Simple Dandelion Greens Recipe

Dandelions are many things to many people. For some, they are a pesky weed that threatens to spoil their pristine green lawns and with which they wage annual warfare each spring. For others (particularly the under-5s), they are a pretty flower just perfect to be picked for bouquets and tied into chains for necklaces, and once they turn into seedy white puffballs, they acquire the magic birthday candle power to grant whatever you wish for as you blow.

Recipe developer Susan Olayinka (and many others like her) take yet another view of dandelions, seeing them as a source of tasty — and even potentially free — food. Olayinka notes that prior to making this dish, she had "just tried the tea," but she was interested in exploring other culinary uses for this plant. Although she says, "Many people think they are just weeds," she is aware that "Dandelion is amazing for you and [is] said to be detoxifying, too." If that alone isn't reason enough to try this recipe, we think you'll find that dandelion greens are also quite flavorful, too.

Gather the ingredients for dandelion greens

To make these sautéed dandelion greens, you'll first need to check your pantry for some of the necessary ingredients. You'll need olive oil for cooking, garlic powder and pepper for seasoning, and some Parmesan cheese to finish things off.

The main thing you'll need, however, is the dandelion greens themselves. Olayinka says that she used to grow her own, but admits she did buy the ones she's using here. "Farmers markets tend to have [them]," she says, but also advises you can "just ask your neighbors" or even check in your own yard. As she points out, dandelions and their greens "are so common in people's gardens."

Some tips for using wild-harvested dandelion

If you are picking dandelion greens when they are young and fresh, they usually won't be too bitter. If you're well into dandelion season, and the greens you've harvested are more mature, Michigan State University suggested that you may wish to parboil them for five minutes before sautéing to tame the bitter flavor.

You should also be careful not to pick dandelion greens from any area where they might have been sprayed with pesticides. Picking them from alongside a road is also a major no-no, unless you like the taste of auto exhaust, and you'll probably want to avoid picking the greens from any area that your neighbor's cat favors as an alternate litter box. Wherever you get your greens from, needless to say, you should definitely wash them thoroughly before using, then pat or spin them dry.

Sauté, then season the dandelion greens

Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high, then add the greens when the oil is hot but not smoking. Sauté the greens on their own for three minutes, then sprinkle them with the seasonings and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Continue to cook, stirring for another minute.

Once the greens are done, transfer them to a dish, and sprinkle them with the Parmesan. This cheese, Olayinka says, "just add[s] some saltiness."

Dandelion greens make a great side dish

If you cook these greens using the amounts specified in the recipe, you'll have a nice little "taster," or perhaps just enough greens to top with a poached egg for a solo meatless meal. If you want to serve them as a side dish for a family meal, though, you may wish to double or triple up on the ingredients called for in this single-serving recipe. Olayinka says these dandelion greens make a great accompaniment for "any type of meat, like baked chicken or grilled steak." You could use them as you'd use other types of greens like spinach, with Olayinka suggesting adding them to a dish such as chickpea curry.

Simple Dandelion Greens Recipe
5 from 96 ratings
These easy dandelion greens are the best kind of side dish you can put together to pair with baked chicken or grilled steak.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sautéed dandelion greens in bowl
Total time: 6 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces dandelion greens
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Pour the oil into a frying pan, and heat it on medium-high.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the dandelion greens, and sauté them for 3 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the greens with the garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.
  4. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Transfer the greens to a serving dish, and top them with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Calories per Serving 292
Total Fat 23.5 g
Saturated Fat 8.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 25.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 0.7 g
Sodium 555.2 mg
Protein 14.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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