Lambs Quarter or Pigweed

Lambs Quarters is delicious!

Lambs Quarters is delicious!

Lambs quarters (Chenopodium album) is also known as pigweed, wild spinach or goosefoot and is usually weeded out of the garden. Few people realize that this common garden weed is a super nutritious wild edible!

One cup of lambs quarters is said to contain:

~ 80 mg of Vitamin C

~ 11,600 IU of Vitamin A

~ 72 mg of Phosphorus

~ 309 mg of Calcium

as well as good amounts of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron and other minerals.

For the best flavor pick lambs quarter leaves while young and tender. Cook and use as you would spinach. It also makes a great herbal vinegar!

Warning: Black nightshade (poisonous!) can somewhat resemble the pigweed plant although nightshade produces berries. Always now what you're doing when havesting wild edibles.

Be sure to pick this plant only where no chemicals have been sprayed or where organic weed control is used!

Below is an excellent video on lambs quarters by Green Dean. Love the guy but someone should tell him Gus the Goose is actually a swan!

Comments for Lambs Quarter or Pigweed

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Lambs Quarters Recipe
by: Anonymous

Lambs Quarters Recipe

I’d like to share with you one of my favorite “wild” recipes. It is delicious and nobody will know it’s “wild” until you reveal to them just why it tastes so good (at which point it’s already too late)! It includes lamb’s quarters – a “weed” you can find almost everywhere in temperate climate. It is rich in protein and is nutritionally in many respects superior to spinach, but is very hardy and disease-free, tolerates drought and pests, and is grown in many parts of the world as a garden green. It is a member of the amaranth family, so it is a close relative of garden orach and quinoa. Actually, lamb’s quarters seed is an edible grain, too. You can eat the tender leaves and shoots. Even if the plant is big and the main stem has become coarse, it is covered with young side shoots that remain tender even in the heat of the summer. This Lamb’s Quarters Corn Bread does involve cooking, but lamb’s quarters have a full-bodied flavor and can be enjoyed raw – I’ve been offering its leaves to everyone including my FedEx carrier and a neighbor who’s a retired State trooper – and they both continue to say hello – it’s that good! Anyway, enough talking! Let’s find our mouths a better use!

Corn Bread with Lamb’s Quarters


3 cups cornmeal

2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp honey

2 cups water

2 TBSP apple vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt

two big bunches of fresh lamb’s quarters leaves and stems (about 8 oz)

2 carrots

1 onion

Cooking instructions:

1. Mix water, vinegar, oil, honey.

2. Add cornmeal, baking soda, salt – mix well. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes so it won’t taste “grainy.”

3. Grate carrots, cut onion – cook them on a medium-heat pan until onion turns golden brown, then add it to the mix.

4. Cut lamb’s quarters finely, add them to the mix and mix well.

5. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees Celsius) for 30-35 minutes.

Serve with a lentil soup or any other lentil- or bean-based dish. Enjoy!

Cook Lambs Quarters Like Spinach

Lamb’s quarters are good in anything cooked spinach is good in. Actually, lamb’s quarters is the better-tasting vegetable, in my opinion. So yes to omelets and fritatas, ravioli filling, dip, lasagna, etc. But before you get all fancy with it, here is a simple, so good way to enjoy this wild ingredient. Yield two side-dish servings.

Lamb’s Quarters with Butter and Nutmeg

2 1/2 quarts raw lamb’s quarters leaves and tender stems
1/4 cup water
2 tsp butter
Dash of freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Wash and coarsely chop the lamb’s quarters. Place the greens in a large skillet or pot. Add the water, butter, and nutmeg.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until the lamb’s quarters is completely wilted. If there is still a lot of liquid in with the greens, raise the heat briefly and boil off most of the liquid.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm, or refrigerate and use later in the week as a quick addition to eggs, greens ‘n’ beans, etc.

Read more:

Lambs Quarter seeds
by: Alecia

I picked whole plants and experimented with cooking them whole - stems and seeds, or just the leaves, and I VASTLY prefer just the leaves! When you try to cook the whole plant together, the seeds and stems are not anywhere close to cooked when the leaves are, and I found the whole batch nearly inedible after a few bites. It takes a long time to separate them if you pick the whole plant, so in my experience, even though it takes longer to pick just the leaves off the plants, it is well worth it when it comes to cooking and eating them! By the way, you can harvest the leaves, then cut down the whole plant with a weedeater or mower, and they will still come back and you can have a whole nother batch in the same summer.....we didn't know they were edible when we first moved to our place, and cut them down several times. They come back - over and over! You can't really get rid of them..... Well, I suppose if you used some kind of weed-killer you could? But they aren't THAT ugly.... My husband is much more concerned about dandelions! Which I know the leaves are supposed to be edible, but are WAY too bitter for our family! Thanks for this page - I will be sharing it with friends :)

bean soup with pig weed
by: Anonymous

I grew up eating navy bean soup with lots of onions, pig weed, salt, pepper and butter, just boil beans until tender and add the other ingredients to taste. Wonderful with a nice piece of bread and butter.

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