Background The Yesilli district (Mardin) is located in the southeastern of Turkey and hosts different cultures. The objective of this study was to record the traditional knowledge of wild edible plants used by indigenous people in Yesilli, where no ethnobotanical studies have been conducted previously. Methods An ethnobotanical study was carried out in Yesilli district in March 2017-March 2019 to document the traditional knowledge of wild edible plants. The data were collected by interviewing 62 informants. Additionally, the data were analysed based on the cultural importance index (CI) and factor informant consensus (F-IC) to determine the cultural significance of wild edible plants and knowledge of wild edible plants among the informants. Results We documented 74 wild edible taxa belonging to 31 families and 57 genera in the present study. The richness of the wild edible taxa was highest for vegetables (46 taxa), followed by medicinal plants (17 taxa) and fruit (14 taxa). The most important families were Asteraceae (ten taxa), Rosaceae (seven taxa) and Fabaceae (six taxa). The most culturally important taxa (based on the CI index) were Ficus carica subsp. carica, Lepidium draba, Anchusa strigosa, Rhus coriaria, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Sinapis alba, Gundelia tournefortii, Notobasis syriaca, Onopordum carduchorum, Malva neglecta, Mentha longifolia, Juglans regia and Urtica dioica. The maximum number of use reports was recorded for vegetables (1011). The factor informant consensus index (F-ic) varied between 0.95 and 0.98 for preserved vegetables, beverages and spices and processed fruits have the highest F-ic (0.99). We reported for the first time the ethnobotanical usage of 12 taxa as food. We also recorded the use of Allium wendelboanum, an endemic species in the study area. Conclusion The obtained data were compared with data from other wild edible and ethnobotanical studies conducted in Turkey and particularly those conducted in eastern Turkey. Furthermore, the data were compared with data from studies conducted in the bordering countries of Iraq and Armenia. The present study reflects the cultural diversity of the region, and it is necessary to conduct more studies since it is thought that this diversity will contribute to the economy. This study will enable the traditional use of wild plants as food sources to be passed on to future generations.