess. (If you try it, let me know!)

      I’ve used both full-sized and apple bananas; both work equally well.

    • Contessa P Jan 5, 2019 @ 16:45

      My dehydrator recipe book said to dehydrate bananas use a 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup water mixture. Dip the bananas, drain, and then dehydrate. I am currently doing them right now and I thought they would be a mess but they are not. I will let you know how they came out.

  • Linda Dollak Nov 17, 2018 @ 4:45

    I have a dehydrator and will try dehydrating bananas. Do I dehydrate the bananas while green, slightly ripe or totally ripe? Eating raw green bananas don’t taste very good, so I would think dehydrated green ones would not taste good either. Thank you.

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 23, 2018 @ 13:31

      Ripe, but not mushy.

  • Monique B Oct 1, 2018 @ 12:19

    Hi Kris, just tried this and I have to tell you, these banana slices lasted less than a week. Don’t know how many pounds I started with but we went through them like nothing else. Don’t like the rock hard ones you get in the store but these are AWESOME!

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 1, 2018 @ 18:51

      Glad to hear that! My family loves the m.

  • SUSAN ALLEY Sep 25, 2018 @ 12:06

    I spray my dehydrating trays lightly with ‘Pam’

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 17, 2018 @ 9:39

      I prefer not to use Pam, but I imagine a light coating of olive oil could work, too.

      • Cheryl A Pierson Aug 28, 2021 @ 12:47

        Coconut oil will taste yummy too!

  • Chris Aug 5, 2018 @ 14:20

    Aloha! Mahalo for sharing your recipe, the only question I had was do you use anything on top the grate to lay the bananas on, parchment or wax paper etc? Had tried drying bananas on cookie cooling racks in the oven over a pan but they wanted to stick. Just bought a dehydrator and didn’t know if they would need any additional help to release Fromm the trays.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 5, 2018 @ 16:33

      The dehydrator I use (Excalibur) has bendy sheets of perforated plastic. The bananas peel off that pretty well. I think the flexibility in the sheets helps. I wouldn’t use wax paper or anything — that will prevent air from flowing. Is there an owner’s manual you can look at for suggestions?

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 18:53

    These make a yummy snack and were easy to make.

  • Paula Johnstone-Whitehawk Aug 11, 2017 @ 3:20

    Just picked up a lot of Bananas and was wondering how they would dehydrate. So good timing! I am getting right to it. Good article. Thanks.

  • Jennifer L. Jan 15, 2017 @ 10:39

    Okay, we live on the big island and we get tons of bananas from our “banana forest.” I tried drying them once and felt pretty happy with the results when they were done; however, they went bad pretty fast and our jars of dried fruit went moldy. I expect it has to do with the ambient moisture here. How do you store them? I am about to start another batch today since we have about a million bananas on my counter looking at me longingly. Maybe keep them in the fridge? Any other ways you use up all the bananas? I am, very unfortunately, allergic to the lovely bananas! How can that be? I don’t understand it at all. I have two big kids that currently eat bananas and it’s a lot of work for them to keep up. We had an easier time with an abundance of raspberries in our garden in Santa Cruz! Those never went bad! I am going to try the lemon juice too this time–I didn’t do that last time and it was fine, but maybe it might help on the preservation side of things.

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 15, 2017 @ 11:20

      Aloha Jennifer! Is it possible that your bananas weren’t dry enough? If too much moisture remains, they will mold. We rarely keep our bananas for more than a couple of weeks, as my kids and husband go through them very quickly! I’ve had other fruit mold, though, and I feel like it’s because I didn’t let them dry enough. One last idea is to store them with a desiccant pack. (This is the ticket to storing grains, too!) I make my own: https://www.attainable-sustainable.net/desiccant/

    • Ken Sep 26, 2019 @ 3:39

      My bananas stick to the plastic tray and hard to get of what am I doing wrong

      • Kris Bordessa Sep 26, 2019 @ 10:30

        They do stick a bit. I pick up the flexible trays and bend them to help “release” the bananas.

  • Wanda Dec 4, 2016 @ 9:39

    How do you do this with not having or affording a dehydrator?
    Can it be done in an oven?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 4, 2016 @ 9:41

      It can be done in a low oven, yes. But there’s the expense of running an oven for hours at a time, then. Another alternative when the weather is good? You can do it in your CAR. (Really.)

      • Anne Reichert Feb 8, 2021 @ 10:30

        In my car??? I’m game! Any idea the parameters?

        • Kris Bordessa Feb 21, 2021 @ 17:09

          LOL, an adventurous soul! There are so many variables — the temp, the color of the car…. Maybe pop a thermometer in there first to get a feel for how hot it is?

        • Cheryl A Pierson Aug 28, 2021 @ 12:55

          I dehydrate a lot in my car. On pans with my plastic bendy trays I’ve collected from others broken/burn up dehydrators & put them in the front & rear window. If it’s hot outside, be careful to have a window down just a fine crack so the moisture inside doesn’t heat up & explode your window.. but not open enough to let the bugs in.. how long it takes depends on how thick it is & how hot outside is.. in Arizona I can dehydrate in my car windows even in the winter. I prefer the car over my oven as my mom used to so..

  • John Martins Nov 29, 2016 @ 12:36

    I’ve always wanted to make dehydrated bananas, and it seems easier to dehydrate them than other forms of fruit. Is there a way to do this without a dehydrator? Could I use my oven instead? I’ve tried making beef jerky in the oven and it came out okay. But, I disliked the amount of time I had to leave the oven running.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 4, 2016 @ 9:42

      It can be done in a low oven, yes. But there’s the expense of running an oven for hours at a time, then. Another alternative when the weather is good? You can do it in your CAR. (Really.) I would experiment with fruit before doing meat that way, though.

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