30+ Lambs Quarter Recipes to Try this Season (2024)

Last Updated on February 28, 2024

Have you discovered lambs quarters in your area? If you’re looking for new ways to use this versatile wild plant, check out this collection of more than 30 lambs quarter recipes.

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Table Of Contents

  1. FINDING LAMBS QUARTER RECIPES
  2. WHAT ARE LAMBS QUARTERS?
  3. FORAGING LAMBS QUARTERS
  4. HOW TO USE LAMBS QUARTERS
    • WAYS TO USE LAMBS QUARTERS
  5. LAMBS QUARTER RECIPES TO TRY THIS SEASON
    • LAMBS QUARTER DIPS AND SPREADS
    • LAMBS QUARTER ENTREES

FINDING LAMBS QUARTER RECIPES

It’s a perennial problem for foragers. In our enthusiasm for harvesting all the yummy wild foods, we invariably wind up with a refrigerator full of goodies we don’t really know what to do with. Then we spend hours searching up recipes to try while our fragile finds molder in the fridge. I’ve been trying to solve this problem over the years by collecting wild food recipes in one place.

So you don’t need to spend hours scouring the internet for lambs quarter recipes you want to try — I’ve done that for you! You know, like digging several pages in on your search results, scouring Pinterest, and trying all the many different spellings of lambs quarter (lamb’s quarter, lambsquarters, and so on) as well as some of its nicknames, wild spinach, and goosefoot.

Not to mention the results when you use the word in other languages, as lambs quarter recipes are popular in India, where it’s called bathua, and Mexico, where a related chenopod called huauzontle (sometimes called Aztec broccoli) is used. Now you don’t need to run separate searches for bathua recipes or huauzontle recipes. You’re welcome!

Always aiming to make things easier for fellow foragers. Let’s dig in to some creative and tasty lambs quarter recipes (or wild spinach recipes, or bathua recipes, or whatever you like to call them).

WHAT ARE LAMBS QUARTERS?

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Lambs quarters, also known as wild spinach or goosefoot, is a wild plant worth getting to know. This quinoa relative grows well in the heat of summer, when your garden spinach bolts.

Like cultivated spinach, lambs quarters belongs to the amaranth family. Along with lots of other common wild plants, it’s one of many underappreciated weeds you can eat.

Some gardeners I know don’t bother growing regular spinach anymore, greatly preferring to harvest lamb quarters instead. Our frustratingly short springs and autumns means it’s often too cold to plant anything till late April, and then the heat can come on fast, killing off cool-weather spinach before you can harvest much.

Lambs quarters, on the other hand, grows well in the heat all season.

If you have a more favorable climate, here’s what to know about growing spinach. If you don’t, try growing wild spinach, and you may never bother with cultivated spinach again.

Also keep your eye for a related plant called strawberry spinach or strawberry blite, which not only has very tasty leaves, but also offers a bountiful crop of sweet berries in late summer or early fall.

Love learning about green living hacks and medicinal plants? Follow HealthyGreenSavvy on Pinterest or like HealthyGreenSavvy on Facebook to keep up with the new ones I share every day!

A very nutritious plant, lambs quarters is rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, and vitamin A, according to the USDA. rich in anti-inflammatory compounds

Foraging expert Steve Brill ​proclaims lambs quarters “one of the best sources of beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, and iron in the world; also a great source of trace minerals, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and fiber.”

Note that like spinach, lambs quarter is high in nitrates and oxalic acid, so it should be consumed in moderation. Lambs quarters takes up nitrates from the soil, so avoid harvesting from somewhere that fertilizer has been used.

Lambs quarters has also been used medicinally. Several Native American tribes used it for skin complaints, digestive issues, and for preventing scurvy.

The Peterson Guide to Medicinal Plants notes that lambs quarters can be used as a poultice to treat insect bites and burns and tea made from its leaves has been used to help diarrhea.

FORAGING LAMBS QUARTERS

Any time you forage, it’s vital to be sure you correctly identify the plant using multiple plant features, as there can be poisonous plants that resemble the edible ones. Learn more about lambs quarters identification in our post on foraging lambs quarters / wild spinach.

Always consult a good field guide or go with an experienced forager to make certain your plant identification is correct. Here are some of the best foraging books to consider. Be sure to check out Sam Thayer’s incredible new foraging guide. It’s the most comprehensive foraging guide available and could be the only one you ever need if you live in eastern or central North America.

I highly recommend taking a local foraging class or checking out Herbal Academy’s online foraging course.

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HOW TO USE LAMBS QUARTERS

Lambs quarters can be used fresh or cooked pretty much anywhere you’d use spinach anywhere you’d use spinach: added to soups, served as a side, or baked into egg or pasta dishes. The tender tops or whole young plants are the best tasting and easiest to harvest and use, as they can be used without removing leaves from the stem.

Once plants reach 6 to 12 inches tall, harvest younger tips and leaves, and use the stems as a separate vegetable.

If your lambs quarters has a lot of white powder, you can wash and rub some off before eating. Lambs quarter’s flowering buds may be used like broccoli raab, or you can wait till the seed heads mature and and harvest the many tiny seeds, which resemble quinoa (a closely related plant in the Chenopodium genus) and can be prepared in the same way.

Note that the process of gathering seeds and separating it from the chaff can take awhile. Samuel Thayer recommends using maple leaf goosefoot (Chenopodium simplex) if you want to give it a try. This post from forager Katrina Blair explains how to sprout them and includes some intriguing lambs quarter recipes worth exploring.

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WAYS TO USE LAMBS QUARTERS

Use fresh leaves and tender tips in salads, or steam or sautee them on their own or along with other greens.

Toss leaves into smoothies, in addition to other wild greens like purslane. Here’s my go-to purslane smoothie recipe and 50 more delicious healthy smoothie recipes.

Use lambs quarters as you would spinach in cooked dishes like casseroles and baked pastas.

A top use for mild wild greens like lambs quarters, wood nettle, or Virginia waterleaf is in frittatas or omelets. Stronger-flavored greens like dandelion or garlic mustard could be added as well.

Lambs quarters can sub for spinach in a protein-packed spinach dip.

Lambs quarter leaves can also be dried and used as a cooking spice. Find details at Salt in my Coffee.

Though typically it’s the young tips and leaves that are used, the flowering tops, seeds, and stems can also be eaten. Backyard Forager explains how to prepare lambs quarter stems in this post.

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LAMBS QUARTER RECIPES TO TRY THIS SEASON

If you need some inspiration for what to do with your wild spinach harvest, try some of these yummy lambs quarter recipes.

LAMBS QUARTER DIPS AND SPREADS

Like spinach, lambs quarters can be blended into a tasty dip, like this one from Four Season Foraging or this one, which also uses burdock stems, from Home Grown Hand Gathered.

Forager Chef makes a wild spinach dip inspired by a Persian recipe called borani esfenaj.

Similar dips called raita are an Indian staple. Here’s an Indian raita from Archana’s Kitchen.

You can also make hummus with lambs quarter, recipe at Edible Wild Food.

This lambs quarters spread from Wild Blessings uses avocado as a base.

You can make pestos using many wild greens, including lambs quarter. Try this lambs quarter pesto from Moondance Organics. If you want the basil flavor as well this lambs quarter pesto with basil from Dorky Little Homestead uses both lambs quarter and basil.

SOUPS, SALADS, & SIDES WITH LAMBS QUARTERS

Wild greens make delicious soups. Try this lovely cream of lambs quarters soup from Kitchen Vignettes (recipe details at PBS).

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Yogitrition shares a dairy-free spiced lambsquarter soup recipe.

This vegan lambs quarter soup recipe from Along the Grapevine uses milkweed flowers as well!

Add lambs quarters to a hearty farro salad, recipe at the Washington Post

Enjoy your wild greens as a side dish, like this sauteed lambs quarter recipe from Eat the Planet or Lambs quarter gratin recipe from Epicurious.

A Korean lambs quarter side dish called myeongaju muchim features sesame and hot pepper. Maangchi. Here are two other Korean side dish lambs quarter recipes from Chasing Food. Or try an Indian version called bathua saag, recipe at Times of India.

Forager Chef makes a side dish he calls wild spinach cake using lambs quarter.

Along the Grapevine shares a similar dish called kuku sabzi inspired by an Iranian recipe.

These lambs quarters poppers made with lambs quarters and rice from Little Big Harvest sound like they could become a new family favorite!

Lambs quarters tater tots from Edible Wild Food add a green twist to a cheesy, potato base.

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Lambs quarter can also be baked into bread, as it is in this Indian bathua aloo paratha from Archana’s Kitchen or this bathua parantha from Sin-a-Mon Tales.

LAMBS QUARTER ENTREES

♦ Lambs quarters is a natural for baked egg dishes, like this Lambs quarters frittata from Food52. Or try a lambsquarter breakfast ramekin from Parlato Design.

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Craving quiche? Try this lambs quarters and wild mushroom quiche from Outdoor Apothecary.

If you prefer omelets, try this lambs quarter and goat cheese omelet.

Wild greens make delicious pizza toppings. Try this Pizza with onions and lambs quartersfrom Nutmeg Nanny.

This lambsquarters with ricotta and shells from Foraging Family looks delicious, as does their lambs quarters pie.

Edible Wild Food shares a yummy-sounding lambsquarter gnudi recipe.

Use your abundant lambs quarters in an Indian-spiced bathua dal (Recipe at Cookpad) or try this bathua pulav from Millet Table or Indian lambsquarters with tofu from Kitchen Kvell.

Lambsquarters and beans (recipe from Crunchy Chicken) would be great over rice.

ADDITIONAL LAMBS QUARTER RECIPES / HUAUZONTLES RECIPES

The related chenopod huauzontles is used for its florets, so if you try to use lambsquarters in these recipes instead, you may get a different outcome. But if you have huauzontles or want to experiment, be sure to check out these recipes for Frida Kahlo’s huauzontles in green sauce from Familia Kitchen and huauzontle patties from Mexico in My Kitchen.

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This pad thai recipe from Delish uses huauzontle, so if you only have lambs quarters on hand, try using the florets and stems in addition to the leaves.

Don’t forget to use those stems! Check out this roasted lambs quarters stems recipe from Edible Wild Food

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If you find other lambs quarter recipes we should add to the collection, please leave a comment and tell us what we missed!

Looking for more creative ways to use foraged wild foods? Check out our other wild food recipe collections:

  • 25 Wild Violet Recipes
  • 16 Garlic Mustard Recipes
  • 25 Inspiring Spruce Tip Recipes
  • 20 Delicious Purslane Recipes
  • 15 Cool Amaranth Leaves Recipes
  • 35+ Genius Ways to Eat Dandelions
  • 25 Serviceberry Recipes to Try This Season
  • 15 Delicious Mulberry Recipes
  • 15 Best Aronia Berry Recipes

Save these lambs quarter recipes for later!

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Additional lambs quarter recipes photo credits not credited elsewhere in post: Cover collage — bhofack2; Pin — cheche22

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Susannah

Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.

30+ Lambs Quarter Recipes to Try this Season (2024)
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