It’s no secret that elderberries are a superfood with many undisputed health benefits! These tasty elderberry recipes will leave you with tons of ideas of how to use these immune-boosting wild berries.
If you want to learn more about the edible and medicinal weeds that surround us and how to use them, check out my eBook: Wildcrafting Weeds: 20 Easy to Forage Edible and Medicinal Plants (that might be growing in your backyard)!
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Health Benefits of Elderberries
Let’s be honest, the best way to use herbs is to let your “food be your medicine.” I mean, you have to eat anyway, right?
With their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and immune-stimulating benefits, elderberries can be made quite flavorful and are easily incorporated into a variety of recipes and remedies.
They can be made into anything from rustic or decadent desserts, candies, cocktails, or fermented beverages, breakfast dishes, or preserved in jams, jellies, and more.
Remember, raw elderberries can upset your stomach when consumed in high quantities. The glycoside content that can cause issues is reduced when the berries are cooked or fermented.
Where to Find Elderberries
Elderberries are abundant and easy to learn how to forage. Freezing the berries before processing or using a fork to run through the umbels makes easy work of removing the stems.
But if you missed the window to harvest elderberries, or can’t find any in your area, you can purchase dried elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs.
70+ Elderberry Recipes to Support Your Immune System
Elderberries make delicious and refreshing drinks. They can be used in a gut-healthy Elderberry Kombucha, Elderberry Water Kefir, and Fermented Elderberry Soda with Honey & Ginger.
Or you can infuse elderberries into cocktails like Elderberry Infused Vodka, Elderberry Gin, or Elderberry Lemon Basil Cocktail.
My elderberry syrup cocktail made with vodka is an easy cocktail recipe made with elderberries you should try if you already have elderberry syrup on hand.
This Hedgerow Martini sounds like the perfect way to take your elderberry syrup at the end of a long day at work when you’re feeling run down and like you might be starting to come down with something.
Elderberries make fantastic wine and you can make your own Elderberry Wine at home.
Elderberry Coridials are a spicy, immune-boosting adult version of elderberry syrup made with ginger, cinnamon, and rose hips.
But I admit I’m partial to Elderberry Mead which is a naturally fermented honey wine. It’s an excellent holiday drink when mulled. Celebrate and stay healthy!
Elderberry Smoothies made with elderberry juice, grapefruit, blueberries, raspberries, and mangoes would be a great way to start the day!
Elderberry Spritzer and Black Elderberry Lemonade sound like such a refreshing drink for those hot and steamy late summer days.
Indulge yourself guilt-free and enjoy beautiful, rich desserts with these elderberry recipes! This Elderberry Curd Mandala Tart made with a chocolate crust is beyond decadent.
Not to mention Elderberry Poached Pears or Rustic Elderberry Galette.
Whoever said you can’t have your cake and eat it too was dead wrong! Red Wine and Elderberry Pears with Ginger Cake turns pears a glorious crimson color for the perfect fall dessert.
But let’s not stop there. You could also bake Elderberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes or Blueberry Elderberry Cake Roll with that beautiful naturally lilac-colored filling.
Keep it simple with an Elder Almond Pound Cake or you can bake Elderberry Confetti Cake with Elderberry Plum Curd. Check out the ombre frosting on that one! So cool!
If you’re more of a pie person, we’ve got more than a handful of elderberry recipes for pie to share there too. These Plum & Elderberry Syrup Hand Pies are a must-bake! Love that late-summer fruity combination, it’s perfect!
Or you can simply showcase the pure berry flavor with an Elderberry Pie, a gluten-free Elderberry Cobbler, or Elderberry Honeycomb Cream Pie which is like a custard pie made with elderberry preserves. I love the fancy honeycomb top. What an easy trick!
This Elderberry & Almond Pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream is calling my name. (Maybe Elderberry Ice Cream would be a better choice?)
While Plum & Elderberry Curd Tartlets or Cream Puffs with Elderberry Filling would be so adorable to serve at your next gathering.
Main Dish Elderberry Recipes
Elderberries aren’t just for sweets! The color on this Warm Elderberry Soup is stunning!
You can make some main dishes with all of that berry goodness too. If you’re a red-meat lover, try Venison with Elderberry Pan Sauce or Beef Tenderloin with Elderberries. Both sound delicious and are elegant enough to serve to company!
Unless it’s game night. Then you’re going to want to bust out the Elderberry Buffalo Wings!
Is there a better way to start your day than with a superfood? Top your pancakes with Elderberry & Blueberry Yogurt Whip.
Tuck some Elderberry Jam filling into Banana Coffee Cake Muffins. Or toss some berries into Elderberry & Einkorn Scones made with wholesome ancient grains.
Bake up some quick Elderberry Muffins and entice the children with that crumbly streusel topping.
Elderberry Buckwheat Pancakes and a vibrant purple, fruity Elderberry Smoothie Bowl would also bring the kids running with no complaints.
I don’t see why Elderberry Chia Pudding wouldn’t be a great way to start the day, especially if you’re feeling crummy and don’t have much of an appetite. Sure is a lot healthier than many other “breakfast” foods.
I wouldn’t mind waking up to Stewed Elderberries with Baked Semolina or a simple Elderberry Compote beautifully swirled into Greek Yogurt.
Elderberries are easily made into many herbal remedies. And since elderberries are so beneficial to our health, thankfully they’re pretty tasty remedies too!
Elderberry Juice is the base for many of the remedies so that’s a great place to start.
I would use it to make homemade Elderberry Cough Drops or you can make the juice a little sweeter and spicier for a more flavorful Elderberry Elixir.
Fermented Elderberry Honey is such a sweet way to soothe a sore throat and calm a cough and thanks to the elderberries and raw honey, you’ll be feeling better in no time.
Elderberry Oxymel is similar with the addition of raw vinegar if you feel you need some extra probiotics as well.
But let’s not forget the good, old-fashioned, trusty Elderberry Syrup.
Echinacea is also featured in my Elderberry Tincture recipe.
Elderberry can also be incorporated into beverages like tart and fruity Elderberry Shrub and herbal teas such as Elderberry Spice Tea or my favorite Immune-Boosting Blend.
Elderberry Recipes for Kids
Since many kids aren’t too keen to take their medicine, even if it is as yummy as elderberry syrup, you still have options to sneak it in there!
Elderberry Popsicles are great, especially if you’re having a hard time getting the poor little one to drink anything. Not many would turn down a purple popsicle!
Elderberry Vinegar Honey Caramels mix elderberry infused vinegar and honey to make sweet anti-viral candies.
Or you can make little chewy Elderberry gummy bears with grass-fed gelatin and no artificial food dyes!
If your child isn’t too sure about this whole elderberry thing, you can break them in slowly with Elderberry Thumbprint Cookies.
They certainly won’t pass by Homemade Elderberry Marshmallows either.
Personally, I’d try making Elderberry Syrup Power Balls with dried cherries, chia seeds, toasted hazelnuts, and, of course, elderberry syrup. Cookies for mommy… and then maybe I’d share.
Elderberry Lollipops are perfect for sick children with sore throats that need some soothing (plus they just sound delicious!)
If you’re lucky enough to have come across a big yield of elderberries while foraging, you’ll need a way to preserve them. Thankfully, you have lots of choices!
Elderberry Powder is a new idea I’d never heard of before! It’s a great way to sprinkle a little tart flavor and immune system boost to your meals. Or you can incorporate it into many of the other recipes we’re sharing here.
You can also simply dehydrate or freeze the berries for later (which is a great way to remove the berries from the stems.)
Elderberries are wonderful candidates for all of your preserve-making ventures. You can make Sugar-Free Elderberry Jam sweetened with stevia! (Sugar-free is always a great choice when your immune system is down in the dumps.)
Or you can make Elderberry Jelly or elegant Elderberry Chia Jam.
Elderberries mix well with other fruits when you’re making a jam. Try Elderberry Peach Jam, Elderberry Strawberry Jam, or the one I’m most excited to try, Elderberry Apple Jam. A great use for early season apples that will be ready around the same time elderberries ripen.
You can also preserve not-quite-rip elderberries as homemade capers! What a novel idea!
Or a spicy, chunky Elderberry Chutney is sure to be delicious
What is your favorite way to enjoy the benefits of elderberries?
Carleen Lane says
I have been making my elderberry winter tonic for years. I keep it in fridge and at the first sign of sniffles out it comes. My 16 year old son had a cold recently and was using the tonic daily. I noticed after a few days that the syrup has another amazing quality. His acne cleared up. He was amazed as well and now takes 1 tablespoon daily to keep his face clear. Just another plus for elderberries!
Why do my elderberries tiny the worms. Can not use them
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
Hi Diana, it’s totally normal to have tiny bugs in your elderberry clusters. After you gather your elderberries, let them sit out for an hour or two. You’ll notice the bugs will quickly evacuate. Alternatively, you can freeze your elderberries and rinse off the dead bugs.
Maree Perkins says
I can only access dried elderberry so substituting dried for fresh, if I put 1/2 dried for fresh is that correct? Can I use dried elderberry in these recipes?
Colin McGee says
Thank you! What a great collection of ideas and recipes!
Alison D. Gilbert says
What an abundance of elderberry recipes for health and healing as well as deliciousness. I cannot thank you enough. I am so happy to see that my friends at Norm’s Farms are mentioned. They make wonderful products and are the nicest people, too. They have great customer service. Thanks again for this group of recipes that provides more than once a week for the entire year!