Cooking Garlic Scapes: 10 Ways to Use Them Up

Last Updated on July 6, 2022 by Ellen Christian

Have you been wondering about cooking garlic scapes? If you grow garlic in your garden, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do with the garlic scape portion of the plant. After all, it seems like a waste to just toss the garlic scapes in the compost pile. But, what exactly are you supposed to do with them? Keep reading for a few simple suggestions and healthy recipes you’ll want to try today.

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Cooking Garlic Scapes: 10 Ways to Use Them Up

Cooking Garlic Scapes

First, what exactly is a garlic scape and what part of garlic scapes do you eat? Garlic scapes taste very much like green garlic. The garlic scape is the bud and the curly stem of the garlic plant that grows above the bulb of the garlic. 

It generally appears on the plant about two months before the bulb is ready for harvesting. The garlic scape tastes just like garlic does and can be used in almost any recipe that you traditionally use garlic in.

Cooking Garlic Scapes: 10 Ways to Use Them Up

Harvesting garlic scapes

If you’re not familiar with harvesting garlic scapes, you may be wondering what part of the stem you should be using. If you cut the stem too far down and close to the bulb, the taste is woodier and not as pleasant.

Removing the garlic scape serves two purposes. First, it is edible and quite good. Second, removing it allows the plant to put more energy into the production of the bulb of the garlic.

To cut the garlic scape, wait until the plant has a center stem. Then, once it begins to curl, cut the stalk as far down as you can without cutting any of the leaves off the garlic plant. For a demonstration, check out this video.

How to store garlic scapes

Once you’ve harvested them, you’re probably wondering how to store garlic scapes. Storing garlic scapes is quite simple. Just place them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

They should stay good for two to three weeks that way. If you want something a bit different, and you plan on using them in the next few days, you can store a handful of garlic scapes in a glass vase filled with water. Remember to change the water regularly to prevent odor build up.

garlic scapes

Garlic scape pesto

If you enjoy pesto, garlic scape pesto is an awesome way to use up garlic scapes. This recipe is a delicious alternative to traditional pesto that uses sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. You’ll need a good quality food processor to make the pesto.

Garlic scape pasta

If you’re looking for a garlic scape pasta dish, try this vegetarian pasta dish is one you’ll want to try. She combines the garlic scapes with spinach and macadamia nuts and serves it over pasta. For those that are avoiding grains, try this recipe over zoodles.

Cooking Garlic Scapes: 10 Ways to Use Them Up

How to cook garlic scapes sauteed

Sauted garlic scapes are one of my favorite summer dishes. You don’t even need an official recipe to make these. You can saute garlic scapes in just a few minutes. If you’re wondering how long to saute garlic scapes, keep reading.

Simply cut the garlic scapes into spears that are about the same size as asparagus. Then, in butter and olive oil sautee them for about three to five minutes.  Add a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, and pepper and serve.

Garlic scape soup

This gluten-free garlic scape soup is a simple way to create summer soup recipe using asparagus and garlic scapes. It is also dairy free and Paleo so it’s an idea summer soup recipe for this with allergies or food intolerances. You’re going to need an immersion blender for this recipe.

Cooking Garlic Scapes: 10 Ways to Use Them Up

Preserving garlic scapes

If you have far too many garlic scapes to use up, in addition to cooking garlic scapes you may want to consider preserving garlic scapes. Storing garlic scapes couldn’t be easier. One of the best ways to preserve garlic scapes is to pickle them. This pickled garlic scape recipe is on my list to try this summer.

5 Garlic scapes recipes

If you’d like a few more garlic scapes recipes to try, here are several that I have either made or plan on making this summer. Have you ever tried cooking garlic scapes?

  1. Easy summer quiche with garlic scapes
  2. Hummus with garlic scapes
  3. Baked black bean tofu with garlic scapes
  4. Fava bean and pomegranate salad with garlic scapes

10 thoughts on “Cooking Garlic Scapes: 10 Ways to Use Them Up”

  1. This is something I always put in soups from my garden I get em they dont freeze well I was told best way to preserve is to freeze dry
  2. I am going to plant some of these in my garden that I put in this year.I love using fresh garlic in all of my preparing of foods for my family. I do like using white wines when making all of my homemade soups that I make in the fall and winter months also.

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