The Best Spring Recipes Of 2021

When spring rolls around and the weather warms up and the first few items of fresh produce make their appearance at your local farmers market, it's not uncommon to eschew your wintertime favorites of comforting casseroles and rib-sticking stews in favor of lighter fare. Springtime brings with it an array of fresh salads, citrusy desserts, and eggs of both the Easter and other varieties. But don't settle for your average Easter ham or the limp sauteed asparagus you've been cooking up for your spring dinner parties for years; bring a bit of spring freshness to your dinner table with new recipes perfectly suitable for the new season. Mashed recipe writers have been hard at work this year, putting together a range of 2021 recipes to kick off your spring with more flavor than ever. Check out these 11 best spring recipes of 2021 — you might just find a new family favorite to add to your recipe repertoire.

Eggs benedict is the perfect dish for springtime brunch

Eggs benedict is a classic brunch staple. Light and savory and creamy all at once, the dish pairs perfectly with springtime mimosas and Bloody Marys. However, eggs benedict is no easy dish to make, what with the egg poaching and the hollandaise sauce that's rumored as a hotbed for bacteria unless you prepare it with the utmost precaution. Fortunately, this eggs benedict recipe makes this dish a cinch, with tips and tricks for poaching eggs and whipping up the perfect hollandaise sauce. With just a little bit of butter, eggs, mustard, English muffins, and Canadian bacon, plus a few spices from the pantry, you're well on your way to a delightful spring brunch.

Egg salad is a classic — and for a good reason

Egg salad sometimes gets a bad rap, but it shouldn't. Egg salad is a classic — simple, straightforward, light, springy. It's also a great way to use up those leftover Easter eggs after you're finished with the dyeing, hiding, and hunting. Plus, this egg salad recipe requires very few ingredients: eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper are all you need. Don't care for the combo of soft bread and softer egg salad? Give your egg salad a little more texture by pairing it with your favorite cracker or dip-able chip. In under 10 minutes, you'll have a delicious spring snack or lunch.

This antipasto salad is a smart picnic or potluck pick

Once spring arrives, picnic-style salads are a must. Chilled and filled with veggies, pasta, or potatoes, however you like your picnic salad, it's hard to say "no" to any variety when it's served alongside a grilled hot dog or hamburger, or even a simple sandwich. But every home cook needs a go-to picnic and potluck side salad recipe, something that friends ask for time and time again. This antipasto salad recipe could become that staple for you. Packing a punch of flavor, it combines chilled pasta with cheese, banana peppers, onions, olives, artichokes, and tomatoes for a side dish that, honestly, you could probably enjoy all on its own, no entree required.

Try out this simple salad and hold the lettuce

This cucumber tomato salad doesn't include any lettuce, but that hardly means it's not healthy. With minimal ingredients and a super fresh flavor profile, it's both good for you and good for your taste buds. It comes together in a snap and only requires tomatoes, a cucumber, half a red onion, and some basic vinaigrette ingredients. In less than 15 minutes, you have a refreshing side dish or main dish, perfect for enjoying at your desk for a quick lunch, or for taking to your next picnic or potluck. It also goes well with heavier dishes that you may still be enjoying over the spring season, such as your Easter ham or cheesy, veggie-based casseroles.

Get fancy with a lightened Waldorf salad

Originally introduced at a charity ball at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, the Waldorf salad has claimed a spot among history's swankier salads — though the recipe, which originally only included lettuce, apples, celery, and walnuts, has evolved over the years to include everything from mandarin oranges and grapes to miniature marshmallows and truffle oil. But just because this refreshing, delicious salad has high-brow roots, that doesn't mean it's difficult to make. You can whip up a batch at home with this easy-to-follow Waldorf salad recipe from Mashed. It contains the requisite celery, walnuts, lettuce, and apples, and it also includes red grapes and a healthy helping of Greek yogurt for a lighter alternative to mayonnaise.

Take your desserts to god tier with sweet and fruity ambrosia

In Greek and Roman mythology, ambrosia was the food of the gods. Now, "ambrosia" refers to anything one finds wonderfully delightful, either in terms of taste or smell, or to a dessert that gained popularity in the American South in the 1800s. While, according to the myths, eating ambrosia would kill us mere mortals, so far, there are no reported deaths from chowing down on ambrosia salad. Our ambrosia recipe is as easy as mixing together the required ingredients, including maraschino cherries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows, coconut, pecans, and sour cream (Yes, sour cream — just trust us on this.).

Enjoy the warmer days with a 5-ingredient key lime pie

If the first spring thaw leaves you dreaming of beaches and warmer locales, whip up a springtime dessert that will transport your taste buds to the southernmost point of the continental United States, Key West. If you've had key lime pie before and not cared for it, you're going to want to try our own key lime pie recipe. Tart, but not too tart, tangy, but not too tangy, it's a citrusy-sweet delight that comes together with literally just five ingredients: a graham cracker crust, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, Cool Whip, and lime zest. That's it! It's a super-easy, yet still impressive, dessert to serve any friend, family member, or date.

This do-it-all curd is a can't-miss addition to your spring table

Making lemon curd isn't as difficult as it sounds. To pull together the sweet-tart topping, all you'll need is sugar, eggs, lemons, and butter. You don't even need to turn on the stove, either: Our lemon curd recipe makes good use of your microwave. Once your lemon curd is done, you'll definitely want to keep it around for use in and on all your favorite springtime treats, from spreading it on your morning English muffin to incorporating it into a pavlova, from layering it into a yogurt parfait to spreading it on your waffles. The ways you can use your lemon curd are only limited by your culinary imagination!

Carrot cake is the king of springtime desserts

Maybe it's the Easter Bunny. Maybe it's the arrival of the first fresh carrots popping up in gardens around the country. Whatever the reason, carrot cake has become a staple springtime dessert, and we're glad it has. Rich, but still on the lighter side (as far as cakes go) and slathered in cream cheese frosting, carrot cake is a unique dessert that can be somewhat intimidating to make for the first time. Use our carrot cake recipe to overcome the intimidation and add a new dessert recipe to your roster. If you have enough patience to shred three cups of carrots and to make your own cream cheese frosting from scratch, then you have all the skill it really takes to complete this surprisingly easy carrot cake recipe.

Coconut cake is also a delicious springtime dessert offering

No worries if you don't care for carrots! Coconut cake makes an equally delightful springtime dessert, with its light tropical flavor and moist mouthfeel. Our coconut cake recipe really kicks the coconut flavor up a notch. Beyond the use of toasted and shredded coconut in the cake and icing, we also add coconut milk and coconut extract to the cake batter, plus a little extra coconut extract to the icing. Sure, this is not going to be the cake for you if you have any sort of aversion to coconut, but if you can't get enough of this tropical nut, you'll be in cake heaven.

The hummingbird cake blends the best of springtime desserts into a Southern classic

The hummingbird cake is a traditional Southern dessert (though it was originally created in Jamaica) that deserves more recognition than it gets, for one great reason: It takes the intense spices of a carrot cake and blends them with the tropical flavors of a coconut cake, without the actual coconut. Think toasty pecans, moist bananas, chunks of pineapple, and real vanilla. The cake is topped with a cream cheese frosting, just like what you'd find on a carrot cake, but unlike when baking a carrot cake, opting for a hummingbird cake allows you to avoid all the laborious carrot shredding.