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Stinging Nettle Recipe Roundup

Stinging Nettle Recipe Roundup

Beyond the Books, Dragonfly in Amber

I don’t know about the weather anywhere else in the world, but it’s been sunny for the past few days here, after weeks of rain. So much rain, my gumboot got stuck in the mud on my way to the compost pile this morning. It’s  swampy out there and it will be months before that part of the yard is dry.

On the other hand, for foragers and lovers of stinging nettles as food, there’s no better conditions to go picking. February is a bit early for other parts of the world where nettles grow, but here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s not uncommon to see nettle tips poking through the forest floor at this time of year.

I get a lot of incredulous comments and scoffing responses when I talk about my stinging nettle recipes. I also hear a lot of fear. Many had a bad run in with nettles in their childhood, and can’t believe that anyone would walk into a patch willingly.

I know I would win many of you over if I could give you just a taste of any of the following dishes. Nettles are tastier than any other green, in my opinion.

If you don’t know if stinging nettles grow in your area, Google it! If you want to learn more about foraging in your area, Google it! You may find a foraging group you can explore and learn with, or you may at least find some tips on good picking areas and times.

Watch my somewhat goofy nettle foraging video I did a few years back. It’s got some good tips to avoid getting stung. Wear long sleeves and pants, as well as gloves. I prefer rubber dish gloves, as I find they provide the best protection.

The following recipes are all my creations. The first is an Outlander Kitchen recipe inspired by Dragonfly in Amber, but the rest are from my “other” blog, Island Vittles. If you really have no intention of ever eating nettles, you can still try all of these recipes by substituting spinach, baby kale, or your favourite green.

stinging nettle recipe

Claire’s Nettle-Kissed Buns


Jade Chicken with Deep-Fried Nettles stinging nettle fried rice

Honey-Garlic Pork with Stinging Nettle Fried Ricenettle-gnocchi1

Stinging Nettle Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Saucenettlekopita-3-624x466

Stinging Nettlekopitasnettle-spaetzle-forkful

Stinging Nettle Spaetzle

stinging nettle pizza

Stinging Nettle Saag and Paneer Pizza


  1. Dawna
    February 16, 2016 at 6:17 am

    It was -37C two days ago. Going to be a long time before any green is poking through. I did see 3 moose foraging in belly deep snow. Wonder what it is they find to eat?

  2. Anna Lapping
    February 16, 2016 at 6:38 am

    I did a Google search and find that there are only a couple of places in North Carolina where nettles grow, both areas are up in the mountains, but I’ll be hiking up there in May, so will look for them. Foraging is not allowed in State Parks, but at least I can identify them.

  3. Mindy Reed
    February 16, 2016 at 6:57 am

    This just made my day!! I’m about 99% sure that nettles grow all along the trail I sometimes walk in the spring-fall. I’m thinking maybe I should go check them out now that I know that collecting them will basically double the crop on the next trip!!

  4. Amy
    February 16, 2016 at 11:39 am

    the link to your island vittles site appears to be broken. (no need to post this – I just have no other way to send notification)

    • Theresa
      February 16, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      Fixed now! A slight technical problem.

  5. Barbara Sinclair
    February 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

    What a great little video of one of my favorite greens! Can’t wait to share it and try some of the recipes. And yes, I’m an Outlander fan. 🙂 Claire’s character totally drew me in with her love of plants. I’ve been a city girl my entire life but am hopelessly in love with Nature. 🙂

  6. Steph Taylor
    February 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    “Embrace your Inner Claire” I love it!

    Also the background music, very nice. Very similar musical style from a highly talented couple from Cape Breton at

    Thank you for reviving this classic tradition.

  7. Jan
    February 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Cute video! I like you’re channeling of your inner Claire! 🙂 I bet we have some here in Maui. We’ve got everything from Scottish Thistle to Gorse, so why not Stinging Nettle! The recipes look awesome, so I’ll be on a mission to search some out. I like the idea that it’s not only more healthy than most greens but it’s also free and will regenerate itself! Thanks as always for your awesome shares! x

  8. Pamela Green
    February 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Theresa: You might like this recipe for nettle soup.

    Thanks as always for your fun posts.


  9. JC
    February 20, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Your right about some of us having bad experiences with nettles as kids. Where I grew up we had huge swaths of them in fields and along creek beds only to avoid them like crazy and never thinking about their culinary properties. But after reading your recipes and watching your video I think I am willing to give them a second look.

  10. Amy
    February 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    A few years ago our CSA sent us a nice big bunch of nettles along with a wonderful bunch of French Sorrel. The weekly newsletter included a recipe for a creamy Nettle Sorrel Soup. I was nervous that the kids were going to hate this bright green concoction… Instead they feel in love! If you haven’t tried it yet you must.

  11. Michelle Scott
    February 22, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Thank you for your post! Looking forward to my long-awaited Christmas present in June!!!!

  12. Morris Miernicki
    March 12, 2016 at 7:03 am

    This reminds me, I need to replenish my brandy and buy some pears! I love this. I tend to infuse alcohol only for medicinal purposes and only use brandy for winter tonics and cough medicines. Thank you for reminding me that I can also infuse it for pure fun! Yum!

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