26 Best Spring Recipes 2018

Spring is the ultimate season for fresh produce. Bright and refreshing, our veggie-forward dishes will awaken your taste buds after winter’s heavy meals. In-season herbs, greens, vegetables, and fruits all shine in these impressive recipes. Your weeknight dinner rotation will benefit from the addition of dinners like Chicken-and-Vegetable Hand Pies or Spinach Pesto Pasta. While any springtime event that you host will leave guests buzzing when you have Green Pea and Parsley Hummus or Grilled Pineapple Lemonade on the menu.

Green Pea and Parsley Hummus

Make good use of frozen green peas to create this creamy spread infused with parsley, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.

Chicken-and-Vegetable Hand Pies

Enjoy portable potpie with extra veggies and hearty whole grains. Both family- and freezer-friendly, these hand pies deliver a hearty meal to go.

Grilled Pineapple Lemonade

This twist on classic lemonade is the divine union of fruity and smoky flavors. Naturally sweet pineapple goes into the drink, allowing us to use less added sugar. We use an indoor grill pan, but if your outdoor grill is already fired up, use it to lend extra smoky depth. Add a boozy spin with a dash of rum or tequila.

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

Pesto tends to go army green if made ahead. We blanch the spinach and basil to preserve color without diluting flavor. Fresh tomato adds moisture and a mild acidity to the sauce.

Turmeric-Pickled Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs get way more interesting when the eggs are pickled in a tangy turmeric-spiked brine that also dyes them a lovely color. The longer the eggs marinate in the brine, the firmer they become and the more vibrant the color gets. For a tangier flavor, use some of the brine instead of water to loosen the filling.

Chimichurri Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

An herb-packed chimichurri sacue makes this meat-and-potatoes main vibrant and exciting. Double the mixture and spoon it over grilled steak or fish on another night. For less heat in both the chimichurri and the potatoes, remove the seeds from the Fresno chile.

Strawberry-Lime Rickey

We give the gin rickey—a classic warm-weather cocktail—a seasonal twist with an infusion of ripe strawberries. Full fruit flavor balanced by bracing gin and spritzy soda water is a tasty way to ring in spring.

Broccoli, Cheddar, and Brown Rice Cakes

These quick, crispy vegetarian cakes are inspired by cheesy broccoli-and-rice casserole, right down to the layer of melted cheddar cheese on top. Make the cakes ahead and refrigerate or freeze for a last-minute meal. You could also increase the number of servings and serve the cakes as a side with a simple tomato soup. Grainy mustard packs a welcome punch and adds great texture to the cakes. It’s also fantastic in creamy sandwich spreads, rémoulade sauce, and glazes with a sweet base (such as maple syrup or honey) for contrast and balance.

Pork Stir-Fry with Snow Peas

A great stir-fry uses only 2 or 3 vegetables in the base, insuring all elements shine through as well as leaving enough room in the pan for a good sear.

Mediterranean Chicken and Bulgur Skillet

You’ll be delighted by the incredible results from this one-pot wonder: tender, fluffy bulgur; creamy feta; and moist chicken. You don’t even need a sauce since there’s so much flavor in the pan. It’s a complete meal, though you could serve with a side salad if you’d like.

All the Green Things Salad

This salad is full of lovely textures ranging from crunchy to creamy. You can make the zippy lemon dressing and blanch, drain, and chill the peas and asparagus up to 2 says ahead, but combine all the elements shortly before serving to preserve the color of the avocado and the crunch of the greens.

Pasta with Pea Puree

We swap traditional red sauce for this light spring pasta, which delivers fresh flavor thanks to green peas, Parmesan, and fresh mint.

Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad

Simple and bright, this is the kind of main that puts us in the mood for spring. If you’ve never thrown fresh lemons on the grill, try it: The slight edge of char intensifies their tartness, and they look gorgeous. The marinade is more of a wet rub since the chicken goes straight to the grill, though you could refrigerate up to a day ahead. This salad is endlessly adaptable for spring and summer vegetables: Try shaved carrot and summer squash ribbons, haricots verts, or even just a shower of fresh herbs.

Spring Soba Salad

The beauty of seasonal produce comes to life in this bright spring salad. A simple trip to your farmers market should cover all the basics, but feel free to add or remove any ingredients you prefer. Radishes are a great use-it-all veggie, making them a highly economical buy. Instead of chopping off the greens and trashing them, rinse them clean and toss them in salads and stir-fries. They lend a peppery taste that adds savory depth to an array of spring dishes.

Vegetable Soup au Pistou

A traditional French pistou is a nut-free pesto, but the spinach pesto (or any refrigerated brand) is delicious here. Don’t rinse the canned beans after draining; any remaining starches will help bring the soup together.

Pesto Chicken with Blistered Tomatoes

Here, pesto acts as a binder, helping the crispy panko topping stick to the chicken. Serve with green beans tossed with lemon rind. Garnish with any extra basil you have on hand.

Wheat Berry “Ribollita”

Traditional ribollita is a Tuscan specialty made of leftover minestrone warmed up with chunks of bread tossed into it. In this version, wheat berries stand in for bread, bulking up the soup with nutty flavor and pleasant texture. The Parmesan cheese rind that simmers in the broth enriches the whole pot with umami depth. It’s a great technique that’ll convince you to always save your Parmesan rinds, stashing them in the freezer for uses like this. If you don’t have any, check the cheese counter at your local gourmet grocer; you’ll often find rinds for sale there.

Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus, and Phyllo Tart

If working with phyllo dough fills you with fear, don’t worry—this recipe is beginner-friendly. There’s no crimping or folding the dough; you just lay flat sheets of dough on top of each other for a rustic, unfinished edge.

Radish and Parmesan Salad

Tender lettuce allows flavor-forward radish and Parmesan to shine.

Dijon-Herb Crusted Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

This elegant meal comes together in just 30 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to eat, clean, and settle in for catching up with the family. Salmon is a rich, dense fish, so it takes longer to cook through than white flaked fish like trout or tilapia. Rather than bread the fillets first, add the panko topping to the salmon when it’s almost done and broil just until toasted so that the crust doesn’t burn before the fish is done. Panko has an incredibly light, crisp texture that’s ideal for breading. You could also use regular coarse-ground breadcrumbs or finely-chopped nuts. Dill adds a fresh, vibrant note to the yogurt mixture. Serve with our Warm Buttered Radish and Edamame Salad for a quick side.

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Bowl

If ketchup goes with every chicken dinner in your family, try these saucy, sweet, and tangy chicken thighs instead. The meat becomes incredibly tender in the slow cooker so you can easily slip out the bones and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces for kids. Bone-in chicken thighs are pan-seared before being basted with sticky-sweet sauce and slow cooked to fork-tender perfection. Sear the chicken thighs in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan and hindering browning. Though we swoon over the superiorly moist meat, the real magic lies within the sauce, which masters the balance of savory and sweet. For a burst of freshness, we add a simple cabbage slaw that rounds out the meal with a satisfying crunch. For an extra dose of veggies, pair it with sugar snap or snow peas. Our recipe requires little legwork and saves 300 calories and 250mg of sodium over the classic.

Spinach, Hummus, and Bell Pepper Wraps

Make this super-simple wrap the night before, wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap, and store in the fridge—just grab it in the morning on your way out the door. Use Flatout Light whole-grain flatbreads to keep calories in check; you can find them at most supermarkets, usually in the bakery section.

Arugula, Egg, and Charred Asparagus Salad

Just a hint of char on the asparagus adds fantastic complexity to this simple 5-ingredient spring salad. Look for medium stalks rather than pencil-thin ones—those would char and dry out too quickly. A soft-boiled egg adds protein and richness; let the slightly runny yolks mingle with the rest of the salad before enjoying. Whole-milk Greek yogurt has a lusciousness and milder tang than lower-fat yogurt. It’s the perfect binder for the lemony dressing. Serve with a slice of multigrain bread spread with goat cheese and a dash of cracked black pepper.

Orzo and Herb Pilaf

If you’d like to sub whole-grain, unpearled farro for the orzo, reverse the cooking method: Simmer the farro until done, drain, then sauté for a couple minutes in the onion mixture before serving.

Tortellini, Chicken, and Arugula Salad

Quality meets convenience in this speedy springtime main. This salad fits right into your weekday lineup with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Prewashed greens let you grab a handful and go. Build a salad, wilt into sautés, or blend into a pesto. Look to Buitoni pasta packs for quick meals on their own or to help you elevate salads and soups. Rotisserie chicken is one of your best supermarket allies for fast and fresh weeknight meals.