Along the Grapevine

Stuffed Milkweed Pods



Milkweed pods late in the season

It is a little late in the season to be collecting milkweed pods. There are still a few small ones on the plants, and by small I mean under two inches, but for the most part they are going to seed now. When I collected pods for my first recipe, I had extra which I blanched and froze for future use. If you don’t have young plants with immature pods or some pods stowed away in your freezer, you could make this recipe just as easily with okra (which has a very similar taste), peppers or zucchinis. In any case, blanche the vegetables first. If you are collecting milkweed pods, please refer to my post on “Milking the Weeds”.

I chose to make a vegan and gluten free recipe. Using polenta, mixed with dried mushrooms and chili peppers, I found there was enough flavour as is – but if you want a richer and non-vegan recipe, add 1/2 cup of shredded hard cheese and/or sprinkle some cheese on top before baking. Use whichever herbs you prefer, fresh if possible. I used thyme, but parsley, basil, tarragon etc. would all be good. I also used powdered sumac as a garnish, but paprika would work just as well. Choose your peppers according to how hot you want it – the serrano peppers I used with seeds made it noticeably hot, but not overwhelming.

Milkweed Pods Stuffed with Polenta

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


36 cleaned (seeds removed) and parboiled milkweed pods, between 1 and 2 inches

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped finely

3 cups boiling water

3 Tbsp dried mushrooms, chopped

2 dried chili peppers, chopped

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp chopped fresh or 1/2 Tbsp dried fresh herbs

a light sprinkling of oil and sumac or paprika


Pour boiling water over the mushrooms and chilis and set aside until the water cools.

Fry the onion in olive oil until translucent, but not browned.  Add the water, mushrooms, salt, chili, herbs and cornmeal, and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan – about five minutes.

Fill the pods while the mixture is still hot. Place them in a shallow casserole dish, and spray or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some sumac or paprika on top. Bake in a preheated 400 F degree for about 15 minutes, until they are heated through and beginning to brown on top.

Serve warm. Makes approximately 36 pods.


Stuffed pods before baking


Stuffed pods after baking

These make a delicious side dish, or can be served as an appetizer.


Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

14 thoughts on “Stuffed Milkweed Pods

  1. I’ve never eaten a milkweed pod (I don’t think) but I would love to try one of these. They look incredibly appetizing. The colors of the polenta stuffing and the pods go very well together.


  2. Oh Hilda… no one has proposed to right a book yet??? Another time I have to thank you for all these things that you make me discover. I’ve never heard about milkweed… I’m sure they have to taste great with polenta!


    • So kind of you. I am still in the very experimental stage – most recipes are still pretty basic, but I am happy when anyone feels they are learning something new – and I hope useful.


  3. I agree with Margy Hilda, you have to write a book! The number of things you have introduced me to…! These look so delicious!!


  4. Those tiny beauties look amazingly delicious, Hilda!


  5. Wow! I’m absolutely impressed! Never ever heard or seen about this plant! You’re very creative, as usual! 😀


  6. Is it acceptable to say””I hate you”? Well maybe not, and it would be a lie, but oh how wonderful all these treasures are that you are surrounded by 🙂


    • Thanks. I think sometimes we just don’t always see the treasures around us for what they are. Since moving here, I have not appreciated those trees because they are crowded and too close to the house. But last year they started producing flowers and berries, and this year even more, so I started researching them. I may have to pull them out, but not before taking a few of the offspring and planting them in a better place. And then I will really appreciate them.


  7. Pingback: Milkweed Shoots | Along the Grapevine

  8. Pingback: Spicy Roasted Milkweed Pods | Along the Grapevine

  9. Pingback: Milkweed Pakoras | Along the Grapevine

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