Spring recipes are full of color and flavor and should always embrace casual elegance. Peas! Asparagus! Lemon! Here’s the only recipes you’ll need over the next three months.
Ah spring! What a glorious time of year when we start thawing out and begin to crave crunchy green vegetables and viciously bright pink fruits again. The warmer weather tickles our senses and refreshes our need for eating lighter and perhaps a little healthier.
Spring recipes however are not all salad and grilled asparagus. There are rainy days in spring and depending on where you live, sometimes snowy days too. The nights are still chilly and so comforting casseroles and soups are also welcome—as long as they are filled with fresh spring ingredients.
A new season always reinvigorates my need to get into the kitchen and cook something delicious and maybe you feel that way too. Here are a 21 recipes that make the most of March, April, May, and perhaps the beginning of June cooking for inspiration.
This recipe features one of our favorite spring ingredients: peas! Here we call for frozen English peas but if you have access to fresh even better. Combined with whole wheat pasta, rotisserie chicken, kale, and a decadent cream sauce for the ultimate baked pasta dish.
You are going to adore this recipe even if you don’t love tofu. It is fast, fresh, and vibrant and the lightly-fried salt and pepper tofu is the perfect pairing to crisp asparagus.
This is a very friendly, usable recipe that will make even the most basic piece of previously-frozen cod taste incredible. It relies on a quick lemon sauce that coats every piece of fish before being broiled, soaking it with tremendous flavor.
This is a true celebration salad! So whether you are celebrating spring or any of the many celebrations that happen this time of year, I encourage you to give this one a try. It has lots of components like roasted carrots, chile-fried cashews, kale, wild rice, and tahini dressing which work gloriously together.
This is what I like to call easy, fancy food. It takes all of 10 minutes and the dill and mustard seed make an otherwise ordinary piece of salmon seem unique and special. Salmon isn’t a seasonal spring ingredient per se but its fresh, clean ocean flavor speaks to the lighter days ahead.
6. Spinach Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
This pretty salad makes an excellent lunch or side for a steak or a burger. The spring ingredients here are tender spinach, fragrant Meyer lemons, and earthy mushrooms. If you have a Farmers market available, look for spinach there. It takes more work to clean and dry it but tastes so much better than the pre-washed stuff in bags at the grocery store.
7. Rhubarb Agua Fresca from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
There are a lot of ways we enjoy rhubarb in the spring but turning it into agua fresca is my favorite. The tart pink stalks need to be cooked to release their essence but aside from a quick boil this recipe is an easy combination of sugar, water, rhubarb and lemon. The color alone is reason enough to give it a try.
8. Sweet Cumin Radish Pickles from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
These radishes consist of many wonderful qualities; they are a little sweet, a little tart, crunchy as all get out, laced with cumin and cilantro, really easy to make, get pickled in the refrigerator, and are amazing on tacos, avocado toast, and sandwiches.
Artichokes are another decidedly spring vegetable. This recipe uses canned artichokes, just for the sake of ease, but if you have fresh and want to roast them or steam them and then add it to the pasta dish, by all means go for it.
10. Grilled Oysters with Green Chile-Garlic Butter from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
If you can get your hands on fresh spring green garlic for this recipe, even better! Grilled oysters are so great, especially if you’re not there yet about eating them raw. Using a grill rack makes it easy.
Pillowy homemade egg noodles are a treasure all on their own but add flavorful spring veggies like peas, asparagus, and carrots and you are in for a delightful meal. Don’t forget fresh herbs in the spring; parsley, chives, and chervil are sometimes passed over for more substantial vegetables. This soup has a hefty handful of fresh dill and scallions added at the end.
Granted cucumbers are a year-round staple at our house. Especially now that the crunchy, sweet Persian cucumbers are available at every Trader Joe’s and they are the perfect size for kid’s lunchboxes. Even so, their crisp, freshness always reminds me of spring and summer produce ahead. This salad is awesome for those first spring picnics or a quick lunch.
This is an excellent choice for those chillier spring nights. It is hearty and comforting but still has that spring zing thanks to the stir-fry sauce that is loaded up with orange zest, orange juice, and ginger.
14. Asparagus and New Potatoes with Harissa-Goat Cheese Dip from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
If you are hosting or attending any party over the next few months, this is the recipe I want you to make. Gently blanched asparagus and the first potatoes of spring make a special, seasonal crudite-style platter and the slightly spicy, creamy harissa dip is sensational. Imagine this will a glass of bubbly! Perfection.
15. Skillet-Charred Shrimp Tacos from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
Easy dinner alert! Sometimes spring cooking means recipes that allow you to cook less and spend more time outside in the warm weather. These tacos give you just that. They are fast and fresh with a killer shrimp taco sauce, aka: lime crema.
When you feel like celebrating spring by cooking and really the cooking is the point, break out this vegetable pot pie recipe. It takes some effort but the results are so cozy and comforting. The filling is a rich mixture of leeks, potatoes, peas and carrots in a savory mushroom sauce. For the crust we have pillowy drop biscuits flecked with herbs.
Ribs to me are summer food but these tender pork ribs get baked in the oven which is perfect for spring when it can still be cold, rainy, and not ideal for outdoor grilling yet. They also are rubbed with lots of lemon zest, giving them a definitive spring feel.
18. Pizza with Chimichurri, Squash Blossoms, and Chorizo from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
Before summer squash and zucchini take over our summer cooking, spring brings their precursor—squash blossoms! Try them stuffed with cheese and fried or even better, on pizza!
19. Vegan Chipotle Mushroom Tacos with Jicama Salad from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
Vegetarian Mexican food is so much more than beans and rice. A message I emphatically preach in my cookbook, Plant Powered Mexican. These tacos are a perfect example, crispy-edged mushrooms, topped with a fresh salad of thinly-sliced jicama and peppery arugula. Delicious!
20. Soy and 5-Spice Tofu Pad Thai from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
First of all, this soy and 5-spice marinated tofu is so good you’ll loose your marbles but this pad thai recipe also is the perfect place for spring sugar snap peas, chewy rice noodles, and spring onions.
21. Quinoa with Corn and Scallions from ¡Hola! Jalapeño
Keep this one in mind when you need an easy and healthy side when you are low on time and energy. You make the lemony dressing while the quinoa cooks then once it is nice and fluffy toss in fresh (or frozen) corn kernels or sub other quick-cooking spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, or spinach and fresh spring onions. Done!
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Which Of These Spring Recipes Will You Try First?
When you try one, let me know how it went! Drop me a comment below and share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @katesbestrecipes so that I can see. Also, sign up for my weekly recipe newsletter so you never miss a thing.