Spicy Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Capicola

My Grandma’s easy and delicious Spicy Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Capicola are so good you’ll forget you’re eating healthy food!

Spicy Dandelion Greens on a black plate with pieces of bread in the background.

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So, I know I posted cookies yesterday…ya know, on the second day of January. When we’re all supposed to still be deeply invested in our New Year’s resolutions. I’m still looking for a gym I can not go to 3 days per week…

That being said, I’m a firm believer in enjoying everything in moderation. So i can sleep well tonight feeling ok with the fact that I started a cooking challenge that is based around cookies for this first month of the year because I also balance all that cookie eating out with healthy foods as well (PS- you should totally get in on the January cooking challenge- it’s so much fun to get creative and there are some sweet prizes for one lucky winner at the end of the month!).

A picture of Spicy Dandelion Greens with Capicola on a piece of IT\talian bread.

Which brings me to today’s post: Dandelions. Now if you weren’t raised in an Italian-American family or in general didn’t grow up viewing dandelions as anything other than weeds, you’re probably giving me a major side-eye, if you’re even still reading this (in which case I applaud you for keeping an open mind enough to continue reading, even if it’s accompanied by that side-eye).

An overhead image of Spicy Dandelion Greens on a black plate with bread on the side.

What many people don’t know is Dandelion greens are actually pretty tasty. And I’m not talking about the yellow “flower” that your toddler plucks from your lawn and hands to you, or later blows the seeds off of while they make a wish. But the green leaves that grow with them.

Now, this is the point in the post where I will strongly encourage you not to go out into your yard and start picking dandelions for dinner. Not only because it’s the dead of winter and where I am, everything is covered in snow. But also, because most lawns have some sort of chemicals and fertilizers on them. Not to mention any number of other things. Just don’t. But you could probably find some nice, big bunches of Dandelion greens at your local supermarket or farmer’s market!

A black plate full of Spicy Dandelion Greens!

My Grandma Rosie and all the other fabulous ladies in my family have been making these for as long as I can remember. I filed these under foods-I-thought-I-didn’t-like-until-I-actually-tried-them. Like other kids, I saw green and assumed they were totally gross.

But Dandelions are actually pretty delicious. They’re at their best in the colder months. And while they can sometimes be a tad bitter, the spiciness of the crushed red pepper flakes and Capicola hot ham as well as the savory garlic flavor really elevate the flavor of these!

Spicy Dandelion Greens on a piece of Italian bread sitting on top of a purple cloth!

They make a fantastic side dish, but I have to tell you, my favorite way to eat them is spread onto a slice of fresh Italian bread. Grandma always had bread around in general and she always served these with bread. These are my idea of a perfect, light lunch!



252 cal


27 g


3 g


1 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info
Spicy Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Capicola

10 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

Yields A side dish for 4 or a lunch for 2


Recipe Image
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  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (take the tip of your knife and lightly poke it all over each garlic clove to help release the flavors)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/8 pound sliced Capicola hot ham, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2-3 bunches of dandelions, well cleaned and ends trimmed if necessary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add garlic cloves and red pepper flakes to the pan and saute about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently (do not let the garlic burn- you can always reduce the heat if necessary!).
  3. Add the Capicola and saute a fee more minutes until it begins to crisp, stirring often.
  4. Stir in the Dandelion greens and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Allow the dandelions to cook down, stirring frequently, around 10 minutes.
  6. Taste them for flavor and add more seasoning if necessary.
  7. Serve with Italian bread and enjoy!

Helpful tools:

One of my other favorite recipes for greens is this one:

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Crushed Red Pepper

A closer shot of the bottom half of a plate of Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and a raw broccoli Rabe floret below it.

I also love this recipe for greens:

Sauteed Kale with Tomatoes and Mushrooms

Sauteed Kale with Mushrooms and Tomatoes is the best healthy side dish. This also makes a great vegetarian main dish. I love to cook a big batch to eat with lunch or dinner- it's full of delicious flavor!

You can find a full index of my recipes here.

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Let’s keep the conversation going- join my Facebook groupMy Grandma's easy and delicious Spicy Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Capicola recipe is so good you'll forget you're eating healthy food! This is a simple method for how to cook this delicious side dish!


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