Dandelion Recipes: The Nutritious, Delicious, Edible Weed| The Old Farmer's Almanac

Dandelion Recipes: A Nutritious, Delicious, Edible Weed

Primary Image
dandelion recipes, how to cook dandelions, dandelions in a field.

Make your own dandelion greens, jelly, wine, and more!

Print Friendly and PDF
No content available.

Did you know that you can eat dandelions? Instead of mowing them down, harvest them for greens, soup, jelly, pesto, and even wine! Learn more about dandelion’s benefits and find a selection of dandelion recipes to try. Consider adding dandelions to your diet!

Weed or Food? The Dandelion is Both!

Native to Eurasia, this humble member of the aster family has traveled far and wide. Believe it or not, the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) was not always considered a weed. Cultures worldwide thought of the dandelion as a “common herb” and have used every part of the plant as both nutritious food and powerful medicine. 

The dandelion is rich in nutrients, including protein, calcium, iron, and Vitamins A and C.

Dandelions are good for digestion and may ease rheumatism or liver problems. In fact, one of the plant’s common nicknames in French—pissenlit (pee-the-bed)—attests to dandelion’s use in traditional healing cultures as a valuable diuretic agent (rich in potassium). Learn more about the health benefits of eating dandelions.

Dandelion Recipes

Dandelions are so abundant that they’re easy to harvest! And most of the plant can be used—flowers, leaves, and roots. Yes, even the flowers can be eaten!

Eat Your (Dandelion) Greens

As with most greens, the plant leaves are best when they are young and tender. Ideally, gather dandelion leaves before the plant blooms, as they will become increasingly bitter and tough.

Young dandelion leaves make an excellent addition to salads and bring a sharp taste to the mix. 

Or, the young leaves can be cooked like spinach sautéed in oil and garlic like many leafy greens.

Our favorite way to eat the greens? Grind them into Dandelion Pesto!

Dandelion Pesto
Dandelion Pesto

Eat Your Flowers!

One of our favorite recipes is a Dandelion Syrup (also called Dandelion Honey), which you make from the flowers. It’s great over pancakes and waffles or mixed with oatmeal. Or stir it into tea or a carbonated drink, which is an old-style European favorite!

Pick newly yellow dandelion heads (ones on short stems) and try these yummy Fried Dandelion Blossoms.

Fried Dandelion Blossoms.
Photo: Lyudmila Mikhailovskaya/Shutterstock

For something spreadable, try Dandelion Jelly!  Harvest 1 quart of bright, fresh dandelion blossoms! 

Dandelion Jelly. Photo by minadezhda/Shutterstock.
 Dandelion Jelly
Photo by minadezhda/Shutterstock.

Dandelion Drinks

To wash those down, try a “spirit” of spring, like Pink Dandelion Wine or Dent-De-Lion Wine. Dandelions have been used to make these brandy-like drinks for centuries.

PhotoVuk Saric/Shutterstock

Even the dandelion roots can be used for making a caffeine-free coffee-like drink. For a refreshingly different brew in the morning, try Dandelion Root Coffee.

A couple of safety notes: Obviously, only eat dandelions from areas that don’t use chemical weedkillers; we’d also avoid public areas where dogs may have peed on them. If you are foraging on public land, it’s harvest sparingly so you don’t disturb the plant population and leave plenty for the pollinators! Learn more about safety harvesting dandelions.

Do you eat your weeds? Ever made food or drink with dandelions? Share your recipes or comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

No content available.