Mealworms 101 – Part 2: Mealworm Recipes

Here’s the second instalment of our series on the humble mealworm, this time focussing on how they can be used in food, using various mealworm recipes as examples.

I won’t go into the nutritional benefits these wonderful little beetle larvae have to offer (that’s for the next episode), but will dip into our collection of mealworm recipes from across the web to give you a flavour of their versatility as an ingredient.

Mealworms taste like Roasted Peanuts
Crickets taste like Shiitake Mushrooms

Thanks to their naturally nutty flavour, mealworms can be used in a variety of dishes, be they savoury or sweet.

Many insects are said to have this kind of nuttiness, but they often come with other flavours, too. For example, crickets are also said to be slightly nutty, but I find that they have more of a Shiitake mushroom vibe so lend themselves to savoury foods better than to sweet.

Remember that over 2,000 edible insect species have been identified so far, so trying to generalise “insect flavour” is pretty much impossible — it’s a bit like saying beef, pork, lamb and venison all taste the same just because they’re all mammals. Their flavours are affected by many, many factors, including what they eat, where they live, their nutritional composition, whether they contain any special chemical compounds, etc.

Before we get to mealworms, and while we’re still on the variety of flavours insects have to offer, here are a few more examples of what people say insects taste like (not all verified… yet):

Tarantulas taste like Soft Shell Crab
Bee Larvae taste like Royal Jelly
Weaver Ants taste like Lemon
Palm Weevils taste like Bacon

Savoury Mealworm Recipes

So now on to mealworms. The examples below are of savoury dishes using these tasty Tenebrios in some way. Most are quite simple to make (at least with my limited culinary skills). Use the little green squares to navigate…

Spring Porridge

Spring Porridge - EntoMove Project

Full Recipe: EntoMove Project

Ingredients

  • Chards leaves
  • 1 bunch of turnips
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 3 parsnips
  • 60g freeze-dried / 150g fresh thawed mealworms
  • 200g buckwheat flakes
  • 3 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbs almond butter
  • Fresh turmeric and ginger
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Nutmeg, salt and pepper

Mealworms with Garlic and Chilli in Butter

Mealworms with Garlic and Chilli in Butter - Ground to Ground

Ingredients

  • Mealworms
  • Chilli Peppers sliced – with or without the seeds as per your preference
  • Garlic diced
  • Butter – salted or unsalted as per your preference

Full Recipe: Ground to Ground

Mealworm Meatballs

Mealworm Meatballs - The Bug Shack

Full Recipe: The Bug Shack

Ingredients

  • 50g mealworms (whole / blended)
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1.5 or 2 beef stock cubes
  • pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 drops of Worcester sauce (optional)
  • 1 large pinch of herbs, such as marjoram or sage
  • 1 beaten egg
  • olive oil

Mealworm Bolognese

Mealworm Bolognese - Stefan Gates

Full Recipe: Stefan Gates

Ingredients

  • 400g of freeze-dried mealworms
  • A little sunflower oil
  • 1 onion
  • A garlic clove
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml of vegetable stock
  • A pinch of mixed herbs

50/50 Mealworm Sausage Rolls

50-50 Mealworm Sausage Rolls - The Bug Shack

Full Recipe: The Bug Shack

Ingredients

  • 25g freeze dried mealworms
  • 200g sausage meat
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1tsp dried herbs (sage or parsley work well)
  • 200g ready-rolled puff pastry
  • salt and pepper, as desired
  • 1 beaten egg to glaze

Mealworm Fried Rice

Mealworm Fried Rice - Food

Full Recipe: Food.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mealworms
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 3cup water
  • 1cup chopped onion
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup Minute Rice

Mealworm Satay Sauce

Mealworm Satay Sauce - Eat Grub

Full Recipe: Eat Grub

Ingredients

  • 60g peanuts, crushed (using a pestle and mortar/food processor/mincer or knife
  • 40g mealworms, crushed
  • 40g red curry paste
  • 300ml coconut cream
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbs mild curry powder
  • 20g palm sugar
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil (for cooking)

Sweet Mealworm Recipes

Now for the sweet! Even though mealworms can be used in either savoury or sweet dishes, you’ll find an many more mealworm recipes from the savoury category floating around on the web, but here are a few examples of the sweeter variety.

Mealworm Flapjacks

Mealworm Flapjacks - Eat Grub

Full Recipe: Eat Grub

Ingredients

  • 200g rolled oats
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g salted butter
  • 90g raisins
  • 20g freezedried mealworms
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp plain flour

Chocolatey Chip Mealworm Cookies

Chocolatey Chip Mealworm Cookies - Entomo Farms

Full Recipe: Entomo Farms

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic white sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp apple sauce
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup mealworm Flour (30g)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Oatmealworm Cookies

Oatmealworm Cookies - Girl Meets Bug

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • ½ cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups dry quick-cook oatmeal
  • 1 cup dry roasted mealworms
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract

Festive Black Forest Floor Brownies

Festive Black Forest Floor Brownies - DeBugged

Full Recipe: DeBugged

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black pitted cherries in syrup
  • 2 tbsp kirsch
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 cup dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup dark soft brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp castor sugar
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 oz morello cherry preserve
  • 10 oz double cream
  • 2.5 oz icing sugar
  • 2 cups cherries, stalks on
  • 3 tbsp dried, unflavored mealworms

For a more comprehensive collection of recipes using a variety of insects, check out our Pinterest board, Cooking with Edible Bugs.