Dandelion Greens Pesto

Introducing dandelion greens pesto, A nutrient-packed twist on the classic that'll take your taste buds on a wild food adventure. Forget store-bought greens – your backyard is your pantry with this one!

Dandelion greens, those ubiquitous "weeds" popping up everywhere, are nutritional powerhouses brimming with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And guess what? They taste amazing when transformed into a vibrant, emerald-hued pesto.

dandelion greens pesto scaled

This pesto isn't just delicious; it's also super easy to make. Toss your dandelion greens (cleaned, of course!), some nuts, garlic, olive oil, and a sprinkle of magic (okay, maybe it's Parmesan cheese) into a food processor, and blend your way to pesto paradise in minutes. It's the perfect way to impress your friends with your foraging skills.

Harvesting your dandelions:

Dandelions are easily identifiable and abundant. They’re notoriously easy to harvest and simple to clean and use. The entire plant is edible from flowers, leaves, to root.I like the harvest my dandelions from my own garden.  We’re lucky to have a garden where they grow abundantly, without fertilizer, however we also don’t have pets. Make sure you’ve located a safe space that’s free of fertilizer and that is not visited by dogs.


To harvest the entire plant from root, use a weeding fork. I have and can recommend this one. Angel the fork about an inch into the soil to loosen the root, and then carefully pull the entire plant from the ground. If you've harvested your own plants from the root, enjoy this dandelion root latte or some dandelion lemonade. Shake free from dirt and remove any damp or slimy leaves. Ideally, you would harvest dandelion while it’s still young, as it becomes extremely bitter after the leaves become older.

Cleaning dandelions for consumption:

Run greens crowns and green through water, while carefully opening their crowns to be sure you’ve removed any dirt and pests.


Nutritional benefits of dandelion greens:

The greens of the dandelion are highly nutritious, though the entire plant is edible!“One cup of chopped dandelion greens (55 grams) contains approximately:

  • 24.7 calories
  • 5.1 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.5 grams protein
  • 0.4 gram fat
  • 1.9 grams fiber
  • 428 micrograms vitamin K (535 percent DV)
  • 5,588 international units vitamin A (112 percent DV)
  • 19.3 milligrams vitamin C (32 percent DV)
  • 103 milligrams calcium (10 percent DV)
  • 1.7 milligrams iron (9 percent DV)
  • 1.9 milligrams vitamin E (9 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligram manganese (9 percent DV)

Dandelion greens also contain a small amount of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and copper.”Source: https://draxe.com/nutrition/dandelion-greens/

dandelion pesto ingredients scaled

If this recipe is right up your ally you may love our basil flower pesto and dandelion greens salad!

  • Basil: In this recipe, we swapped only some basil for dandelion greens. We always prioritize taste in our recipes, and dandelion greens are quite bitter. So we did half traditional basil and half dandelion greens.
  • Dandelion greens: Dandelions are considered a highly nutritious plant from their root to their flower. are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. They also contain vitamin E, folate and small amounts of other B vitamins. And dandelion greens contain several minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Nuts or seeds: Pine nuts are used in traditional pesto.
  • Cheese (or alternative): Parmesan is the standard choice for pesto, and gives it a wonderful salty flavor we love.
  • Olive oil: Adds flavor to pesto and helps maintain its texture so that it doesn’t become too thick.
  • Garlic, salt, and pepper. These are common pesto seasonings that you can adjust to your liking.
  • Lemon juice: Pesto needs a squeeze of acidic lemon juice to balance all the flavors!
  • Recommended tools: I love to make pesto in my mortar and pestle, I just love the fresh aromas as I grind my ingredients together. However, it's much more practical to make it in a food processor or in your blender.
pan with pine nuts for roasting for dandelion greens pesto
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup dandelion greens
  • ½ cup Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt Or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • ⅓ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 
  • ½ lemon, juiced
close up image of sliced sourdough bread with dandelion greens pesto next to a bowl of dandelion greens and mortar and pestle filled with pesto

Dandelion Greens Pesto

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Introducing dandelion greens pesto, A nutrient-packed twist on the classic that'll take your taste buds on a wild food adventure. Forget store-bought greens – your backyard is your pantry with this one! 
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:2 minutes
Total Time:7 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup dandelion greens
  • ½ cup Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt Or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ lemon juiced


  • Start by roasting your pine nuts. Do this in a sauce pan over the stove. Roast the pine nuts on a low-medium flame for one minute, stirring all the time and removing them from the pan before they turn dark.
  • Ground the garlic and salt together in the mortar or in your food processor
  • Next add in a few basil flowers and leaves at a time, crushing until it's ground well. Add in more when it's become a paste, until you've eventually added all of your basil leaves and flowers. Add olive oil as needed to help create a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Add in your roasted pine nuts and continue to grind.
  • Add in your freshly ground pepper, parmasean cheese and lemon juice.


Store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to three days.
To freeze, add your pesto into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, store them in a sealed airtight container or bag for up to six months.
Add it to pizza, pasta, toast, crackers, as a marinade for chicken or other meats, so many options!


Calories: 51kcal
Course: Salads and greens
Cuisine: greens
Keyword: dandelion greens pesto, dandelion greens recipe, dandelion pesto, dandelion recipes
Servings: 1 tablespoon
Calories: 51kcal
Author: sarah

Give dandelion greens pesto a try, and discover a world of flavor waiting just outside your door. Who knows, you might even find yourself wishing on a dandelion again, this time for another jar of this delicious goodness!

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