21 Spring Dinner Ideas That Use The Season’s Best Foods

21 Spring Dinner Ideas That Use The Season’s Best Foods

21 Spring Dinner Ideas That Use The Season’s Best Foods

The air is warmer, the days are longer and flowers are blooming, which can only mean one thing: Spring is here! The return of spring also means the return of many seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as apricots, asparagus, mint, kale, and more. While you can likely find many of these ingredients year-round these days, the fact that they’re in-season now means there’s a good chance they traveled a shorter distance to get to you. In other words, they are fresher now than they were a few months ago, and are just yearning to be cooked and eaten.

Since there’s no better way to celebrate spring than to cook with the season’s bounty, keep reading for a collection of spring dinner ideas starring artichokes, watercress, squash blossoms, and everything else spring has to offer!

Spring Minestrone

Caitlin Bensel

While some soups need to simmer for hours, this one is ready in just 30 minutes from start to finish. Here, some of spring’s finest produce, including lemon, basil, crisp green beans, and silky Swiss chard, are joined by toothsome ditalini pasta, leeks, and celery for a comforting meal. Opt for high-quality store-bought broth for this easy dish, or make your own.

Lemon-Pepper Tofu With Apricot-Chickpea Salsa

Greg Dupree

Apricots are one of spring’s most delicious fruits. While they don’t often get the chance to shine in savory dishes, this recipe is an exception. Here, planks of tofu are nestled into a bed of couscous and topped with an innovative salsa. This is where the apricots come in. The salsa includes vinegar-soaked pieces of the stone fruit, along with chickpeas, cilantro, garlic, and capers. Yum!

Parsley-Garlic Salmon

Victor Protasio

Who doesn’t love a tasty salmon recipe? This one is perfect for a spring meal since it centers around a parsley and garlic marinade, and the titular ingredients are in season come springtime. The rich salmon is also coated in mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and lemon juice, which adds yet another pop of seasonal freshness. Serve the fish with grilled veggies and a starch for the ultimate spring spread.

Shrimp and Artichoke Scampi

Fred Hardy

If you’ve got an abundance of spring produce you need to use, your best bet is to whip up a pasta dish. This one is packed with in-season artichokes, as well as plenty of shrimp and fresh garlic. Springy parsley and lemon juice add even more flavor. Serve with a dry white wine, like pinot gris or sauvignon blanc, and dig in.

Spring Fried Rice

Jennifer Causey

Fried rice never disappoints, and this version is packed with fresh spring vegetables. In addition to white rice flavored with soy sauce, garlic, and toasted sesame oil, this rice dish boasts spring onions, broccoli florets, and bright matchstick carrots. Top with a fried egg for a healthy protein boost.

Squash Blossom Tacos

Heami Lee

Bright orange in-season squash blossoms are paired with gooey mozzarella and meaty poblano chiles in these springy tacos that also include fresh avocado and sour cream. The 30-minute meal is finished with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a sprinkling of crunchy pepitas, and a showering of cilantro. Serve with some homemade guacamole and you’re all set.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Greg DuPree

Cauliflower rice and spring star collard greens are the base of this refreshing salad, which calls for an entire can of black-eyed peas. Inside this satiating dish you’ll also find juicy cherry tomatoes and ready-to-eat Canadian bacon, yielding a balanced plate that works well as an appetizer or a light dinner. This recipe makes four servings, but just double it if you need more.

Halloumi Grain Bowls With Figs and Charred Lemon Dressing

Jen Causey

There’s nothing not to love about this grain bowl recipe, which features a base of nutty, chewy farro and massaged kale, which is in season come springtime. Each packed bowl is also filled with seared slabs of halloumi, supple figs, sliced almonds, and fresh mint. Everything is coated in a lemony dressing, which adds another spring-like element to the mix.

Mango Chicken Curry with Coconut Rice

Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist: Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

Sure, you can use frozen mango for this 40-minute meal, but we’re partial to using the fresh fruit that’s typically in-season from May until September. The backbone of this curry is coconut milk and yellow curry paste with aromatics like garlic and ginger, while chunks of chicken, red bell pepper slices, and bite-size pieces of mango round out the cozy meal. If you’d rather enjoy a meat-free spring dinner, swap in a pound of cubed extra-firm tofu for the chicken.

Lamb Chops With Charred Asparagus

Caitlin Bensel

This 30-minute dinner idea—which is basically spring on a plate—stars juicy, golden lamb chops and crisp-tender asparagus. You’ll tie everything together with a vibrant four-ingredient pan sauce to coat the veggies, and serve the meal over a bed of creamy Greek yogurt with toasted French bread on the side. What’s not to love?

Easy Green Shakshuka Recipe

Greg DuPree 

This take on shakshuka is filled with the colors of spring thanks to spinach, artichokes, and salsa verde. It comes together in just 15 minutes, and is ideal for those who love to have breakfast for dinner every now and again. Serve with plenty of toasted bread, so you can sop up every last morsel of saucy, eggy goodness.

Salad With Chicken and Crispy Farro

Jennifer Causey

We love this easy chicken dish because it’s balanced and packed with some of spring’s best ingredients—asparagus, radishes, and juice from a lemon, which is in the simple yet satisfying dressing. Ready in just 30 minutes, this simple dinner is best served with a light red wine, like pinot noir, or a crisp, tart white such as sauvignon blanc.

Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Artichoke Dressing

Greg DuPree

You can’t go wrong with crispy chicken cutlets for a quick spring dinner. Breadcrumb-coated chicken bakes with roasted asparagus and is topped with a lemony dressing made from briny artichoke hearts, fresh parsley, and salty Parmesan cheese. It’s so tasty that it’s hard to believe you can whip it up in just 25 minutes.

Fettuccine With Asparagus, Leeks, and Mint

Victor Protasio

This vegetarian spring pasta with asparagus is the perfect meal to whip up at the start of the season. It feels light because there’s no hearty tomato-based sauce, while mint adds a bright note to balance the buttery sautéed leeks. In the meantime, zingy red pepper flakes add heat to cut through each bite. The fact that this dish is ready in just 20 minutes is a bonus.

Savory Spring Crepes

Greg DuPree

If you’ve never tried savory crepes, we recommend you start with this recipe that highlights the best of what spring has to offer. Each crepe is filled to the brim with springy watercress, and topped with asparagus, feta, and avocado. It’s a light dinner, but it’s perfect for a warm spring night.

Spring Green Salad

Greg DuPree

This simple spring salad recipe proves that a fresh-tasting hearty plate of greens and mix-ins can be part of a delicious dinner that the whole family will love. The base is romaine lettuce hearts—the crispiest of lettuces—with chopped cucumber, snap peas, and edamame mixed in. Add in chives and mint from the garden, plus pistachios for crunch, and it’s pretty much a perfect spring dish. But we’re not done! The dressing is a creamy avocado and yogurt situation with a Caesar-esque twist courtesy of anchovies. Sign us up.

Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

Greg DuPree

Stock a bottle of salsa verde in the pantry for spring nights when you’re craving tacos. This dish pairs the store-bought condiment with simmered chicken thighs. For more flavor, top each taco with chopped onion, plenty of fresh cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese, and creamy avocado slices. If you have sour cream in the fridge, add a dollop of that, too. Plus, be sure to stock up on plenty of fresh limes to serve on the side.

Spaghetti Pasta Salad With Avocado-Basil Dressing

Victor Protasio

For spring nights when it’s too hot to turn on the oven, try this refreshing pasta salad. While you do need to boil water in order to cook the pasta, the noodles are meant to be served at room temperature with a healthy, savory dressing made with Greek yogurt, basil, vinegar, honey, and avocados. Chopped toasted almonds add a satisfying crunch, while fresh cherry tomatoes bring bursts of bright acidity. As an added bonus, whatever you don’t eat for dinner makes for one delicious lunch the following day

Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

Fred Hardy

Grab a fresh head of tasty butter lettuce for this recipe in order to make these healthy, vegetarian wraps. The wraps are filled with a mixture of grated tofu and shiitake mushrooms, but cremini or button mushrooms will also work. No matter what mushroom variety you use, don’t skimp on the marinade made with rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, sriracha, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Garnish with fresh scallions for a much-needed crunch.

Crunchy Salad With Chicken and Ginger

Fred Hardy

If a salad made with wilted lettuce isn’t your jam, give this one a try instead. This healthy recipe features strips of marinated and seared chicken, shredded cabbage, carrots, and red bell peppers, as well as a topping of sliced almonds and fresh mint leaves. A dressing made with orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, olive oil, fresh mint, and grated ginger ties the whole thing together.

Spring Pasta Salad

Caitlin Bensel

Celebrate spring with this flavorful and quick pasta salad that’s filled with peppery radishes and crisp sugar snap peas—two of the season’s finest vegetables. The casarecce pasta used here is perfect for soaking up sauce, which in this case is a honey-mustard vinaigrette spiked with shallots and lemon zest. You’ll also find mint and salty ricotta salata, which add a bit of freshness and saltiness, respectively.