I’m so excited that I can talk about Spring and start to put Winter behind us. It’s been a bit confusing weather-wise in KC lately, because we’ll have 70 degree days followed by 30 degrees, which is par for the course for the Midwest. Bt I’m ready to focus on all things Spring, including what to cook this Spring.
When we talk about cooking smartly, it’s really about cooking with seasonal ingredients. Not only are they the best quality taste-wise, but they’re also less expensive in season. And that’s a win-win if you ask me!
What’s great with Spring produce is that it’s easing out of what we have on hand for Winter and starting to see more of the foods we love in the warmer months. So you kind of get the best of both worlds in a way.
And don’t you just love Spring for giving us the energy to do Spring cleaning and reorganize our lives? I know for me, this Spring definitely brings change into my life as I’m looking for a new spot to call home. So I’ll be doing lots of deep cleaning and hopefully throwing out things I just don’t need anymore.
So let’s see what’s in season and what to cook this spring:
- Leafy & Bitter Greens (Lettuce, kale, collard greens)
- Brussels Sprouts
Now these are just a few of the foods you’ll see at the farmers’ market and grocery store, but I wanted to focus on a few specifically. I love cooking with all of the above, honestly. And if you’ve only had raw radishes, then roasting them will change everything you know about this veggie.
The first two ingredients I’m focusing on are artichokes and greens, because they’re fun and great for you! Artichokes come in tons of forms, so you can buy them fresh or jarred or even frozen. And greens come in all varieties, but my favorites are definitely kale and lettuce.
It’s difficult to think of what to cook this spring and not have strawberry and rhubarb pop into your head. And if they don’t, well then I bet if you try some of these recipes, they will! These two ingredients go so well together and can be really flexible cooked or served as a dessert.
And finally probably 2 of my favorite flavors are from lime and basil, because damn they smell amazing! I love how lime can make a salad, cocktail or bowl pop. And to me, basil is the perfect addition to salads, anything Italian, and to jazz up a boring frozen meal. I do that last one all the time, so I always have fresh basil on hand.
What to Cook This Spring Recipes!
When I want a savory breakfast, then this Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Kale Chips is it. I love all the textures from the quinoa to the crunchy kale chips, amazing mushrooms, and fried egg on top. Oh yes, please make this one, because it’s the right thing to do.
I do enjoy a breakfast wrap on occasion, and this Egg and Kale Breakfast Wrap is healthy and really delicious. Plus it’s another excuse to eat a fried egg, because I love a good runny yolk!
Whole Wheat Rhubarb Streusel Muffins have a rhubarb-filled muffin that is topped with streusel and then baked to perfection. They’re the perfect sweet treat to wake up to in the morning, so whip them up now!
For a healthier breakfast than the muffins, this Key Lime Pie Overnight Oats recipe is a winner! I created it when I craved the beach, and it has coconut and lime flavors that temporarily transported me. Yum!
Soups & Appetizers:
Spicy Kale Artichoke Vegan Dip is crazy amazing and super healthy, so please make it! It comes together quickly, and tastes so good. You can cook it on the stove and serve it right away or else bake it for a little more flavor! Plus it’s perfect when you’re wondering what to cook this Spring, because it’s great for all the baseball I’ll be watching.
This Kale Tortellini Soup is one of my favorites I’ve ever made on my blog, and it’s all about the spice. You can make it as spicy as you like, and it’s delicious on a cold night. If you enjoy tortellini, then add this soup to your must-make list.
When the temperatures start to heat up, then Tomato Strawberry Gazpacho is what you need. Gazpacho is a cold, tomato-based soup that is perfect when you need to cool off. This recipe was such a surprise with how beautifully it tastes, plus you make it all in the blender, which is fabulous!
I love ordering Roasted Tomato Basil Soup when I’m eating out, but this recipe proves it’s easy to make at home! Seriously you’re going to be amazed by how flavorful and simple this soup is.
When it comes to snacking, this Basil Garlic Popcorn is one of my favorites. I honestly make it all the time, because I always have fresh basil on hand. So when basil is in season, it’s even better!
The hearty kale stands up well in this Roasted Fennel Butternut Squash Kale Salad. Toss in apples, dried cranberries, pepitas with a seriously good lemon honey dressing, and a poached egg ends up being the pièce de resistance! You could easily sub the apples for strawberries too and roast your favorite veggies!
Ooh I really love this Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette, because the kale is tender and the vinaigrette is so good! Plus it’s an excuse to enjoy goat cheese and cranberries.
I think what I love most about this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is that it has both lettuce and quinoa, so it’s healthy. Plus it makes me a little more excited to eat lettuce, which is a plus.
Every Summer I make sure I make this Basil Chicken Salad at least once, because it’s a long-time favorite of mine. It has lots of flavors of a classic caprese salad but the added chicken and mayo-based dressing make it heartier and super filling!
I’m throwing this Mexican Lime Crema in here, because it’s a great addition to a salad in lieu of dressing. Plus it’s dairy free but has a creaminess to it that you can use a lot of ways. Check out the tostada below for another fun use!
If you love Thai flavors, then this Thai Chicken Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing is a no brainer! This one requires a TON of chopping, but it makes a huge amount which is totally worth it in the end. So flipping good!
When it comes to quinoa, I love this super versatile grain. And this Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado & Cumin-Lime Dressing is hands down, no doubt about it, my favorite way to enjoy quinoa.
I look at this Baked Artichoke Chicken Pasta as a fancy baked mac ’n cheese in a way. Just cube and cook some chicken, whip up a cheese sauce and cook your pasta. Then throw it all together in a baking dish with artichoke hearts and dinner is served!
I really enjoy this Easy Lemon Garlic Kale Pasta, because it’s super filling on its own. You can mix it up by using your favorite pasta, and the lemony kale makes the dish pretty hearty. Yum!
This Healthy Shrimp Rice Noodle Salad is one I made recently and to say it’s delicious is an understatement. It’s filled with lots of veggies and the rice noodles give it a great texture and are fun to eat. I love adding shrimp and a bright lime dressing and fresh papayas for a killer dish!
Steamed Artichokes with Butter is a dish that I grew up on, so I’m a fan. It’s simple and we used to enjoy it growing up when my carnivore-loving father was gone. So it reminds me of a fun girls night with my mom and sister!
This Gnocchi with Squash and Kale recipe intrigued me, so I knew it was one I had to make. You’ve got 3 ingredients I adore plus Parmesan cheese and spice. My words can’t quite do this dish justice, so definitely give it a go!
I’m such a fan of this dairy free, healthy Mexican Chicken Tostada, because you can customize it to your liking. I had chicken, lettuce, my Mexican Lime Crema, guac, salsa, corn, and dairy free cheese. Oh the flavors!
Now spring rolls can be a bit frustrating at first until you get used to them. But once you do, they’re a fun way to enjoy a meal. These BLT Avocado Spring Rolls have everything you love about BLTs minus the bread and they’re a blast to make!
Risotto is a great thing to cook to practice patience, and I love this recipe. This Strawberry and Rhubarb Risotto has sweet strawberries and a port & rhubarb sauce that is spooned over a sweet risotto base.
Yep, this Chili Lime Mango Chicken Bowl is a meal I could happily eat weekly. The chicken is marinated in this crazy good chili lime mango sauce. Then it’s baked and I served it with kale, quinoa, and a little reserved sauce. It’s just crazy good!
Chicken Taquitos with Avocado Lime Cream features cheese, chicken, and veggie filling with tons of spices is the start of these taquitos. And the avocado lime cream is the perfect, bright dipping sauce.
Cocktails & Desserts:
If you love sweet and tart flavors, then this Roasted Vanilla Rhubarb is going to be a winner. You really get a feel for what rhubarb is and the sweet syrup over the top makes it a real treat. And I love the idea of serving it over ice cream!
I adore a good Moscow Mule, and this Strawberry Basil Moscow Mules doesn’t disappoint. You have muddled strawberries and basil combined with vodka, ginger beer and lime (classic mule right there). And all the sudden it’s the MOST refreshing drink!
So hopefully you’ll go hit the local farmers’ markets and start grabbing tons of things now that you know what to cook this spring. Experimenting with fun veggies that you’ve discovered in the market is a blast and then creating a meal out of it…well there’s something so satisfying there.
So what are your favorite recipes when you think of what to cook this Spring?! Do you love to start incorporating in more salads, still want some hearty dishes, or a little mix? Personally I love both, so I hope this list inspires you! Comment below, and then let’s chat about which recipes and ingredients you’re loving!
Stay inspired & go play in the kitchen!