Best Nettle Recipes

MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

Nettle shoots are up in my favorite patch, and it looks like this year promises a bumper crop. It will be another week or two before I can start harvesting, and I can hardly wait! Nettles are probably my favorite foraged food.

I found a couple general nettle threads, but I would like one for the best of the best nettle recipes. What are your very favorite?

I always make nettle soup and quiches, though I don't really have a recipe for either--just throw together whatever's on hand that looks good. Rosalee de la Foret just posted an asparagus-nettle soup recipe that looks truly awesome, and is probably the first thing I'll try with this year's crop:

What's the first recipe you're making with your nettles?


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin
    edited March 2021

    Nettle vinegar is one of the first things that I make in the spring. Its great for salad dressing.

    I'll probably make a nettle soup but don't have an actual recipe. I like cream of nettle soup. So a veggie broth with a bit of potato and maybe some leeks with lots of stinging nettle. Finished with heavy cream and maybe a splash of brandy.

    Any good pesto recipe can be altered to add as many stinging nettles as you want for your taste. I like to keep a bit of basil in the recipe but you could add as much or little as you like.

    Nettle is so versatile and can be substituted for spinach in so many recipes. I look forward to hearing recipes from other forum members.

    edit: I meant to post this link for nettle pesto but hit post comment instead. :)

    This will be going on a tortellini in a cream base.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I haven't tried this but plan to as soon as the nettles can be harvested

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭



    • 3 c nettle leaves, loosely packed ( I use slender nettle, same plant without the sting)
    • 1 large farm egg
    • 1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
    • a pinch of sea salt


    1. Blanch the nettle for 3 minutes, then rinse in cold water and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
    2. Puree the egg and nettle into a smooth consistency in a food processor.
    3. Add flour and salt and mix to combine. This should not be sticky but should hold together when pinched.
    4. Gather into a ball and place onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic.
    5. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for half an hour in the fridge. Roll out and cut in whatever your pasta preference is.
    6. If you don't plan to use the pasta right away, toss it in flour and allow to air dry for an hour.
    7. you can store this in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. I like it best freshly made.
    8. When you ready to use, boil in 5 or 6 quarts of salted water for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook.
    9. If you toss the noodles with olive oil or butte rit will help to prevent sticking.
    10. Add your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy!. 

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nettle Butter Log

    1/2 cups blanched nettle leaves

    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

    1 small shallot or ramp

    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

    To Prepare:

    1. Combine the nettles, butter, shallot/ramp and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the ingredients are very well blended. Taste for seasoning. If you don't have a processor use a mixer but cut ther nettle leaves to help it blend easier
    2. To form the nettle butter into a log, lay a 12-inch long piece of plastic wrap on the counter with the long side facing you. Spoon the softened butter into a rough log shape along the center of the plastic. Fold the long edge of the plastic over the butter and use your hands to mold and press it into a tube shape about 6 inches long. Twist the ends tightly and refrigerate the log until ready to use.
    3. Unwrap the chilled nettle butter log and slice it into rounds about 1/4-inch thick. Place them on top of cooked meat or fish or swirl them into cooked pasta, risotto, soups or stews.

    A log makes a fancier look but you can use a rectangular pan. This will freeze for three months

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Good recipes. I was walking through the woods yesterday while we were on vacation, and looking at the nettles and wishing I had a bag with me to harvest into. Now that I am home, it is definitely time to get out to some of my favorite nettle patches and harvest.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a recipe for nettle quiche that looks good but honestly that's one plant I've never forged. I'm afraid of the sting 😂

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    @karenjanicki I used to forage barehanded and it didn't bother me very much. About 5 years ago I was picking and wound up with a rash that looked and felt like a chemical burn. I thought maybe it was just that it was an extra potent year for them but it happened again the next year. So I must have reached my tolerance. So now I wear nitrile medical gloves. It still lets me have good contact for picking but avoids most of the sting. I have friends that always pick barehanded.

    So get some medical gloves if you think you might be extra sensitive. Don't let the sting keep you away from such a nutritious and delicious wild edible. It will be excellent in your quiche!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    My nettle soup which I cook every spring:

    Ingredients: 500 g young nettle shoots, 300 g potatoes, 1 liter water or clear soup, 2 onions, olive oil, 150g cream, salt, pepper, oregano...

    To do: chop onions, peel and cut potatoes in cubes.

    heat oil in a pot, add onions and roast them in oil on low heat for about 5 minutes, add nettles, cover the pot and continue on low heat until the nettles change their colour; 

    add water/clear soup and potatoes to the pot, bring to the boil and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes;

    Pour aside part of the liquid (do not pour it away), blend the rest, add the poured aside liquid, add salt, pepper, oregano...

    bring everything to boil again.

    Add cream when served on plates.

    One can decorate the soup with daisy or coltsfoot blossoms.

    and enjoy 😊

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    I just add it to regular soups, chopped fine. I also freeze it in small packs for the winter to add to soups or pastas, where ever greens will work.

    And there's ginger chicken soup, just basically chicken soup with some ginger and garlic; it goes well with wild greens like dandelion or nettle.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All this nettle talk had me out looking in the back yard for any signs of nettle growth - not yet. :(

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    This recipe for Nettle Cake just came to my inbox. I don't have nettles yet but will try this as soon as I have them. Most of Rosalee's recipes are good ones.

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    I love nettle soup, with really minimal ingredients. A little onion & garlic, some potatoes & lots of nettles in bone broth. Yum!

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 754 ✭✭✭✭

    I throw nettles in my smoothies too

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Still waiting for my nettles to get a little bigger...almost there....

    But once they really get going, I am definitely going to try out this nettle pasta!

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    The nettles around here are finally ready!!! and after trying all the recipes we've come up with so far here, I'll be working my way down this list (including nettle fruit leather, cake, pie, crepes....!!!!):

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My nettle is finally getting big enough to use. I really excited to try all these recipes and ideas. I have to move the nettle in the one area so will harvest first then move.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    We have just had our nettle soup. Very green and very specific. I made quite a lot, thus we ate two days in a row. It is a treat of the season. The next one I will cook next spring. It is quite nice to have something specific at specific times of the year. Like Easter eggs.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm in full nettle celebration at my house, working my way through my favorite recipes and trying some new ones. Just put a nettle-chickweed-wild onion quiche in the oven; now waiting impatiently....Wild greens make Spring such a wonderful season!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    New TGN blog article with some excellent looking nettle recipes. The lasagna looks very good but I love both asparagus and fresh peas.

    The Nettle Sesame Salt is on my list to try.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks @torey those are fantastic recipes. I just tried the Earth Shake Smoothie, and even with some adaptations, it is really good. (I didn't have an avocado or coconut water on hand, but using coconut milk works too!)

    I've had good luck this year with cutting a patch of nettles back--new ones keep springing up. I'm on my third harvest now, despite the heat. They are starting to get scraggly though, so I expect I should let them bloom and go to seed now.

    Anyway, I'm adding the link to that blog article so we can find it again for nettle season next year!

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    The crazy weather around here has apparently tricked my nettle patch in thinking it is spring--I have a fine dense stand of lovely young nettles about 8" high--looks like April! So of course I'm going to harvest them before a hard freeze kills them. Anybody else eating fall nettles now? Do you use the same recipes as in the spring, or do you have others for the fall season?