Imagine a healthy yet super satisfying and rich dish. That’s what this 5-Ingredient Creamed Nettle recipe is all about! Nettle is not a pesky weed — just the opposite: it’s a super healthy, nutritious, and affordable herb. When combined with cream, Parmesan, and seasonings, you’ll get an incredibly tasty and satiating meal or side dish.
How to make this Creamed Nettle
This is a very easy dish to make. First, you cook the nettle so that it’s wilted and all the liquid has evaporated. Next, you’ll add heavy cream and cook it until thick sauce. Then, you’ll season the dish and finally sprinkle some Parmesan on top of each serving. Sounds easy, doesn’t it!
The recipe makes one large serving for a full meal, or two servings for a side dish.
One note about this dish and the antinutrient oxalate: Just like spinach, also nettle is high in oxalates. But no worries, this recipe contains dairy — heavy cream and Parmesan — that bind the oxalate so that you cannot absorb it, and it doesn’t wreak havoc in your gut or elsewhere in your body.
Talking about cream, it’s important to cook the cream until it’s reduced into a thick sauce. Otherwise, the result is too runny.
That is, so let’s take a look at how to prepare this simple yet satisfying and succulent dish:
Take 4 cups (950 ml) of fresh nettle leaves. It’s best to use only young leaves or just the tops of nettles. Try not to include stems as they might be hard and thus are unpleasant to chew. Use thick gloves for picking the nettles and pick them only from clean places, i.e., where is no traffic or areas where you know they don’t use chemicals.
Rinse the nettle leaves under running water.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add a couple of tablespoons of butter and let it melt.
Add the nettle leaves.
Cook, stirring often, until all the liquid has evaporated and the nettle is wilted.
Here we go.
Add 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream.
Cook, stirring, until the cream is reduced into a thick sauce.
Like this. Remove from the heat.
Season with natural salt to taste.
Season also with a pinch of white pepper or nutmeg. Both are excellent seasonings with this dish.
Transfer the dish into a serving bowl.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup (80 ml) Parmesan on top.
Serve immediately. Yum!
How I came up with this easy keto recipe
You might remember that a couple of weeks ago, I spent some time in Åland in a big country house. I was developing some recipes there also for my blog. When I saw the nettles around the house, I knew I want to develop a recipe using nettles. In my idea list, I actually had a nettle soup (a keto variation on Finnish spinach soup) and creamed nettle.
Creamed spinach is one of my go-to recipes since it pleases the palates of the whole family. I’ve published the recipe at least in one of my Finnish books, and I think I’ve got it in my English book as well. This time, I thought I’ll develop a recipe with creamed nettle as there was so much nettle growing everywhere near the house.
I was pondering over the ingredients and decided to use nettle leaves, heavy cream (it makes the best sauce!), Parmesan, natural salt, and nutmeg for seasoning. I was juggling with either nutmeg or white pepper as seasoning. In my spinach soup recipe idea, I have white pepper, but nutmeg sounded more fascinating, so I decided to use it in my creamed nettle recipe experiments.
In my creamed spinach recipe, I have onion powder as well, but this time, I decided to try out how creamed nettle works without onion. Well, I tend to add onion powder to almost every savory dish, as it’s such a perfect natural flavor enhancer. However, now I thought nettle is so flavorful herb that it doesn’t need further flavor enhancers.
Next, I was calculating the amounts and wrote them on paper. Actually, at this point, I had the Parmesan as an optional ingredient since I thought it’s not necessarily needed, but it would make a great optional addition.
Now, it was time to pick the nettle leaves and, actually before that, do the shopping for the other ingredients. I went to Mariehamn and can you imagine, they didn’t have nutmeg anywhere! I found one bag from a large store, but it was broken. Sigh. Well, as a backup plan, I had the white pepper that would undoubtedly make a tasty result as well, so I grabbed a jar of ground white pepper. Problem solved.
Picking the nettles needed some creativity as I didn’t have any gloves to protect my hands. That problem was easily solved by grabbing a plastic bag and wrapping it around my hand. I also found scissors for cutting the leaves.
So, everything was written on paper (or actually to a text file on my laptop), and I was ready to conduct my experiments. However, I thought I don’t have time for experiments, but I chose to trust that my plans work in practice. I took my camera and started shooting photos and videos while preparing the recipe.
To my luck, the recipe worked awesomely. The creamed nettle was really tasty (even without my favorite seasoning, onion powder!), and the consistency was thick and rich. The Parmesan was like icing on the cake (well, it’s a sort of icing as it’s sprinkled on top!).
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
5-Ingredient Creamed Nettle
Imagine a healthy yet super satisfying and rich dish. That's what this 5-Ingredient Creamed Nettle recipe is all about! Nettle is not a pesky weed — just the opposite: it's a super healthy, nutritious, and affordable herb. When combined with cream, Parmesan, and seasonings, you'll get an incredibly tasty and satiating meal or side dish.
- 4 cups = 950 ml fresh nettle leaves
- 3/4 cup = 180 ml heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt OR Himalayan salt
- pinch freshly ground nutmeg OR white pepper
- 1/3 cup = 80 ml freshly grated Parmesan
- (butter for frying)
- Rinse the nettle leaves well and drain.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons butter.
- Add the nettle leaves and cook until soft and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream and boil, occasionally stirring, until the consistency is thick, about 15 minutes.
- Season with salt and nutmeg or white pepper.
- Serve. Top each serving with freshly grated Parmesan.
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Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt - 5 lbs. Extra-Fine Grain
Redmond Real Salt - Ancient Fine Sea Salt, Unrefined Mineral Salt, 26 Ounce Pouch (4 Pack)
Simply Organic Ground Nutmeg, Certified Organic | 2.3 oz | Myristica fragrans Houtt.
Simply Organic White Pepper, Certified Organic | 2.86 oz | Piper nigrum L.
Low Sugar, So Simple: 100 Delicious Low-Sugar, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Recipes for Eating Clean and Living Healthy
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 2 servings in total|
|Protein||9.4 g||4.7 g|
|Fat||92.2 g||46.1 g|
|Net carbs||7.1 g||3.6 g|
|kcal||889 kcal||445 kcal|
Tips for variations
Not keen on getting burns while picking nettle? Cannot even find nettle? Do not despair but replace the nettle simply with an equal amount of fresh spinach leaves. The result will be (almost) as excellent as with nettle.
I recommend either white pepper or nutmeg for seasoning this dish. Feel free to add fresh or dried herbs with the nettle. Thyme, oregano, rosemary, and parsley are all good options. Different types of onions work well as natural flavor enhancers. The simplest is to add 1 teaspoon onion powder, but you can add a couple of tablespoons chopped fresh chives, chopped small onion, or a couple of garlic cloves.
Instead of dairy-based cream, you can use coconut cream or thick coconut milk for a dairy-free version. You can replace Parmesan with a combination of almond flour, onion powder, and nutritional yeast. Just notice that this version is high in oxalates as there is no dairy to bind it.
This week has passed really quickly. At the beginning of the week, I went to our summer house for a couple of days to spend some time with my son and my parents. At the end of the week, I was four days in Magnesia Festival in the beautiful Suomenlinna islands in Helsinki. I was presenting Ketokamu and selling our products.
We had a cozy cave as our spot.
The weather was chilly — and very stormy and rainy on Friday and on Sunday — but the atmosphere was warm and enchanting, and the people were kind and friendly.
We sold lots of our soups — that made a perfect chilly-weather lunch — chocolate-covered treats, Ketolla (nut and chocolate spread), and our brand new electrolyte powder Ellu.
The Magnesia Festival was such a great event with conscious and friendly people and fascinating workshops.
What a fun recipe to see today! I’ve spent a couple of hours picking amaranth leaves in our yard to use in place of spinach in a soup recipe. I’m thinking I should gather more amaranth and make your recipe using that, since nettles don’t grow in the desert. The flavor of amaranth leaves is very similar to spinach, and it grows very well in the desert when we get rain (we’ve actually had a fair amount this summer). I would definitely try nutmeg, given that it goes so well with spinach – and I don’t have white pepper. It’s fun for me to be able to use foods that grow wild in our yard, and I really appreciate seeing you do recipes that inspire me to use what I have available.
Hi Susan, so happy to hear you like the recipe idea. Amaranth leaves sound fascinating and I bet they would work in this recipe very well. Please let me know how the recipe turned out if you try amaranth leaves, I’m really curious!
Elviira, it’s on my menu to make for Monday August 9. I’ve decided that I will add sautéed chicken to make it a whole meal for two of us. I will definitely let you know how it turns out.
Awesome! I keep my fingers crossed it turns out delicious. Adding chicken sounds like a great idea.
Hi Elviira, we just finished dinner, and your recipe, done with amaranth in place of nettles, turned out very nice, in a quiet sort of way. I served the saucy amaranth over sautéed chicken. It turned out a bit too salty because I was just using a grinder without measuring. I would use probably ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg next time, because I really couldn’t taste what I put in. This recipe is a definite keeper, and it would work with spinach as well as with amaranth (both the flavor and the cooking experience would be similar). My husband also enjoyed it. I’m glad I could send you good news.
Hi Susan and thanks for the good news! So great to hear the recipe worked well with amaranth leaves and also your husband liked it.
It pairs deliciously with eggs, also as filling for creps, and if you leave the heavy cream for the sauce you can use the rest to fill some low-carb ravioli, or simply add the recipe alltogether to a cauli-rice: versatile, creamy and healthy satisfaction! And about oxalates, thanks for your always accurate explanation, I permit to add also that as faras I read from science based articles it seems that cooking reduces them, so we can enjoy preps like this without worries, even those who may need to swap heavy cream for dairy-free alternatives 😉
Cooking reduces just about half of the oxalates. Dairy + cooking seems to be the ultimate method to reduce them 🙂