Harvesting and Eating Dandelion Flowers

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You’ve likely seen a field of yellow dandelion flowers if you’ve been outside lately. These “weeds” from our lawns are edible and delicious; learn how to harvest them and use dandelion flowers in your food!

If you've been outside lately, you've likely seen a field of yellow dandelion flowers. These "weeds" are edible and delicious, learn how to harvest them and how to use them in your food! #dandelions #wildedibles #foraging #dandelionflowers #dandeliontea #dandelionrecipes

Dandelion Flowers: The Weed You Should Be Eating

Guest post was written by Holly Jessen.

Dandelions are a hugely underappreciated plant. Where some people see annoying weeds, others see beauty with their bright yellow flowers, a free source of food, and even fun!

Here in the Midwest, it’s the perfect time to harvest and eat dandelion flowers in the late spring, or early summer. The entire plant is edible, from the root of the dandelion to the blossom. As long as you can find some that aren’t sprayed with pesticides, eating dandelions raw or cooked is safe.

The key, for most parts of the dandelion, is to eat it early when the plant is small and less bitter. For the dandelion leaves, I’ve read it’s best to eat before the plant develops flowers. When eating the flowers, try to pick ones that have shorter stems. Don’t worry about over-harvesting or picking too much. These little perennial plants will be back again next year!

–Get the Quick Start Guide to Foraging here.

Dandelion Flower

Why Are Dandelions Important?

Dandelion plants are among the earliest plants to bloom, making wonderful early food for the bees. As long as they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, they should be safe to eat. If you aren’t sure about your source, it’d be better to pick the ones in your own yard.

Dandelions can be used for meals, to make tinctures, to make tea, to make jelly, and much more!


Eating Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are best in the early spring. I quickly discovered that the most time-consuming part of harvesting dandelion leaves is sorting through to remove grass and other debris. But the good news is, you have a free source of food, and all it costs is your time to pick it and clean it.

I decided to prepare the greens in two ways. Steamed with some coconut aminos and garlic salt and fresh in a salad. I was surprised to learn that steaming the dandelion leaves made them much more bitter. In my opinion, dandelion leaves taste best uncooked in a salad.

My daughter happily ate her salad with nothing but dandelion leaves with sprinkles of dandelion petals pulled from the blossoms, topped with a simple olive oil dressing. For my husband, I mixed a few leaves in with a romaine lettuce salad with other toppings. He said he didn’t even taste the dandelion leaves, which, for him, is high praise.

— Enjoy your dandelion greens with one of these 5 Amazingly Simple Homemade Salad Dressings.

dandelion blossoms

Dandelion Blossom Recipes

My daughter got even more excited about cooking with dandelions the next day. She wrote and illustrated a menu that included dandelion tea (or refreshments, as she labeled it) and dandelion fritters made with the blossoms. She also helped me with harvesting and the all-important job of counting the blooms. This project generated a lot of self-led learning for her!

To harvest dandelion blossoms, pick the head and remove the stems. Rinse carefully and watch for ants and other insects hidden in the flowers. Drain and dry on a towel.

— Learn more about Washing Produce (The Frugal Way!)

dandelion tea

Dandelion Blossom Drinks

To make Dandelion Tea, boil the blossoms in water. I wanted weak tea, so I did a handful in about two cups of water. It wasn’t as bitter as I expected. We tried iced dandelion tea with lemon juice and dried stevia leaf the next day. It was delicious! This would also taste good with lime and whatever sweetener you prefer.

— Learn how to Make Your Own Tea Bags

Making dandelion fritters

Dandelion Blossom Fritters 

The dandelion fritters were a hit with my daughter. We tried them two ways, half breaded in cornmeal batter and the other half in cauliflower flour batter. The milk I had on hand was unsweetened almond milk. My daughter has some food intolerances, so I cook gluten and dairy-free for her, but these recipes would work with multiple types of flour or milk. If you are out of milk, water would work fine too.

We liked the best cornmeal dandelion fritters, but the cauliflower ones were good too. The difference I noticed was that the cauliflower flour became very thick and goopy, which makes sense, and I needed more milk to get the right consistency to dip the blossoms into the batter. It didn’t fry up quite as crisp, either. I think next time, I’ll try almond flour batter.

This recipe is that it can be adjusted to fit your tastes. I added milk a tablespoon at a time and tested a thick cornmeal batter, with 1/4 cup milk, compared to a thinner cornmeal batter with 1/3 cup milk. We liked the thicker batter best because we could taste less of the bitter green part around the dandelion petals. My daughter called them dandelion pancakes.

I found it easiest to fold a small handful of blossoms into the batter and then drop them by spoon, one or two blossoms at a time, into a pan covered with oil. Ensure your pan is hot enough to sizzle the batter when you drop it in but don’t let it get too hot. I tend to start with my pan a bit higher than medium heat and then turn it down to medium or lower after I put the food in. A fork works well to flip the fritters. I used avocado oil, but olive, coconut, or another would also work.

dandelion fritters

Dandelion Blossom Fritters Recipe

This basic recipe can be easily adapted for your favorite ingredients. Choose whatever flour, milk, and seasonings best fit your family’s taste and/or food restrictions.

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dandelion fritters
5 from 1 vote

Dandelion Fritters Recipe

Calories 310 kcal


  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup dandelion blossoms washed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • one egg
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil for frying


  1. Wash the blossoms, watching carefully for insects.
  2. Dry, blossom up, on a towel.
  3. Mix up dry ingredients.
  4. Add egg and milk to the dry ingredients.
  5. Heat oil, covering the bottom of a pan.
  6. Dip or fold blossoms into the batter and drop, one or two at a time, into the hot pan.
  7. Fry until golden brown, flip and fry the other side.
  8. Use paper towel to soak up some of the extra oil

Recipe Notes

This is a basic recipe that can be easily adapted to your favorite ingredients. Choose whatever flour, milk, and seasonings best fits your family’s taste and/or food restrictions.

Nutrition Facts
Dandelion Fritters Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 310 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 1252mg54%
Potassium 514mg15%
Carbohydrates 60g20%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 8482IU170%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 244mg24%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
picked dandelions

Next up we’re going to try dandelion bread or biscuits made with dandelion flowers. I’ve seen several recipes online I’d like to modify to be gluten and dairy-free. Another fun project is making homemade modeling clay-colored with dandelion blossoms. It smells lovely and is such a pretty color.

—Get started baking gluten-free with Merissa’s ebook – Frugal Gluten Free.

There are so many fun and tasty ways to use dandelion flowers, sometimes referred to as lion’s tooth. Next year, I’m starting even sooner in the spring to cook with dandelions as long as possible. Long live the humble but powerful dandelion flowers.

Dandelion Greens in a bowl

More Frugal Food

Have you eaten dandelions before? What are your favorite ways to enjoy this flower?

Like other herbs and foods, eating dandelions can have side effects for certain people. Please contact your healthcare provider if you aren’t sure about eating dandelions.

Holly and her nurse husband have one child. She is a journalist who quit her job three and a half years ago when her husband became a travel nurse, making her a stay-at-home traveling mom. Now they are settling down in Minnesota after having lived in five cities in four states.

Do you have a recipe or article to share? Send Merissa Your Best Tips and you could be published!

This post on Dandelion Flower was originally posted on Little House Living in May 2020 . It has been updated as of March 2023.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Sounds good, I will share . I make a danieloin salve. Even helps with itching I found out. (1c danieloin flowers simmered in 1/2c olive oil, strain .place back on stove add 1/2c coconut oil.melt down then add1.1/2 cup of wax. I like bee wax but any kind will do. Mix in base ingr. &melt down. Pour in storage jar. Will look yellowish and stores for a long time. It is a bit oily at first but dries quickly

    1. Oh I had forgotten I bought some dandelion salve as a gift once. Now I’m excited to try making my own! Thank you.

  2. Hello, Merissa. It has been awhile since I wrote another thank you not to you. I love it that you are in touch with us often, although not every offering of yours pertains to me. At 84, and alone, I don’t play with paper dolls any more, but I remember a lot of days doing that. However today, I’d like to share with you a very old memory, f rom back in the early 1940s. My grandmother raised me, and I remember her going out into the yard and picking what she called a “mess of dandelion greens.” A handfuil of the little flower buds were picked for her canary. Thank you for bringing back a lot of sweet memories for me. Love you!!

  3. When I was a child in the 1960’s my mom had me and siblings gather dandelions: the greens for salads, the blossoms for her homemade dandelion wine! As children we would braid the flowers into wreaths for our hair. Fabulous ‘weeds!”

  4. hello Merissa
    ,thank your for your Inspiration to cook with dandelions ,their were a few new to me,so I will try them as soon as possible.
    I alway make Jelly with the blossoms of the dandelions .and in the potato salat i use the pedicel it isn`t as bitter as you think it is very delicious.
    have a nice day


  5. Thank you for the step-by-step instructions for the harvest and preparation of dandelion for culinary use, I found that incredibly helpful. They are such joyful, photographic little things and it’s a shame that we often fail to notice them or simply think of them as “weeds.” I’ve been meaning to try dandelion for years but never quite got around to it. I’m officially inspired. I think I’ll start with a lovely tea!

    1. Just finished canning our first batch of dandelion jelly yesterday. Had a family taste test last night and our consensus is that “it tastes like sunshine.”

    2. Hi I have seen dandelion on salads packs,but never tried it ,now I will ,also wish to plant if I can ,this was very helpful 👏👏

  6. My family is from the Puglia region in Italy, I believe that this dish is from that region. We call it Fave e Chicoria.

    My mother would cook the dandelion greens separately until soft and set them aside. Then she would cook the fava beans and mix then together to serve with crusty Italian bread. Below is a summary of what I remember.

    She would start with the dried Fava Beans like any dried legume or bean, She would flavor the water with salt, a garlic clove or two and a bay leaf. When the fava beans were soft to the point that they are able to be mashed like potatoes. They are ready to be served, Mash them up like a puree, add olive oil, mix in the dandelion greens, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and done. I still love this dish to this day.

  7. Hello Merissa, thank you for all that you do and share. I tried dandelions for the first time this spring. I also gave my granddaughter and husband they loved them. I am trying your dandelions fritters recipe.

  8. I love your daughter’s illustration! That’s such a keepsake!
    Thanks for all the great ideas!
    Best wishes always –

  9. Hi Merissa,

    We started making dandelion jelly last year. My husband really likes it on ice cream. There are plenty of recipes online. I don’t make a lot of it, just 2 or 3 medium sized mason jars but it’s enough for us.

    Thanks for all of your great posts and recipes…I have learned a lot from you!

  10. Great article and recipes:) Love the menu…so cute. My granddaughter loved the fritters:)

  11. Combined finely chopped dandelion blossom, violets, spring onion, Vidalia, and papaya seeds (as a peppercorn) to half apple cider vinegar, half white wine for a local spring version of a mignonette for an oyster condiment. The gold and purple were so pretty.

  12. My grandmother and great aunts would go out in the early spring and gather dandelion greens. I know that they were picky about which ones you would gather. If you looked at the end of the leaf it was either pointed or rounded. If I remember correctly the rounded one was the one that they would use. They would use bacon grease and make a dressing with egg and vinegar of some sort. They boiled the greens. They always had this with ham and fried potatoes and boiled eggs. This brings back some memories of childhood times. I find these articles very interesting and I definitely will be trying out some of these new recipes. So far in Indiana it has been to cold for much to bloom yet.

  13. 5 stars
    Dandilions are everywhere in Boulder Co. Visiting my son and his new family and our first grandchild. She will enjoy watching us forage for dandilions in the back yard…..this brought back memories……keep writing and passing on the art of simple living!

    and first

  14. Hi! Loved your article. When I was younger, my mother would boil then saute dandelion greens in garlic and olive oil. She would then take the greens and mix them with mashed potatoes. Sometimes she would make a salad of just the young greens and a vinaigrette.