How to have wild garlic all year round? Wild Garlic, Mushroom & Bacon Pasta

I came to wild garlic late. Others have known about it’s deliciousness for many a year, but I first tasted it just a couple of years back. Last year, I was determined to forage my own to use it in my cooking.

By the way, in the UK, when we talk about wild garlic we’re usually referring to ramsons (allium ursinum), a wild relative of chives. From wiki, I learnt that “the Latin name owes to the brown bear’s taste for the bulbs and habit of digging up the ground to get at them” which also explains another of it’s aliases: bear’s garlic.

My first stash came early in last year’s wild garlic season, courtesy of the lovely MarkyMarket, who generously shared his secret foraging location with me. I had been intending to make a soup but instead used some of the wild garlic leaves to stuff a chicken before roasting. Lovely!


With plenty of leaves leftover, I decided to blitz the rest raw with oil and pop them into the freezer, in tiny plastic boxes.

My second stash was foraged when the wild garlic was in flower, carpeting swathes of grassy roadside verges in rural Dorset. Much of this harvest was enjoyed as a wild garlic tempura, which was delicious!

Again, I had leftovers, and blitzed with oil before freezing in small portions.

In the year since then, we’ve gradually used up our stock making this delicious pasta which has become a firm favourite. The mushrooms absorb the flavours of the wild garlic and the oil-blitzed leaves coat pasta very nicely.

Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

Wild Garlic Pasta


  • Wild garlic leaves and/or flowers on stems blitzed in vegetable oil
  • bacon, pancetta or lardons , cut into small pieces
  • mushrooms , sliced
  • pasta of your choice


  • Put the pasta on to cook (unless it's fresh and needs much less time).
  • Fry the bacon until cooked and just beginning to crisp, then set aside.
  • In the same pan, slowly cook the mushrooms in the blitzed wild garlic and oil. We give our frozen wild garlic oil time to defrost before adding the mushrooms.
  • When the mushrooms are ready, stir the bacon back in.
  • Drain the pasta well and stir it in too.

If you have found an abundant source of wild garlic near you (please forage sustainably), do consider preserving some as we did so you can enjoy this simple pasta dish year round.

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
41 Comments to "How to have wild garlic all year round? Wild Garlic, Mushroom & Bacon Pasta"

  1. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    genius idea with the freezing… I picked so much in my local wood this weekend I didn't know what to do but my last thought was to freeze… excellent idea… I just cooked them into a quiche (will be posting mid-week)… I also am late to the whole wild garlic thing, but I love it too!

  2. BeccaRothwell

    I need to start foraging. If anyone can recommend a good spot for wild garlic around Archway/Finsbury Park/Highgate I'd be exceedingly welcome!

    Stephen Jones

    Becca, Once you have found where they grow dig up a few bulbs and put them in a large pot or trough. Believe they’ll take off and you’ll have a ready supply without having to hunt. I planted some in my back garden and these hooligans of the plant world are trying to take over – be warned!

    Graeme Miller

    Although the idea of taking just a few bulbs seems like a good idea , if enough people went out with this philosophy, large areas of wild garlic could soon be damaged. I’m not trying to target you here but think it is important to consider the whole picture when we see how attractive foraging is becoming to large numbers of people. Anyways , happy hunting and keep the dream alive . Cheers


    It’s a fair point. However, in practice, not many people are interested to transplant to home and I think people are broadly responsible. I know many wild garlic areas are vast, to the extent they are taking over bluebell woodlands. These are best places to take a bulb from, provided they are not protected woodlands. In any case, a small number of people taking one or two bulbs should have little impact, I agree people should consider the bigger picture.

    Hazel Buxton

    It is illegal to dig up the bulbs. There is definitely plenty frowning out with for us all.

    Amazingly tasty recipe


    Didn’t know it was actually illegal, I always thought it was a case of foraging responsibly. Given how in since places that are forcing out native bluebells, I think taking a single bulb or two when there are many many thousands would be ok but if it’s actually illegal that’s a different matter! Thanks!

  3. celia

    Yum, Kavey! For those of us without wild garlic, do you think a sauce made with garlic scapes would make a reasonable sub?

  4. Kavey

    Dom, so glad you like the freezing idea… we freeze a lot of the produce we grow in our garden so it seemed an obvious option for me!

    Becca, we shall talk!

    Celia, I just looked up garlic scape, and it might work well! Give it a go! Also, you might be able to grow your own wild garlic, if you have shady cooler corner, under some trees works well… you're looking for allium ursinum.

  5. Food Urchin

    The batch of WG pesto I made a couple of weeks ago has just turned a shade funky and alas I had to dump most of it in the bin (was covered in olive oil too btw)

    Will take on board your sage advice to freeze the stuff in future.

    Eileen Maguire

    I finely chopped the leaves. Softened a block of butter, mixed the finely chopped leaves in. Either put in small containers and freeze or you can freeze whole after shaping and slice off – brilliant garlic butter.

  6. Edafe Onerhime

    Simple and smart, thanks for the tip. Last year, there was a “Food for Free foraging walk” held in Leeds. If you are a total newbie like myself, one of these might be planned in your area.


  7. tori

    LOVE this idea- have only really put it through salads and eggs so far. Pasta and risottos, consider yourself warned. You're next.

  8. Nazima, franglais kitchen

    I love wild garlic pesto. I never had enough to freeze but will plan that next year! (as well as trying to pickle some as I have seen some people do that – not sure how it tastes but worth a try!)

  9. Judi

    I have just read a menu in one of Torquay’s best restaurants for ‘This seasons Wild Garlick Rosti’ which I intend to make as soon as the weather dries up a bit and I can gather a handful from our garden.

  10. Jo Thomasina

    What oil do you use to freeze it? As I am thinking it may be used for hot or cold dishes through thebyear.

    I don’t have a food processor, so should I chop the leaves before adding the oil?


    I just use my regular vegetable cooking oil – nothing with a strong flavour, so any neutral oil such as sunflower, vegetable or similar. To get that pureed kind of texture, chopping finely may work, but you might want to try using a mortar and pestle to really get it into more of a paste. Or do you have a spice grinder that can handle wet spice pastes? That would do well too.

  11. kaveyeats

    I don’t harvest the bulbs, just the leaves and flowers for wild garlic.

  12. Nigel

    Where I live in Derbyshire there’s wild garlic everywhere we are so lucky. I blend the garlic in different oils depending on how it’s going to be used, sunflower oil for cooking, Olive oil for dressing etc. When blending I drizzle the oil in till I get a loose consistency ( like single cream ) then I push it through a sieve. Once that is done I put into different sized sterilized containers and ice cube trays and freeze. There are so many way you can cook with it try shallow frying chicken in it or mushrooms using the garlic cooking oil or dress salads with the garlic Olive oil. The way you use the oil is up too you. The uses are endless. Wild garlic can be used as it is just wash and dry then cut into silver’s and mix in with mixed salad leaves with or without garlic oil dressing or try it shredded in a omelet. The leaves and oils are goog with game or any meats also try using the flowers for dressing which are also edible. Enjoy


    Thanks for your tips Nigel, lovely suggestions. We also use it raw in salads, throw it into omelettes and frittatas, or stir into mash potato. We’ve used it to stuff a roast chicken too. So many ways to enjoy!

    Rachel Fryer

    If you do freeze it, make sure you dry it or preserve it in oil. Am just getting a bag out of the freezer and it’s just really wet so not sure if we can Any tips welcome by the way.

  13. Anthea

    Just had wild garlic, olive oil, mushrooms and left over cooked lamb as a sort of stir fry over rice noodles – delicious!

  14. ray price

    My local coffee bar has made a name for itself with cheese and wild garlic scones but her recipe is a well-kept secret. Keeps me busy picking for her tho.


    Oh they sound amaaaaaaaazing! Might have to experiment if I can find some to forage.

    Anthony rowe

    Go to the national trust site they have a wild garlic and cheese scone recipe we have tried it and it’s great

  15. Lynda Ridley

    Has anyone tried washing, drying, finely chopping and then freezing without the oil, or is it better in oil?


    I thought about doing so with water but as we use the portions with oil when we have defrosted, this way made most sense for us! 😁

  16. kaveyeats

    Yes we have blitzed and frozen all three, depending on when we harvest.

  17. ray price

    I freeze the leaves, stalks and flowers (separately) on a tray. Once frozen they crumble quiet happily and go into small containers in the freezer. Stalks for sauces and to make savoury crumble, leaves for scones, flowers for real mayonnaise.

  18. catriona

    Hi, currently enjoying a bumper crop of willd garlic. Was thinking of chopping (in food processor) in oil and then freezing to make pesto etc later in year – is there a risk of botulism if i do?


Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating