TikTok says you can grill and eat sunflowers … so, of course, we had to try it

Can you really eat a grilled sunflower? That’s the question on millions of TikTokers’ minds, thanks to a new viral food trend.

It’s the latest in a long line of somewhat offbeat summer foods to spread widely on the app. In the past, users have shared how to make “steak” out of watermelon, how to make “ribs” out of corn and even how to make smoked salmon out of carrots.

The grilled sunflower trend is a little different. It’s not about turning one food into another, like “ramen waffles.” Instead, it’s about turning a literal flower into a meal.

That said, TikTokers have made the concept look pretty dang tasty.

Want more videos like this? Subscribe to our new Snapchat series, Tried It!


taste testing grilled sunflower🌻 ##hawaii ##oahu ##foodtiktok ##uniquefood ##tastetest

♬ chicken tikka – han

TikTokers have tried cooking the flowers with parmesan cheese, honey and plenty of other flavors. Regardless of the recipes, though, commenters usually have the same questions.

“What does it taste like?” one TikToker asked.

“Was it good?” another asked.

The trend seems to have started years ago. According to Delish, some restaurants in the U.S. — like Apteka, in Pittsburgh — have offered the dish on their menu since at least 2018.

Still, the concept has gotten a new life on TikTok, meaning we had to try it. To see how it went, watch the clip above or keep reading below.

How to make ‘grilled sunflower’

We made our grilled sunflower with a savory-sweet flavor combo — featuring plenty of honey. Here’s what you need:

  • Sunflower heads (fully matured, with the seeds grown in on the heads)
  • Honey
  • Thyme
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

To start, remove the sunflower heads from their stalks and pull off the petals. Then, let the heads soak in olive oil and salt for a few minutes while you heat up your grill.

With a grill or skillet on medium-high heat, cook the oiled sunflower heads for seven to 10 minutes, until they’re a little charred. Meanwhile, mix honey, red pepper flakes, thyme, more salt and more oil in a bowl — all to taste.

Remove the cooked sunflowers from the skillet or grill and drizzle them generously with your honey mixture. Then, get ready to dig in.

How good is ‘grilled sunflower,’ really?

Eating these things was, admittedly, a little confusing. It was hard to know the best way to approach it — do you cut into it like a steak? Do you dig in like a plate of pulled pork?

Ultimately, we settled on scooping up the “meat” with a fork. To our extreme surprise, it tasted amazing. These things are like a grilled ear of corn or a well-seasoned plate of squash. The honey drizzle also goes a long way, giving the sunflowers a smokey, savory-sweet dynamic.

It’s insane to say, but it’s hard to tell you’re even eating a flower. These things are seriously delicious — it’s easy to see why TikTokers love them so much.

In The Know is now available on Apple News — follow us here!  

If you liked this story, check our video on how to make “vegan salmon” out of carrots.

More from In The Know:

We tried making ‘Big Mac tacos’

7 flirty tops that are perfect for a first date

Heading back to the office? Shop 5 work-ready dresses for under $35

The best women’s sandals for walking that won’t give you blisters

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: