The 5 Most Unique Cicada Recipes

By: Date:

As the East Coast prepares for the emergence of the Brood II Cicadas, we compiled a list of the Top 5 Unique Cicada recipes. In Arizona, cicadas emerge either annually or every other year, so we never see the cicada masses that the East Coast is currently anticipating. Arizona cicadas are generally associated with the start of the brief monsoon period and you will know when they’ve arrived because of their distinct, shrill noises.

Freshly hatched cicadas are recommended for cooking because their shells are not hardened yet. Please be aware that cicadas are from the same family as shrimp and lobster, so if you have food allergies, please consult a doctor before trying cicadas.

1) Cicada Piz-zz-zz-za

via David George Gordon’s The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook
1 teaspoon active dried yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-1/4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup cornmeal

Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pound peeled tomatoes, sliced into 3/4-inch chunks
1 tablespoon tomato past
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
6 marinated artichoke heartrs
8 sundried tomatoes in oil
8 subadult periodical cicadas, thawed frozen or freshly caught
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. To make the dough, combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Add this liquid, the olive oil, and remaining water to the flour and cornmeal. Mix to a soft dough, then knead on a lightly floured board until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  2. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. While waiting for the dough to rise, begin making the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 30- minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from flame.
  5. Punch down the risen dough and knead briefly. Place in the center of an oiled 12-inch pizza pan. Press outward, using the knuckles, until dough is evenly spread, filling the pan. Pinch a lip around the edge to contain the sauce. Bruch the dough with olive oil.
  6. Preheat oven to 425
  7. Spoon tomato sauce over the dough. Spread mozzarella cheese uniformly over the sauce.
  8. Drain the sundried tomatoes, reserving the oil. Coarsely chop them and the ar4tichoke hearts, artfully arranging the two items over the cheese.
  9. Top with fresh cicadas.
  10. Sprinkle the completed pie with 1 or 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted and dough is crisp and golden. Dust with red pepper flakes and serve.
  11. Wait 13 to 17 years and repeat this entire sequence.

2) Cicada-Portobello Quiche

via Janet Stein Carter
1 Portobello cap
1/4 – 1/2 cup blanched, teneral cicadas
Cut the Portobello into cubes. Sauté in olive oil until cooked. A few minutes before the mushroom is done cooking, add the cicadas and stir. Temporarily, set this mixture aside.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 T olive oil
3 T water
Mix together. Use rolling pin to roll out between two sheets of wax paper. Carefully remove top sheet of wax paper, and flip crust over into quiche pan or pie plate. Remove second sheet of wax paper. Fit crust into pan, fixing top edge and patching holes. Note: crust will be very thin.

3/4 oz. carton basil
1/2 lb (approx.) cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375° F. Put the mushroom-cicada mixture into the crust and distribute evenly. Chop the basil and sprinkle evenly over the filling. Grate the cheese and sprinkle evenly over the basil.

4 eggs
1 – 1.5 T whole wheat flour
1.25 C whole milk
1 tsp (approx.) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (approx.) nutmeg
Break the eggs into a bowl, and whisk slightly. Add the flour and seasonings, and whisk until mixed. Add the milk and whisk until mixed. Set the pan of quiche in the oven, on the oven rack, then pour in the liquid.

Bake at 375° F for about 30 min until the top is golden brown. Cool slightly before cutting.

3) El Chirper Tacos

via The University of Maryland
2 tablespoons butter or peanut oil
1/2 pound newly emerged cicadas
2 Serrano chilies, raw, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground pepper or to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
3 tsp taco seasoning mix
Taco shells, to serve
Sour cream
1 handful cilantro, chopped
Shredded cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce


  1. Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan and fry the cicadas for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  2. Remove from pan and roughly chop into 1/4-inch cubes/ Place back in pan.
  3. Add the chopped onions, chilies and tomato, season with salt, and fry for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
  4. Sprinkle with ground pepper, cumin and oregano to taste.
  5. Serve in taco shells and garnish with cilantro, sour cream, lettuce and cheddar cheese.

4) Simple Cicada Ice Cream Topping

via Time Magazine

  1. Remove wings from Cicadas and boil to cook
  2. Cover in Brown Sugar and melted milk chocolate and let harden
  3. Serve over your favorite ice cream, peanut butter is a recommended flavor

5) Cicada Rhubarb Pie

via The University of Maryland
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup fresh cicadas, washed and any hard parts removed
1 1/3 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine sugar and flour. Sprinkle one-fourth of it over pastry in pie plate. Heap rhubarb over this mixture. Sprinkle cicadas in amongst the rhubarb. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour. Dot with small pieces of butter. Cover with top crust.
  3. Place pie on lowest rack in oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes.

Makes 1 pie (8 servings)

Are you up for the challenge? Have you ever eaten cicadas, and if so, how do you prefer them to be cooked? Let us know in the comments.

$50 Off Your Initial Service

CALL (480) 635-8492 CALL NOW
Offer valid when you start any Blue Sky 365 program