How to Cook and Eat Dandelion Greens

by heather

dandelionThis time of year, many people tear their hair out trying to get the dandelions out of their grass, but I love them. Dandelions are a very sunny, happy flower, and right now my yard is full of them.

Want to know something else about dandelions?

According to Mountain Rose Herbs (one of my most favorite companies ever!), dandelions are chock full of nutrition. Half a cup of dandelion greens contain more calcium than a glass of milk, and has more iron than spinach. The leaves have more vitamin A than carrots. And, they’re also packed full of protein and fiber.

Who knew those little weeds in our yard were so good for us?

I wanted to offer up some ideas and recipes for eating dandelions. After all, they’re really good for us, and they’re really free, growing right in our yards!

Caution: Make sure you do NOT eat dandelions taken from a yard that has applied pesticides.

How to Eat Dandelions

I can’t wait to try some of these ideas!

  • Mountain Rose Herbs recommends eating dandelion greens in early spring. They’re best before the flower begins to bloom. If you wait too long, the leaves can have a bitter taste. Simply tear off the leaves, wash, and eat them immediately with other greens in your salad!
  • Mountain Rose Herbs also suggests stir-frying the leaves with garlic and olive oil, and eating them on pasta. YUM!
  • If your dandelion greens are mature (that is, more than 4-5 inches), they’re going to have a very strong, bitter flavor. You’ll want to boil them. Backwoods Home suggests boiling the leaves in water for five minutes, and then eating them hot with salt and butter and/or lemon juice. You could also cook them with spinach or turnip greens.
  • If you do boil the leaves, Mountain Rose Herbs recommends saving the water. The tonic is great to drink as it aids your digestive system.
  • You can also eat the flowers. They’re excellent mixed with yogurt, or even fried!
  • You can also make coffee out of the dandelion root. How cool is that? You can click here for the recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Last Word…

Well, I have to say I’m super excited. My yard is FULL of dandelions, and I’m going out right now to pick some for dinner! I’ll let you all know how it turns out. 🙂

Do any of you have dandelion recipes? If so, I’d love to hear them!

Post-Publication Addition: 15 Minutes Later…

Ok, I know I just posted this about 15 minutes ago, but I just HAD to go pick some dandelion greens and try them myself.

My thoughts?


I picked small dandelion greens (less than 4-5 inches) and sauteed them on the stove for about 3 minutes. I used olive oil and lemon, and then put Mountain Rose’s Himalayan Pink Salt on right before I ate them.

It. Was. Delicious. Just like spinach, only better.

Here are some pictures.

My dandelion greens

My dandelion greens


Cooked dandelion.

Cooked dandelion.

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April 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm


JNUrbanski April 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Brilliant, thanks! I have a load of dandelions in my garden.

Earth Girl Knits (Emily) May 8, 2010 at 12:42 am

I read somewhere that early European settlers took the dandelion with them over the pond for just this reason: they are healthy and nutritious. I think that if more people knew that healthy nutritious food was growing all over their lawns, they would be happy to “weed” them out and throw them into a pan instead of a lawn waste bag.

John Keatts November 30, 2013 at 11:29 am

Those people with the knowledge and willingness to eat Dandelions will be better for it.

Bob May 10, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Going out to pick some right now!

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