Using mint in cooking

I planted some mint this year and it is taking over my garden. I’m getting tired of Mojitos =) Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to use it in cooking. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Mint can be used in pasta dishes, meat dishes, tea, salads, with basil for a pesto and seafood dishes.

Spearmint and peppermint are most commonly used in cooking, peppermint to complement savoury dishes, vegetables, particularly peas, and fruits and chocolate.

For Asian cuisine, Vietnamese mint is the favourite variety For lamb, English mint is an ideal accompaniment.

Fresh mint leaves may be added to new potatoes, fruit salads, and non-alchoholic punches.

If you are into brewing tea, variegated peppermint or Swiss or apple mint is commonly used

Mint combines well with fish, meat and vegetables. Cook a few sprigs when boiling peas or new potatoes to impart a fresh flavor. Add mint to water when steaming vegetables. Chop spearmint and add to olive oil as a marinade for fish steaks before grilling. Mint is a natural accompaniment to lamb, best served as mint sauce or mint jelly.

Thank you very much Kitchen Witch - I’m scouring the web for recipes for the mint dishes you mentioned now. Appreciate the info

you’re very welcomed - have you tried our search??

I was searching google, but I’ll give your search a try now =-)

I chop mint finely and use it in making meatballs (I’m Italian) and everyone always wants me to make meatballs when I make spaghetti. I also mix chopped fine mint with olive oil and paste steak while char broiling or oven broiling it. Makes meat taste delicious plus tender as anything you ever eat.

Here is a recipe for you by Chef Ming Tsai:

Mint Tea

1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Boiling water
Honey, to taste

Combine mint and boiling water in a teapot. Let stand for 10 minutes. Pour into tea cups. Add honey.

Hey the ever popular Shamrock shake at McDonalds is made using mint. For it you just use vanilla ice cream, green food coloring and mint. No cooking needed….Enjoy!!!


I once had a superb Thai dish on Hollywood Blvd. near the Silver Lake area. I went home and did some eks-spear-a-minting and arrived at a suitable copy of the chopped chicken with mint and fresh Thai hot peppers dish. If you are interested in using some of your mint on same, drop me a line.


Yeah, it is the critical ingredient in Albondigas soup! People want to know what that green stuff is in their meatballs … I only disclose the mint factor to those who are ready to eks-spear-a-mint. LOL! Do you prefer Italian flatleaf parsley to its inane cousin?

Ciao for now.


Kitchen Witch:

I love lamb but s-chew the mint jelly. Find that mint jelly with tasty lamb is akin to fingernails on a chalkboard. Just doesn’t work for me.



You could also plant some of the mint in a pot and keep it on the windowsill of your kitchen window for fresh mint in the winter. Mint reproduces by runners under the ground, so make sure you get the root if you’re going to put some in a flower pot or window box.

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I love making mint dressings that I then toss into pasta salads…

1 cup mint (spearmint, orange mint, whichever you have growing…I have both)
1/4 cup parsley
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp coarse ground mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice (just to keep the leaves from turning brown)
1 tsp crushed red peppers
2 cloves garlic
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

Put all ingredients except for the olive oil into a blender and liquefy. Once everything has been blended thoroughly, begin adding the EVOO until you get the dressing to a consistency you like. I don’t usually measure this because sometimes I like a thicker dressing, other times I like a thin dressing, it all depends on what my mood is or what type of salad you are making. A pasta salad you would probably want a thicker dressing so it would stick to the pasta, verses a greens salad where you would want it a bit thinner.

I also have this as a dessert:

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (16-ounce) container strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, cut into ribbons

Put the ricotta cheese, honey and vanilla extract into the small bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. In a small saucepan combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely. In a medium bowl, toss the berries with the mint and the balsamic syrup. Layer the cream, then the strawberry mixture.

I use mint (carefully) in most recipes calling for oregano. I think they are from the same herb family.


A bunch of grape tomatoes, garlic, and mint in a glass baking dish with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake until the tomatoes just start to burst. Spread over a good crusty bread and/or use as a pasta sauce.

My brain could not comprehend that my hand was putting mint in a savory dish but it works. Now looking for other uses for the herb.

Try mint added to ravioli filling and add some to your meatballs.

Good combination of mint, fish, meat and vegetables. Cook a boiled peas, the fresh leaves or impart the taste of new potatoes. Add mint water when steaming vegetables. Chop spearmint, and added to the fish before baking olive oil as a marinade. Mint is a natural accompaniment to lamb, the best mint jelly or mint sauce services.

Thank you Kitchen Witch - I’m scouring the web for recipes for the mint dishes you mentioned now. Appreciate the info.

Some really nice recipes here using mint.
I have a small mint bush and often make mint sauce for my lamb roast on Sunday. It is ridiculously simple.
Crush mint in a mortar and pestle add any type of vinegar until it is a nice thick consistency.
Delicious with lamb joint or chops.