Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto with walnuts is a unique twist on a traditional pesto with a subtly bitter and peppery taste. So good in pasta or on a toast!

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Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

Hello everyone – happy Monday!

I have few very important questions to ask. Do you have a lawn / backyard? Do you have dandelions you want to get rid of? I’ve got some great news for you then! Put your lawnmower aside – you don’t need it today!

Instead, grab the scissors because we are going to make this Dandelion Pesto! Sounds crazy? May be a bit. Certainly, crazy delicious, too!

Edible Weeds

Indeed, dandelions are perfectly edible weeds. The yellow petals from and the leaves can be eaten in salad, and the leaves can also be sautéed like spinach. You can also use roots (I haven’t tried it.) Don’t use the stems though as they taste bitter. Also, consumption of stems in large quantities can be toxic (I don’t think you will be enjoying the bitter taste that much anyway!)

Health Benefits and Side Affects

Dandelions have many potential health benefits. They contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene and polyphenols. Some studies suggest they may help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, boost immune system, and keep your skin healthy.

However, please keep in mind there are side effects. So you should avoid consuming dandelions if you have certain health conditions (Including blood and stomach conditions.) Also, It could cause allergic reactions, stomach discomfort, and some other side effects. Before eating dandelions please make a research or consult with your doctor. Havoc in The Kitchen cannot be considered the complete and reliable health advice as I do not have any medical education, so I am only highlighting some possible side effects. As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to consume this pesto in moderation, especially if you are making it first time.

How to Choose Dandelions?

First, collect dandelions growing far from the road (Fields and your backyard are some great options!) Avoid any dandelions that have been sprayed with fertilizer or any other toxic sprays. Try collecting small leaves as they taste less bitter. Do it as early as possible – do not wait until they become mature. You can always sample a little piece before making a recipe.

How Does Dandelion Pesto Taste?

This Dandelion Pesto tastes delightful! Dandelion leaves have a unique flavor, both earthy and bitter. To me, they taste something between radicchio (or endive) and arugula. The pesto has a delicate and palatable bitter aftertaste. Of course, it could be more subtle or more distinctive depending on the leaves taste. Combined with garlic, lemon, walnuts, and olive oil, it’s super delicious. Don’t want to use dandelions? Try arugula – I think have something in common.

How to Use Dandelion Pesto?

Use it as any other Dandelion Pesto. Pasta, on a toast, an addition to your soup – these are few of possible uses.

I hope you like this idea, and you will give it a try soon. Please let me know in the comment section or on my Instagram if you try it. And don’t forget to check this Pistachio Pesto.


Dandelion Pesto
Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: Dip


Prep time


Cooking time



Dandelion Pesto with walnuts is a unique twist on a traditional pesto with a delightful subtly bitter and peppery taste. So good in pasta or on a toast! Please note there are some side effects, and dandelions should not not be consumed by people with some certain health conditions. This blog post is only a brief reference and cannot be considered the complete and reliable source as Havoc In the Kitchen does not obtain any medical education to give you an advice. Thus make a research or consult with your doctor prior to consuming dandelions.


  • a small bunch of freshly picked dandelion leaves (not the stems) (~2 cups chopped)

  • ~ 1/2 to 2/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • ~ 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • ~ 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • ~1/4 tsp. salt or to taste


  • Quickly rinse the dandelion leaves and drain.
  • Place all ingredients except the Parmesan into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. If it’s too thick, slowly add a bit more olive oil or even water.
  • Add the Parmesan and continue to blend, until the mixture has a chunky (Like I made) or smooth consistency. For a smooth version, you might need to incorporate more olive oil or water. For a chucky and drier version, use more nuts (2/3 cup).
  • Refrigerate and eat within 3 days. Enjoy!

26 thoughts on “Dandelion Pesto

  1. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says:

    We have a backyard, but unfortunately we don’t have any dandelions. :( So sad, because this has to be THE MOST creative pesto I’ve ever seen!! And I love that you added walnuts – YUM!! I’m going to have to go on a neighborhood scavenger hunt for some dandelions so I can make this recipe!!!
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Healthy Tuna Pasta SaladMy Profile

  2. Liz says:

    I’ve eaten the greens in salads but never used them for anything else. I’m happy to report that our lawn is dandelion free, but I’ll think of your yummy pesto next time one pops up!

  3. Katherine | Love In My Oven says:

    My kiddos love collecting dandelions for me and giving me the little bunches of flowers! Now I can keep their flower bouquets and eat them, haha! I’ve never thought to use the greens in a pesto but I’d certainly be willing to try!

  4. Raymund says:

    Ohhhh I never knew you could eat that, I just mow them and throw them away. Now when spring comes in my way, I will definitely try this one out, very creative Ben

  5. David @ Spiced says:

    Interesting! I remember years ago going on a hunt for dandelion greens in a grocery store – I wanted to make some recipe from Food and Wine magazine, and it took about 5 stops to find dandelion greens. Anyways, I’m intrigued about this idea as I do enjoy pesto. However, these days, the dandelions are getting yanked and chucked out. I can see the similarities to arugula though!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Cheesy Crescent RollsMy Profile

  6. Marissa says:

    This is such a creative pesto, Ben! I love it. So tasty and nutritious. I’ll be on the lookout for dandelion greens at our farmers market.

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