Making sweet honey-flavored jelly is as easy as picking a few weeds and cooking up the yellow blossoms…into Dandelion Jelly. Yes, really!
This recipe was originally published in 2014 – and has become our most popular recipe. I’ve updated the post with new photos and retested the recipe to make certain it comes out just right. Please try it!
Here are the reasons you MUST make Dandelion Jelly:
- Fun: The funnest (I know it’s not a word) recipe I’ve ever made!
- Green thumb not needed: Even urban dwellers can find dandelions growing…somewhere.
- Try our foraging: No fear that you might get a deadly dose of a poisonous plant. Dandelions are easy to identify.
- Farm to table: Taking a product from farm (or lawn) to table is rewarding to do with your kids.
- Surprisingly easy: Almost as easy as finding dandelions.
- Sweet honey flavor: This Dandelion Jelly tastes EXACTLY like honey. After all, bees take nectar from dandelions to make honey – in this recipe, you just steep nectar-rich petal, add sugar, a little lemon and you’ve got Dandelion Jelly.
Each spring, as the first dandelions pop up on lawn, I’m somewhat enchanted by this lovely recipe header from my cookbook Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly by Joan E. Aller (a gift from Deanna.) “Dandelions are not weeds…According to the USDA, dandelions are more nutritious than broccoli or spinach…They have a delicate flavor and are still enjoyed in southern Appalachian dishes today…from wine to jellies to greens.”
This year I finally made the jelly – and really, it was as easy as picking a few blossoms, steeping them, adding sugar and cooking for 5 minutes. I actually used the recipe in the book only as a starting point and changed all parts of the recipe including the ingredient amounts and instructions (my recipe below.) I shared it with several friends, including a 75-year old neighbor who brought over his rototiller to plow up a garden patch for me. (I’m beyond excited to finally have an official 5-foot x 12-foot garden. Now CAN I keep it weeded??)
All my tasters (including my 9-year-old’s little friends who helped me pick dandelions) had the same response: “It tastes just like honey!”Print
How to Make Dandelion Jelly: Cooking With Weeds
- Yield: 5 half-pint jars 1x
Forage for dandelions, then make this easy Dandelion Jelly.
3 cups packed very fresh dandelion blossoms – from unsprayed plants! (about 4 oz)
4 cups water
4 cups sugar (don’t use less)
1 box powdered pectin for less sugar recipes
2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice (fresh lemons have varying acidity – so use bottled)
1 drop yellow food coloring if desired (without this coloring is a bit more greenish)
- Using your thumb fingernail, cut and pluck the yellow blossom out of the tiny green leaves holding it. (Your thumb will get sticky and the flower will separate into petals.) Remove as much of the green as possible because green is bitter and turns the jelly green; I had just a tiny bit of green on almost each blossom. (See photo below.) By now, your blossoms will weigh about 2.35 oz.
- In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add half the blossoms, stir. Cover. Turn off water and steep for 20 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out and gently push on blossoms to remove some of the water. Add the same dandelion water back to saucepan and bring to a boil. Add remaining blossoms; cover. Steep 15 minutes. Strain out blossoms, pressing to remove water.
- Measure steeping liquid to 3 cups; add sugar, pectin, lemon juice and (optional) food coloring and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil for 1 minute, then skim off foam with a wooden spoon.
- Pour into hot sterilized half-pint jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace and store in the refrigerator – or process according to canner manufacturer’s instructions.
This recipe does not gel to thick jelly. It is the consistency of honey – which we like – as we use it just like honey. If you want it to gel to thick jelly, add an additional 1/2 cup sugar, for a total of 4 1/2 cups.
Tastes like honey! Impossibly easy to make: How to Make Dandelion Jelly via @TspCurry Click To Tweet
Have you ever foraged for your food? What about dandelion greens – might you eat them in a salad? I ate these above – when small and tender they have only a slightly bitter bite.
Monday 3rd of June 2019
This year is my first for using Dandelions for more than greens or for a pretty flower salad topping, and I went through a couple of recipes and settled on yours with a little bit of other recipes and my knowledge, we'll see! We've cooked the leaves like you would greens in the past, but this year a friend told me get family makes sure to get the small bit of flower "crown" that's just below the surface before the flowers come up at all, it's the best part she said! You want to dig them up before anything but that one deep in the dirt flower shows. I dug up a small boat load to make capers from the hard young buds, fresh they remind me of cauliflower a bit, and they are good capered it turns out! Plus I roasted some of the root to try as a tea or coffee replacement and weirdly it does actually taste a little like coffee and was good with sugar and cream and done like a mocha. This one "weed" is even more amazing than I ever knew.
I did make Fireweed jelly once (I live in AK) and while it was okay it really just tasted like sweet pink jelly. I'm also going to try making wild rose petal jelly and spruce tip jelly... Wish me luck!
Tuesday 4th of June 2019
Oh my goodness! Thank you for all this fun info Sarah! You are amazing to make capers from the young buds. I would love to learn how to do that. And I'm headed to SC this weekend - maybe I can find some Fireweed - just to see what it looks like. I'll bet that pink jelly was beautiful! And wow, spruce tip jelly: what fun! Bet that would be amazing to make cocktails!
Monday 27th of May 2019
Have you tried freezing this jelly? Do you think it would be ok?
Thursday 30th of May 2019
Rebecca - I have not tried it, but freezing it should work fine. Just make sure you leave at least 1/2-inch headroom between the top of the liquid and the lid to allow for expansion of the liquid when freezing. And let me know how it works!
A Magical Life
Sunday 26th of May 2019
This looks similar to the dandelion syrup we make every year. We don't add food coloring or pectin. All we do is add sugar, the juice of a lemon and a pinch of cloves. It's so good, very much like a vegan honey. Here's our recipe: http://magicalchildhood.com/life/2018/02/15/how-to-make-dandelion-syrup/
Thursday 30th of May 2019
I love the addition of the cloves Alicia! And you're right - this does taste like honey. Thanks so much for sharing. (:
Monday 1st of April 2019
Do you know if this can be frozen for longer storage? Thanks
Tuesday 2nd of April 2019
Yes! The jelly can absolutely be frozen. I've frozen in the jelly jars - just make certain there is enough headspace (room at the top of the jar) for the jelly to expand with freezing. Leave about 3/4-inch headspace. Thanks for visiting Alex!
Wednesday 13th of March 2019
This is fabulous!!! Tastes just like honey with a touch of lemon. I used regular pectin. I used a candy thermometer and let it reach 225 degrees, boiled 1 minute. Thinner than regular jelly, but hubby loves it ,puts it in his oatmeal. I also made this recipe using some organic mint tea i needed to use up and it turned out fabulous as well.still thin. But thanks Alan, i now know what i must do.
Thursday 14th of March 2019
Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know Paula! That's a great idea to make mint tea jelly!