10 Recipes That Use Dandelion Greens

updated Mar 16, 2021
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Have you tried eating dandelion greens yet? Yes, dandelion greens — the toothy-looking leaves of those small, sunny, invasive flowers that overtake fields and yards every spring and fall, are completely edible. The flowers can be harvested for wine, and the leafy greens are actually, believe it or not, delicious. They are also super versatile and cheap. Like a heartier version of arugula, they lend a punchy bitterness to salads when raw, but that bite is tempered somewhat when they are cooked. Raw dandelion greens are also packed with iron and are a good source of prebiotics.

And don’t worry: You don’t have to let your lawn go wild or forage in the nearest public park to enjoy them. Dandelion greens are widely available at farmers markets. They’re also showing up at more and more grocery stores, and if you’re a member of a CSA, you might even be lucky enough to find a bunch in your box. While dandelion greens are available year-round, they’re at their best in the spring and early summer, when the less bitter, more tender young leaves can be harvested. 

But once you snag a bunch, how do you actually use them? Like many other bitter greens, they are incredibly versatile. They can be eaten raw in salads and blitzed into a simple pesto sauce that can be tossed with a pot of pasta, as a topper for Buddha bowls, or sandwich spread. When using them raw, I like to tame their peppery bite by combining them with more tender and mild leafy greens, like spinach or lettuce.

Dandelion greens also hold up well to cooking. You can sauté them with a little garlic and a squeeze of lemon for a simple side, toss them into a stir-fry, or try them in a soup. In fact, dandelion greens can be used any time you’re making something that calls for kale, chard, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, or beet greens. Ready to give them a try? Here are 10 ways to cook with dandelion greens.

1 / 10
Southern Greens and Biscuits
In addition to collards and chard, this recipe also uses mustard greens, though I recommend using dandelion greens in their place. They cook down until they are buttery and tender and infused with the flavors of deliciously salty, meaty country ham. Like any good pot of greens they’re spiked with vinegar and finished with red pepper flakes.
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2 / 10
Dandelion Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Toasted pumpkin seeds, acidic lemon juice, and salty Parm team up to balance the spice of dandelion greens. Toss the pesto with warm pasta, top is on a rice bowl, or use it as a spread on sandwiches.
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3 / 10
Crispy White Beans with Greens and Poached Egg
On nights I don't feel like cooking or have a ton of greens that need to get used up asap, this is the super simple dinner I turn to. Any greens are fair game here. Whether you use all dandelion greens or combine them with the other greens in the fridge, you can't go wrong.
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4 / 10
Hanger Steak with Dandelion, Arugula, and Grana Padano
This salad has spicy, bitter, sturdy leaves that won’t wilt. A punchy, assertive dressing and rich steak partner together to balance the peppery bite of the greens.
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5 / 10
Bucatini with French Breakfast Radishes, Bacon & Greens
This springy pasta is a favorite anytime I have leftover radish greens, and I can tell you from experience, it is just as delicious with equally peppery dandelion greens.
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6 / 10
Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls with Crispy Chickpeas and Chopped Pesto
Peppery dandelion greens made such a good stand-in for kale. The greens get a quick sauté and make a nice partner to briny olives and roasted sweet potatoes.
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7 / 10
Wilted Mixed Greens with Bacon
Inspired by spinach salad, dandelion greens make a delicious addition to this warm, wilted salad with bacon.
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8 / 10
Scrambled Eggs & Mustard Greens on Toast
Dandelion greens are a great friend to eggs. You'll want about a cup of dandelion greens (which you'll swap for the mustard greens in this recipe) per serving, because they cook down a whole lot.
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9 / 10
Lentil Dal with Hearty Greens
Dandelion greens make a nice substitute for the beet greens in this recipe. They have a similar taste that partners well with the rich, creaminess of the dal.
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10 / 10
Easy Skillet Kale with Lemon & Garlic
Use this recipe as your template for turning a couple bunches of dandelion greens into a reliably quick and delicious weeknight side.
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