Favorite Stinging Nettles Recipes

5+ Recipes for Stinging Nettles

From a simple sauté to substituted stinging nettles for spinach and other greens in your favorite recipes, find a delicious way to cook up these spring "weeds." Remember, when cooking with nettles, you always want to blanch them first (see How to Blanch Nettles for specifics) to tame their sting.

Want to know more? Check out All About Stinging Nettles.

  • 01 of 06

    Sautéed Stinging Nettles

    Sautéed Nettles
    Sautéed Nettles. Photo © Molly Watson

    Giving nettles a quick turn in a pan with a bit of oil and garlic isn't the most common way to eat these leaves, but it is delicious. They end up with an ​intense nettle flavor with this preparation, so a little can go a long way. This is definitely a recipe for nettle lovers! See the recipe here.


  • 02 of 06

    Stinging Nettles Pesto

    Stinging Nettle Pesto. Photo © Molly Watson

    Stinging Nettle Pesto is a giant burst of spring flavor, and since you need to blanch nettles anyway, you end up with a pesto that stays bright green (the process of blanching both takes away the sting and sets the green color of the leaves). Toss it with pasta or bread it on toasted bread for an easy bruschetta appetizer. A great recipe for people new to nettles, since their intense earthy flavor is softened with garlic and oil and cheese. Simply use blanched nettles (squeezed as dry as...MORE possible after blanching) in place of the basil in this pesto recipe.


  • 03 of 06

    Stinging Nettles Pizza

    Stinging Nettles Pizza
    Stinging Nettles Pizza. Photo © Molly Watson

    A few nettles on rolled out pizza dough and a bit of mild and melting cheese makes for a wonderfully tasty, if slightly unconventional, pizza. The nettles add a great nutty flavor that goes particularly well with Pecorino cheese. If you make this for people unfamiliar with these greens, they may well ask why the spinach on this pizza tastes so good. Use your favorite pizza dough, brush it with olive oil, top it with blanched nettles (squeezed dry, of course), sprinkle on the Pecorino or Parmesan...MORE cheese, and bake!


  • 04 of 06

    Stinging Nettles Ravioli

    Stinging Nettle Ravioli. Photo © Molly Watson

    Stuffed pasta may take a bit of time to make, but stinging nettles make a very tasty filling for ravioli. All they need is a bit of melted butter and a generous grating of Parmesan when serving them. Much like with the pesto and the pizza, the additional flavors in these ravioli soften the intensity of nettles without overwhelming them. You can still taste the nettles but in a most pleasing way. Use this recipe for spinach filling, substituting nettles for the spinach, and follow the ravioli-maki...MOREng directions here.


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  • 05 of 06

    Stinging Nettles Soup

    Stinging Nettles Soup. Photo © Molly Watson

    Slurping stinging nettles soup is like eating a bowlful of springtime. So much just plain green flavor. It's a bowl of chlorophyll. It makes you feel like you are full of sunshine turned to green energy. Add a swirl of cream to highlight the nutty flavor in there too.

    Or, mix it up and make things even nuttier by making this Stinging Nettles Sunchoke Soup instead.


  • 06 of 06

    Use Stinging Nettles Like Spinach

    Spinach Rice Pilaf. Photo © Molly Watson

    Stinging nettles, once blanched and squeezed dry, can be used in place of spinach in recipes in which the spinach is cooked. A few favorite examples include Spinach Lasagna and Spinach Rice Pilaf. Stinging nettles also work well as the green in Greens In Yogurt and Cumin.