how to cook garlic scapes

garlic scapes, jar

 Fiesty little things, no?

These are garlic scapes. I had no clue what they were until they popped up in my CSA box last week. Garlic scapes are the tops of a growing garlic bulb. They are mild in flavor (think roasted garlic) and asparagus-like in texture. You can grill them to serve with juicy steak, top pizzas, or dice into cheesy omelettes. No matter how you prepare them, the smell of warm, fragrant garlic will tantalize your senses. Delicious.

Just make sure to cut off the scraggly tips before cooking. They can burn easily. Like asparagus, the ends tend to be tough as well so you should trim them down.

sauteed garlic scapes, sliced lemon, olive oil

 If you’re intrigued but not quite ready to take on Medusa’s mane, give this easy recipe a try. It’s a simple sauté finished with a hint of citrusy lemon. A subtle yet flavorful introduction.

how to cook garlic scapes
Serves: 2
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 tb. unsalted butter
  • olive oil
  • lemon
  • salt & pepper
  1. Trim the ends and tips off of your garlic scapes. Cut into manageable pieces that will fit into a large skillet.
  2. Over medium heat, warm the butter and a splash of olive oil.
  3. Add your garlic scapes to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and sautee for about 3-5 minutes. Add a splash of water and cover with a lid. Continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  4. Your garlic scapes are finished when they are crisp tender.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and squeeze over some fresh lemon. Add salt and pepper to your liking.


  1. says

    Hi there, I just found you through Celia’s website and I’ve been having a nosey around your recipes – hope you don’t mind. I’ve always wondered what garlic scapes are so this caught my eye and now I know – thank you!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Nancy! Absolutely- be nosy all you want!! :)
      Aren’t garlic scapes interesting? I’ve used them in several applications and they are incredible. I especially love them grilled, and then diced up over pizza. Mmmm…
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Bette says

    Somehow I got garlic planted randomly in my front garden along with my Irises and Hostas. I had no idea what it was until I saw your post. Unfortunatley when I cut them, I did at the top of the bulb not the top of the leaves. So I have the scapes not sure how the bulb will be since there is no stalk. However, I’ll be using your recipe and will be cooking them right up. Hope they are good as they smell.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Bette, what a fun surprise! I’m not sure how the bulb will be either (I’ve never grown garlic myself), but it will certainly be interesting to see what happens. The actual garlic scapes are fantastic. In addition to this recipe, try throwing a bunch in some homemade basil pesto for a mild, garlicky kick!

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